When we first started out as a cleaning company we worked hard to ensure we only employed the right type of people and then put them through our own specially designed training course to make them really effective.. The work was good but the idea was still flawed. It was sometime later we realised that supplying the right cleaning chemicals was equally important.
As a group of senior managers we looked at some of the quality standards as we wanted to introduce a framework to monitor the quality and consistency of our work. Asking the question is it clean was not enough without knowing what was meant by the word clean. We then signed up to get both ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. During one of the working party sessions we had a visit from the newly appointed Glasgow cleaners office. It was part of his induction so we allowed him to sit and discover how brilliant we all were. However he flustered us by asking what tests we had conducted on the current cleaning chemicals. We had to admit we did not know. Sometimes it takes an outsider to ask a basic why question to help us to discover what we don’t know.
As senior managers we had all been around since the company beginning and not a single one of us had stopped to ask that question previously. And I am willing to believe that is the case in most cleaning companies across the country.
So we went back to basics and asked what criteria over and above the fact they clean do we want in commercial cleaning products to know they are the right choice. The session quickly was thrown out to all present and to other people in the company about what we wanted to see in the specifications for the perfect commercial cleaning products.
Amazingly we found our long trusted cleaning chemicals did not meet all our criteria. So we had to look at finding alternatives that did. Obviously cleaning performance can’t be judged by reading the advert or the label. so we took a number of them for testing over some time to judge long term performance as well as the quick clean and over a number of different types of cleaning problems, different floors, different levels of wear and tear etc.
We also did technical research on the constituents of the chemicals the COSHH data sheets, the environmental effects and potential hazards to our own staff and other people as well as surfaces. After all we did not want to have a very clean floor that was being damaged or eaten away by strong acid cleaning materials. We do have a duty of care to our customers, don’t we?
The one cleaning range that came out top was one we did not expect to win none of us had used it before and it did not come from a big name manufacturer. That clear winner was Soluclean by a mile. Very effective in cleaning power but top marks for safety at the same time. Being highly concentrated there was no expense of carrying a large number of containers across country and having to dispose of them afterwards. We also discovered that part of the range included a chemical that killed the bacteria and germs that tend to found in hospitals and have proven to be highly infectious and kill already weak patients.
We immediately decided that the best way to protect the standards and make sure we could ensure access to these chemicals was to become the national distributor for Scotland. We now sell these cleaning chemicals to other companies in our area.