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Case Study:


The Challenge Grade One Commercial Cleaning started trading in 1995, and after years of success, has reached an annual turnover of £4.5million, with a staff count of 425. Stephen Corrigan, Managing Director of Grade One, explained the challenges they were facing. He said: “Critics often label the cleaning industry as slow on the uptake when it comes to IT, but that hasn’t been the case at Grade One. We were early adopters of business software in 2000, when we licensed Target Control for our pay and billing. In 2006, when we needed more technical support for our growing fi nance and admin team, we switched to Sage for accounts and payroll.” But they proved to be disappointing too, and here's why.


Five Reasons For Change


1. Off-the-shelf packages just don’t cater for the idiosyncrasies of contract cleaning. For example, Sage fi nds multi-site operations tricky; it won’t accept that cleaners work across different sites or cover for each other, and it can’t tell you if your monthly payroll is going to be on budget before you release it.


2. Most packages are only designed for one business function, requiring you to download data from each package and combine it onto a spreadsheet for analysis.


3. Cleaning is all about contracts. Data across over a dozen aspects of each contract needs to be stored and updated, usually in different places, as the contract changes, so you're forever updating information in different places and transferring it from one system to another.


4. Standard software programmes do not let you schedule changes


82 | FEATURE


Grade One Standards Grade One Commercial Cleaning outline why cleaning contractors should consider the business benefits of integrated management software.


to contracts in advance. You have to keep a manual record of items like future variations to contract, annual price uplifts or budget increases, to ensure that they are implemented on time.


5. No software we had heard of included a built-in sign-off system that would allow a request to be electronically sent up the line for authorisation.


Grade One Managing Director Stephen Corrigan


“All in all, we felt that the further growth of our company was being hindered by the lack of an integrated software solution. All we could foresee was increased administration and paperwork as our turnover and number of contracts increased,” Stephen added.


A One-Stop Solution They wanted a single system to manage every business process, and after speaking to existing users, they chose Templa CMS – an integrated contract management system. The benefi ts are very tangible:


Templa CMS feature


One central contract database integrated with accounts and payroll


In the payroll module, timesheets are viewable online in real time


Payroll module confi gured for Auto Enrolment


Rechargeable consumables pre-loaded to the system at the right mark-ups


Benefi t to Grade One They only key in contract data to one system


All area managers can amend payroll from their laptops, subject to sign-off


Sets them up for pension compliance


No danger of them failing to charge or charge incorrectly


‘Workfl ow’ electronic authorisation system No danger of them failing to charge or charge incorrectly


The calendar function sets a date on the system for contract activities or changes planned in advance


A quality auditing module A customer service module A password-protected client portal


Budgeting and analysis on any cost or revenue stream at any level of the company


The use of a mobile app


Changes happen on time without the need to keep manual records


Audits can be tailored and scheduled to the clients’ requirements


An automatic record is kept of all client interaction


Our clients can view selected contract documents online


They can view pay against budget before release and have a far better visibility of margins


All fi eld managers spend less time in the offi ce and more time with staff and clients


The Result “Our company spends far less time on administration and we make far fewer mistakes,” concluded Stephen. “From a fi nancial angle, we are on top of payroll – our biggest cost centre – and we no longer fail to invoice for work done or products and services supplied. From a customer service angle, we are able to focus more time on our staff and our client relationships. Our staff are happy, and we have invested in a system that will see us profi tably through the next ten years.”


www.tomorrowscleaning.com


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