Archive for the ‘ Cleaning services ’ Category

Let’s talk

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Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

No seriously, let’s talk. Communication is of paramount importance in the commercial cleaning industry. You can have industry-best practices carried out by highly qualified staff and competence coming out of your proverbial ears, but if you don’t have great communication, in our minds, you’ve got nothing. The best workers on the planet become ineffective without communicating with each other.

This communication happens on all levels. We place particular importance on our communication with our partners. Real problems rarely arise for us, and we put this down simply to open communication with our partners. Issues are raised all the time – experience may tell us that a particular way of working isn’t working, perhaps new situations present themselves within old scenarios – the details are just that; details. We like to confront issues straight away and head on, before they become problems. As far as we’re concerned it’s the only way to work. With open and honest communication, processes become smoother than a freshly-ironed handkerchief; life is made infinitely easier, and the sense of a real partnership develops. We value this above everything else.

We also encourage communication between our own employees – active communication leads to better planning, sounder strategies and a more definite way forward. Greater efficiency is much easier to achieve when all tentacles of a single entity are engaging with each other; this thinking is not new, it’s not even revolutionary. It’s the basic model countless businesses around the world attribute their success to. Why shouldn’t we? With communication as our solid base, the rest of our business is just screaming to be built.

What we complement our communication with is our industry-best practices, our highly qualified staff and our peerless competency. This is a recipe for success in anyone’s language, in any business.

 

Think about this

Do you not think you’re worth the very best your money can buy? We certainly do.

And we also know that if a business is not offering the best of something, there are countless other ones that will. It could be best price, it might be best service, or best results – it might even be best image. Who knows?! What we’re concerned about is offering you the best of everything we possibly can, resulting in, ultimately “Best possible partner” territory.

Our aim is to answer your every cleaning need, to respond positively to every question, to overcome anything on the road to becoming the best possible commercial cleaning company possible – and that is best achieved through communication.

We offer you comprehensive cleaning solutions that you don’t have to question.

What is the secret to an effective cleaning team?

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Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

The secret is, there is no secret at all. In fact, the answer is perfectly obvious: effective communication. But whilst the answer might be a given to many, it’s actually surprisingly common that communication isn’t, well, all that effective at all.

This communication extends far beyond simply site cleaners and site managers. Naturally, effective communication internally, is paramount to running a successful company, but in the contract cleaning game, it encompasses much more than that.

Firstly, and most importantly, there needs to be ongoing communication. By establishing open channels of communications from the very beginning, the waters of the river of partnership run smoothly. Problems are overcome with a minimal of fuss, potential dangers are avoided before their realisation and “working partnership” comes with consummate ease.

It’s a very easy thing to say that site managers are the brains, and the site cleaners are their ears and eyes; we feel this might be simplifying things a little too much. All of the cleaners at reputable commercial companies are likely to have been trained to the highest national standards – they’re trained to see things that others may miss.

Because over and above what we call fields of expertise (i.e. a given employee specialising in one area of cleaning and maintenance), commercial cleaning companies should ensure that each and every employee is first and foremost a great communicator. This is one major aspect of professionalism.

In actual fact, the only real difference between site managers and site cleaners is the level of legal responsibility, the site manager being the designated “buck-stops-here” employee for a particular site, and the one to whom site cleaners report. But in terms of capabilities, there’s not a lot in it, to be truthful.

The aim of industry leading commercial cleaners (apart from providing peerless services and exceeding clients’ expectations), is giving clients’ peace of mind. When a client no longer has to think about their cleaning services; their contractor is doing an excellent job.

OH&S requirements for commercial cleaning sites

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Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

These days most commercial cleaning work is serviced by contractors. A flow-on effect of this is the rise in workers compensation premiums from 2.67% to 10.52%. This notable increase has resulted in greater emphasis being placed on OH&S requirements to ensure that contract cleaning is carried out in the safest possible way.

The process should begin during the planning stage. Both the client and the contracted cleaning company have a responsibility to each other to clearly demonstrate their respective commitments to specific health and safety requirements.

 

Two sides of the story

Generally speaking, one of the main tenets of the contractual agreement from the property owner’s/manager’s side is the guarantee of a safe working environment for the cleaning contractors. This includes under normal day-to-day duties, but also heavily applies to post-hazardous situations, ensuring that work can and will only resume after an area has been deemed safe again.

Cleaning contractors are required to demonstrate that they possess the below systems which property owners/managers generally now regard as an absolute minimum:

  • Compliance with Health and Safety legislative requirements
  • OHS managements systems
  • Compliance with workers comp. and injury management requirements
  • Risk Management systems
  • OHS Incident notification
  • OHS Performance reporting
  • Property Specific Safety Management Plan

 

The above accreditations need to be proven before cleaning equipment has even been touched. Despite common misconception – commercial cleaning is inaccurately reflected by an individual in overalls boasting a sub-standard vacuum cleaner. This industry has become a science, and credible cleaning contractors provide safe and structured services.

To maintain a certain level of standard; cleaning contractors need to provide their staff with career development and ongoing training. Whether the individual executing the cleaning services or overseeing them – being able to identify issues before they become problems is becoming a necessity.

Supervisors and managers are now more commonly able to identify potential hazards and risks without the necessity to engage OHS consultants. This means immediacy in developing real solutions to avoid the avoidable, as well as cost savings for clients.

The Broadlex Difference

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Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

There are countless commercial cleaning services out there, and every single one of them will look you in the eye and tell you why they’re better than their competitors, why you’ll be happier you chose X over Y and, and how much better your bottom dollar’s going to be as a result. And, to be honest, much of what they’re saying might very well be true.

We can’t speak for other companies, and we’re certainly not going to be drawn into the arrogance of rival abuse. All we can do is present to you who we are – something we’ve come to call the Broadlex difference.

It all starts with the company – the philosophy we have here at Broadlex; based upon, but not restricted to, service. Though it goes beyond simple service. It’s performing our tasks with a smile, with care and attention to detail.

This care comes largely from the people we employ. We know exactly the person we’re looking for at Broadlex – you can’t miss this trait: the one of exceeding expectations. It might be a question asked, or perhaps even a suggestion – anything that lets us know this person proudly shares our own personality as a company and brand.

Our people are trained to the highest industry standards – qualified to ensure your cleaning requirements are met with no mind paid to shortcuts, “forgetting” or anything less than professional cleaning service.

It may sound like a strange statement to make, but everyone has a brain. It’s surprising how many people “forget” this. Broadlex loves brains. More specifically, we love our people using their brains; we encourage our people to think how things can be done better, we want our people to engage in frequent two-way conversation with management on our client’s sides, discussing things before they become issues. This helps build trust and breaks down the walls of an “Us Vs Them” attitude. We’re not interested in sides of the fence, we see every contract we honour as an opportunity to work alongside our partners in delivering service they simply couldn’t get anywhere else.

In our experience, some workplaces change everyday, and as a result, this open conversation is instrumental in enabling us to perform our jobs to the standard our clients require. It helps us mould our service around their needs much better.

And, of course, not forgetting to smile is a big one for us, too. A simple friendly comment or gesture can make an enormous difference.

This our difference.

And how do we know these genuinely are differences? Contract renewal after contract renewal tell us so.

Transition of Services

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Monday, November 26th, 2012

Change.

Change is often a most necessary thing. It heralds the new and paves the way for advancement. It is often welcomed, but the transition can be enough to scare people into delaying change for as long as possible.

 

Why?

On the road to getting things right, transition phases usually bring with them teething problems. When you’re talking sizeable contracts worth hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars, these issues can become very costly.

 

Commercial cleaning contracts – transition of services.

Broadlex is able to complete the transition process from day one, by providing seamless services without impacting the core business of our client’s site. We believe strongly that the success of any operation and that laying the foundations to a new relationship is largely dependent upon effective communication – something that we take great pride in.

 

The logistics.

Organised management and excellent communication means we can work to our clients’ logistical requirements. In our 43+ years in business, we’ve become highly experienced and capable in taking over incumbent contracts. We cover all aspects of the contract to ensure every thing necessary is considered for the smoothest possible transition.

We organise for the timely delivery of all equipment and chemicals, planned around the required start date, so we’re ready to hit the ground running from the very start.

Broadlex will provide an Implementation Plan for the transition of services. The proposed program and timetable will include, but is not limited to, the following crucial aspects:

  • Appointment of staff
  • Induction and training of staff including Broadlex Emergency Hotline service
  • Provision of equipment, chemicals and stores readily available when the contract commences
  • Involvement of all cleaners in company and site specific induction and training programs
  • Communications/meetings
  • Ongoing communications between onsite Cleaning Supervisor, Broadlex management and client personnel.

 

We’ve found the way in which we conduct our business and how we a professional transition of services, not only allows for peace of mind for our clients – but also mitigates risks where possible.

You won’t notice a thing

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Monday, November 26th, 2012

When you don’t notice where we’ve been, we know we’re doing our job properly, and so will you. This is something we strive for in every partnership at Broadlex – a silent partner of sorts, so to speak.

Why?

Because “clean” doesn’t attract attention; clean is silent. Clean must be viewed one step removed. When something is clean you can take in the entire picture all at once, and it pleases: foveal (or central) and peripheral come together in a symphony of visual bliss. The mind loves clean, it loves order and it loves being able to look at the bigger picture without distraction.

Introduce an element of “unclean” into the picture, and you introduce noisy distraction, which instantly takes the focus of the greater whole – it allows the mind to settle on something it wishes was not there: the unclean. Then it remembers its dislike of things that, “aren’t as they should be”. Problems then arise.

 

Why risk it?

The consequences of unclean or untidy can be as varied as they are unwanted. From the most harmless end of the scale, it simply doesn’t look nice to have things not as clean or tidy as they could be, and let’s be honest you’re not looking at employing a commercial cleaning company for things to look untidy.

On the opposite end of the scale, lives can be lost. Sound over the top? Not to a professional commercial cleaning company whose middle name is OH&S, like Broadlex. “Untidy” or “unclean” in industrial workplaces could mean exposure to hazardous chemicals, increased risks of slipping onto hard surfaces – it could mean the difference between someone being exposed to any number of hazards. Or not.

 

We’re at your professional service

Upon contacting Broadlex, we’ll promptly organise a personal, on-site meeting to go through your exact requirements. Room by room, task by task and we’ll help formulate the best way forward. Being experts in commercial cleaning, we’re confident we can devise a plan that best suits your needs, whatever they may be. We’re also confident in our ability to meet our duties every time.

We have the expertise, and more importantly the qualification, the deal with any situation related to our business. We work to the highest standard to ensure that

Nothing is out of place, nothing is left to chance and nothing is as it shouldn’t be.

Which brings us back to our original point: when you don’t notice where we’ve been, we know we’re doing our job properly, and that’s just the way like it.

Trust

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Sunday, November 18th, 2012

Trust – it’s grown into one of those words that have become tossed around with far too much flippancy. Every product, every brand seems to be screaming to potential customers how only they can be trusted for playing this or that specific role in your life.

Trust doesn’t come simply by telling people, “You can trust me”; married couples can say this. People that have known each other for a long time can say, “Trust me”, and have it really mean something. But meeting someone for the first time, or perhaps before a depth of any level has been established, telling people you can trust them is often greeted with cynicism.

Is it possible that trust has become an untrustworthy word?

 

Trust genuinely means something

Trust still means something to Broadlex – its genuine meaning is something we live by, and we understand that this is something that cannot be told in the first meeting. Trust is a living thing – the seeds of trust are planted when we first meet, and it’s up to the respective parties as to whether this trust grows and prospers, or whether it withers and dies.

Our trust comes from the confidence that we can not only do the job well, but that we can do the job better than anyone. Our client retention rates are testament to this.

And trust is whole different ballgame when you’re referring to airport security. Since world events at the start of this century, security has become paramount in so many aspects of our lives, especially where travel is concerned; and the most heavily scrutinised industry is air travel.

 

Trust is the only word you can use with airports

Cleaners are no longer simply men and women with un-tucked shirts, sporting brooms and dirty caps ensuring something looks clean; it’s become a science. There are qualifications mandatory to performing many tasks within industries, proper handling of chemicals and situations, and incredibly strict security checks necessary before anyone has any hope whatsoever of being classified a “Cleaner”.

It’s very interesting to note, then, that Broadlex not only currently holds the contract for major and regional airports around the country, but our work has been so highly regarded that contracts have been re-signed on more than one occasion to continue doing what we’re doing.

This includes standard areas, such as baggage check-in, terminals and club lounge areas, as well as incredibly sensitive areas, such as security screening areas, jet bases and customs areas.

We’ve been servicing the airline industry for more than 20 years. In this time, we’ve built up immense trust – our employer knows exactly what they’re getting with us, and they also know that as the industry evolves and refines, we’re on the leading edge of this. Our employees are encouraged to refresh and re-train at regular intervals, ensuring the highest standards and latest methods are implemented in meeting our daily duties, and meaning their workplace – and public areas – are kept clean, hygienic and appealing to the thousands of people that use these areas every day.

We trust you’ll be genuinely satisfied with our service. We invite you to contact us with any questions.

Cleaning chemicals: how to know if your cleaning company is using safe, quality products

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Thursday, October 11th, 2012

What chemicals should be avoided in cleaning?

In the cleaning industry, many  products are labeled with the word “caution.” This means that they are strong enough to use for industrial or commercial cleaning, but they need to be handled by trained professionals. In order to avoid any work safety or health issues, your cleaning provider should not be using any products labeled with “poison/danger”, “warning” or “flammable.”

Below is a list of chemicals that are considered unsafe to use in cleaning operations.

  • Dichlorobenzene – This chemical is extremely dangerous because of its carcinogenic qualities. Cleaning sprays containing this chemical have been banned in many areas around the world. What happens if you use this?
  • Chlorine – While chlorine is an acceptable product to use for swimming pools, in an undiluted form it poses several risks. It is highly corrosive and capable of damaging skin and eyes. Chlorine can also cause carcinogenic chemicals to form in waste water supplies, and should therefore be avoided in cleaning.
  • Synthetic fragrances – These usually contain dozens of chemicals derived from petroleum, and they affect the air quality when used indoors. Exposure to these fragrances prolonged periods of time can lead to serious health problems such as? In fact, research conducted by The National Institute of Occupational Safety in the US found that one third of substances used in the fragrance industry are toxic.
  • Triclosan – Some disinfectants contain this chemical, which is known to create bacterial resistance and produce dangerous side products such as?. In Canada, concerns about triclosan’s potential danger have led to its complete ban.

What ‘green’ cleaning products are available?

‘Green’ products are by far the safest and most environmentally sustainable choice for commercial cleaning companies and their clients. Many green cleaning products have been developed to the point where they rival the stronger chemicals in quality and efficiency. While the Australian government does not regulate cleaning products, there are several ‘eco labels’ that determine whether a product is ‘green’ or not. Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) is one of the most reputable associations that undertakes these product assessments.

‘Green’ products have the following characteristics:

  • Chemical-free
  • Biodegradable
  • Low volatile organic compounds
  • Renewable
  • Non-hazardous and non-toxic
  • Contain no phosphorus
  • Minimise the use of resources and water
  • Use recycled content
  • Environmentally sustainable

How can you find out if your cleaning provider is using safe products?

When it comes to cleaning products, unfortunately, the industry is very lightly regulated. Aside from the Green Stamp in Western Australia, there are no specific programs that are authorised to certify cleaning products. However, the easiest way to ensure that your cleaning provider is operating in a safe way is to check their accreditations. The certifications for Quality Assurance, OH&S, Environmental Management, and Risk Management are all granted by third parties that enforce high global standards. If your cleaning provider has these qualifications, this means they have been deemed trustworthy, credible, and ethical.

 

Who are the ‘peak bodies’ in the Australian cleaning industry?

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Thursday, October 11th, 2012

‘Peak’ bodies are associations that have been set up to govern and guide companies within their industries. They are authoritative and respected organisations that have been set up with the purpose of representing the industry. They are usually member-based, and companies choose to join them because of the benefits and services they offer. While the specific roles of peak bodies may vary between industries, they all share the following responsibilities:

  • maintain industry standards
  • address any issues and complaints of the industry
  • speak and act on behalf of members when lobbying the government
  • promote the interests of members
  • keep members up to date with the latest news
  • alert members of any policies and changes that may affect their businesses and livelihoods

While these organisations do overlook many aspects of the industry, their key role is to represent the industry. A major part of this is providing a strong, unified voice for their members. They also make themselves available to deal with any concerns raised by members.

Below are some of the peak bodies that we frequently encounter in our work as commercial cleaners. They represent different areas and sectors of the industry, which explains why there are quite a few of them.

ACCORD Australasia – ACCORD is the national association for the consumer, cosmetic, hygiene, and specialty products industry. Many cleaning companies that offer washroom and ancillary services hold memberships with ACCORD.

Australian Cleaning Contractors’ Alliance – This Sydney-based association assists medium to smaller-sized contracting firms across the country. They openly acknowledge that the industry is competitive, and that sustainability is a challenge.

Building Service Contractors Association of Australia – The BSCAA is the peak body for the building services industry. Their members include contractors working in cleaning, security, facilities management, and grounds maintenance.

Cleaning & Hygiene Council of Australia – This not-for-profit association is establishing itself to become the peak body in the cleaning and hygiene industry.

National Cleaning Suppliers’ Association – This organisation represents manufacturers and suppliers, as well as their distributors and dealers. The NCSA has a national reach.

Property Council of Australia – The PCA is the representative body for Australia’s property industry. They have property-oriented members such as investors and developers, but they also represent a range of professional services and trades.

Specialised Cleaning & Restoration Industry Association – This independent organisation represents the interests of commercial carpet cleaners as well as professionals involved in fire and water damage restoration.

 

These peak bodies are instrumental in ensuring the various sectors of the cleaning industry are efficient, sustainable, and profitable. Currently, Broadlex is a member of the BSCAA and the PCA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What to look for when hiring a commercial cleaning company

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Thursday, October 11th, 2012

In Australia alone, there are a huge number of commercial cleaning companies competing for tender opportunities. With so many to choose from, it can be really difficult to decide which one will most effectively service your cleaning needs. In this post, we’ve outlined the key things to consider before hiring a commercial cleaning service. It’s a good idea to do your research and cover all of these things in the initial planning stages. That way, you can be assured that you won’t need to think about cleaning until the contract is up for renewal.

Legal frameworks

If a commercial cleaning company is reputable, they will abide by the industry’s legal frameworks and recommendations. The first one is insurance. Before hiring a cleaning service, check that they are insured. This is for your own security: if there are any accidents or breakages while they are on your site, they will be liable for the damages. The best companies will have a written policy regarding insurance, and they should have no problem with letting you read over it. Alternatively, you can verify their policy through the insurance company named on their website. The second thing to check is the company’s license. Every cleaning service should have a license that grants them permission to operate in commercial spaces. Finally, check the company’s accreditations. It’s standard for cleaning companies to be certified in Quality Assurance, Risk Management, and OH&S Systems.

Service offer

Before hiring a cleaning company, you should be clear on the types of services they offer. Make sure that you get a quote and agree to the scope of work before you sign the contract, and commence work. In addition, you should familiarise yourself with the company’s pricing. Their prices should be fair and relative to the work involved. While affordability is a major factor, just know that sometimes, low prices mean a lower standard of work. Ask yourself these questions: Is the price realistic for the amount of work? Does the price fit with your budget?

Reputation

At one level, a company’s accreditations speak to their credibility. However, it’s also useful to find out how the company is viewed by other clients. By doing this, you will gain an insight into the more ‘personal’ side of the company, rather than just the technical angle. If you would like to know a little more about the company’s reputation, try calling some of their referrals. These clients should be able to confirm whether the company is honest, trustworthy, and reputable. They will let you know if the quality of work is high and consistent, and how long they held the contract with that company (which speaks volumes). Finally, consider how long the professional cleaning company has been in business. This not only conveys their experience and expertise, but it also speaks to their business savvy and resilience.

Employees

Before hiring a cleaning service, it’s important to find out a bit of information about their employees. The two key areas to explore are prescreening and training. Firstly, does the company prescreen their employees? Do they call their references or run background and police checks? You are trusting cleaning staff in your working space, often after hours, so security is a major consideration. Secondly, does the company train their employees? The best commercial cleaning companies will have formal training programs that they require their staff to participate in.