In a growing trend, cleaning contractors are branching out into the direct installation and servicing of hygiene equipment. Feminine hygiene, air fresheners, roller towels, vending machines, dust mats – by offering these services competitively as part of a ‘bundled’ cleaning contract, contractors can increase their chances of winning new business and add a lucrative source of income to their core cleaning service.
At present, however, the majority of contractors buy in the services, which impacts negatively in three ways. Firstly, it means their margin is reduced when providing the service as an add-on to existing cleaning clients. Secondly, it reduces their competitiveness when bidding hygiene services as part of new contracts. And thirdly it makes it unattractive for them to offer the services on a standalone basis to locations where they do not have the cleaning contract.
Yet many contractors have both storage space and vans that are by no means fully utilised. This offers them the opportunity, if they can find an efficient way of managing it, to provide hygiene services directly and open up a new revenue stream. As with any such opportunity, however, the first step is to find the right business software to manage the service.
How to choose the software
The key features to look out for with hygiene services software are:
Based in Orpington, Flush Hygiene is a division of So Clean Cleaning and Support Services, with over 300 hygiene services clients in London and the South East.
So Clean was already using TemplaCMS integrated management software to run its contract cleaning operation. So, when Templa launched their new integrated Hygiene Services module, it was a logical step to transfer the Flush Hygiene business over to it.
As Nick Gasson, Flush’s Managing Director explains, “Supplying hygiene services is not as simple as it sounds. With a van fleet servicing 300 clients every month, staying on top of the day-to-day operation is essential. When a client calls to place an additional order, or a driver phones in sick, or a delivery needs to be rescheduled for some reason, our Operations Coordinator, Sophie, must be able to access and update the system quickly and accurately. Because TemplaCMS Hygiene Services is an integrated system, she can make one amendment, like dragging and dropping a delivery from one day to another on the planner, and the software does the rest. Van teams will automatically see the update, invoices will be adjusted and our client will automatically receive an email. The last thing she wants is to have to make several phone calls or go into half a dozen screens to ensure that the change will take place and the client be invoiced correctly.
As Sophie herself says, “For me the beauty of the software is its simplicity and flexibility. The moment I log in I have all the information about clients, products, deliveries and pricing completely at my fingertips. For our van teams, it’s being plugged into a live system and managing their work via their mobile devices. The combined result is that our clients get a first-class service.”