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In-house cleaning vs Commercial Contract Cleaning

In-house cleaning is self-explanatory; a company directly employs their own team of cleaners to manage the Soft FM of a facility. Very often in-house cleaning is thought to be more financially beneficial for a company in terms of time and cost savings.

The logic behind this is when a company directly employs their own cleaners the management responsible for the team has 100% control. This control allows for pay rates and pension schemes, in line with the law, to be set competitively, cleaning solutions can be bought from the cheapest suppliers and cost saving initiatives can be used. So, if you think of it like this you wouldn’t be judged for thinking in-house cleaning is the most cost effective solution.


Talking budgets

When it comes to contract costs, as one of London’s chosen commercial cleaning providers, we know prospect customers may be less trusting of contractors to maximise the use of the available budget; value add goes a long way! We know that customers may have been stung by a poor service delivery in the past, understandably leaving a bad impression.

Often companies that went back to in-house cleaning did so because of costs. In their previous experience, first year prices were fixed at a competitive rate but when moving into the second year costs were steadily increased. The main culprit for this is the art of underquoting to win a contract – we aren’t saying this is solely the reason, but conversations with prospect customers provide great insights into previous experiences. So, it’s no surprise that often companies or schools are questionable about the benefits of contracted cleaning!

It is worth noting here that Abelian prides itself on creating fixed price contracts for all customers, regardless of contract length. Prices only vary when legal obligations come into play relating to pensions and TUPE pay rates.

Surprisingly in the long run out-sourcing office cleaning or school cleaning services can actually be better financially — as well as relieving stress for management.


In-house management and cleaning products

With in-house cleaning employees are responsible for stock checks and ordering cleaning equipment and solutions. As well as scheduling all equipment to receive a legally required PAC test yearly.

As a cost saving measure, commercial cleaning companies will often buy in bulk or through partnerships with a supplier which means reduced consumable costs are reflected in the price of your contract.

Surfaces or floors that require cleaning solutions recommended by the manufactures guidelines can be incredibly difficult and expensive to source. The risk of using the wrong solution can be a costly mistake to make. Not to mention the skill and expertise that is required to correctly clean these surfaces with not only the correct solution but also machinery and techniques.

If your facility is pushing for greener cleaning in terms of biodegradable products to reduce toxins and pollutants in the office, contractors will have better access and knowledge of suitable supplies. We aren’t saying here that it is impossible for facility managers to source these cleaning suppliers or equipment. What we are saying is the time and effort needed to ensure equipment is correct for its use and tested for safety, as well as sourcing cleaning solutions for cost efficiencies can be difficult, especially if you don’t have storage space to buy solutions in bulk.

Account Manager responsible for your contracted cleaning service will manage ordering, sourcing and delivering of all required consumables as well as arranging PAC testing for equipment. This means within your service delivery you receive more than just financial savings, it also gives facility managers additional time to focus their attention on more pressing work duties.


Finance and budget changes

Cleaning budgets are constantly under pressure to become more financially beneficial, with customers rightly so wanting true value and proof their budget is used effectively. Out-sourcing cleaning means your cleaning contractor will take the responsibility of delivering a quality cleaning service with the budget you have available – within reason of course. It also means if senior management want to further cut costs, often cleaning budgets are hit first, a cleaning contract protects your facility from cleaner shortages. This means facility managers can be confident that the cleanliness and hygiene of their facility is not negatively impacted.

Should there be a high level of staff turnover or in-house cleaners fail to turn up to their shifts, cleaning companies have reactive staff procedures in place. Time and Attendance systems trigger staff no shows to account managers responsible for the cleaning contract. Any unexpected absences are seamlessly covered as mobile cleaning teams will step in to cover any sick or holiday leave.

A cleaner shortage with in-house cleaning means cover can be difficult to find. If a cleaning agency is used this often comes with a high price tag, not ideal when you’re looking to keep costs down. If cover cannot be found the cleaning team will, more than likely, be expected to cover the additional work in the absence of a cleaner or cleaners. This definitely isn’t a proactive method to ensure that your employees are empowered and motivated.


A complete service package:

For a complete soft facilities management, cleaning is only one of the services that should be used to maximise the cleanliness and hygiene of your facility. Additional services may be required such as Carpet & Hard Floor Deep CleaningFloor Maintenance, Window Cleaning and Management of Waste Disposal especially when reduction of waste is part of your company or schools ethos. When in-house cleaners are used there may be the perception that cleaning costs are kept low due to internal sourcing.

However, when it comes to out sourcing these additional services, management are required to source, agree contracts and manage each individual service provider to ensure the work is carried out when required and to the standard expected, individual contract costs rapidly add-up. Using a Commercial Cleaning provider that is able to deliver you all of the above services under one contract can work out to not only be more cost effective, but also removes the  time consuming and frustrating management process in orchestrating these processes. Why deal with multiple contact points when you can rely solely on one?


Security & safeguarding your premises:

Security rightly so is an important factor that could be seen as being benefited from through in-house cleaning, particularly when it comes to schools or offices where secure information is accessible or overheard. In-house recruitment means selective criteria can be used to determine suitability of cleaners, it also means that trust can be fostered immediately through this process.

At Abelian, we safeguard secure areas by ensuring DBS checks are carried out on all of our cleaners so only the safest people have access to your facility where information or vulnerable people are. The use of ID badges and vetting processes maximises trust with our customers in all sectors. Where sensitive information or documents may be placed on desks, our cleaners are instructed to clean around these documents. Office managers are asked to ensure employees correctly store or file such documents to allow cleaners to thoroughly clean desks.


Training, training & more training:

As said before, ensuring a hygienic and clean environment is maintained, especially in areas of high footfall requires skill and concentration. The use of machinery and cleaning agents requires on-going training to ensure cleaners are using the machinery to its full capacity and correctly.

If you’re in-house, all training is left to the designated manager responsible for the team – it may even mean these managers need training themselves. This is not only time consuming, but is also a costly procedure and comes with added frustration. As you have probably already guessed, this is another benefit to outsourcing cleaning. It is the contractor’s duty to ensure all cleaners are trained and equipped with the latest knowledge to effectively carry out their job in a timely manner. Training doesn’t just include how to use equipment, it also extends to cleaners working in line with health and safety procedures as well as the storage and use of chemicals under COSHH.

If cleaning agents are used that contain chemicals, the storage and mixing of these is paramount to internal safety of everyone within the space – poorly trained cleaners risk harming both themselves and those around them. Companies that have been awarded the Certification ISO 9001 have so for their ongoing quality assurance and procedures in line with health and safety.


In summary

Arguably, it depends on what side of the fence you sit when determining whether commercial cleaning provides additional benefits over in-house options. We hope that the points made above go some way to offering a deeper insight into commercial cleaning and its ability to offset budgets and time for facility managers.


Contact us

Feel free to drop us a comment or fill out our contact form if you’re looking to see how Abelian can become your trusted, value add commercial cleaning provider

Tel: 020 7501 9999


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