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A good cleaning service enables successful shopping centres to have high levels of footfall, high frequency of footfall and high conversion from footfall to sales.

With shopping centres and retail destinations having a myriad of leisure experiences from shopping and dining to exercise, relaxation and entertainment, there are few single factors that can affect these 3 key measures of success more than cleanliness.

Cleanliness has a major effect on the whole customer experience. When asked what would negatively impact their perception, more people reported unclean restrooms (95 per cent) and unpleasant odours (92 per cent) than poor customer service (90 per cent). These were followed by dirty floors, spills or stains, dusty surfaces and dirty glass and windows. In another study, just over a half (52 per cent) have avoided a business altogether because it looked dirty from the outside.

So a top notch cleaning service really matters. Facilities management companies must think broadly about all issues to compete for the cleaning contracts of these complex organisations not just the core cleaning service.

3 areas that are often forgotten by FMs to excel at providing cleaning service are: –

Innovation

Always be on the lookout for news ways of doing things, innovative companies are coming up with new solutions for common problems all the time. A good example would be dealing with roof leaks. Roof leaks in public areas cause a potential hazard and require quick containment of the unwanted invasive liquid. Arrow County created a bespoke product to deal with this challenge, a maintenance and cleaning product combined.

Service and continuity of supply

Good partnerships are essential for the provision of a high level cleaning service. Whatever service levels that are offered by your cleaning consumables suppliers will be directly passed through and reflected in service level achieved by an FM company. Make partnerships as opposed to contracts for supply and look for partners who deliver a high level of service and are prepared to go the extra mile. Suppliers who will carry out assessment to save money and provide immediate account response to your day to day challenges will underpin excellent overall service levels.

Tracking the end customer’s view

Although the direct customer of FM companies is important i.e. the shopping centre management company, understanding their customers can be just as important to delivering a great cleaning service. Try and access information and feedback on the overall performance of the centre and always react swiftly and efficiently to any end customer feedback on cleanliness. Look for the main signs that the end customer will use to judge performance.

In a large yet highly competitive market it’s these often-forgotten factors that can be the difference between a good and an excellent cleaning service.
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PPE or Personal protection equipment (to give it its full title) is an essential part of cleaning operations with PPE clothing offering protection to staff, clients and visitors and the environment. If PPE suppliers advise correctly, they can bring significant benefits to your overall cleaning operations.

One might imagine that the development of PPE equipment is limited, as this product area has been around a long time and most products must be quite mature? Well think again, new trends are emerging offering new benefits to users.

Ergonomics

PPE covers a broad range of products, from rubber gloves to firefighter’s safety kit. In cleaning operations, the most common items used at work are safety boots, hi-vis clothing, other protective clothing (e.g. chemical protective clothing and gloves), respiratory protective equipment (RPE), and hearing defenders.

With the increasing need to wear PPE clothing of this type for many tasks there are disadvantages for users including: –

– additional physical strains on the wearer (including heat strain)

– impairment of a wearer’s ability to carry out their work efficiently

– significant levels of discomfort

Any of these can discourage wearers from using PPE correctly, therefore placing them at risk of injury, ill-health or, under extreme circumstances, death.

Good ergonomic design can help to minimise these downsides and therefore help to ensure safe and healthy working conditions through the correct use of PPE.

Talk to your staff about what works for them and is comfortable. Select your PPE clothing not only on price or its ability to protect but also on ergonomic design features. Choose your PPE suppliers on the basis that they can advise you on innovative solutions to your cleaning team needs. This will help to keep your cleaning teams happy

Lightweight materials

Innovations in the area of materials science are constantly reducing the weight of materials which reduce energy requirements for transport and trim production costs. For your cleaning teams this can mean that their PPE clothing can get lighter and lighter and be more comfortable to wear yet offering the same or increased level of protection.

When looking at selecting PPE clothing, look at the specifications sheet and compare weights of clothing. Selecting equipment build with modern innovative materials can increase user satisfaction and reduce storage space requirements.

Improved barrier protection

As with the weight of materials, innovation is leading to the creation of more effective barrier materials in PPE clothing. These developments mean you can broaden the range of protection that your giving your cleaning teams and site users. This is often now not just looking at creating a barrier for the immediate risk of exposure to, for example a caustic substance, but also the longer term effects of exposure such as potential carcinogens.

Select your PPE suppliers carefully finding one who can offer innovative advice and who can demonstrate they are up to speed with the latest product knowledge to help the broad needs of your organisation and the protection and efficiency of your cleaning teams.

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For the latest selection of innovative Personal Protection Equipment – visit our web shop here

 

 

Facilities Management Software

Facilities management software is already becoming the next big innovation in the management of buildings and estates. Essentially, these software packages manage and automate repetitive tasks saving time and expense. Because they take action instantly and automatically, they can create other savings such as reducing stocking levels by automatic cleaning supplies ordering, or overseeing the tasking and deployment of staff. The broad category of facilities management software breaks down into more distinct areas; computer-aided facility management (CAFM), including computerised maintenance management software (CMMS), enterprise asset management (EAM) and integrated workplace management systems (IWMS). If you haven’t researched this area before it’s probably wise to start as there is only one way for this technology and that’s up.

Automatic Sanitising dispensers

Some of the best innovative ideas are often the simplest. A number of manufacturers (Purehold being one) have created new pull door handles that automatically dispense sanitising gel when touched. This not only manages the efficient usage of sanitiser through accurate dosing (saving cost of over use), it also leads to better compliance with hygiene procedures in areas where hygiene standards are critical such as healthcare, or labs and catering areas in Universities and Colleges. This is a great way to effectively reduce the cost of hygiene cleaning supplies.

Customer Satisfaction Monitors

Now increasingly used in large retail chains for customer satisfaction. Facilities managers could use a stand with an electronic device that enables real-time feedback and opinions on the level of cleanliness at the facilities. These could be invaluable to Facilities Managers and Facilities Management Companies to independently monitor service levels direct from the user. They may not save you money in the short term, but being able to evidence high service levels will help seal new business in the future.

Green products that save you money

It is a common misconception that the cost of sustainable cleaning is higher than traditional solutions. With modern innovative products, this is no longer the case. This is because these products are increasingly popular and their scale of production has increased. They use only naturally occurring chemicals and so the cost of manufacture can often be lower. In addition, clever practical dosing systems are used which manage usage more efficiently. If you try one innovation in cleaning supplies this year make it sustainable products that save you money.

Bespoke solution design

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could everything especially made for us exactly how we want it? Well that may not be possible for everything but when it comes to particular needs for specific applications bespoke solutions are no longer a thing of dreams. Reduced production costs in almost all areas such as 3D printing mean it’s possible to have exactly the right solution tailor made for you if that’s what’s needed to get the job done. See the ABM Client Success Story where a novel bespoke solution allowed a busy shopping centre undergoing maintenance keep compliant despite the challenges of ongoing construction work.
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Public perception of an organisation can be set in stone once a visitor has used the washroom so keeping them in top condition is vital. Washrooms deliver another important function in delivering improvements in public or workplace hygiene. Choosing the right washroom solutions can lead to a marked improvement in facilities management performance and the user feedback rankings of any organisation.

Hygiene

Maintaining hygiene standards according to the right legislation for your type of organisation is essential and high hygiene standards make washrooms more appealing to staff and visitors. Diligent cleaning regimes using the right commercial washroom supplies is essential. Trusted suppliers will often be able to assist you in regular reviews of cleaning protocols and the most innovative washroom solutions.

In addition to the daily cleaning regime, planned routine deep cleans are important to keep standards up. It is worth rotating staff across different locations to carry this out as familiarity can often mean more challenging areas can get over looked.

Flooring

Flooring type can have a significant effect on standards of cleanliness and hygiene. Floor tiles allow bacteria to thrive in grout lines and unseen crack and crevices. Smooth floor surfaces are easy to clean, but can create slip hazards; therefore, the safest and most hygienic washroom solution is anti-slip safety flooring.

Whatever your flooring, using the right commercial washroom supplies is paramount. Different surface types and materials may require specific washroom products to do the job effectively. Our helpful E-guide “5 Easy Steps to Improve Floor Cleaning” can help you with this.

Hand Drying

A frequently debated topic about washrooms is hand drying system choice, particularly hot air dryers Vs paper towels. In 2013, the NHS reviewed over 10 studies in this area and found that paper towels win out all round. One study found that 10 seconds of using a hot air dryer was associated with more bacteria on the hands than not using a dryer at all. This is because harmful bacteria are often recirculated by hot air dryers. Children are most at risk as their faces are at a similar level to most driers.

Innovative paper hand drying systems can reduce costs as well as improve standards.

Odour

Many studies have shown reactions to odours and our olfactory likes and dislikes are based purely on emotional associations, with even the power to alter people’s moods. This means if your washrooms have bad odours, people can write them off even before seeing them.

Odours are easy to fix but do require specialist knowledge about their root cause and the correct washroom supplies to fix the problem. Fixing the problem is about choosing the right washroom supplies that will eliminate the odour at the source rather than simply masking the small. Again, this is a good area to seek out a trusted experienced supplier who can help pinpoint the problem.

 

Walls and surfaces

Tiled walls are notoriously difficult to clean properly. Like tiled floors, the main problem lies in the fact bacteria gathers on grout lines and can be extremely difficult to sanitise successfully. When designing or re-furbishing washrooms, carefully consider wall cladding. Solid Grade Laminate (SGL) is a good choice which is completely impervious to water and comes in a huge range of colours and finishes, meaning you can have a washroom that’s highly functional, but still looks slick.

 

Organisations often under-estimate the impact that the condition and cleanliness of washrooms can have on an organisation overall. It is worth spending time reviewing your washroom systems as high standards here will lift performance throughout your facilities.
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For some, choosing suppliers is a hassle, and trying to find a supplier that suits you has its challenges. Yet, choosing suppliers gives you the chance to improve your service, reduce cost, develop a fresh perspective, all to help make improvements to your current practices.

There are so many advantages to choosing a supplier and it’s really easy. Here are 4 ways to change your perspective and really test the market when choosing the right cleaning and janitorial product supplier.

1.Find out how much they know about what you do

Find a supplier that will answer questions or carry out a workplace assessment. These assessments are a great opportunity to find out what a supplier can do for your organisation. Discover how they work and learn their approach. These assessments, help support your organisation and can help with improvements. Instead of viewing the selection process of a supplier as a hassle, use it as a chance to connect with the best in the business.

2.Consider Achievements

Look at the entire business. Are they accredited? How do they treat their employees? Look for a supplier who is well established and has won awards in the cleaning and hygiene supplies industry. Suppliers who strive for perfection will guarantee your organisation gets the best service. Read their case studies to help you find the best results, this will help you make the right choice.

3.Do Your Homework

Before selecting any supplier, you want to make sure you gather as much evidence as possible. Find out whether the cleaning supplies company you are looking at provides helpful information to their customers. Read their blog posts, look for “How to guides”, and helpful product information. Carrying out some online research is an excellent way to find out the general ethos of the supplier. Assess a suppliers’ capability, customer service and compare prices.

4.Understand how they would advise and support you

A strong business partnership with a good cleaning and hygiene supplier can help amend your perspective. Having a supplier, you can depend on, communicate delays, and take on a leadership approach, is the type of service you need to lighten your load and change your perceptions. Set them some scenario task and ask questions like “what would you do if we ran out of a chemical, needed urgently on a Friday morning?” or “How can you be certain that my deliveries will arrive when I need them?”

By considering these 4 simple steps you are on your way to changing your perspective and techniques when choosing cleaning and janitorial suppliers. This process doesn’t have to be a hassle. it’s an opportunity to improve the performance in your organisation, so take it.

 

Download our Winter Maintenance Advice leaflet here




Part of being successful in the cleaning industry is staying on top of your occupation. Trade shows and conferences are imperative for your professional growth and development.  It’s not always possible to attend every single event but on the 14th -16th March 2017 London Excel will be holding the biggest cleaning show in the capital and you must attend. These events, are designed to bring together facilities managers, suppliers and buyers.

At Arrow County, it’s our duty to inspire cleaning professionals to help reconsider traditional methods and share better standards. We aim to support you in your sustainable working. The need to find better ways of doing things, is rapidly becoming critical and this is often driven by wanting success.

So, what are the benefits to attending this year’s cleaning show? Here are 5 reasons why you need to be there.

  1. Seminars

Attending industry events, ensure you get to hear some of the best speakers in the business. Learning from the experts is an excellent opportunity to grab a few new ideas. Bring a note pad and pen or if you’re technical, a digital device you can take notes on.

  1. Meet New People

Meeting people at events is an excellent way to grow your network. By meeting new suppliers and people in your industry you can learn better innovate ways of working. You may need some fresh ideas or a new method, these events, allow you to grow in ways you may have not been able to working alone.

  1. See Latest Equipment

At The London Cleaning Show new equipment will be on display. This is the perfect opportunity to try before you buy. Find out how the best industry tools work, discover new techniques and you may even get a discount on prices.

  1. Sign Up For More Information

You get a chance to sign up to the best content and industry information. You can create accounts, set up logins and get support if needed. The suppliers and teams are there to speak to you and can help you seek the advice and support you may need. You’ll receive free brochures, leaflets and flyers to help remind you on how to proceed in your requests.

  1. Get an Immediate Response

You can ask questions and get an immediate response. The experts will be available to talk to you and spend as much time as you need. This one to one personal approach is a great way to get to know the suppliers and is an excellent opportunity to build relationships.

 

At Arrow, we do things differently and provide not just exceptional personal customer support and service, but also an insight led approach to ensure we understand your specific needs and objectives.

We take our time to conduct:

  • Detailed investigations of current operations to help identify potential alternative ways of working or tooling. This helps in the delivery of agreed business objectives, such as hygiene improvement or reducing costs.

We work hard to ensure that:

  • We provide responsive and knowledgeable teams. They provide our high quality, dependable customer service and this approach means our customers come back time after time. Our knowledge and advice services are at the heart of everything we do to help our customers.

By harnessing our expertise, you can:

  • Rely on us to help you meet your objectives.

So, join us on the 14th -16th March 2017, to get your free support and assessment. Click on the link below to sign up to our competition for your chance to Win a FREE Apple Watch!

 

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The role of a facilities manager is often rewarding. Though the hours are long and the constant maintenance and cleaning regimes are tough, it’s an important role in any organisation. Directing staff and overseeing the upkeep of cleaning supplies, is fundamental for success. However, whilst you may feel rushed off your feet, these top 5 tips will help you discover other important topics, relevant to the day job.

1.Using Social Media

As a facilities manager, instant communication acts as a benefit to you and your organisation. Social Media is an excellent way to receive feedback, connect with suppliers and research online reviews. Many social channels are a great way to communicate interesting insights to your teams. Maybe set up a Facebook page for your teams to share ideas?

2.Subscribe to Industry Blogs

Signing up to industry blogs is a good way to get advice and insights. If you have any questions or need some assistance, blogs are a free resource available at any time, from trusted advisors. Keep up with the latest trends in your industry and comment and share your own views and experiences.

3.Networking Across Your Organisation

Networking across all departments is useful when trying to understand your entire organisation. Consider how your job compliments others, and together you’ll make improvements. Attend industry networking events like cleaning shows, to help you find the best in the cleaning sector.

4.Download E-books & Guides

Why spend hours searching online? Download an e-book or a guide with all the information you need and save valuable time. Connect with a good supplier who understands what you do and has excellent insight resources on their website. Download them on your mobile phone and use them on the go.

5.Free Suppliers Assessments

Find a supplier that will give you a free assessment to help solve your organisations challenges. Make sure they are well established and well-regarded and offer a thorough and collaborative approach through an understanding of your organisations objectives, budgets, structures and facilities. Ensure they provide expert insight specialists who will remain with you throughout the process.



Download our Winter Maintenance Advice leaflet here




The cleaning industry is constantly evolving, and new technology and procedures are improving the quality and efficiency of cleaning and hygiene practice worldwide. Here is a list of some of our favourite recent innovations in the cleaning sector.

  1. RA 660 NAVI – a hard floor cleaning robot by Cleanfix Reinigungssyteme AG.

Why it’s an innovation favourite: Winner of the ‘Machines, Accessories and Components’ category at the 2016 ISSA Interclean Amsterdam Innovation awards.

Tell me more: The robo RA 660 Navi is equipped with a unique patented laser navigation system, three cleaning brushes and a suction cup. RA 660 Navi scrubs and vacuums independently and with high levels of efficiency whenever you want. It is easy to operate and is cost-effective.

  1. Healthcare Cleaning Mobile Management System by Leviy

Why it’s an innovation favourite: Shortlisted as a finalist for the ‘Best Use of Technology by Contractors in the Cleaning Industry’ category in the 2016 European Cleaning & Hygiene Awards.

Tell me more: This pro-active platform provides continuous insight into the real-time processes and the cleaning status of hospitals. Cleaning staff and other users are connected throughout the day and can view the progress of specific processes, quality control, the cleaning status of beds and rolling stock e.g. wheelchairs, planning, technical issues and protocols. Maps of rooms and buildings are updated in real-time, allowing detailed day-to-day planning of cleaning activities. Cleaning staff can report back on completed tasks using comments and photos.

  1. Quick & Easy cleaning sprays by Werner & Mertz Professional / tana-Chemie GmbH

Why it’s an innovation favourite: Winner of the ‘Equipment/Tools for Cleaning, Care and Safety’ category at the 2016 ISSA Interclean Amsterdam Innovation Awards.

Tell me more: Quick & Easy is a portable dosing system which needs no installation and no instructions. It provides a simple, practical and safe cleaning solution. The operator wears the system on a belt and can move from room to room with five selected formulations, interchanging between them quickly and easily and without coming into direct contact with the formulation. It boasts an easy ‘plug-and-play system’ which dilutes the formulation and creates a “foam-spray” effect. The refill cartridges are C2C GOLD certified, material health platinum.

  1. SMARTtrak information management system by ICE

Why it’s an innovation favourite: Winner of the ‘Best Management System’ category at the 2015 Cleaning Show Innovation Awards.

Tell me more: SMARTtrak gives real-time visibility of cleaning and maintenance equipment. It can deduce the location of each machine, when it has been used and how long for. It also provides detailed information about maintenance schedules, equipment security, battery and motor performance, and service deadlines. This information can be accessed remotely from any PC, tablet or smartphone and also includes easy-to-follow on-site training via video links.

  1. SpillEx Super Absorbant Pads by Vileda Professional

Why it’s an innovation favourite: Winner of the ‘Best Cleaning Product’ category at the 2015 Cleaning Show Innovation Awards.

Tell me more: SpillEx is a disposable floor cloth designed for fast spill removal of a wide range of water based liquids from hard floors e.g. blood in operation theatres and soft drink spillages in restaurants. The cloth is highly absorbent and ensures fast, safe removal of liquids before actual floor mopping takes place. The spill remover absorbs up to 1.200 ml of water and once absorbed, the liquid is quickly converted into a gel. This means there are no leaking fluids, no direct hand contact, no risk of soiling the bucket water with the spillage and therefore no risk of cross-contamination.

These examples showcase some of the exciting developments taking place in the cleaning industry today, and gives insight into how businesses are able to continually improve their cleaning services over time.

 

 





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Come and explore the new 3D washroom experience from Metsa and Katrin. This is an all new way of viewing and choosing your washroom products using the latest Virtual Reality (VR) technology.

Upgrading your washrooms is no small undertaking but by using the latest technology, Arrow County Supplies can give you a fantastic insight into the options available to you. Our insight team travel across the UK and have the unique opportunity to bring the VR experience to Arrow customers to help visualise a brighter future.

Having already received great feedback from those who have already experienced this, we are looking forward to bringing this unique customer service offering to more of our customers.

Whether you’re already an Arrow customer or not, if you are looking to upgrade your washrooms and improve accessibility and aesthetics whilst reducing costs, get in touch with a member of our team to book a virtual reality tour of your next washroom.