Cleaning is often seen as the Cinderella of all support services. Carried out, in the main, when there’s no-one around, it often lives up to its sobriquet of only getting noticed when it isn’t done. And yet in any given building it is the only service that covers every corner from reception, communal spaces and hygiene areas, through to offices, meeting rooms, waste collection, windows and often the roof itself. The cleaning contractor undeniably has a valuable knowledge of the building.
Because of this ‘all-seeing’ nature, in many respects cleaning is perfectly placed to be a key support to the person with overall responsibility for the building itself, in other words the facilities manager. Which raises the question, ‘How can the cleaning contractor proactively convert their unique position into added value for the FM over and above just keeping the building clean?’
At DOC, the answer for many years has been to take the lead in a One Team approach, whereby a combination of cleaning’s access to areas, relationships with other service providers and use of communications technology is used to deliver a valuable resource for the FM on a whole range of matters ranging from maintenance to tenant grumbles.
One of London’s original skyscrapers, Tower 42 is now a hi-tech, multi-occupancy office building that over 70 companies call home. For over ten years DOC have had the privilege of cleaning the entire building from top to bottom, including all the tenanted areas. During that time, the company has worked alongside the Tower 42 management team as part of a One Team approach, designed to ensure that all service providers work together to deliver the highest quality working environment for the building’s occupants.
With a fairly small management team themselves, Tower 42 have come to rely on DOC, who have over 100 staff on site each day, as their ‘eyes and ears’. A good example of this is in waste management, where DOC is responsible for collecting waste from every floor, monitoring occupants’ compliance with recycling via a clear bag system and ensuring that no contaminated waste is loaded into the basement recycling bins and compactors. DOC’s cleaning site manager feeds back to the Tower 42 team on recycling performance (66% at Tower 42 versus 38% for London as a whole), as well as other aspects of building’s health, such as maintenance. It goes without saying that DOC is fully integrated to the building’s CAFM helpdesk and, as the only contractor to have staff visiting every floor, DOC staff also act as the go-to resource for collecting and collating information from different areas of the building or checking out the facts when an incident is reported.