Better cleaning supplies procurement can significantly enhance value, particularly for businesses willing to invest a little time uncovering a few facts.
Whether it's asking your cleaning supplies partner to do some research, asking facilities management to find a few answers, or speaking to your cleaning team yourself, your time now could make a big difference to a key area of spend.
1. Grasp the details
It's easy to make assumptions when budgeting for cleaning supplies, without knowing what it being used for what purpose. Just knowing which brand is being procured and having an outline idea of where they're in use may be insufficient for improving purchasing in this category.
Drilling down into the details on the cleaning budget and understanding everything that you're buying and for what purpose will pay dividends.
2. Talk to your cleaners
It's important to understand the perspective of the person using the product. They may have some very different answers to their manager, their employer at the cleaning service or your colleagues.
Working with your cleaning supplies partner, it's worth finding out how end users are getting on, how their typical cleaning shift goes and what products they use and why. It could be more illuminating than you realise.
End users may well have a preferred product that they know works better, or be frustrated by another product that is not effective, yet no-one has consulted them on this before.
3. Understanding usage
How quickly are various products being used? If end users are getting through products fast, find out why. You may have a poor value issue if end users must use more product to get the job done.
Rather than dismiss brands because they're at a slightly higher price point, weigh up their value. It could be that another range, even if it's a little more expensive, is more effective and lasts longer.
If some products are not working for end users, they may well be taking up more budget than necessary, or be lying in storage somewhere, untouched. Unused cleaning supplies should be prevented at all costs because they will reduce the value of your contract.
4. Minimise environmental impact
Budgeting for more effective products can be easily justified when you consider environmental impact. By buying better products and using them efficiently will reduce the organisation's consumption of product, packaging and energy.
Budgeting for products that work first time will minimise waste, particularly energy intensive operations such as a machine dishwashing. It may be that more concentrated products are the solution as these can be more effective and take up less storage space.
5. Don't assume you need biocides
Look at removing unnecessary biocidal products from you budget. These are cleaning, washing or disinfectant products that include anti-microbial or anti-bacterial ingredients, which should only be used when most needed, rather than in all cleaning solutions.
Anti-bacterial or anti-microbial products can kill most bad bacteria, but not all, leaving some that become resistant to chemicals and antibiotics. EU biocide regulations say that these products should only be sold and used for the purpose they are approved for.
6. Organise training
If end users aren't using products properly you will not be achieving value, and 90% of cleaning supplies value is inextricably linked to people using them.
From knowing where to use each product, to diluting and using products according to the manufacturer's instructions, training can go a long way.
You should be able to work with your supplier to up-skill the cleaning team.
7. The year ahead
Your facilities management challenges will be unique to your business and they're liable to changes as the organisation develops. Changes to headcount and use of facilities may change the type and level of cleaning demand across the operation. Think about budgeting with these potential changes in mind.
Take your cleaning supplies partner on that journey with you and see if you can negotiate a flexible contract with them to allow for this.
With Banner you can... procure better cleaning supplies. Our partnership approach to willingness to walk a mile in every end user's shoes means more effective cleaning and facilities supplies for our customers
For more details please contact our cleaning supplies team on firstname.lastname@example.org