Customer Interview

December 20th, 2017 Category: Building Management Colleges and Higher Education Company News Customer Educational Establishments

Chris Norman, Campus Manager, University of East London

“Having a safe, clean and hygienic environment allows all our students and faculties to work in an environment that appeals to them and allows them to succeed”

University of East London has 23,000 students across three campuses in the Docklands and Stratford areas. Nviro provide daily and periodic cleaning for the university’s 33 buildings, 203 classrooms, 350 offices and 1,178 accommodation rooms (cleaned twice per year and once per week during holidays). In this article, Chris Norman, Campus Manager at the University, shares his experience of working with Nviro.

When did you start working with Nviro?

We started working with Nviro in July 2011 after a lengthy tender process. Nviro gave us the most confidence that they could improve standards at the university, whilst also being the most economical bid. We are thrilled to have re-awarded them the contract in 2017 for a further seven years.

What are your cleaning requirements?

Wow, this would be quite an extensive list, as I am sure you can imagine! On a daily or routine basis, we need everything (refer to the end of the article) and have a several specialist (such as our dental study areas), ad hoc and even urgent needs – in all cases Nviro consistently delivers to excellent standards.

Additionally, Nviro was the incumbent cleaning provider during the London 2012 Olympics, during which time UEL hosted an influx of foreign nationals who stayed at the accommodation blocks in the Docklands. As well as providing steady reactionary support during this unusual conferencing season, Nviro supplied widespread ad-hoc cleaning support to the SportsDock.

How do you measure service performance?

We are always highly satisfied with the work which Nviro has delivered over the years. Nviro have demonstrated year-on-year KPI improvements since the start of the contract. The occupancy of the university varies during the year and Nviro has adapted their service to provide a flexible solution in our quieter periods, whilst still maintaining the excellent standards that we have become accustomed to.

We regularly receive compliments on the standards of cleaning from guests using our facilities who often expect and receive a five-star service. Through the quality of cleaning, Nviro has helped us grow our conferencing business and thus assisted UEL in increasing its income, further benefiting our students.

In dental study areas, Nviro is required to clean to NHS standards. They consistently achieve 100% in the audits carried out by NHS representatives, who conduct their own independent audits of the areas leased from UEL. In addition, UEL was measured by an external auditor, Capita, who assessed if any further efficiencies could be made in the services on site, with none being found.

Nviro’s health and safety record has been outstanding throughout the life of the contract and the team has worked closely with the UEL staff to put in place a comprehensive business continuity plan for any major or minor incident that may occur.

What impact does a safe, clean and hygienic environment have on your building users?

Nviro’s collaborative approach and regular communication, including strategic direction from the exec team, ensures that the service continuously evolves. This demonstrably improves the environment for our students all the time.

We truly feel that Nviro has embraced our objectives and this is reflected not only in the service we receive, but also in the relationship we have with our trusted partner. We value our relationship with Nviro so much that we insist on their staff wearing dual-branded uniform, so they feel part of the UEL team.

Being a campus university with onsite accommodation, it is of paramount importance that the young adults that come to learn at UEL feel at home. This can only be achieved if they are in a clean, hygienic and safe environment – something that I trust Nviro to provide.

Why do you think Nviro is different to other commercial cleaning companies?

We have always been impressed with Nviro’s recruitment and vetting process which is evidenced through their staff retention, far better than any other UEL contractor. In comparison with the many cleaning contractors I have had dealings with, Nviro is by far the most staff focused, with staff turnover being extremely low at both operative and supervisory level. This has a direct positive impact on service performance. Nviro has been proactive in consultation with the workforce and the local union, signing a voluntary recognition agreement with Unison.

Summary of services provided:

  • Building cleaning
  • Waste bin collection
  • Recycling
  • Waste compaction
  • Summer accommodation cleaning
  • Post room assistance (cleaners deliver letters throughout campuses on behalf of post room)
  • Key holding
  • Residence deep cleans (conferencing and student vacation cleaning)
  • NHS standard hygiene cleaning to clinics and labs
  • Carpet cleaning
  • Hard floor strip and seal and ongoing maintenance
  • Gum removal
  • Steam cleaning
  • Full consumables supply and replenishment
  • External window cleaning
  • Feminine hygiene
  • Washroom services
  • Waste management