Today, the cleaning industry is estimated to be worth somewhere in the region of £10bn and employs approximately 820,000 people.
A well debated topic in the facility management world is whether it’s better to have an in-house cleaning operation or contract out the cleaning service. Here, we look at the advantages and disadvantages to contract cleaning.
Advantage: Cleaning costs
The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) estimates that in-house cleaning is, on average, 23% more expensive than contract cleaning services.
A commercial cleaning company will work within you and your budget to create a service that meets the needs of your facility. Any good commercial cleaning company will pass on ideas on cost-cutting practices, that can reduce your operating costs even further.
Disadvantage: Hidden costs of outsourcing may be too high
One of the main arguments in favour of outsourcing is that it cuts costs, but the reality is not so straightforward. Any analysis must also consider the costs incurred in the procurement of outsourcing contract cleaning, added VAT to services and materials and in the mobilisation of the cleaning service, which can all be significant.
Hiring and maintaining an in-house cleaning team is very time consuming and inevitable staff issues are sometimes difficult to manage. A professional cleaning company hires and trains its own cleaners, so you don’t have to. They deal with all issues involving the cleaning staff and ensure that appropriate cover for sickness and holidays. This allows you to focus on more important issues, while knowing that your facility will be clean and well taken care of.
Disadvantage: Organisational knowledge
An outsourced employee may not have the same understanding and passion for your organisation as a permanent employee. If you are going to use a commercial cleaning company, be sure to ask them how they ensure the same passion for your organisation as an in-house cleaner would have. In addition, businesses inevitably have different methods to work, so partnerships can be difficult when these ideas conflict.
Advantage: Training and expertise
Increasingly, organisations are looking for a single contract to manage their buildings requirements provided by just one facility management provider. Cleaning companies can provide a variety of speciality services that may not be available with an in-house cleaning team such as carpet cleaning. Another example is many cleaning companies can provide a range of Facility Management support services rather than just internal office cleaning and external cleaning of windows and signage. At Tatry Group, in addition to our cleaning services we also provide security and reception services.
Outsourcing jobs can lead to poor morale in the rest of your organisation as it commonly results in the need to reduce staffing levels. If outsourcing is not managed appropriately, it can have a negative impact on remaining employees.