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Are you thinking of transferring cleaning suppliers?

06 November 2020

Whether you’re nearing the end of your contract and need to procure again, or you’re unhappy with the service you’re receiving and want to exit your agreement early, it’s essential to assess what needs to change about your current partnership so you gain more value in the future.

TO HELP reassess your cleaning provision, Unify has provided top tips on how you can ensure your transition to a new supplier is a smooth one.

Start with your contract

Look back at your existing contractual arrangements.  Lots of FM providers include windows of just two or three days when it comes to exit terms to tie customers back into lengthy contracts. If you miss this pivotal time, you might be legally bound to work with the supplier for another year. 

Think about TUPE

TUPE, or the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment), is legislation which safeguards employees’ rights in the event of a transfer of business, or parts of a business. 

When you come to transfer suppliers, it’s worthwhile double-checking if TUPE applies as it may mean that your current cleaners move across to your new supplier. Your cleaners have protected rights if they spend more than 50% of their time on your contract.

Those bidding for your work might make assumptions about pay scales and pension contributions and come in at a price which seems attractively cheaper than what you’re used to paying. However, once they take over this provision, the cost may creep up and you’ll end up back at square one. 

Make a timeline 

Plot out all the key dates from your contractual agreements into a timeline, so you can figure out the best time to begin your transfer. You should think about the mobilisation process of a new contract: recruitment; training; risk assessments etc. Ask your new supplier on a plan so that you don’t get caught short.

Assess your procurement process

Think about when you last procured for a cleaning provider, and whether it enabled you to select the best option at the time. Make sure you score any potential providers against what matters to you, such as addressing key challenges and values alignment.

Select a new supplier 

Be honest with yourself when you consider why you’re changing supplier. 

Is there a lack of trust in the relationship? Have you been charged for services that haven’t been delivered? Does your incumbent provider care more for profits than for its people? Perhaps it simply comes down to logistics and costs; you think another provider might be able to offer a better service at a cheaper rate. 

A lot of cleaning businesses are similar in nature so if you don’t identify what you dislike about your current provision, you’ll end up in the same situation again. 

There are providers on the market who are making it their mission to change the image of cleaning, and who invest in their people to deliver better outcomes for customers. So, select a supplier as you would an in-house member of staff – someone with passion, a willingness to improve your business, and who is happy to be there.