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Which quality management systems are best for contract cleaners?

04 January 2017

Certification is an investment in the future and reputation of your business. It can help you save money, increase efficiency, and makes it much easier for you to win tenders and government contracts. Michelle Murdoch, marketing manager at QMS International, explains which certifiable management systems are best suited to cleaning companies and how they can help your business

Quality - ISO 9001

ISO 9001 is the most popular ISO certification. It enables contract cleaners to demonstrate that they run a reliable, structured organisation with specific processes in place to ensure competence and efficacy. This can be extremely valuable when it comes to building a positive reputation, and essential when it comes to winning tenders, especially in the public sector. 

But it’s not all about winning business. It has been reported that the average cleaning company loses up to 55% of its total customer base every year because of a lack of service quality or simple non-performance. ISO 9001 has been designed to help you overcome this by putting quality processes in place to enhance performance and by putting your customers’ needs at the heart of your business operation. 

It is by meeting the core principles of ISO 9001 (customer focus, leadership, engagement of people, improvement, etc.) that you will be able to attract more repeat customers, improve service delivery, reduce process errors and identify opportunities for cost savings.

Environment - ISO 14001

Businesses are becoming increasingly conscious of their environmental impact, and often seek out suppliers that share this value. Companies that rely on — and invest in — their green reputation need assurance that their choice in cleaning company is not going to make them appear hypocritical or insincere in their environmental convictions. 

ISO 14001 sets the bar for environmental management and helps cleaning companies to prove their commitment to reducing waste and managing natural resources responsibly, as well as assuring potential clients that hazardous cleaning products will be handled and disposed of in a safe and responsible manner.

Chemical cleaners are known for being harmful to the environment, and ISO 14001 certification can assure customers that you’re using them responsibly. ISO 14001 certification is also a common requirement for businesses tendering for large contracts, and helps position its holders as forward-thinking and conscientious.

Health & Safety - OHSAS 18001

OHSAS 18001 is the internationally recognised standard for Occupational Health and Safety Management. Whether you man people, a building or cleaning services, you are responsible for health and safety. 2016 statistics from the Health and Safety Executive show that one in three slips and trips still occur on wet surfaces, the same figures we saw in 2010/2011, and these incidents currently make up more than 56% of all reported major workplace injuries. 

Slips and falls are not just a result of spillages but they can also be caused by the invisible build-up of soil and grease, which mopping is just not effective at removing. That is why it is important for cleaning companies to manage their health and safety responsibilities, ensuring employees are sufficiently trained and ensuring the right tools equipment are used and maintained at all times.

OHSAS 18001 helps streamline incident investigation processes, drive productivity through reduced absenteeism, and can help cleaning companies reduce liability by adopting pro-active controls. In the long run, operating an OHSAS 18001 compliant health and safety management system is much cheaper and less time-consuming than relying on reactive controls, and can save a lot of administrative and legal headaches down the road.

As with any industry sector, there are of course many other accreditations that will enhance your reputation and demonstrate performance in different areas. However, certified Management System Standards are still one of the most widely recognised and commercially valuable accreditations you can hold — and will not only help you to win more business, but help you to improve as a business as well.