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The benefits of a fast and effective cleaning routine are becoming increasingly meaningful. With cleaning times up by over 20% since 2020 and use of cleaning chemicals at a record high, the challenge of maintaining a cleaning routine that is not only effective but cost-effective is real.

Add to this the growing issue of sustainability, and you are faced with solving one of the industry’s greatest challenges – but with our Quick & Easy range, anyone can. Quick & Easy has taken a market requirement for powerful, practical, and eco-friendly products and delivered on every count, allowing our customers to reduce their carbon footprint while boosting the efficacy of their own cleaning routines. Here’s how:

It has an automatic, mobile dosing system

Have you ever been frustrated with team efficiency when it comes to cleaning multiple environments and re-dosing? Or are your dosing methods causing you to over-use cleaning chemicals? With Quick & Easy, the trigger spray system automatically doses every spray, ensuring exact, accurate dosing for every operative (no training required!).

It eliminates walks back to the store cupboard

The built-in water cartridge (part of the automatic dosing system) can be refilled anywhere – eliminating unnecessary trips to central dosing stations and allowing truly ‘on the go’ cleaning. And once in, the cartridge is ‘closed’, meaning you use fresh, uncontaminated water every time – avoiding cross-contamination across cleaning environments.

It improves the health of your staff and clients

CLP-free in application, the foam spray ensures that the any risk of inhalation is eliminated – and with an estimated 32% of cleaners suffering from respiratory illness, this could not be more important. As part of our Greencare range, all chemicals are 100% safe for people and nature, giving you (and your cleaning workforce) peace of mind.

One reusable trigger spray head cleans more than one area

With a choice of six multipurpose concentrates, Quick & Easy is truly an all-in-one cleaning solution. Each can be carried around in our tailored Quick and Easy belt, meaning with just one reusable trigger spray head you can clean your entire facility – helping consolidate chemical ranges, minimise potentially hazardous chemical storage and reduce cleaning costs, guaranteeing the supply of essential chemicals.

It eliminates chemical waste

When manually dosing chemicals, the unused product must be thrown away at the end of a given period, meaning cleaning teams can inadvertently accumulate a huge amount of chemical waste. Here, with chemicals dosed spray-by-spray, no chemical is wasted – and with each cartridge covering over 1130m2, it has a huge impact. Additionally, unlike most chemicals, the foam application means no chemical is lost as ‘mist’ into the air.

It is truly ‘green’

Quick & Easy is Cradle to Cradle GOLD standard – a new standard of environmental sustainability that seeks not simply to remove environmental harm but eliminate it. Every aspect of the product, from sourcing to manufacture, is 100% eco-friendly and, thanks to our unique Greensavings® calculator, you can track the improvements to your carbon footprint too!

Want to know more? Our friendly team are here to help – simply contact [email protected] or phone 01743 283600 with your enquiry. And remember, for April only, you can get 50% off your Quick & Easy starter pack…

Components to a good cleaning trolley

With a growing emphasis on daytime cleaning, businesses are demanding trolleys that look good – but are also ergonomic, safe, hygienic, and easy to use. Yet with so many options available, the choice can be bewildering. Trolleys, after all, are designed to make cleaning more efficient and allow staff to be more flexible – saving time in what can be a very tight schedule. It is with this in mind we’ve created our six-point guide to creating the perfect cleaning trolley:

Design

For public-facing industries such as hotels, airports and restaurants, the design is important. A well-designed trolley should effectively blend into its surroundings, allowing cleaning teams to work across facilities without disturbing guests.

Cleaning trolleys can also be colour-coded to reduce cross-contamination. Colour-coded buckets inside the trolley help workers to quickly find the right chemicals, tools, and cloths for the job or – for best-practice infection control – colour-code a trolley for each location.

Waste Disposal

Do you need to collect waste and take it with you? If so, you will need a trolley with a built-in waste container of the right capacity. Our plasticized bags allow you to collect waste sacks throughout your cleaning journey, before bulk-disposal at the end (saving time and mess!), while internal lidded waste compartments allow you to shield passers-by from potentially hazardous chemical and textile waste.

Area

Consider where your cleaning trolley will be used. If you are leaving the trolley unattended in a public area, choose one with a lockable compartment for chemicals.

Storage

How much cleaning equipment and chemicals do you, or your cleaning staff, need daily? What can you pre-load on to the trolley, and what will differ from site to site?

Your trolley must have enough space to deal with every cleaning requirement: it is, after all, equivalent to your cleaning cupboard, so choose your configuration accordingly.

Floor Surface

Assess what floor surfaces you have: for carpeted areas, or sites where you must go outside, the wheels must be bigger, otherwise, too much force will be needed to push the trolley. If you are dealing with hard floors, how many mops will you need?

Space

The space you must manoeuvre in is key – after all, the trolley must work for you. We have created our MULTI and COMPACT trolleys specifically for smaller areas, combining great storage capacity and functionality within a highly compact frame.

Shop our range of cleaning and janitorial trollies here

If you need help finding the right trolley or if you wish to customise one to your specific needs call the team on 01743 283600

 

Ever since the current pandemic began, HEPA filters have become an increasingly popular topic for discussion – a way to protect against COVID-19 beyond face masks, social distancing and regular sanitising. Here’s why:

HEPA is the English acronym for ‘High-Efficiency Particulate Air’. It’s known as an absolute, or true, filter and  can filter out and capture very small particles from the air while continuing to allow air to pass through effortlessly.

HEPA filters use multiple interlaced fibres to create a ‘maze’ that traps particles, prevent them from being recirculated into the air we breathe. These filters are used in  aeroplanes, across healthcare environments, inside refrigerators, masks and – of course – vacuums.

Your vacuum may to a good job of removing visible dust and debris, but it’s the tiny particles, ones as little as 0.3 microns in diameter and invisible to the human eye that are the most harmful. Most vacuums will simply miss theses microscopic particles or – worse still – blast them back into the air.

The risks of this are obvious. Now for the question of the year: are HEPA filters capable of blocking particles as small as the COVID-19 virus?

A single COVID-19 particle is about 0.125 microns in size, but the virus particles cannot travel on their own. They must attach themselves to something else – generally respiratory droplets – before being transmitted. These respiratory particles are usually at least 1 micron in size, and it is here where the HEPA filter can do its job, trapping the contaminated respiratory droplets and preventing them being recirculated back into the air around us.

Take the Victor V-9 HEPA Tub Vacuum, for example.  With a filtration efficacy of 99.9965% – eight times better than the HEPA13 healthcare standard – less than 0.1% of particles can escape the filter. At a time staying safe couldn’t be more important, there’s never been a better time to invest.

For a limited time buy 5 Victor V-9 HEPA Tub Vacuum’s and receive 1 FREE

Victor is back!

It’s a brand that resonates with us here at Arrow and, after months of preparation, we’re excited to announce that we are now a registered Victor distributor!

Established for over 70 years, Victor is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of floorcare equipment. An iconic British brand, Victor is renowned for its reliability, durability and performance, and remains hugely popular to this day.

The Victor story dates back to 1946 when domestic electrical appliances and vehicle electrics repairs company Dowding and Plummer Ltd began to manufacture electrical components for domestic appliances.

By the 1950s, Dowding & Plummer were manufacturing their vacuum cleaners and, as the UK’s commercial cleaning market continued to expand, Dowding & Plummer moved from producing domestic appliances to commercial and industrial products.

Their iconic rotary floor machine – branded Victor – was launched in the 1960s. Its durability and reliability – now hallmarks of the Victor brand – made it an instant success in cleaning industries across the world.

The name Victor means lucky. Managing  Director Les Davies flew Lancaster bombers during World War II, and his squadron’s planes were all marked with the code letters ‘VN’: the phonetic call sign ‘Victor Nan’. Les, flying the bomber VN-F (Victor Nan Fox), survived a full tour unscathed. His plane – Victor Nan Fox – was indeed lucky, and thus Victor was born.

Since then the Victor range has expanded to include burnishers, carpet bonnet moppers, polishers and vacuums, all manufactured to the same meticulous standards at their factory in Birmingham. With a history spanning over half a century, the Victor brand has become iconic within the cleaning market, bringing British-made, quality machines to businesses across the country.

Order by the 18th December to get 20% off your Victor machine!

… this happy?!

 

Let us show you how…

Choosing an energy-efficient vacuum is a simple way to reduce costs. Did you know, all vacuum cleaners are required to include a label allowing you to select the best performance machine for your needs.

So, it is important to know what to look for. Below is a simple guide to understanding the different aspects of the EU Energy label (with A (A***) being the most efficient):

So, now you know how to compare the performance of commercial vacuums, what do you look for…?

Size and Weight: As a commercial vacuum, your machine will need to be ergonomically designed to maximise the time-in-use, and minimise the risk of repetitive strain or other end-user related injuries that could occur from handling poorly designed machines.

A bigger and bulkier vacuum will be much more difficult to transport, therefore look for vacuums that are low weight and feature use-friendly features to ensure ease of use.

Power: Unlike their domestic cousins – to ensure high standards – you need a much more powerful vacuum, to succeed under the most difficult circumstances! Reviewing the performance characteristics of the vacuum on hard floors and carpets (using the Energy Efficiency label) makes this process simples. However, it is important to note, that for a vacuums required for both hard and carpeted floors, a rating higher than C for carpet performance can potentially lead to issues with glide on thicker piles.

Convenience: Whether this is the length of the power cable or the capacity of the filter bags, you need to establish the priorities for your areas of work. A long cord allows consistent vacuuming in large areas, whilst higher capacity filter bags allow longer periods between changing bags – reducing costs.

Price: Your budget is going to be very impactful when trying to purchase a vacuum. Although it is essential to explore other traits too, the price has to be a top consideration.

Shortlist according to performance, then review the costs of the selected machines – this will help to assure that you get the best vacuum for your money!

What is agile working?

Agile working is a way of working using a range of work protocols that allow commercial cleaning services teams and organisations to make broader choices about when, where and how they work. It leverages mobile connectivity and can be harnessed by people working both on-site and away from the traditional office locations, such as people’s homes, on the road or remotely in other sites.

What are the benefits?

Improved cleaning team productivity

Cleaning services teams have been properly trained are provided with the right equipment and commercial cleaning supplies and the appropriate work program for the task in hand.

Better team working and collaboration

Teams working in an agile way across multiple sites rather than a specific work area means there are more dialogue and integration. This enables teams to build up mutually supportive collaborative relationships vertically within organisations, which increases information sharing, trust, better planning, feedback loops and innovation.

Improved business continuity

Often productive working time is lost because of logistical challenges, and infrastructure delays. Commercial cleaning services teams can be equipped to work anywhere allowing a more flexible way of working which is less dependent on location. This increases productive work time when challenges occur.

Staff benefits leading to higher staff retention and well being

When commercial cleaning services teams work in an agile way, staff are often happier as they work-life balance can be improved and everyday stresses and strains such as commuting can be reduced. It is important that teams do not have a total disconnection with their colleagues and so remote working is often complimented by regular meetups.

Agile resource relocation

An agile mobile connected workforce can deliver their resource in a new location with far less cost when change is required as only people are moving rather than physical resources connected to a location such as desks and fixed technology.

Rapid cost management

As people costs are the largest component of cleaning services budgets, agile working regimes allow scaling of staff numbers to be more flexible, leading to increased labour cost efficiency.

More efficient management of space

Buildings see better space utilisation, empowering staff to work away from the office. This reduces the need for building space. This ultimately leads to more people needing less space which can deliver opportunities for consolidation, asset realisation and cost-saving.

The drivers of mobile connectivity, facilities management software, and a scare and changing labour market are prompting commercial cleaning services leaders to reconsider how they organise their cleaning operations. Agile working may be something to consider however it requires a significant working practice and cultural change for most organisations.

Download our Winter Maintenance Advice leaflet here

Customer turnover for facilities management companies is very high. It costs a lot to find new customers, so here are three things to think about when trying to keep and re-contract with the customers you already have.

Partnerships

Share the burden of serving the customer and maintaining standards. Your business will probably have exacting service and quality standards which will be a big factor as to why your customers chose you in the first place. The key to customer retention through maintaining those standards, is to find partners that share your quality and service goals and can be relied upon to deliver their part of the service.

Don’t see the elements of your service that you rely upon third parties for, as just supplier relationships. Demand more. Bind your partners into your service and make them just as responsive and responsible to your end clients as you are. There is a huge range of service levels available from suppliers to facilities management companies, so make sure that you chose one who controls their whole operation including sourcing and distribution and who is prepared to go the extra mile for your client. Ask them to demonstrate how they have done this in the past.

Data, dash-boarding and reporting

These days with digital systems prevailing and software arriving that can give real insights, all facilities management companies should be on top of data, dashboards and reporting.

If you are constantly showing to your client how your service is performing in line with their expectations, they will have an ongoing memory of good performance and achievement rather than having to recap when renewal time comes around. If you have to go through a procurement process anyway, the data you have collected will be unique to you and will be able to show how you have outperformed against aspiring competitors.

Constantly Innovate

One of the biggest dangers in service contracts for facilities management companies is becoming complacent and stale. Whenever a new challenge arrives don’t try and avoid it seeing it as extra work, try and share it and come up with innovative solutions. Things will not be constant throughout a service contract so always have the flexibility to adapt to a changing need. Again, this is an area where your partners can help. Take a cleaning products supplier for example, new and innovative products are arriving all the time so make sure the information is being passed on to you and your clients. Hold product demonstrations sessions and gather feedback from your teams. With really difficult challenges you want a supplier who is capable of coming up with bespoke solutions, again demonstrating they can go the extra mile.

For facilities management companies, retaining hard won clients is more about what you do outside of the strict letter of the contract than the standard commitments. Make sure you share your customers challenges and innovate solutions in conjunction with your partners and all should be well for a smooth renewal.

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Cleaning services and facilities management contracts are hard to win and easy to lose.

It is reported that cleaning companies lose around 55% of their client base each year due to poor service. One of the big problems within the industry is that good work goes unnoticed but if something goes wrong it’ll be picked up immediately.*

Customers re-signing or extending contracts because they are happy, can save large investments in marketing and sales to win new revenue and improve overall profitability. Many cleaning services operations can get stuck in their ways with standards gradually eroded over time, spotting the early signs of failings can rescue the situation before it becomes serious.

Reflect the views of your customer’s customer

When entering and managing contracts for cleaning services try and understand how your customers will be measured and align yourself with their benchmarks. For example, ask them to share their customer satisfaction ratings so that when any issues arise you are able to deliver solutions quickly to issues that reflect your service levels. Being in tune with your customer’s performance is probably the single most important factor in keeping your customer happy.

Get fresh eyes on the job

It is easy to become complacent and for staff to overlook small items of sub-standard activity. A small pile of untidy refuse in a storage area, or untidy or dirty uniforms for example. Every so often have a fresh pair of eyes review your site, someone unconnected and unfamiliar with the facility. They will spot things that others will not be able to see and give insights as to where standards are slipping but not being picked up. This is best done confidentially in a mystery shopper way. Make sure the outcome is an actionable report.

Handle the big incident with intensity

Many contracts for cleaning services are won or lost as a result of a single incident that comes to the attention of a senior stakeholder and decision-maker. Now all facilities will have something sizeable go wrong at some stage, it’s almost inevitable, it’s how you react that counts. As soon as you become aware of something that has come to the attention of senior stakeholders, react by openly recognising the problem, apologising for the failure and taking responsibility for fixing the issue and preventing re-occurrence. If this is done in an open and transparent way it takes pressure of your working day to day contacts and demonstrates your highly responsive service levels to senior teams when mistakes occur.

Spotting and addressing service issues at the earliest opportunity is probably the single most important factor in retaining your customers so always be on the front foot.

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* Cleantech innovation

The maintenance of a motivated and consistent workforce is probably one of the biggest challenges in commercial cleaning services. The quality and reliability of your cleaning teams will flow through directly to your customer service levels and consequently the performance and reputation of your stakeholders.

The UK cleaning industry relies on migrant labour more heavily than other economic sectors, with 24% of workers having a non-UK nationality, compared to the average of 18% across other industries and so with Brexit underway, the marketplace for good cleaning resources is likely to get tougher.

Now is the time to invest in your current workforce to improve retention of your existing teams by increasing their motivation.

Share good news and pass on feedback both good and not so good

The reward felt by the frontline workforce when not only your customers are satisfied, but their customers are delighted, cannot be underestimated when this is passed on. Make sure there is a regular channel for feedback to the cleaning teams. Do not be afraid to share feedback that requires improvement as long as this is done in a way that allows teams to address these suggestions and measurably improve. These feedback loops empower teams and make them feel more influential on service levels delivered.

Open up multiple communication channels

It is essential that frontline staff can feel that they have many ways of communicating throughout your organisation. Often, they are confined to their line management and this may make them feel intimidated if they want to raise important issues. An open line to HR and even senior management is never a bad thing

Formal appraisals and feedback sharing

A well run regular appraisal process is not only valuable to your company for identifying talent, improving standards and ensuring remuneration levels are correct, it also serves as a motivator for staff if done well. Cleaning staff can express their aspirations and set their development plans not only to address required improvements but to develop and improve skills through training or mentoring helping them to meet their own personal goals.

Re-enforce growth and development

Richard Branson famously said, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to”. In commercial cleaning services, there is a wealth of training and development on offer that will allow your people to meet their objectives. Growth and development needs to become continuously part of your culture as an organisation, not just something you think about at an annual appraisal.

Consider paying loyalty bonuses

With increased competition for good people comes increased risk. Think about loyalty bonuses for 5 year and 10 year anniversaries or extra holiday days after a number of years of service. These can often prove very difficult for staff to give up if they consider moving.

Give your staff the best tools and supplies

Cleaning is not an easy job at the best of times but trying to achieve good results with substandard equipment, poor and outdated systems or inferior and ineffective cleaning chemicals and cleaning supplies will only demoralise and demotivate the teams. Keep up to date with innovations that improve their performance and working practices.

Regular events and get togethers

Sharing is caring. Arrange regular meetings where overall business objectives and performance can be shared and encourage staff contribution via Q&As sessions or contributed suggestion slips. There is nothing like getting together with colleagues and discussing issues that can often be resolved between staff members collectively without troubling management groups. Encourage a dialogue through more relaxed formats rather than one way presentations.

Your greatest asset in commercial cleaning services is your labour force so treating it with skill and support is vital. The economic benefits are also compelling with happier customers being prepared to recommend you to new business opportunities based on the high consistent service levels you can achieve.

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Introduction

Organisations in both the public and private sectors are facing increasing pressure to reduce costs and improve performance. New regulatory requirements, globalisation, increases in contract volumes and complexity have resulted in increasing recognition of the importance and benefits of effective procurement procedures and contract management.

Many of these procurement procedures need to conform to EU regulations through OJEU.

This blog will offer some practical things to consider in any procurement procedure that will help you enhance the defined frameworks.

What is OJEU?

The EU Procurement Directives have established public procurement rules that apply to any public sector purchases above the defined thresholds. The directives which currently apply in the UK open up public procurement within the European Union and ensure the free movement of supplies, services and works.

Many organisations have carefully described procurement procedure frameworks. The following tips are designed to enhance and create greater value from these procedures:-

  1. Do you have to do this procedure?

It’s always important to check that you are obliged to conform to a procedure. The threshold for OJEU contracts are always being changed so make sure you understand your obligations and seek the correct procedure for you

  1. Establish and maintain your project teams early

Invite and build teams to support a smooth procurement process and do it early. Give clear briefings as to the objectives of the contract and make sure everyone is committed to a set of common objectives, particularly timescales

  1. Touchpoints and reviews

At key points in the procedure step back and take a review of progress against your objectives and procurement procedures. Involve your teams and trusted outsiders to take an objective look at the project to keep on track

  1. Review yourselves as well as suppliers

Any procurement process requires a lot of ongoing analysis, particularly of suppliers. Take the opportunity to review the performance and effectiveness of the purchasing organisation as well. This can unlock bonus improvements that were not identified as objectives of the process

  1. Develop your contact strategy

Beware not to see your contract strategy as linear and refine your strategy as you go. This can be a productive output of touchpoints and reviews

  1. Always think about Exit as well as Entry

As the procurement objective is often paramount, elegant contract exit is often de-emphasised. Maintain a balance of thinking about the start and potential end of any contracted relationship, particularly to preserve residual values and goodwill

  1. Pre-formal procedure engagement

What a valuable time this can be? Use eager suppliers to provide you with any insights they may have that might streamline the procurement process. Get them to carry out assessments or evaluations of processes and procedures. This is usually a win-win. Suppliers get insights into the organisation’s needs at first hand and buyers get innovative ideas to use now or save for later.

  1. Wash up and learn for continuous improvement

As this procedure is always going to be repeated, honest self-reflection can open ideas to improve the procedures next time round. Continuous improvement will encourage teams to commit next time around

A balance of a well-developed framework modified with appropriate and pragmatic solutions should always deliver the best outcomes so don’t be afraid to try out a new thing every time a project gets underway

Download our Winter Maintenance Advice leaflet here