01 FEBRUARY 2013

Getting It Right For Cleaning Contractors

In recent years there has been an unprecedented increase in client expectations. Social and political issues such as environmental concerns, health and safety, increased opening hours and cost pressures have all affected the mix when it comes to delivering satisfaction.

The UK contract cleaning market is now estimated to be in excess of £5.5 billion pounds. Out sourced cleaning now accounts for more than 75% of the total business requirement as companies continue to focus on their primary objectives.

So Cleaning Contractors small, medium and large find themselves in a very competitive arena where the bar continues to rise and cost pressures are felt.

So what is important to professional Cleaning Service Companies? What factors affect their decision making processes and how do they stand out from the crowd?

The answer of course is multi-faceted. One critical element is the availability of cleaning equipment to get the job done. Rarely is there the budget or space for spare machines so when a machine needs replacing it needs to be fast.


UK Stock Holding hits the Mark

Nilfisk address this by maintaining a local inventory covering fast moving vacuums, floor care machines, spares and accessories. Improving the flow of key products across the UK and Ireland has long been a primary objective. Their aim is to be the Customers’ Preferred Choice and that means delivering what they need, when they need it.


The Nilfisk SC450; More for Less and Fast Delivery from UK Stock

The Nilfisk SC450 is a prime example of a new scrubber dryer available off  the shelf in the UK. The SC450 has been specifically designed for the contract cleaner, seeking to reduce the total cost of ownership for end users.  A very competitive price tag combined with high durability and low maintenance levels makes the Nilfisk SC450 a sound, long term investment for the cost conscious contractor, looking to deliver.

A 40 litre tank capacity, 53cm scrub width and long run time of up to 2.8 hours on normal scrub makes the unit extremely productive. A single battery charge will see up to 2120 square metres thoroughly cleaned. Plus 34 kg of downward pressure the SC450 very suitable for heavy duty tasks.

Furthermore, the recovery tank with EasyFlow drain-hose and squeezable section increase performance all round. To prevent overflow, a float ball shuts off the vacuum motor when the tank is full. When in neutral mode, the SC450 automatically turns off brushes and water. Additionally if the unit should hit an obstacle the squeegees are automatically released.

The new SC450 is also extremely easy to use; a low noise level makes it ideal for daytime cleaning even in sensitive areas. Squeegee blades can be used on both sides to reduce consumable cost whilst the QuickChange squeegee system allows for a quick change with no tools required.

Rugged reliability has not been forgotten as the Nilfisk development team builds on over one century’s experience of Scrubber Dryer design. The polyethylene corrosion proof roto-moulded tank is crack, dent and chemical resistant. A dedicated box contains most electric components providing additional safety, reliability and ease of service.

Water and detergent usage is minimised by Nilfisk Eco-Solution, a simple way to reduce consumption and remain eco-friendly.


Improving Productivity

Productivity is also key. Time is money so when looking to improve productivity levels development teams consider all factors. Operating speed, the time available before the water tank needs to be re-filled and run time before the machine needs to be re-charged all play a part. Small productivity improvements, particularly in a large contract and over a long period, amount to a big difference in both labour and consumable costs.


Environmental Considerations

Environmental concerns remain at the forefront with green factors firmly in the driving seat. A recent survey revealed that nine out of 10 consumers worldwide state they would switch to energy providers that offer products that help to reduce the level of greenhouse gas emissions.  All of us are rightly concerned about the future of our planet. Our personal and business related savings may not be huge but collectively these make a difference. Most of us want to do our bit.

Cleaning does have  significant environmental impact, substantial amounts of water are used daily in addition to chemical agents. Increased opening hours and higher hygiene standards have only served to escalate this. Consumers now accept cleaning going on around them but the end result is more water, more power and more chemicals.

Many facilities task their cleaning providers to use zero chemical but this is not always possible particularly if levels of soiling are high. Cleaning an industrial factory floor with water alone is unlikely to be effective.

Nilfisk’s ’Green meets Clean’ Philosophy has driven product development over recent years.  Designing equipment which can clean to the same high standard, but use fewer resources has been their greatest challenge. Their goal has been simple, minimal impact on the environment; accomplish more with less - simultaneously reducing costs for customers whilst improving their environmental behaviour.  

It was the ’Green meets Clean’ Philosophy that delivered the Nilfisk Ecoflex system that we see today. The main premis of this system is that it is not necessary to sacrifice cleaning results for environmental issues; a cleaning solution must be not just “green“ but clean too.

The Ecoflex  concept allows the operator of the machine to match the machines performance to the level of soiling and the amount of cleaning necessary to achieve a good result. The Ecoflex  start up mode automatically uses minimal amounts of water, chemical and power. On encountering a soiled area the operator activates a one minute burst of power for extra performance. The machine then quickly moves back into Ecoflex  mode retaining the flexibility for more aggressive cleaning when required.

The Ecoflex  system can be seen in action on YouTube just enter Nilfisk Ecoflex or  view http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxEHZ7Qu2Z0 


Outstanding Nationwide Service Support

It is not always just about the equipment. Added value counts in whatever sector you operate in. Service availability is an important point for a provider measured daily on performance. Daily cleaning often 24/7 places high demands on hard working machines which cleaning teams are unable to operate without, so a quick response is essential.

 Nilfisk now have over 40 directly employed engineers in the UK segmented into Retail, Industrial and Outdoor Divisions. Same day call outs and planned maintenance visits are tracked within a real time call management system called N-sure. All engineers carry a handheld PDA device on which they receive their calls and update service information to head office in real time. Customers can view the status of same day calls and planned maintenance schedules by accessing a dedicated client web portal.

One thing is clear – the Nilfisk Group manufacture a large, diverse range of commercial and industrial cleaning equipment, one of the largest in the world. From scrubber dryers, floor polishers, vacuums, sweepers, pressure washers, steamers and carpet cleaning machines to road sweepers and grounds maintenance - True innovation and  dedicated customer service at its best. ​