Controlling Cleaning Costs

One of the areas we work extremely hard at is helping our customer to control their costs and adding value where we can. Most of the cost is simply labour charges, you’re paying for a cleaning operative to physically do a task and therefore reducing the number of tasks or making a task easier or quicker (increasing productivity) will help. There are some things where clients can also help themselves and ensure cleaning costs are kept under control and here are a few examples of where money can be saved.

Numbers of Bins
Traditionally everyone had a waste basket under their desk for their own use and these would be emptied each time the office is cleaned, sometimes regardless of whether the bin is full or not. There are a couple of considerations in these instances which can reduce cost. The first is to decide what is going in to the bin, will it be paper waste or will it include food and plastic coffee cups? Most companies now have recycling in place or at the very least use small bin liners in each bin. If the bins just accept paper then these can be left and only emptied when full (or at least at a stage where they can be lifted up!) which can save time. The paper can then go to the recycling skip. If food waste or coffee cups are in the bin, the bin liners will need replacing regardless of how full they are costing time and the price of more regular bin liners. One suggestion is to remove individual bins and set up larger ‘central’ bins which can be recycling and general waste bins. This makes the job of removing waste quicker and simpler thus reducing cost in labour and bags.

Training, Schedules, Accountability and Supervision
It may seem obvious but ensuring staff know what to do, how to do it and being responsible for areas they look after will keep productivity high. Scheduled, motivated staff work better, smarter and this reduces wastage and of course stops cleaners chatting too much and taking unauthorised breaks! It’s about recruiting the right people, training them properly and giving them specific jobs to do. The dangers are always consistency and keeping interest levels up so it’s good to rotate work and ensure the work is supervised properly. Investing in a cleaning company who look after their people and ensure that quality of the cleaning remains high is the best way to get value for your money.

Times change and there is bigger and often better equipment and chemicals which can improve the productivity on a job. The quicker the work is done, the less you should need to pay. Again the danger is the operative rushes their work and therefore having good supervision and systems for accountability are key.

Stock Management
There are various qualities of just about everything in the World these days, none more so than consumables that are used every day in the office and washrooms. Types, sizes and the quality of things like paper towels, toilet rolls, soaps, dispensers and even sanitising jells come in mind boggling choices and prices. Work with your supplier to ensure you’re getting value for money and are using the best systems for you. Dual toilet roll holders can save on roll end wastage, bulk fill soap dispensers are considerable cheaper than cartridge type soaps and are much ‘greener’ too. The way your stock is managed is also vital. You don’t want too much in stock and paid for than you need so make sure you agree quantities and ways of ordering. Space is a great consideration when the cost of offices and stock rooms are a consideration. Think about a ‘just in time’ ordering system and a company you can trust to deliver before you run out. A really good cleaning Supervisor is worth their weight in gold.

Cleaning frequencies
Do all your carpets really need to be vacuumed every day, do all the desks need to be daily cleaned? When we slipped in to recession back in 2008/9 many of our clients asked about cost cutting ways of working and we looked at a number of choices for them. Some changed to reduced frequency (and cost) others didn’t but it’s always good to consider what you do and don’t need.

Cups, mugs and dishes
The cost of getting the cleaners to collect cups etc, carry them in batches to the kitchen then wash and dry them is considerably expensive and is a pure labour cost. Just asking staff to carry their cups to the kitchen can save time and money but the biggest saving is investing in a dish washer! The cost savings are substantial and it makes complete commercial sense to do. If you work in a busy office where cups and mugs are heavily used and even where staff often use a new cup every time they have a cuppa, a dish washer is the way to go.