15/04/2020

Help for Practice Managers - Negotiating the best cleaning service for your surgery

 

This COVID-19 situation has affected Doctor’s surgeries massively. Essential reviews in the ways of working at the practice to ensure the safety of visiting patients and surgery staff.


Unless you’re in a very fortunate (and unusual) position, money could be tight at your practice. Staffing costs, indemnity fees, insurance, utilities, supplies…it seems that outgoings are constantly on the rise. Once we return to the new ‘normal’ whenever and whatever that will be, many practice
managers will be honing their negotiation skills to get the best value for money cleaning service whilst adhering to CQC requirements.

Here are some top tips, in no particular order, to help you secure better value cleaning for your practice.

 

1) Know your requirements: Knowing exactly what you need, and which suppliers you currently use, is key to making the right choice when selecting new suppliers – or even reviewing current ones. With this information you can analyse what you have in place and decide what you want to retire, consolidate or maintain. Look at all aspects of the cleaning schedule –

  • Effective schedules – prioritising specific areas
  • Colour coding
  • Effective cleaning products

 

  • Infection control policies and procedures are adhered to.
  • Monthly audits and reports to the surgery – to include a paper trail for CQC inspection.

 

 

 

 

 

2) Value means more than price: The lowest price doesn’t always equate to the best value for money. The mantra of ‘buy right, buy once’ rings true when buying for your practice – you may spend 25% less on a cheaper product, but if it creates more problems and is less effective than you already have, it’s not a smart buy!


3) Be open to other ideas: Negotiating a price on other items, such as washroom services, bed rolls, feminine hygiene units can all  add value to the contract – so look a provider who can offer discounts and a one stop shop ideal.


4) Value means more than price, part two: Negotiating the right deal with your suppliers doesn’t necessarily mean getting what you want at the cheapest possible price. You may want to negotiate other factors such as delivery times, payment terms or the quality of the goods.


5) Don’t lose sight of what you want: Stay focussed on your agreed outcome – it can be easy to lose sight during negotiations and you may forget what you were really looking for. For example, a bulk discount is only useful if there is a need for a large quantity of the product. It’s the same with products and features – it’s only worth paying for if the benefits they provide if they add value to your business.


6) Don’t be rushed or pressured: Don’t allow pressure to force you into agreeing to a point you’re not happy with. Ask for a break if you need one. Each time you agree to a point, clarify that you’ve understood it correctly and write it down.


7) Team up: Could you save money by working with neighbouring practices and buying both the cleaning services and in other items in bulk? If you do this, negotiate split deliveries for orders to ensure you don’t end up becoming the final mile logistics provider! Likewise, are there any local federations or buying groups you can sign up to?

 

8) Get references : Ask your chosen supplier to provide at least two references for you to contact – or speak to other practice managers and ask who they would recommend. Once this is checked you can relax in your decision, knowing that your chosen cleaning company not only “talk the talk but walk the walk”

 

Speak to us at Lawrence Cleaning on 01902 663727 or email sales@lawrencecleaning.co.uk

Lawrence Cleaning have been our cleaners for over 28 years, a recommendation in itself. They have a strong desire to ensure we are satisfied with the quality of service  given and continuity of staff is most appreciated.
Martin Parker - Senior Partner- Muras Baker Jones