What Should You Look For When Selecting a Commercial Cleaning Provider?
We’ve talked about the value a commercial cleaning provider can bring (and if you didn’t see that article CLICK HERE) and now let’s talk about what you should look for in a commercial cleaning service. With many different companies, it may be difficult to be confident in your choice.
Here are 5 important things you should look for when starting your search...
1. They Have Proven Results
There are many important questions you need to ask when choosing a cleaning provider. You want to know that they have proven results, especially when it comes to facilities like yours. You want to know that the customers they already work with are a fan of their work and trust them to get the job done. And most importantly, you want to look at how their employees are treated. A lot can be said about a business from how their employees feel about them. Just another telling sign if the provider you’re looking to partner with values the relationship with your company as well.
Some examples of questions you should ask:
- Are they well-established? What is their reputation in the industry?
- What other facilities do they clean?
- What do their customers think of them?
- How do their employees feel about working there?
For a full comprehensive checklist of things you should look for in a commercial cleaning provider, CLICK HERE.
2. They Are Flexible and Willing to Adapt
Business needs are ever-changing and the provider you choose should be understanding of that. Whether it means you need additional cleaning services or maybe even less. Maybe sanitization needs to ramp up during flu season or maybe a renovation requires your business to slow down your cleaning services for a month. You would want the commercial cleaning provider you choose to partner with to be understanding that your needs may change over time.
3. They Value Innovation
If there’s a better, easier way to do something, you’d want to do it. By making sure you’re partnering with a commercial cleaning provider that is committed to innovation and finding more efficient ways of getting the job done, you’re making sure you get the most value for that price.
4. They Have Certifications and Are Committed to Sustainability
You want to know that the commercial cleaning provider you choose is up to standard and inquiring about their certifications is a great way to do so. Certifications show that a company is knowledgeable and cares about the standard of work being done. Not to mention that if your company is committed to sustainable practices, wouldn’t you want the commercial cleaning provider you choose to work with to be too?
5. Quality Assurance is Important to Them
Most of us never want to have to notice that something isn’t clean and that is what your cleaning provider should strive for. When you partner with a company that takes pride in their work they will most likely have a quality assurance program to ensure they’re holding up to their end of the deal and cleaning is up to standard. The company you choose should also be open to your feedback in customizing your plan to make sure that the services work for your business. These are things your commercial cleaning provider should care about and is important to look for.
The overarching trend is that you should trust whichever commercial cleaning provider you choose. You want to be able to trust in the partnership that you have with them and that the job will get done.
The most important thing to your business is your business! Don’t slow yourself down by focusing on the cleaning that needs to be done. Hire a commercial cleaning provider that’s a good fit for your company so you can spend more time building your business.
There’s a better way to do things.
We’re telling you, there’s a better way to do things.
*Cue their Robotic Floor Scrubber Bob*
By looking for better ways to do things they are able to reduce unnecessary costs, improve the customer’s perception of their quality and overall bring more value to their customers.
Let me tell you about a time Ultra Shine was able to improve their process and bring more to their customer.
Flashback to March 2020. A State of Public Health Emergency is declared due to the Covid-19 Virus. Lives are flipped upside down as people mask up, businesses shut down, and society begins to isolate.
Ultra Shine had many of their customer sites close, displacing over 100 employees. Employees that had families to take care of just like us. Ultra Shine decided to step up not only for their employees but also for their community.
A press release was issued offering free one-time deep sanitation services to organizations that looked after those in the vulnerable sector. Boom. Just like that it had blown up. Global News, Vancouver Sun, Edmonton Journal and the like had shared it. Ultra Shine’s phone started ringing like crazy. They picked up over 50 jobs that not only gave their employees work but also gave back to their community in a meaningful way, right when it was needed most. A non-profit organization in Edmonton had a lot on their plate as the pandemic unfolded. They were given the Kinsmen Sports Centre as a temporary shelter space in an effort to spread out the homeless population, and reduce the concentration in the downtown core.
Alberta Health Services were not playing around though. They issued strict guidelines to ensure the health and well-being of their community and to slow the spread of Covid-19.The non profit’s current cleaning company was not up to snuff and the leadership at the non profit had to start the hunt for a new quality commercial cleaning provider.
The non profit had come across Ultra Shine’s proposal but needed more than just a one time sanitization. They were looking for a long term solution.
The task at hand? Cleaning the rows and rows of beds every morning. Each bed mat, placed 6 ft apart, had to have all 6 sides sprayed with cleaner, wiped down , dried, sprayed with disinfection and then dried again. They couldn’t be flipped onto a dirty floor and they couldn’t be stacked either. Like I mentioned, strict guidelines. Then the floors, touchpoints, separation railings and fences all had to be cleaned as well.
The Operations Manager with 9 years of experience quoting janitorial services said the job would take 21 hours. Time to rally the troops and get down to business. The Operations Manager, Supervisor and Crew all came together to get the job done and observe the process.
There was a thorough briefing of the task at hand and then…
READY, SET, GO!
But wait, the job came in at 24 hours? What happened?
The supervisor pipes up and says that he doesn’t think the work can be done within the quoted time frame. “You’ve seen it! The team is working as hard as they can!”
But hold up here. Let’s give this another look and see if we can get to the bottom of it.
Day 2, the team is ready to tackle their mission. This time, they are determined to beat yesterday’s time while providing the same quality service.
Distractions have been eliminated, stopwatches are out, and all hands are on deck. What are we missing?
Ahhhhhh, here’s a problem. The cleaners aren’t working in zones, some beds are being cleaned more than once and spray bottles are being picked up and put back down only to be picked up and put back down again.
Everyone, stop what you're doing. Let’s huddle up!!!!
Okay team, what can we do to make this work better?
At first the cleaners were completing every step of the process one mat at a time. Spray, wipe, dry, spray, dry, and repeat for each side before moving on to the next. With the new and improved game plan, Ultra Shine was able to accomplish their goal within the originally quoted time frame, 21 hours. They did this by reconfiguring the flow of the work being done. One cleaner will start spraying the first row of beds, then the second will follow behind cleaning them. Once the first cleaner is done spraying the first row, they will follow the second cleaner by drying the bed mats, at which point they almost catch up. Once the second cleaner is finished with row one, they switch, and become the first cleaner on the second row spraying cleaner onto the bed mats. Woohoo! A more efficient and effective way of getting the job done.
But, Ultra Shine doesn’t just stop there.
Day 3 means another new and improved game plan. By scrubbing the floors between the beds before the open area, another improvement can be made. The beds could now be flipped onto the clean floor. Kachow! By making small changes to the process, they were able to complete the work in 19 hours!
You know what that means? Under Budget.
And not just under budget, under budget with a facility in pristine condition. I would say a job well done.
Happy with the progress, the Operations Manager stepped away from this job to focus on another area.
The next day? 18 hours. Even better. Now how did this happen?
Ultra Shine gave their team members the tools they needed to make their own changes to the process to improve efficiency and work better. By using this bottom up approach and getting everyone involved in the process, you create an environment of staff that cares about their work and the potential efficiencies they can find.
The Operations Manager didn’t walk away and have the process revert to the original time. Instead it was sustained, saving time and money in the long run. Now that Ultra Shine is under budget, they are in a position to offer more value to their customers whether that be a discount, or a complimentary service the next time they need it.
Long story short. Ultra Shine is up to the challenge of finding better, more efficient ways of getting the job done. And when they do, that extra value finds its way right back to the customer, like it should.
Improvements can be made when as a company you invest in innovation and new technologies (and to learn more about the value that can bring CLICK HERE). Not only can it help you improve how you do things but it can also bring cost savings and greater customer satisfaction in the long run.
How Innovation Can Help You Bring More to Your Customers: An Ultra Shine Case Study
We’ve all heard it before ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. But if that was the case, we’d still be using typewriters and dial up phones. How productive would that be? It would be practically impossible to scale a business doing so. Do you think Amazon would have gotten to where it is today if it wasn’t for investing in new technologies and embracing innovation?
Just because it’s not broken, doesn’t mean it can’t be better. We’ve been looking for efficiencies that can make our lives easier and speed up processes since the beginning of time. Innovation is implementing a new idea, product or method. Now we’re not saying that every new idea deserves a gold star but it’s important to compare them with the current way of doing things and see how it measures up.
Time is money and this couldn’t be truer in the commercial cleaning industry where labour cost accounts for 80% of all total expenses. If you can find a way to save time and maximize your efficiency, then you can save money for your customers! Take an automatic floor scrubber for example. An automatic floor scrubber would help to increase efficiency by 75% because they can do it quicker than a human, exert less energy than we would, and are even more hygienic while conserving water. Don’t get us wrong, it may cost more upfront, but it will pay for itself quite quickly. Especially when you start to see how utilizing technology can help maximize productivity and make the most out of your time and effort.
Let’s take a look at how companies like Ultra Shine have increased their efficiency and brought more value to their customers through the use of Robotics and AI. By being able to recognize and act on the efficiencies they find, they are able to bring more value without breaking the bank.
At Ultra Shine, they thrive off innovation and finding better ways to do things. So when they discovered Bob they knew they had to bring him to their customers. Bob is a Robotic Floor Scrubber, but also another member of their custodial team. He works by using AI (Artificial Intelligence), mapping algorithms and vision sensors to come to life and increase their offerings to their customers.
Ultra Shine is not here to cut corners and neither should you. Bob doesn’t replace a valued member of the custodial team, he adds to it and optimizes the work being done. Bob allows their experienced custodial staff to focus on higher-priority, more detailed jobs in order to drive customer satisfaction and find savings that can then be passed on to their customers. If freeing up an employee to do more detailed, meaningful tasks wasn’t enough, Bob is able to offer additional cost saving potential by offering fewer facility repairs due to human error, reduce your liability risk, and the potential hard and soft savings associated with employee fatigue and repetitive strain. Ultra Shine values their employees and has seen a dramatic change by allowing them to accomplish tasks at a higher productivity rate and become more meaningfully engaged in their job.
Let’s dive deeper into the three key findings Ultra Shine found when utilizing innovation and new technologies to try to bring more to their customers...
Investing in new technologies and embracing innovation…
Allows your employees to focus on more important tasks
Remember, Bob isn’t replacing a member on their custodial team, he’s an additional member. By focusing on the monotonous chore of floor scrubbing, he is able to free up an employee to focus on more important and detailed tasks. By allowing employees to focus on more high-level tasks, you leave them feeling more energized and motivated in their work. When you use innovation and new technologies, you are freeing up your employees to do what they do best, bringing more to your customers.
Helps to streamline processes to help you run more efficiently
Bob is self-sufficient acting as an additional custodian on shift cleaning up to 1.2 metres per second himself, only requiring cleaning initiation and guidance to recharge. If automatic floor scrubbers can increase efficiency by 75%, imagine how much more efficient it could be if you didn’t need an employee to operate it the whole time. Ultra Shine has found that by utilizing Bob and the efficiencies he brings, they have increased customer satisfaction and have been able to bring cost savings to their customers over time. By finding technologies that can help your company become more efficient, you are optimizing the work being done and bringing more to your customers in the long run. If Bob wasn’t being run in some of the facilities that Ultra Shine looks after, that work would fall on to the employees taking away a lot of their time and effort. The technology that Ultra Shine has chosen to use and implement has one key goal in mind: bring more to their customers. If you are looking to bring more to your customers at comparable cost, you will have to find ways that are more efficient. Technology and innovation is how you do that.
Gives you a competitive advantage over companies who don’t embrace innovation
If companies don’t accept change, there’s a strong possibility they'll be left behind when the rest of the world embraces it. The Covid-19 Pandemic tested companies that didn’t previously embrace innovation and new technologies. If companies didn’t already have virtual options in place, they had to implement them on a whim, falling behind those companies who already did. Companies that embraced innovation had a headstart on the technologies that were necessary to survive in the new environment which gave them a temporary competitive advantage over their competitors who didn’t. At Ultra Shine, they are always on the lookout for new innovations that can offer more and benefit their customers, helping to give them an upper hand.
These are just a few of the key benefits Ultra Shine has found when they turned to innovation and new technologies to maximize the value they bring and increase efficiency in the workplace. We’re sure you will find it to be worth it, not only for your customers, but for your business as a whole.
The Value a Commercial Cleaner Can Bring
Some businesses may be hesitant to contract out to a commercial cleaning company, thinking that it may just be easier to do it in house. While that may work for some businesses, your business could be missing out on the extra value hiring a commercial cleaning provider can bring.
Here’s why you should think about hiring a commercial cleaning company….
It allows you to focus on your business
If it’s not directly making you money, it may be easier to leave those details up to someone else. While a clean work environment is a top priority, it may be taking away a lot of time and energy that could be better spent on your business. When you opt for a commercial cleaning service, you let the professionals focus on the cleaning so that you can focus on what you do best.
A cleaner work environment = fewer sick days
Partnering with a quality commercial cleaning service provider is an investment that is sure to pay off. When you prioritize the cleaning of your facility, you are prioritizing the health and well-being of not just yourself but also your staff and customers. A good cleaning service will follow best practices and have disinfection services incorporated into your facility’s cleaning plan which will in turn lower the frequency of employee sick days.By focusing on those high frequency touchpoints like doors and handles, you are reducing employee sick days by combating the spread of common flus that could be passed on through these touchpoints. It pays to have the best sanitation practices in place.
Higher quality cleaning
By choosing a well-established commercial cleaning company that you trust, you are choosing a higher quality cleaning service for your facility . A reputable company will use eco-friendly commercial grade products, adhere to industry and sanitation best practices and employ a team of quality assurance professionals to ensure you get the highest quality of clean possible. When you take the extra step and choose a commercial cleaning provider with quality health and safety certifications, such as COR or ISO 9001, you can rest assured knowing their work meets, or exceeds, industry standards. They’re professionals. They know what they’re doing so you don’t have to.
A wider range of services
Dusting, taking out the garbage and even cleaning toilets all sound feasible to do in house, but it’s no one's favorite task. Things like stripping and waxing the floor and dusting high ceilings on the other hand, might not be as realistic. Depending on your unique facilities needs , it may require 24hr care or a more detailed cleaning that would call for the help of professionals. Working with a commercial cleaning provider is beneficial to making sure all of your business’ cleaning needs are met whether they be routine or seasonal.
Employees (and customers) are happier
We’ve all walked into a dirty building before and let’s be honest, it’s dampered our mood a bit. Whether it was a smelly room, a muddy entrance way or a littered corner, it left us all with a negative impression. When you invest in commercial cleaning services, you’re investing in the experience you provide to everyone who enters your facility. First impressions are everything, and when you partner with a quality service provider you can make both your employees and customers happier by providing a sparkling clean environment for them to enjoy.