The British Institute of Cleaning Science Founded 1961 with over 10,000 members Largest independent body within the cleaning industry

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Midlands Region Autumn Study Day

Fri 29 Nov 2013 12:00:00 AM EET

Midlands Region Autumn 2013 Study Day Meeting Report

Machinery – Have you considered?

By Gill Hallsworth

Members of BICSc Midlands recently met at Environmental Excellence Education Ltd. Chairman, Sue Robinson greeted both first time delegates and ‘the old faithfuls' to the very splendid purpose built premises. Delia Cannings then welcomed everyone and invited them to explore the facilities during the breaks.

Sue than made the presentation for the 2012 Endeavour Award to Sirfraze Ahmed who is heavily involved in training with Remploy. He was not able to stay after lunch, as he and his wife were due to set of for a trip across Europe, but we all pleased to see him and commend him for his great efforts.

(Sue Robinson and Sirfrazr Ahmed)

The theme of the meeting was ‘MACHINERY - Have you considered?’ looking at everything from choosing machinery to maintaining it in the future.

Three of the four speakers booked were unable to attend through work commitments and health problems, so with short notice Committee members took over using research from other members and questions asked from delegates and other sources.

Gill Hallsworth and Anita Pendleton opened the day by reporting on a survey of members as to what decides choices in purchasing machinery. This could be from a large purpose built building, to a single or two cleaner job say in a satellite building or a small High Street office.

A common reason for choice was:

- Cost - but there were many other factors governing their decision

- Ease of use and training - is it similar to machines the staff are familiar with?

- Economy of Use & Sustainability - how much electricity, water and chemical does it need?

- Ease of Maintenance - can it be dismantled easily for cleaning and replacement of parts?

- Manoeuvrability - particularly in small and congested areas.

- Functionality (how many tasks can be done). A floor machine can be altered by the use of different pads and bonnets but newer machines can also have the speed adjusted to suit scrubbing; spray cleaning and burnishing.

- Ergonomics and Efficiency/Effectiveness.

- Manufacturer - reputation and surrounding support, or just a good relationship with the local rep.

- Image of machine including colour and style - reflecting the company as for uniform, clothing etc., visibility especially with daytime cleaning.

- Reliability - what is its reputation and can it be put right? relating to Back up support

Service and parts warrantee

This led to heated debates concerning what mattered, and why, in making a choice.

(Anita Pendleton and Gill Hallsworth review delegates questionnaire)

Paul Knight, recently having joined Nilfisk- Advance. has previously worked in manufacturing and sales with a machine manufacturer as well as at a University. He agreed with any of the choices and described how he now installs machines and goes on site to train the cleaning staff in the use of each new machine as this is all part of the sales offer.

Although other companies offer similar sales incentives he described how his company will help the client assess what their needs are and how they should be met and with consulta

tion and agreement they can purchase effectively whether it is for a three year contract or with a view to an extended life.


(Sue Robinson with Paul Knight and Kevin Barnes)

After a busy lunch with much exchange of ideas and admiration of the premises, this was followed up be Kevin Barnes from Regent Cleaning who has experience with a Local Authority and with other contractors. He joined a Local Authority at the time of competitive tendering and was able to implement many savings to their existing budget at that time. Local Authorities followed the NHS in the competitive tendering exercise and at that time many NHS managers moved across to take their expertise with them.

To end the day Paul Knight returned to talk about PPM [Planned Preventative Maintenance] and the various services that his company is able to offer. Again although this was a Nilfisk presentation, many other companies will offer similar services as part of the purchase price to ensure accurate budgeting on machinery.

Sue Robinson ended the afternoon thanking everyone for their contribution and saying that Cost seems to still be the over-riding consideration but that Value for Money is also considered before making a purchase.

We were also sorry to say farewell to our Deputy Chairman Bob Clarke who takes over as the Chief Officer of the Worcestershire Lodge of the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes soon and can no longer spare the time to retain his BICSc membership. All good wishes and success to you, Bob, you will be missed.

(Caroline Hall of Warwick University accepts an award for Gail Kendrick who was a winner in 2012)