One would think choosing a commercial cleaning service to maintain their facility would be a relatively easy task. Most maintenance managers of facilities, responsible for overseeing the cleanliness and health of their building, know this is not as simple as it sounds. The type of facility and its needs dictate the services required. The appearance of the facility plays a large role in the success of the business, whether it is a supermarket, retail store or even a hospital. A dirty appearance always makes a bad impression! With cleaning being an $80 billion dollar industry, there is an extensive list of commercial cleaning services, some of which have decided to franchise. They range from small, mid-size and large, and all have their own menu of services to offer. So, what are some things to look for when making a decision?
Let’s start with the facility and size. Depending on the kind of business and size of your facility helps narrow down the list of commercial cleaning services to research. Do you have multiple locations requiring service? Next, decide on the services you need; the type of surface(s) that need to be cleaned, and what kind of frequency are you looking for? Lastly, decide on your budget. Once this list is in place it is time to start the interview process. Write down all your questions.
For a mid-size to large facility there are most likely more than one area or type of areas to be cleaned. Whether it is a supermarket, retail space, school, hospital or even a warehouse, every place has floors to be cleaned and maintained. But what kind of surface is it? Is it ceramic, vinyl, concrete, carpet? Don’t forget the windows. If it’s a supermarket you may require department cleaning, such as meat rooms, bakery, deli & hot foods, etc… Is it a hospital? Hospitals and schools have their own level of “clean” to maintain, with strict rules, regulations and procedures to be followed. Choosing a larger commercial cleaning service who offers a diverse menu of services will probably be your best choice. Make sure to add commercial cleaning service franchises to your list, as they tend to always offer the services you will most likely require and can provide them to multiple locations should you need this.
Here are a few important questions to help you make your decision on the choosing the right cleaning service:
1. What services do they specialize in?
2. Are they a franchise company? Can they service multiple locations if necessary?
3. Do they have the man-power to accomplish the services you require?
4. What is their experience?
5. What types of cleaning products do they use? and why?
6. What types of clients do they currently provide services for? Do they have experience with other businesses like yours?
7.Do they have references? A commercial cleaning company who will give you at least 3 references of current clients also is a strong indication this company is confident of their abilities to provide the services you need and in the way you deserve to have your facility look.
You want to look for a well rounded commercial cleaning service which has a proven track record of retaining its clients. After all you don’t want to have to keep repeating the hiring processing. Review the answers to these questions carefully to help narrow your list of possible cleaning services to choose from. Before making your final selection there are a few additional items just as important in the decision making process.
Does the company have liability insurance and is it adequate enough to protect you against a potential liability claim arising from the cleaning? Do they maintain worker’s compensation insurance for their workers? Most states require this type of insurance. Don’t just take the cleaning company’s word stating they have insurance. Many companies do not carry insurance, or only carry a minimal amount. Get a copy of their insurance certificate. If you hire them insist on being added as a certificate holder and additional insured, so you are updated with a new certificate when it expires or if the policy is cancelled.
Every reputable commercial cleaning service will be happy to provide proof of insurance. Choose a commercial cleaning service that has insurance to protect you and your commercial facility in case of damage to your property and injury to the cleaners while they are on your property.
Cleaning Products & Equipment:
For Your Protection before you hire the commercial cleaning service go through the facility to find out what they plan to use on the various surfaces. Many inexperienced commercial cleaners use the wrong products or use the right products improperly. Some in-experienced cleaners even use the wrong equipment. This can cause permanent damage or stains to your property. A reputable and experienced company will gladly take the time to tour your facility, see the work which needs to be done and even assist you in developing a schedule to keep the facility clean and shiny.
Ask the commercial cleaning service for a cleaning checklist which will list all the services performed for each cleaning. This check list or “work order” should be signed by management in order for the commercial cleaning contractor to submit billing. This insures you will only pay for services that have been provided to your satisfaction.
Ask the commercial cleaning service for their pricing structure not only for the services you will require regularly but also for any incidental services which may arise during your contract with them. So they are cleaning your floors three times a week? But, what if something occurs to require a strip and wax of the floor area? How much will that cost? A reputable commercial cleaning service understands budgets and will understand your need to have an idea, if not a solid dollar amount for the types of services necessary or which may become necessary.
Lastly, policies. Ask to see the companies policies on types of payment they accept, their cancellation policy and if they offer a guarantee.
Choosing a commercial cleaning service does not have to become a time consuming task if you use the information from this article as a tool to assist you in making a choice. A commercial cleaning service that takes the time to answer all your questions, who takes the time to survey the facility and has a thorough knowledge of the services to be performed is more likely to meet and most likely will exceed your expectations!