The economic crisis has forced corporates to curb costs, including its spend on cleaning. Reducing the frequency of cleaning, cutting manpower and using inferior cleaning products are few measures that they usually adopt.
Cleaning is considered as more of a convenience or luxury rather than a basic necessity. Unhygienic conditions at the workplace could be a major cause of unforeseen consequences leading to required expenses, cost to company and reduced efficiency of the workforce. Foul odour, threat of infections and cross contamination are issues that could crop up when cleaning budgets are snipped.
At a time when labour costs are high and statutory requirements are stringent, facility managers are left with fewer options to reduce costs. Meeting high standards set in the Service Level Agreements gets difficult and eventually facility managers end up reducing manpower and paying overtime & special allowances to finish work in time. The facility manager gets bound to use a certain product as mentioned in the SLA. This restricts going for options in the time of need. Keeping open SLAs or SLAs with multiple options of chemicals helps in engaging with multiple customized solutions to suit the budget of the customer.
Another big component of cleaning that takes a hit in the cost-cutting measure, is the chemicals and consumables. Facilities manager opts for cheaper alternatives which in the long run does more damage to the facility. More than a cost saving measure, engaging with such options entail capital expenses especially in replacing damaged surfaces. Most of the cleaning contractors today are engaging in cost cutting measure and in keeping with the competition, they are looking for cost effective and quality alternatives.
Let us consider the basic facts. Firstly, the importance given to cleanliness and hygiene must certainly be increased. The budget for cleaning usually ranges between 0.05% to 0.1% of the total turnover. Even a 10% cost reduction on this will only result in a 0.005% to 0.01% increase in profit but at the same time will drastically reduce the quality of cleaning services.
Companies must evaluate the catastrophic and cyclic effect this cost reduction can have on their surfaces and people and always ensure that though budgets must be optimized and should never be insufficient to provide world class cleaning.
Companies too need to understand the other options for reducing their cleaning spends and ask for different packages based on the choice of cleaning products used. There is always a right product for the right consumer and the time has come for a revolution within the market to be more customer driven than product driven.
Office or factory or any premise cleaning directly impacts on absenteeism and work efficiency. A place that is clean and tidy, enables staff to perform better. Further, in such a stressful and fast paced environment, people could get injured by slipping on surfaces that have not been cleaned up properly.
Allowing the cleaning contractor to focus on the job that they are hired to do, will ensure that the premises is always clean and efficient.