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The Best Way to Change Your Cleaning Provider

Posted by ServiceMaster on January 9, 2018

Office CleaningChanging commercial cleaning provider can be an involved process. Making sure you select the best new cleaning company, how to manage the site audit, dealing with TUPE and handover all conspiring to potentially confuse and complicate.

We’ve put together this pocket cleaning contract guide to help answer all the important questions. We’ll outline the important steps, the essential requirements of a new provider share a little insight on laws surrounding TUPE - "Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006"

Deciding to Change Cleaning Providers

You’ll have your own reasons for deciding to change commercial cleaning providers. Maybe you feel you aren’t receiving the attention you deserve or that standards have slipped. Perhaps the cleaning operatives are simply falling short of the mark and failing to deliver an adequate clean. You may feel that you are paying over the odds for the quality of service on offer. Or that your provider isn’t flexible enough, responsive enough, proactive enough. Whatever the reason you’ve done your best to resolve your dissatisfaction but unfortunately, despite everything, it’s time to make a move - time for fresh thinking, fresh ideas and fresh blood.

Here are some of the important considerations to help make sure you make the best possible decision.

The Right Commercial Cleaning Provider

Well you’re certainly not short of options when it comes to commercial cleaning companies. Which is what makes the hunt so confusing sometimes. While many cleaning companies will claim to have the experience, the expertise and the resources to cope with commercial projects few will really be able to handle more than domestic or smaller scale commercial contracts. What sort of accreditation do they have? ISO 9001, ISO 14001, CHAS, Construction Line and BICSc? What numbers of operatives do they have on their books? What about testimonials? What about other similar clients to you? How long have they been around? How experienced are they in addressing detailed project specifications?

Piece together proper, in depth profiles and be sure to gather as much relevant information as possible.

Your Site Survey and Cleaning Audit

With your shortlist in hand it’s time to invite your prospective cleaning companies in to undertake a site survey. Firstly… be wary of any cleaning companies who think they can give you an accurate and informed quote without visiting your site. Even with a detailed spec based on your existing set up alarm bells should start ringing. it really doesn’t say a great deal about any provider if they’re prepared to take on a project without the full and clear picture - even if they think they can base their price on the existing set up.

Any pro cleaning company will a site survey and audit as an ideal opportunity to make sure you’re getting exactly the right cleaning service - to spot unnecessary work and also identify improvements that can be made to your overall service.

This is also a great opportunity for you to find out the types of technology that your prospective provider is planning to use. Do they use time tracking software? Sophisticated cleaning tools such as Capture & Removal? Do they have the latest, greatest tools that help them cut costs and at the same time keep you as clean as possible?

Happy with a quote and committed to moving on... it’s TUPE time!

What is TUPE?

What does TUPE stand for exactly? It stands for “Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations”.

TUPE exists to protect and preserve employee terms and conditions when a contract (or even a business) transfers to a new one. Not only does TUPE ensure the rights of employees assigned to a transferred contract (or even a contract being brought back in house) it smoothes the transition for the client ensuring that employees of previous cleaning provision automatically become employees of the new cleaning company when the contract changes hands.

Around in one form or another since 1981 and now including provision for outsourced, inhouse, or assigned services you can find more information on the Government website TUPE here

The Handover

First things first your existing commercial cleaning provider will need to give the TUPE information to the new supplier. Something they’ll have to do this a minimum of 28 days before transfer completion.

In the weeks before handover your new supplier will be busy putting in place all the important aspects of the new contract to make sure that everything runs smoothly from day one.

The more organise your supplier the smother the handover will be. Realistically, if you’ve made the right decision the handover will be seamless.

Better People Management Means Better Cleaning

It’s not uncommon for customers to worry whether TUPE will in fact get in the way of any cleaning improvement. Unhappy with one or more of the cleaners they can become concerned that TUPE means the less than ideal cleaners will be transferred to the new contract. That being the case… why bother?

Well here’s how it works in reality.

Consider a new provider delivering a new contract a fresh opportunity to evaluate, train and improve ALL operatives and ALL procedures. A thorough evaluation followed by a smart training programme can quickly and easily improve both operatives’ confidence and their performance.

Properly trained, motivated, managed and measured operatives can achieve significant improvements. It’s the ability of your new provider to oversee such improvements that you will hopefully have studied closely in the evaluation process.

An ongoing process regular incentivised reviews of cleaning operatives and procedures play an essential role in setting, maintaining and continually achieving professional.


It’s no small matter changing your cleaning provider. That said, if you’re organised and committed to improvements then it’s perfectly possible to make the process as painless as it is rewarding.

Make sure at the outset that you’re clear in your mind why you want to change. Where you feel things aren’t working and how you feel they can be improved. In other words - what does success look like to you?

Significant improvements only occur with thorough, professional and focused planning, execution and training. At every step of the way communication channels need to be clear and open. Ongoing performance reviews, careful management and incentives also play an important role in successful delivery.

Feel like you’re being sold short? Time you enjoyed a better cleaning service for your money? Then hopefully this article has at least given you an informed insight into exactly what you need to do to get the commercial cleaning service you deserve.

Photo by pan xiaozhen on Unsplash

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