Hillarys were changing cleaners just about every year. They could never find a company that could look after them. We went to see them in 2008. Twelve years later we’re still there because we’re doing what they need!
In 2010 we were given the opportunity to submit a proposal for the daily cleaning service at Hillarys Blinds which had two major locations at opposite ends of Nottingham.
At the Colwick location Hillarys worked from 11 units spread across two neighbouring business parks whilst at Bilborough they operated from one very large industrial building. Both sites were a mixture of offices, manufacturing and warehousing & distribution.
There was a history of problems with the cleaning resulting in a turnover of cleaning contractors on an almost annual basis.
An initial consultation and then subsequent surveys revealed very poor standards of cleanliness throughout most of the buildings. There was a lack of management and supervision; shortages of staff, staff not turning up for work, shifts not being worked to the full hours and the cleaning products and equipment being used were of a poor quality. Additionally the cleaning contractor only made fleeting visits – once a month at best, and these did not include liaison with the client.
Our proposal looked to address all of these issues. We offered two cleaning specifications, one which matched what was in place at the time and then a second of a higher standard which offered frequencies of cleaning greater, and in more detail, than the original spec. We felt that the higher standards could be achieved within the existing amount of time available. It was this schedule that the client selected.
Once the contract had been awarded, in the interim period prior to the contract start we held a meeting with the staff and outlined what we wanted to achieve and listen to what their worries and concerns were. We asked them what they thought was needed to make improvements.
We discovered that the cleaning supervisor was the first cleaner that the contractor had found on site after they dismissed the previous supervisor. She was a teenager at college and hadn’t received any training whatsoever.
Initially she said that she didn’t really want to be supervisor until we told her that we would work with her, give her the necessary training and provide full back up and support.
(We did this and she stayed with us as supervisor for another four years before moving to Australia.)
To counter the shortage of staff and time & attendance issues we introduced an attendance bonus which paid out an extra 25 pence per hour as long as the cleaner worked their shift to the full and there was no unauthorised absence in every 2 week period. This paid immediate dividends and we found that all but one of the staff came in to work every day and worked their full shift.
The one cleaner that let us down was a daytime cleaner and within the first few days we caught her and she was replaced.
We provided the cleaners with far better chemicals and equipment and introduced microfibre cloths which also helped with the cleaning.
On the first few days of the contract we brought in additional staff and carried out a deep clean of all areas so that it was then much easier to keep on top of.
Initially our management team almost lived on the two sites but after the cleaning fell into place and the supervisor was comfortable with her role and duties we eased off to a weekly site visit of each location.
We have now been working with Hillarys Blinds for ten years and the relationship has gone from strength to strength.
In 2017 we started to provide daytime cleaning and janitorial duties (including Fork Lift Truck driving) at the Bilborough location.
Whilst working there we have also recommended and implemented waste separation bins at a number of the units at Colwick to assist with their recycling.
In addition to his regular site visits Peter conducts monthly audits with the client. As the main site is broken down to so many units he does a walk-round with a nominee of each unit.