Think Ahead to Get Ahead

Writen by Lee Andrews, CEO of DOC Cleaning;

No-one wants to hear me ranting about the crumbling state of Britain’s infrastructure, so I’ll make it quick. I recently returned from a break to find my drive, garage floor and front garden covered in a combination of dark grey sludge and a few unmentionables after a main drain at the end of my sloping road overflowed severely during my absence.

The council have known about this problem for years, but their repeated, reactive patch-up jobs have never solved the problem and this time it failed, big-time. Thousands of pounds of damage has been caused to property, and all because of a lack of proper planned preventative maintenance. As anyone knows, the primary benefit of preventative maintenance is to improve the reliability of an asset. The better state of repair you keep it in, the less likely it is to fail, leading to a long-run saving in cost, not to mention a reduction in health and safety risk. Not for my county council, it seems.

How does all this relate to commercial cleaning? Well in two ways, actually. The obvious one is that if clients allow their cleaning contractor to put in place a proper schedule of deep cleaning in their buildings, which is basically planned preventative maintenance, it not only prolongs the life of their fixtures and fittings but keeps them looking as good as the day they were installed. And it’s fair to say that, in most high-end buildings, clients are wise to the need to promote their brand image through the quality of the surroundings, and they understand the contribution cleaning can make towards achieving this objective.

The second way is more of a challenge to the current status quo. It is for clients to involve cleaning contractors at an early stage when they are planning major changes to their accommodation, in other words building extensions, undertaking major refurbishments, or just replacing floor surfaces. It’s probably a bit of a stretch to expect architects to design new skyscrapers with cleaning companies in mind, and we’ll always end up scratching our heads over how to clean that hundred-foot-high atrium or those awkward-to-access flat roofs and lanterns. But when it comes to a debate about what flooring to lay in tea-points, or whether to use Italian marble underfoot in male loos, or something as simple as how much storage space is needed for those large pieces of cleaning equipment, there are real benefits to be had by consulting with us lowly contractors at a preliminary stage. So often it is the cleaning contractor who takes the blame when fixtures and fittings begin to look tired, and yet the planning of change to buildings is an area where we can add real value by identifying practical solutions that will eliminate problems with upkeep further down the line.

At the end of the day, we contractors possess a huge amount of expertise in a branch of facilities management that is of vital importance to the overall look and live-ability factor of both modern and old buildings. Calling all facilities managers – tap into our experience and let us save you time, money, and aggravation by helping you get those important decisions right first time.

Published in June issue of Cleaning & Maintenance.