research-report-96-coming-clean-contractual-and-procurement-practices.doc

Fee basis cleane follows a strategy of selling

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Fee basis CleanE follows a strategy of selling bundled services, with the goal of providing ‘total facilities management’, ranging from security services and maintenance of lifts to cleaning (Senior Procurement Manager, CleanE). This particular contract encompasses waste services and pest control alongside cleaning. The contract is agreed in the form of a fixed monthly fee with discretion for either party to negotiate ad hoc payments for additional required services. The ability for CleanE to negotiate additional service work once it has won the contract in part compensates for the tendency of competing firms to undercut each other at the bidding stage. So a low basic price can be offered on the understanding that additional cleaning services (whether new tasks or increased frequency of existing tasks for example) can be offered and agreed at a suitable price. Nevertheless, CleanE recognises that each contract renewal presents a challenge of how to deliver better services for a reduced price. Opportunities to reduce costs include delayering middle management and supervisors and extracting more value from suppliers of cleaning products. Monitoring the contract BankL appears to lead the specification of cleaning standards for each building, with a varying range of standards across regions, with London branches and offices benefiting from additional resources. Unusually, day to day client monitoring of standards is contracted to a second cleaning firm, CleanA, who play the role of ‘customer liaison’; they observe sites and report any problems with cleanliness or site maintenance to BankL. 76
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BANKL AND CLEANE Inter-organisational management at establishment level The contract is described by senior managers (CleanE) as ‘transactional’, with both parties keen to secure value. Yet on the other hand at the establishment level, there is some evidence of efforts by BankL to integrate cleaning staff (and managers) through for example extending invitations to Christmas parties and quiz nights (Contract Manager, CleanE). 11.3 HR practices Employment contracts The BankL premises investigated deploy a mix of full-time day staff and part-time evening staff mostly on guaranteed hours. No temporary work agency staff are used because of security issues at banking sites; nor are zero hours contracts used for experienced staff for similar reasons, although they are used for new recruits. [In BankL branches] we want stability because we essentially are literally handing the keys to a branch to an individual. We are giving them the physical access to that building unescorted and alone. So it is in our interests to engage with them and not have them disappearing two minutes later. (CleanE, Contract manager). Instead, CleanE relies on deployment of incumbent staff to fill positions. Typically, part-timers from the same or other neighbouring sites cover for daytime full-timers who may be absent due to holidays or sickness. This HR practice has the added benefit for CleanE of enabling managers to screen for potential full-time recruits.
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