SERVING EDUCATION CLIENTS
We are in a privileged position to be trusted by a number of Education clients, to maintain their schools throughout the year. We know that for many of these clients there are extra pressures on budget, and higher expectations of trust and professionalism. And as the cleaning often happens infrequently, outside of term time, the service needs to be truly brilliant. Here are some reasons why we feel we offer a genuine advantage to Education clients.
We know that for many of our Education clients, the cost of service is a major consideration in selecting a Window Cleaning service. Pressure to stay within budget can be a driving force behind selecting a partner but value for money is also a significant consideration. As a client, you don't want to compromise on service, nor pay too much for the service you receive.
At Astound we work hard to ensure that we are offering both a competitively priced service and one that offers great value. We not only benchmark ourselves against our peers to ensure we are attractively priced, we also work hard to gather feedback on our service to ensure our clients are happy with the service they receive.
We are very much aware of the specific needs of trust for service providers in the Education sector. For any workers attending site to clean windows or conduct maintenance, it is important to demonstrate trustworthiness and professionalism whilst on site, whilst staff are working and especially if students are also present.
At Astound, we take the question of trust very seriously. All of our Window Cleaning staff attending Educational establishments are CRB checked as a matter of course. This information can be checked in advance if required. In addition, a senior member of the Astound team (often our MD) will conduct spot checks to ensure that we uphold high standards of professionalism and service.
All of our clients, regardless of sector, expect a brilliant service. For Education clients, we know that you may only have the budget and opportunity for one clean per year. This means one thing: extra dirty windows. We know this before we arrive, so we are prepared to give the window cleaning an extra effort. We will even clean them twice if they need it, all as part of the service.
As Education premises are often substantial in size, our approach to cleaning needs to be highly organised. We arrive on site, fully prepared for each booking. The booking starts with a site meeting for our team to coordinate our work for the day. All work is reviewed with the client before sign-off. Bookings can be made well in advance and also timed for Student holidays to minimise disruption.
At Astound we do not ask our clients to take out contracts. We work hard to retain happy customers through excellent service.
CASE STUDY – LANCING COLLEGE
Lancing College is an independent boarding and day school for boys and girls aged 13-18, originally founded in 1848.
The college possesses some of the most striking buildings of any school in the country. The school buildings and boarding houses are positioned around two main quadrangles and the landmark chapel building.
The college is divided up into nine houses, each house accommodating between 30 and 80 pupils. As well as the historic halls and teaching rooms, new facilities include an art school with large studios, a contemporary sports centre with a sports hall, a swimming pool, fitness suite and dance studio/fencing salle.
We have been carrying out window cleaning to the exterior of the college buildings for 5 years. It is important to the college that the window cleaning is completed within the allocated times, with minimal disruption, respecting the historic fabric of the building. In 2014, we were asked to tender for the interior window cleaning.
Duration: 4 days
Internal wondow cleaning
External wondow cleaning
Although we are not responsible for cleaning the historic chapel windows, many of the windows across the campus are stained glass and/or leaded. The majority are set within stone mullions, some of which are very elaborate and positioned within dormers.
There are a range of different internal spaces, from large modern teaching rooms to smaller residential areas, across a large campus – with some areas difficult to access with a vehicle. Our team need to be vigilant of water ingress or any issues around damage to the internal finishes, as well as being aware of visitors and staff, respecting the environment and ethos of the school.
Some of the more inaccessible windows have not been cleaned for some time and there was a considerable build up of dirt. We have proposed scaffolding towers/cherry pickers to reach the inaccessible windows that cannot be reached with a pole, but currently this is not a cost effective option for the client.
We selected a team who are all NVQ qualified, with Safecontractor and CHAS accreditation, who also have experience in historic buildings – specifically leaded windows with stone surrounds. This team have worked at high profile venues such as Earls Court and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Our supervisor arranged to survey the job with Lancing College’s site services manager, prior to operatives arriving on site. At this point, we agreed the most
time effective sequence in which to carry out the work. This was transcribed onto a campus plan and handed to the team supervisor prior to project start.
We used the pole window cleaning technique, incorporating the latest technology in pure water window cleaning. Benefits include:
- Window cleaning up to a height of 20.5 metres.
- Pure hot water drawn from our own vehicles means there are no dried ‘spots’ left behind on the glass.
- Reduced health and safety risks.
- Cleans windows, UPVC, facades, glass roofs, panelling and cladding.
- Reaches previously inaccessible windows with ease.
- Environmentally friendly, as no chemicals are ever used.
- Saves money