Cleaning companies

ICS are one of the leading cleaning companies in the UK delivering extremely competitive cleaning services to companies of all sizes.

We focus on amazing customer service and this has helped us retain customers through an extremely difficult economic period. We have also reduced all waste to bring our costs down to super value and as an added benefit we deliver not only a clean service but a green one.

Over 96% of our customers rate our services as excellent, this combined with cost savings and our green cleaning ethos is why we are rapidly expanding. Along with expansion though comes in investment and we investing heavily in making sure we can deliver the amazing customer service to existing and new client alike.

Customer Service Person required in Essex

We are rapidly expanding contract cleaning company who pride ourselves on amazing customer service delivering outstanding cleaning to our big name clients.

If you have exceptional customer service skills and take pride in ensuring our customers are not just treated well but treated fantastically well please apply to work for us.

The role will be mainly office based in Ingatestone Essex, but you will need to travel into London once a week or so to liaise with our customers.

To apply please send your cv to ann@ics-online.co.uk.

Current Cleaning vacancies and cleaning jobs March 12

We are always looking for outstanding cleaners who can deliver superior cleaning services everyday to our clients.

We pride ourselves on fantastic customer service, so if you wish to work for us you will need to be good.

Our current cleaning jobs include

Various shifts and jobs across London

Current Cleaning jobs in Essex

In Shenfield Essex – key job – Monday to Friday
In Westway Chelmsford we have an early am Monday to Friday shift cleaning job

If you think you have what it takes please apply via our cleaning job application form

Why do clients change cleaning companies?

Office cleaning from ICSThe when and why companies choose cleaning companies are worth considering from several perspectives. They are worth examining for marketing reasons, if you know when and why companies are looking to change or choose a cleaning company you will be in an excellent position to offer your services, timing being everything. The other side though and just as importantly is client retention, if you know when and why companies are considering changing then maybe, just maybe, you may well be able to do something to prevent it happening.

So, what are the 3 fundamental reasons why companies look to change?

In our experience they are

1) They are moving (or have recently moved) into new premises

2) They are unhappy with their existing cleaners

3) They are looking for ways to reduce the cost of their cleaning contract

There may well be other equally valid reasons, but we will concentrate on these reasons for now.

If you know why a company is looking to change and when you can target your marketing accordingly. How would you know why and when? Well there are many ways, mainly all involving communication. If you can have open as many portals of communication as possible you can use those to gain valuable insight. Use facebook contacts, linked in contacts, follow tweeters, pick up the phone regularly and keep up to date with previous and existing contacts, send out newsletters aimed at reminding potential clients that you offer services they may require at a certain time and keep doing this until it becomes that certain time. Of course advertising is the other way of showing you can provide what someone else requires, for this you need to target and know your market, do your research and it will pay dividends.

The other perspective and in many ways the more interesting way of looking at the why fors is client retention. Many marketers and commenters have noticed the switch from actively searching new clients to offering great customer service and retaining clients by making sure you not only provide what they are looking for but go beyond this which will in turn lead to new referrals.

There is nothing particularly new in this, we here at ICS have been doing this for a long time and we keep looking to reinvest to keep delivering superior service. However the payback for offering amazing customer service is not only client retention – you should have knocked out 2 of the 3 above reasons if you are, is also the client may not only look at price but may look at value as well. In an extremely price competitive market offering value as well as being cost effective is what clients are looking for.

If you can work out the reasons why clients change cleaning companies and deliver amazing customer service you will tap into the new social element of the web, referrals. Who do most people buy from, people. Its a cliche but it still holds true – if you are getting great reviews and recommendations by providing great service and going out of your way potential clients will start coming to you when looking to change.

Minimum wage and cleaning companies; overhead costs and profit

Minimum wage; overhead costs and profit

We have long argued for higher wages for cleaning professionals, cleaning maybe seen as a low value service but it is still a job that needs to be done and done correctly and to get professional cleaners you need to pay professional wages.

One query that comes up time and again when we quote for work is, “can we have the same cleaner all the the time” – obviously no one can guarantee any employee will stay in a job and although it may sometimes seem like it, it is a job not a prison sentence so cleaning staff are going to come and go as they wish, and long live that. However the cleaning industry is incredibly transient, far more than it should be, primarily because of economic motives in my opinion. As our cleaning staff have said before why would they carry on working for us when the supermarket up the road pays more & this is a problem not only for us the cleaning company but for the client. Getting good staff is difficult enough, then keeping them and motivating them with next to no money to play with is practically impossible.

In good times though clients do not want to pay more for cleaning so who bears the cost of the increasing minium wage levels if clients do not want to pay them?
The upward trend of minimum wage costs contributes to the difficulties for organisations to record substantial margins. The minimum wage provides an effective
floor where companies have little room to manoeuvre in terms of reducing costs. This leads towards two developments. 1st – cleaning organizations reduce their employment and debase their services by reducing the amount of hours provided. An American cleaning body cited a study indicating that a 10% increase in the minimum wage is associated with a 0.9%-1.2% decline in small business employment. 2nd cleaning organisations continuously trim down their fixed overhead costs by reducing the amount of middle management in the organisation. This can have significant implications as it makes the management and training of staff more difficult; with an increasingly smaller managerial structure being required to manage a relatively larger workforce.
The upward cost pressures brought about by the minimum wage can in some cases have the effect of shifting the provision of cleaning services towards the informal economy and towards insourcing. The Argentinean, Belgian, German and British delegates reported that this is a significant problem.

At some point cleaning is going to have to become more expensive which is not welcome in this economic climate.

Price competition in the cleaning industry

The cleaning industry worldwide is a tough market, it is seen as a low value service and the competition is fierce.

One of the common themes that emerged from various reports is that the contractor market is driven largely by price competition. With the general upward move of minimum wage costs and smaller revenue streams due to lower prices cleaning businesses are witnessing a decline in their margins. Declining margins result in less profit being retained and used for investment for staff training and equipment acquisition. Therefore cleaning businesses are trapped in a position where they are just able a record a sufficient level of profit to operate as a business but an insufficient amount to invest towards increasing their productive capacity and operative efficiency. The inability to expand their capacity will most likely make it very difficult for businesses to expand or maintain their market share in the future.

How large is the cleaning industry?

If you stop to think about it you would probably assume large, but do most people realise how large the cleaning industry is? Reports and records vary on the sizes but one thing is certain, it is huge.

Simply considering where you go and what you do is enough to start giving an idea of the size of the market. Off to work, needs to be cleaned, visiting the mall, needs to be cleaned, simply staring aimlessly out the window, yep you get the idea.

For the UK, according to one cleaning body based in the UK

The UK contract cleaning industry is large and very fragmented, with in excess of 9500 separate corporate businesses, and many thousands more engaged in informal and semi formal cleaning activities. The CSSA estimates that the total size of the UK cleaning market is just under £10 billion per year, of which around 40% is outsourced to contract cleaning companies. There are some 900,000 people employed in the cleaning sector in the UK and around 400,000 of those work for outsourced firms.
A recent survey of CSSA member firms shows that some 68% of cleaners work part-time, with an average of 18 hours per week. The working population is 55% female. Nearly 80% of the client base of CSSA members is in the private sector, while the remainder is in the public sector.

With further reports estimating at least €40 billion worth for the euro market, start thinking of the growing markets, add in the states and other developed countries and you can start seeing the enormity of the market.

Here at ICS we are looking to tap into this vast market and we are looking for like minded people who can see the possibility of this huge potential that has mainly een left to sluggish corporations.

Findings from The Worldwide Cleaning Industry

Cleaning is seen as a low value commodity and margins are being decreased allied with a persistance by clients to treat cleaning companies as low interest lenders.

The Global financial crisis heavily impacted the cleaning industry causing considerable difficulties. Businesses have seen their revenue streams and their margins decline and have seen significant amounts of work move towards the informal economy. In the face of such conditions contractors are forced to lower their services in order to stay operational, resulting in businesses being unable to make capital investments to improve their services.

The worldwide cleaning industry reports:

We have also seen that in many cases political considerations influence the decision making process when it comes to minimum wage increases. Whether a reasonable increase is made will depend how much of a political influence the business community and the trade unions have on the government. We have also noted that as a possible solution Governments could rely on tax rebates and other forms of payments as a means to sustain purchasing power. The crisis also left Governments with huge public sector debts. In an attempt to rebalance the accounts we anticipate a greater trend towards outsourcing as Governments will look towards cleaning contractors to provide the service at the most affordable cost.

We have noted that one of the fundamental issues facing the industry is that the provision of cleaning is a low value added service. In order to stem the negative impact of heavy price competition cleaning contractors must provide a high value added service in order to encourage customer loyalty and encourage greater price inelasticity. The way forward would be to make investments that transformed contractors from a labour intensive business towards a capital intensive business. Although we have noted that current economic and market conditions make it very difficult for firms to invest, we have demonstrated that the political consensus on climate change can enable businesses to gain access to Government funds to invest in energy efficient technologies that will not only reduce carbon emissions but will also result in significant cost savings as well as increase productivity. Technology can also be used to strengthen organisational capacity as many cleaning businesses will evolve towards a shorter and flatter organisational structure, which will enable them to respond to changes in the marketplace more effectively than their competitors.

The poor economic conditions led to the increase of late payments. We anticipate that as conditions improve late payments should decrease. In the short to medium term cleaning contractors should lobby Government to introduce incentives for businesses to make prompt payments in the form of tax breaks or better terms of credit. We believe there is a strong case for this option as most Government’s will be pursuing policies to

17support business recovery as part of a broader strategy to ensure full economic recovery. A policy that encourages early payment in exchange for tax and credit incentives should be received favourably by the wider business community. The case should also be made that the longer the problem of late payments continue to persist the higher the risk of insolvency for cleaning contractors, which in turn places the employment of cleaners at risk.

In conclusion although the Global Financial Crisis posed a serious challenge for the cleaning industry worldwide it has also sowed the seeds of recovery and presented new opportunities for the industry as well.