We want to achieve higher standards – How do we do that?
The first step is to define what are your current standards, you need to measure those either against your scope of work or industry accepted standards, then you have a starting point to determine whether you’re getting the value you’re paying for or even whether you’re paying enough to get the standards you’re aspiring to. The team at Changing Directions can assist you to carry out your measures and benchmark those against industry accepted standards as well as provide industry comparisons. When you have this information you are in a position to implement systems and processes to define service levels and monitor performance.
We want to know the real cost before we go out to tender – how can we calculate that?.
This is an important step to take in the contract management process. Too many organizations put their work out to tender without knowing the real cost to deliver the standards their stakeholders require or even what it is they require and the real cost to provide them. The consequence is that the lowest price becomes the measure and not the ability to deliver the required level of service. The team at Changing Directions can assist you to determine the real cost and ensure that it reflects the scope of work.
How do we ensure the contractor we choose is capable of delivering the service we require?
This depends on how well you prepare your documentation, this includes defining the capabilities that you require the contractor to demonstrate in their response and demonstrate in practice. The team at Changing Directions can assist you to prepare your documents and also have involvement in the evaluation process to ensure the best outcomes are achieved. Too often we find that contract management personnel spend much of their valuable time managing poorly performing contracts as a consequence of choosing the wrong a contractor
How can we see in Real Time the day to day performance of the contract?
This can be achieved by having performance management processes in place that require contractors to self manage their performance and monitor their compliance to set performance indicators. The team at Changing Directions can show you a range of options that can provide you with web based access to Real Time data captured by the contractor, your personnel and also independent inspectors/auditors. This information can be available to you and your stakeholders/tenants/clients to demonstrate accountable and transparent processes are in place to ensure the required standards are maintained. The outcomes can be viewed in a range of options that include, performance reports, KPI compliance reports, balanced score card, performance trends, comparison graphs, feedback reports, maintenance reports or exception reports.
How can we monitor the KPI’s in real time?
This can be achieved by having a web based system that automatically generates reports from data captured by the contractor, your personnel and also independent inspectors/auditors and sent those to you and your contractor upon completion of the inspection with a performance score and details of the items that need to be attended to within the next 24 hours or an agreed period.
Can you design specifications to reflect the needs of all stakeholders?
Preparing these documents is part of the core business of Changing Directions. This is where achieving the required outcomes starts. Without a clear understanding of the needs of all stakeholders and well defined specification that articulate their needs your stakeholders will invariably have unrealistic expectations. We have clients that have reduced their tenant complaints significantly by addressing this point and making the specifications and the work schedules available via a web portal.
How do we build performance management into our contracts/tender documents?
This can be achieved by ensuring that that your documentation clearly addresses this issue and articulates the processes that must be implemented by the contractor to demonstrate compliance. Additionally you need to define the systems and processes that you will use to measure performance this includes penalties and rewards for exceeding or failure to achieve outcomes.
We want to design our contracts so that we have less hands on management - How do we do that? .
The way to achieve this is to include external performance monitoring which can be carried out by an independent auditor within the contract performance management section of your document, additionally the independent auditor can act as the gatekeeper to monitor contract performance and liaise with the contractor to ensure issues identified are rectified. These are services the team at Changing Directions provide.
We believe the standards we are achieving are good, so how can we compare them to confirm that?
We would recommend that you carry out the client survey to determine that the clients expectations are being met and to identify the standards they believe are being achieved then have an independent assessment of the standards carried out which will provide you with a comparison between client expectations the actual standards being achieved and industry bench marks. These are services the team at Changing Directions provide.
Can you provide industry benchmarks?
Yes this is a service the team at Changing Directions do provide and can do so on a regular basis with comparisons across national and international industry standards.
Can you carry out baseline assessments?
Yes this is a service the team at Changing Directions do provide and we recommend that all organisations carry this out prior to letting a new contract, this way you have a basis upon which to measure increases and decrease in service performance.
Are there any Industry Standards for Cleaning?
Changing Directions have been providing performance measurements services which entails establishing benchmarks and performance standards and we have been providing this service for the past decade nationally and internationally. The reason we provide these services is because measuring standards is such a subjective process and as such industry has found it difficult to establish consistent standards.
Can we create a balanced score card to measure contract performance?
The balance scorecard is an excellent tool to measure the range of services provided within a contract. It focuses on the whole contract and not just a specific service such as cleaning.
Is there a way we can have less direct involvement but still have our finger on the pulse?
Changing Directions provide a range of services to clients these include carrying out the function of contract management where we manage the day to day service delivery by the contractor and provide a transparent process the client can view via a web portal in real time.
How do we know what the real labour is to deliver the required service levels?
This requires having a full understanding of the use of the facilities, the frequency of the cleaning to be performed the type of surface areas to be cleaned and the density of the furnishings in the areas being cleaned. With this information you are able to establish the scope of works to be carried out and with appropriate knowledge are able to workload the facilities to establish the productivity rates that can be achieved by the cleaner and then convert this to a number of hours per annum to achieve the outcomes. This is one of the many services that the team at Changing Directions provide to clients.
Can you prepare our Tender response?
Yes. Changing Directions provide a range of contract management services for clients providing the tender response has been prepared by another organisation and there is not conflict of interest the team at Changing Directions who have extensive tender writing and procurement experience can prepare your tender response.
How do we calculate the cost of outsourcing a service?
There are a range of issues that need to be addressed and the first is to understand how the service is currently being performed and the reason you are choosing to outsource the service. If its to solve a problem you currently have in house outsourcing may not be the answer. Changing Directions consult with clients to help them determine the best options available to them to achieve efficiencies in the operation of there services. This may or may not lead to outsourcing as the preferred option.
With tight economic times ahead how can we re-engineer our contract without sacrificing service?
This may require a review of the scope and frequency of the service being delivered and involve all stakeholders in sharing the load to achieve the required outcomes.