Category: Industry news

Category: Industry news

Industry Certification Takes Cleaning to the Next Level

There are two ways businesses can look at cleaning; as a “pain-in the butt” expense that doesn’t really make a difference to their business. Or, as a investment in their business that illustrates professionalism and success.

As a member of the ISSA, we take pride in working closely with cleaning professionals from all facets of the industry to learn what value we can bring to our clients when it comes to their cleaning programs.

So, just this spring we became one of the few cleaning companies in Western Canada (if not the only) that has two ISSA Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) Certification Experts on our staff. What does that mean? Well, it means we can consult companies on how to get CIMS certified. 

CIMS is the first consensus-based management standard that outlines the primary characteristics of a successful, quality cleaning organization. Compliance with the Standard demonstrates an organization is structured to deliver consistent, quality services that are designed to meet the customer’s needs and expectations. It is a way for an organization to differentiate itself from the competition, demonstrate commitment to quality and customer satisfaction, improve their overall operations, and save money.

As well, to help meet the growing demand for green and the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, the Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) and Certification Program includes “Green Building” (GB) criteria and an optional GB designation.

We recently worked with the University of Calgary Caretaking Department, helping them  achieve CIMS Certification to become a true leader among educational institutions cleaning programs.

For more information on how the CIMS Certification program would benefit your organization, please contact us here at EFS Clean Building Services. We’d love to be a part of your success.

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EFS Clean Building Services is Calgary’s locally-owned-and-grown Commercial Cleaning Company. Our services include Commercial Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning, Ceiling Cleaning & Restoration, Hard Surface Restoration, Quality Assurance Inspections and CIMS Consulting. Let us help you get a better clean by calling 403-949-3344 or send us a message on our Contact Us page.

Investment in Cleaning = Increased Business Revenues

Let’s face it. Cleaning is often viewed as a cost of doing business which takes away from profit. What many business owners/managers forget, or simply don’t know, is that cleaning is actually a smart investment towards a stronger bottom line.

According to the ISSA’s The Value of Clean study, these are some of the ways that an investment in cleaning pays off:

  • When choosing where to shop, customers rank cleanliness as the most important element in a store ahead of lighting, temperature and ambiance
  • 62% of shoppers say a store’s positive environment led them to spend more
  • 94% of customers say they would not return to a business if they encountered unclean washrooms
  • Unplanned staff absenteeism due to illness results in a 54% reduction in productivity and 39% drop in sales/customer service
  • A properly cleaned business can result in an 80% reduced rate of catching the cold or flu and 46% reduced absenteeism
  • 2.8% productivity gain due to a healthy workforce can add up to $125,000 in business savings

A clean business is a smart business. Not only will your employees be healthier and happier, but your customers will enjoy their experience more and often, will spend more money.  Improve your cleaning and you will improve your bottom line. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EFS Clean Building Services is Calgary’s locally-owned-and-grown Commercial Cleaning Company. Our services include Commercial Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning, Ceiling Cleaning & Restoration, Hard Surface Restoration, Quality Assurance Inspections and Efficiency Consulting. Let us help you get a better clean by calling 403-949-3344 or send us a message on our Contact Us page.

Ceiling Cleaning Service Growing Internationally

Ceiling Cleaning and Restoration is a valuable service that is taking over the world! OK, maybe not “taking over”, but certainly “making over”.  We spend most of our lives under ceilings and this area of a building often gets neglected. Ceilings trap odors, dust, grease, and other pollutants, looking worse over time and becoming a health issue.

The cleaning process disinfects and deodorizes ceilings, extending the life of the ceiling system and brightening the space. And at 80% less cost than replacement, ceiling cleaning should always be a part of a comprehensive green cleaning program.

Ceiling Pro International is the world’s leader in ceiling and surface cleaning, and is proud to announce it’s growing list of dealers from all over the globe.

Included on this list is John Kangles, President of EFS Clean Building Services in Calgary, proud to be named an authorized Master Dealer for Ceiling Pro International for Alberta & Saskatchewan.

July 16, 2013  (Eden Prairie, MN) – Ceiling Pro International® has expanded our dealership network to the following territories: Alberta & Saskatchewan Provinces of Canada, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Botswana, Malta, Costa Rica, more cities in France, Coahuila and Tamaulipas, Mexico, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and Australia.

NEW INTERNATIONAL DEALERS. WELCOME ABOARD!!

  •  John Kangles (MD) –Authorized Ceiling Pro Master Dealer in Alberta & Saskatchewan, Canada

Oscar Ramirez,

Vice President of Sales – Ceiling Pro International

Interested in being an entrepreneur and starting your own Ceiling Pro dealership in areas of Alberta and Saskatchewan? For information on how to do this, please contact EFS Clean Building Services. 403-949-3344

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EFS Clean Building Services is Calgary’s locally-owned-and-grown Commercial Cleaning Company. Our services include commercial cleaning, post-construction cleaning, quality assurance inspections, ceiling restoration and hard surface restoration. Let us help you get a better clean by calling 403-949-3344 or send us a message on our Contact Us page.

How to Make Your Mistakes into Business Opportunities

Mistakes happen, in life and in business. What really counts, is what you do when a mistake is made.

This business strategy separates those that are successful from those who are less so. Not only can mistakes let us rise to the top but it can offer proof of your integrity.

Why did I pick this topic? Because we recently made a mistake that could have been a set-back for our business. Instead, it turned into an opportunity to build an even stronger bond with our client. Phew! Love it when things turn out that way.

There are three vital steps to take when dealing with a mistake.

1. Admit and Apologize

We were running an auto-scrubber during our night-time cleaning at Westside Recreation Centre recently. The next morning, black marks appeared all over their floor surface. After a prompt investigation, we realized our auto-scrubber’s battery had leaked acid and burned marks into the floor. Not good. Of course, we apologized and promised the facility manager fast action to correct the issue. We took two simultaneous actions; one to find a way to fix the burn marks, the second to find out why the machine leaked.

2. Find the Cause

By tracking down the root cause of this leak, we soon discovered it was a manufacturer’s defect covered by warranty. That made our staff and client feel better, but we still had to fix the problem.

3. Make Changes

We worked closely with the manufacturer and devised a process to treat the burn marks and get the floor back to shape. With this experience, we then trained our staff to watch for leaks in the future and address any issues immediately.

It took only 24 hours between finding the burns and finding a solution. Within one day we analyzed the problem, investigated why it happened and found a fix. The client was blown away with the urgency we gave to the issue and the care we took to make it right.

As I said, mistakes will happen. But if you own up to the mistake, act quickly to uncover the problem and provide a solution, you will be a better for it. And you will have a better business because of it.

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EFS Clean Building Services is Calgary’s locally-owned-and-grown, and “Honest”, Commercial Cleaning Company. Our services include commercial cleaning, post-construction cleaning, quality assurance inspections, ceiling restoration and hard surface restoration. Let us help you get a better clean by calling 403-949-3344 or send us a message on our Contact Us page.

Are Your Restrooms Scaring Customers Away?

Are your building’s restrooms clean enough? Here is a good article from Dave Mesko, Senior Director of Marketing for Cintas, about cleanliness issues that can affect your business, and how to address them in your cleaning program.

Dirty restrooms generate building complaints and unsatisfied patrons, and are often a common cause of lost business. In fact, a recent Harris Interactive survey revealed that 94 percent of U.S. adults would avoid a business in the future if they encountered dirty restrooms. Similarly, it’s estimated that over 50 percent of complaints about buildings concern the upkeep of restrooms. With a high level of issues surrounding restroom cleanliness that can easily lead to lost business, facility managers must establish a comprehensive restroom cleaning program to generate a pleasant environment and keep businesses thriving.

To create a comprehensive restroom program, facility managers must determine the source of the issues. With germs and odors lingering throughout restrooms, building occupants have several reasons to be concerned with the cleanliness of surfaces throughout restrooms.

Factors that can lead to a negative impression of restrooms include:

  • Lack of supplies. Restroom supplies present a common source of frustration for restroom visitors. Empty toilet paper holders, paper towel, or soap dispensers prohibit visitors from using the restroom for its intended function. In fact, 85 percent of respondents in an independent survey listed full toilet paper dispensers as the top measure of restroom cleanliness.
  • Wet floors. Whether it’s a puddle surrounding the sink or wet floors in restroom stalls, people are automatically deterred from a restroom with wet floors. Ranking just behind empty toilet paper dispensers, 84 percent of respondents in an independent survey stated that no visible puddles on the floor is a direct measure of cleanliness.
  • Unappealing odors. Unpleasant smells are no stranger to restrooms and patrons are quick to judge the cleanliness of a restroom—or entire facility—based on its smell.
  • Dirty surfaces. A recent study by the University of Colorado at Boulder found 19 different types of bacteria commonly found across all restroom surfaces, including toilet handles, soap dispensers, door handles, and sink faucets. The locations of bacteria found were mostly as one would expect: skin bacteria were mostly found on touch surfaces, floors were commonly contaminated with soil bacteria, while gut and urine bacteria were found on seats and handles of toilets, sink faucet handles, soap dispensers, and door handles.

Steps to Success
The following tips help facility managers target problem zones, establish a daily cleaning schedule, keep essential supplies available, attack odors, and eliminate lingering dirt and bacteria.

  1. Provide the essentials. To avoid complaints surrounding the lack of essential supplies, establish periodic times throughout the day to restock restrooms. Be familiar with peak hours when restroom use increases, and check supplies more often. Identify all areas that are common touch points, including door handles, toilets, sink faucets, and soap and paper towel dispensers—and clean them frequently.
  2. Protect. Given the potential negative impact of odor, facility managers should implement an odor maintenance system and toilet/urinal cleaners into their restroom cleaning programs. By neutralizing odor-causing bacteria, fragrances last longer and eliminate odors rather than simply masking them. Select air fresheners made with essential oils that deliver the highest quality fragrance for consistent performance. Urinal screens help reduce lingering scents associated with urine.
  3. Utilize daily maintenance. Follow a checklist to ensure the following tasks are performed on a daily basis:
    • Clean and sanitize the floor to minimize puddles and remove visible dirt
    • Clean and sanitize toilet/urinal areas
    • Clean and sanitize sink areas, mirrors, and all dispensers
    • Confirm that the odor management system, toilets/urinals, sink faucets, drains, and lights are functioning properly
    • Clean and sanitize door handles, toilet handles, faucet handles, and light switches
    • Remove any trash
    • Clean and sanitize baby-changing areas.
  4. Establish a deep cleaning schedule. To remove the dirt and germs and to establish an exceptional level of clean, facility managers should schedule deep cleanings on a periodic basis. Deep cleanings sanitize restrooms to revitalize fixtures and floors and remove lingering bacteria and dirt.

Restrooms are a critical component of a patron’s impression of a facility. Developing a comprehensive restroom program can quickly create favorable impressions that lead to customer satisfaction and retention.

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EFS Clean Building Services is Calgary’s locally-owned-and-grown Commercial Cleaning Company. Our services include Commercial Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning, Ceiling Cleaning & Restoration, Hard Surface Restoration, Quality Assurance Inspections and Efficiency Consulting. Let us help you get a better clean by calling 403-949-3344 or send us a message on our Contact Us page.

Beware of the Cost of the “Lowest Price” for Office Cleaning Services in Calgary

The “lowest price” game is a bad business strategy. Unfortunately, it is a common one.

I saw it when I was in radio advertising. The unskilled salespeople resorted to selling their “puffs of broadcast air” based on price. Those of us who were good marketers and competent salespeople, sold that same air for top dollar based on valuable expertise and a track record of quality advice and results.

The construction business is another industry challenged with low-balling. And from my current perspective, commercial and office cleaning services in Calgary have some of the worst culprits of this same bidding strategy. Some cleaning companies in Calgary do it because it’s a lazy method of winning business requiring no expertise. Certain service buyers do it because they don’t value facility cleanliness and they believe they are helping their bottom line. Both parties soon discover this is a costly way of doing business.

Even worse, we are now seeing cleaning equipment manufacturers evolving their business to target the low margin operators. At a recent meeting, we chatted with a manufacturer’s rep who proudly told us they are now selling a vacuum that is specifically built for spot cleaning. Knowing cleaning companies’ margins are getting smaller, they developed this vac to let the cleaners cut corners and save time. Of course, this is a problem for the client who, according to the scope of work in the contract, is expecting a full vacuum and is unknowingly only get spot cleans.

Just recently, our company, EFS Clean, lost a contract to a lower bidding commercial cleaning company. We had bid the job realistically, for what we knew it would take to do the job right. A strategy that we pride ourselves on. Sure enough, a few months later this client called and asked if we could take over the contract. The low bidding cleaner they had originally chosen was doing a terrible job and the client finally realized that the low price they were paying was causing the cleaner to take short-cuts. It ended up costing the client a remedial clean to get their facility back up to standards as well as time and energy to fire and re-hire the services.

If you are looking to hire a cleaning services company in Calgary and you see a bid that is much lower than the others, BEWARE, and do your due diligence with the following:

  • Talk to that cleaning company about their time and task schedule. Are they allowing enough hours to do the job you are expecting? The cleaning business is not rocket science. It is based on time required for scope of work requested. In fact, the ISSA (association for the Worldwide Cleaning Industry), provides a guideline for cleaning times which credible cleaning companies use when allocating labour hours to cleaning tasks.
  • Inquire as to what the cleaning company’s employee compensation position is. Do they pay a fair or better wage to their cleaners? How long have their employees been with them? If a company can do a job for much less, then something is being compromised. That something is usually employee wages. It’s the client who will then pay when these undervalued cleaners leave to find better opportunities or do a poor job because they are not respected for their work.
  • Ask about the size of cleaning crews and flexibility of personnel. A mom-and-pop cleaning operation may be able to do the job for less, but the client suffers by only having two cleaners available. What happens when one of the cleaners is sick? Or they are always late and in a rush because they have to get to the next job? We recently got a call from a client who wanted us to take over the cleaning from a mom-and-pop operation because the two people doing the work could no longer keep up with what this growing company needed.
  • Find out what the low bidding company’s policy is on pricing adjustments. Typically what happens is a company will provide a low bid to get a job. Then once they are in, they will constantly come back to the client asking for more money for one task and then another, because they don’t have enough time to get it done. Eventually, the client pays just as much or more than if they would have gone with an honest, more realistic bid.
  • Evaluate your results, on-going. If you decide to hire the cheapest guy, then evaluate the work regularly to ensure the standard is where it needs to be. If the work quality drops because the cleaners can’t afford the time, then have a 30-day clause to get out of the contract. Better yet, don’t get yourself into this situation to start and you’ll save yourself a lot of time and frustration.

Listen to reason when it comes to pricing. If a higher priced service provider gives you a reasonable bid and backs it up with industry guidelines, ethical beliefs in staffing and a genuine goal to help your business then this is much more valuable to you than a low price.

Remember the old adage, “you get what you pay for” ? The same can be said for your building and office cleaning services so shop wisely and beware of those that are luring you with price versus expertise, experience and honesty.

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EFS Clean is locally-owned-and-grown, taking pride in being a trusted commercial and office cleaning company in Calgary since 2005. Our services include quality assured building and office cleaning services, construction cleaning, ceiling cleaning, carpet cleaning, floor stripping and waxing, restaurant cleaning services, window cleaning services and electrostatic disinfection. Let us help you get a better clean by calling 403-949-3344 or send us a message on our Contact Us page.

The Most Powerful & Underestimated Business Strategy is Gratitude

“Feeling grateful or appreciative of someone or something in your life actually attracts more of the things that you appreciate and value into your life.”   –Christiane Northrup

The professional development books are full of business advice such as goal-setting, networking, blogging, etc., etc.  I regularly read the books and listen to the CD’s and I enjoy learning all of these valuable strategies. But over time, I’ve come to realize there is one strategy that trumps them all for both business and personal success . . . and it is the simplest one. Gratitude. Let me give you an example of the ripple effects of this wonderful gesture.

A few weeks ago, John Kangles, President of EFS Clean Building Services, shook hands with Jeff Booke, the C.O.O. of Talisman Centre. John shook Jeff’s hand to thank him personally for choosing to do business with us. It is our work with the landmark Talisman Centre in Calgary, that has helped us gain credibility and profile in the cleaning services industry. Our pride in this well respected athletic training facility and our gratitude for the partnership was shared with Jeff.

Shortly after this encounter, John was told how Jeff Booke kicked off the annual Talisman Centre staff meeting with a story. The story Jeff told the hundreds of staff members was the conversation he had with John. He told how one of their service providers stopped him to thank him for his business and to remark on the great pride of working with the prestigious facility that is Talisman Centre. Jeff then explained to his staff that when this type of respect and gratitude comes from someone outside the organization, it is a great reminder to have that same pride and gratitude for where they work everyday.

A simple compliment paid to our client resulted in a powerful trail of gratitude and respect. This trail not only came back to our business, but also extended out to a large group of Talisman employees.

We often think about what and who we are grateful for, but we often don’t verbalize these feelings. As William Arthur Wardso wisely said, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.

Putting these thoughts into action and sharing your thankfulness, particularly with those who provide it, will be the best business decision you can make.

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EFS Clean Building Services is Calgary’s “Grateful” and “Green” Commercial Cleaning Company. Our services include commercial cleaning, post-construction cleaning, quality assurance inspections, ceiling restoration and hard surface restoration. Let us help by calling 403-949-3344 or send us a message on our Contact Us page.

How Superintendents Can Hire the Right Construction Cleaner

The outlook for the construction industry in Calgary is rosy. The Calgary Chamber of Commerce’s 2013 Economic Outlook says construction growth is expected in the coming year. “With the city recording the highest annual population increase in five  years, the residential real estate and construction markets are expected to remain robust,” says the report.

For construction companies, that means great business potential ahead. For construction project managers and superintendents, it means busy times ahead. As the excitement of a new project greets the construction crews at the beginning of a job, that sentiment often wanes as a project nears completion. Construction managers want to complete the job smoothly and efficiently, including the post-construction clean.

What’s the best way of getting a good construction clean? Here are some tips:

  • Find a cleaning service provider that is experienced in post-construction cleans. Ask around, search websites, get references. A cleaning crew that can provide an accurate estimate and do the job well, and on time, is worth their weight in gold at the end of a job.
  • Although it takes a little more time, give the cleaning company estimator a site tour. This ensures you are providing them with the full scope of work required. This also helps the cleaning company give you a more accurate quote. I’ve been on sites where sup’s describe the job one way, and when we see the condition of the building ourselves, the job is something very different. Once we see for ourselves what is required for a proper clean, we are able to have that realistic discussion at the start and avoid budget surprises at the end.
  • Schedule your cleaning as the last trade on site. I know it can be tough, but try to ensure your cleaning crew comes in after all the other trades are done. You don’t want to pay for cleans and re-cleans because your trades keep messing up.
  • One last tip . . . yes, this comes from the service provider side of things: if at all possible, try to give your cleaning crew as much advance notice as possible. Most often, the cleaning company receives an urgent call to be on the job the next day or two. That makes scheduling very difficult and leaves your cleaners scrambling and possibly, with a skeleton crew. As your project progresses try to keep your cleaning company informed so that, in an ideal world, a tentative date can be set a week or so in advance. Well, here’s hoping anyway.

Good luck and may a clean finish to your project be on the horizon.

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EFS Clean Building Services is Calgary’s “Green” Commercial Cleaning Company. Our services include commercial cleaning, post-construction cleaning, quality assurance inspections, ceiling restoration and hard surface restoration. Let us help by calling 403-949-3344 or send us a message on our Contact Us page.