When outsourcing cleaning, it is not only the contract period that matters. The type of contract selected is important too. Until a few years ago, cleaning contracts were often agreements of means. These established the number of hours of cleaning work to be done by the cleaning company. This form of cooperation takes limited account of monitoring the quality delivered and focuses on working the number of agreed hours. We are increasingly seeing a shift to result-oriented agreements, defining in advance a number of quality objectives to be achieved by the cleaning company.

Internal staff are often appointed to carry out regular inspections to monitor and measure the extent to which the objectives have been achieved. The cleaning companies themselves also perform interim evaluations. In recent years, there has been a trend to outsource these quality inspections to a third, neutral party, thus providing maximum neutrality and objectivity.

Furthermore, the boundaries of cleaning contracts are being increasingly repositioned. MCS Solutions notes that contracts often contain efforts to achieve optimisation. This may mean that agreements are being made in advance, according to which the service provider is obliged to test various methods or approaches during the period of the contract, in order to optimise its performance (with regard to the hours worked). It is often agreed that the optimisation defined is shared by both parties.

The latter working method is a prime example of commitment on the part of the cleaning company. Why would a cleaning company want to agree to this working method? On the one hand, it proves its commitment to the end client. The client will have a more positive attitude towards the cleaning company, which increases the chances of the contract subsequently being extended. It also forces the cleaning company to put continuous thought into the services it provides and to adjust them when necessary. This is definitely to the advantage of the cleaning company, after all: “those who stand still get overtaken”.

What type of contract is best for your organisation? To what extent do you strive for optimisation when it comes to cleaning? These are the two questions you definitely need to ask yourself prior to selecting any cleaning contracts that fit your organisation.