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Managing workforces in a COVID-constrained world

25 September 2020

COVID MEANS FMs now want the flexibility to demand specialist one-off services, as and when needed, in support of routine cleaning operations.

Rick Stoor, director of Templa, explains how new software features are helping battle-weary contractors adapt to the new landscape of cleaning.

As the contract cleaning industry regroups after seven months of turmoil, a new flexible approach to client requirements is developing. In addition to traditional daily building cleaning, FMs are specifying a new ‘shopping list’ of requirements that include pre-reoccupation deep cleaning, decontamination cleans to deal with COVID incidents and touchpoint cleaning for sensitive areas. FMs want the flexibility to call off different services as and when needed in support of routine cleaning operations. For contractors this means being able to deploy a mix of routine and specialist teams. That can only happen across a diverse client portfolio if they are in full control of their workforce, knowing which staff have the skills, when they are available and at which location. Contractors must now be able to cost one-off jobs quickly and accurately, schedule staff efficiently, pay them correctly, issue the correct job instructions and ensure that the right chemicals, PPE and relevant Risk Assessment Method Statements are all available.

Manage one-off work from anywhere 
The efficient scheduling, management and invoicing of one-off jobs through TemplaCMS Work Bills has been significantly enhanced with our new TemplaCMS Team Portal module. This provides workbill access to anyone responsible for managing an internal team of staff appointed to carry out work.

Using a web browser on their smartphone or other mobile device, a manager or team leader can select the team under their control, before accessing the current calendar of workbills for that team. From there they can manage the following elements of a job:

  • Reading of RAMS/COSHH documents
  • Reading of work instructions
  • Confirmation of hours and any extra costs 
  • Job completion - including before/after pictures
  • Client sign-off.

TemplaCMS reports the status of all open workbills, monitoring the completion of jobs, their correct accounting, as well as profit and loss achieved.

Full integration to Timegate now available
Timegate has long been the benchmark for staff scheduling. Templa now offers its clients full integration to Timegate’s comprehensive workforce management functionality that includes onboarding, shift patterns, attendance and staff substitution in both cleaning and security. Data entry can be managed from either system and existing Timegate clients can begin to enjoy the acknowledged benefits of Templa’s sophisticated modular contract management system. 

Simplified administration of Coronavirus Retention Scheme
The Government’s Coronavirus Retention Scheme continues until at least February 2021 when the Chancellor’s £1000 bonus for retaining staff will be payable. The flexible, integrated software architecture of TemplaCMS has made it easy for us to add the requisite new functionality and enhancements to support payroll managers through the effects of the pandemic. Clients using TemplaCMS since lockdown have benefitted from the several upgrades issued to manage both the furlough process itself, including taper, and the extraction of data from payroll to reclaim from HMRC. 

Our clients were quick to recognise our performance. Saul Brown, Administration Director at AIM Commercial Cleaning: “The Templa furlough and reclaim process has really proven beneficial, to do this manually would have taken so long”. Alister Gregson, MD at Fluid Options: “We were so impressed with how fast you managed to deliver the new software, it’s excellent”

The right time to invest in contract management software
One thing’s for sure, the cleaning industry is taking on a new face – a highly-valued industry in which contractors are viewed as professional partners in an ongoing battle to keep buildings safe and clean. Contractors who manage this transition efficiently whilst maintaining financial control will be the winners in the new world.