The pandemic has further highlighted the important role played by professional Facility Managers, and office cleaning is just one of many services that FM’s are responsible for.  In this blog we take a look at 8 questions Facility Managers should ask contractors when tendering office cleaning.

Choosing the right office cleaning contractor often starts with a formal document such as a Request for Quotation (RFQ) or Invitation to Tender (ITT).

Here are some important questions to ask.

1) How will the office cleaning contractor deliver the service?

How to deliver the cleaning specification is fundamental.  Sample cleaning schedules and work plans should be part of the return document, as well as a proposed shift pattern and staffing profile.  This can be amended by the successful contractor as necessary to reflect unique requirements, but the basic information should be in place from the start.

2) How will the contract be supported by Managers and Head Office?

One of the most common reasons why clients get frustrated with their cleaning contractor is that the staff are not supported by their cleaning manager or the head office.  A monthly review of the contract keeps the lines of communication open and are ideal opportunities for service issues to be discussed or amended if situations change.

One way to monitor is through Quality Audits, to systematically ask a range of questions relating to the cleaning standards, room by room or floor by floor.  They also help by engaging teams to work together to achieve service excellence.

The Manager has a crucial role to ensure that cleaning products are in stock, that staff training is up to date and that payroll is accurate.  Incorrect pay is one of the most demotivating issues for staff.

8 questions Facility Managers should ask contractors when tendering office cleaning

3) Does the office cleaning contractor have the relevant accreditations & organisational structure

Core information to demonstrate that correct documentation is in place, and would include:-

  • Professional accreditations – for example ISO9001, ISO14001, SafeContractor and Contractor Health & Safety Assessment (CHAS)
  • Insurance – Employers Liability and Public Liability
  • Financial stability – checking a credit-worthiness score gives an indication of financial strength and checking accounts at Companies House provides further insight
  • Policies and corporate standards –for example in relation to environmental and sustainability issues, data protection, right to work and many more.

4) Health and Safety

Having the correct health and safety documentation in place is vital.  This will include Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH), valid task and site risk assessments are in place and staff have been trained on Safe Systems of Work (SSOW).  Risk Assessment and Method Statement (RAMS) should be available for all periodic work.

5) How will the account be managed?

Contracts are managed via Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and Service Level Agreement (SLA) which give information on how the contract is performing against pre-agreed targets.  These should be available on a regular basis, for example in a secure online portal, and reviewed at client meetings.

Open communications and proactive management are also vital for successful contract management.

6) Onsite staff training

Training ensures compliance and consistency and reduces the risk of injury at work.  Staff training would include health and safety, effective cleaning including COVID, chemical expertise and site safety and security procedures.

7) Professional Equipment and chemicals

Using professional equipment and chemicals which have been selected for the specific environment will raise the cleaning standards and enhance the customer experience.  With so many products available, asking questions early in the tender process will identify if these comply with the tender requirements, for example do they have the desired environmental credentials?

8) Wide range of services

Finally, having a contractor who can offer additional facility management services makes it easier to manage the contract.  Examples are high-level window cleaning or pest control.  Additionally, finance teams will prefer one consolidated supplier invoice.

Professional office cleaning services from TemcoUK Facility Services

Temco has been delivering professional office cleaning services to a wide range of clients across many sectors including pharmaceutical and corporate clients.

We professionally manage our contracts with transparency and maximise operational efficiency.  Our area managers schedule visits at least monthly to client sites and we have an excellent record of contract management.

If you are looking to change providers, please get in touch.