Category Archives: Incentive QAS Cleaning

Cleaned Out: The pandemic’s impact on cleaning supplies

Cleaned Out: The pandemic’s impact on cleaning supplies

Below article taken from: Facilitate.

We asked readers how challenging it has been to source cleaning supplies during the pandemic, whether prices have risen, how prepared they are for future demand over the coming months and what type of impact Covid-19 has had on existing contracts?

The pandemic has rocketed cleaning practices to the top of the list of organisational priorities, with the Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA) warning of “extraordinary” demand for cleaning supplies “for the foreseeable future”. Tthe CHSA also warned against unscrupulous groups trying to capitalise on this with inflated costs, writing to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and asking it to investigate companies seeking to profit from the health crisis. We asked readers to explain how challenging it has been to source cleaning supplies; whether prices have risen; how prepared they are for demand over the coming months; and what impact the pandemic has had on existing contracts.

Collaboration with suppliers

At ISS UK we have a managed to fulfill most customer requirements through our existing suppliers. At the height of the pandemic, where demand spiked, we did need to qualify additional suppliers to support ISS and our clients. With increased demand, market forces resulted in some price increases and, in some cases, upfront payments before the product was shipped.

At the outset of the pandemic, [sourcing] liquid soap (particularly antibacterial soap) and hand sanitiser was a challenge. During April, disposable nitrile gloves (to EN374) and sanitising wipes suitable for Covid-19 became difficult to obtain, with prices also increasing. By collaborating with our suppliers, and utilising our global reach, we’ve sourced and approved a range of certified disinfectants (to EN14476) as viricides, enabling us to keep supplies flowing throughout the pandemic.

Since May, our view is that the market is returning to  pre-pandemic levels, even on the higher-demand items. We anticipate an increased need for consumables, materials and PPE as our customers’ return ‘back to the workplace’. For example, due to enhanced personal hygiene, some customers are requesting personal hygiene kits and self-cleaning stations for additional reassurance for employees; but given the phasing of the return, we do not envisage such a high spike in demand.

Paul Fereday, head of operations at ISS UK Cleaning Excellence

Supply chain slowdown

The most difficult time to get hold of supplies was around early April. It was nearly impossible to get large stocks of gloves, masks, wipes and especially hand gel. All of a sudden, things got very technical and we needed PP3 face masks and hand gel that had above 60 per cent alcohol concentration. This surge in demand led to long lead times and higher prices ( around 300-500 per cent). This was clearly profiteering but impossible to prove at the time. Massive amounts of goods were being stocked in warehouses and resold, which slowed the supply chain considerably.

Towards the end of April and into May things calmed down. I think the UK realised it wasn’t going to the office any time soon and demand for PPE dropped rapidly. Everything became very available and prices started to reduce. In fact, we started receiving calls and messages from suppliers that had bought hundreds of thousands of items and now couldn’t dispose of it. They were almost begging us to buy it from them.

Andrew Hulbert, managing director at Pareto FM

Use forward thinking

Demand for commercial cleaning in offices, police and fire stations has increased substantially. Incentive QAS purchased sufficient amounts of PPE and specialist cleaning equipment during the early stages. This ensured we were able to service to our customers whilst ensuring the wellbeing of our staff. This approach enabled us to provide specialist deep cleans.

Incentive QAS has established fantastic working relationships with suppliers which has benefitted us greatly. This has enabled us to purchase hand sanitiser and PPE in bulk at an affordable price, store product at our suppliers’ site and request delivery when required. The H&S of our cleaning teams and clients is obviously a key priority so ensuring provision of these was of paramount importance during the planning stages.

Not only has our service been unaffected during lockdown, but as lockdown eases, we have a steady stream of supplies.

David Brown, commercial director of Incentive QAS

Flexibility is key

Procuring cleaning supplies was immensely challenging because almost overnight the products and their distribution were placed under huge strain. The supply chain we used depended upon packaging and bottles manufactured in the Far East and China, and upon chemicals largely manufactured in the Netherlands. The impact of Covid-19 dramatically increased demand as companies and organisations started panic buying and also hampered the supply chain, both in terms of the supply of chemicals and the packaging they came in.

We took the decision early on to switch cleaning chemical after assessing the risk in the supply chain. We changed to a chemical that is manually dosed on site rather than controlled via a dispenser to reduce the risk of packaging and chemical shortages. Taking this approach has not increased our costs.

We have a robust supply chain and distribution network and do not envisage a problem. However, it is true that the pandemic throws up unexpected challenges. The key is to be flexible.

In the 11 NHS Hospitals and half-a-dozen healthcare centres that we provide facilities management services to, we have responded to the needs of our client. This has meant increasing the frequency and intensity of cleaning regimes to help create the best possible environment for patients and for NHS staff to operate in as safely as possible.

In other sectors, we have fundamentally changed our cleaning regime. Previously cleaners would clean during out-of-office hours, refill toilet paper holders, clean kitchens and empty dishwashers and so on. Now we are seeing, as our customers either run drastically altered operations or re-emerge from lockdown conditions, there is less demand for kitchen, toilet and general duties as fewer people are in the workplace.

However, our cleaners are carrying out far more regular cleans of common touchpoints – handrails, doors, stairwells and so on. Our cleaners are being redeployed and concentrating on cleaning and recleaning key areas as much as possible.

Thomas Garlick, head of procurement – soft services at Interserve Support Services

Incentive QAS Pays Tribute to Frontline Staff

Incentive QAS Pays Tribute to Frontline Staff

Leading cleaning specialist Incentive QAS has distributed more than 800 wellbeing packs to their staff all over the UK. With half of the 800 strong company working throughout the pandemic, and the other half preparing to return to work after furlough, the Incentive QAS leadership team have expressed their gratitude during a testing and unprecedented time for the industry.

The packs have been welcomed by staff teams across the country and contain a variety of health and wellbeing gifts. Workers have received a branded cotton tote bag, aluminium re-useable water bottles, 125ml personalised bottle of hand sanitizer and washable face coverings. As well as sugary treats, the wellbeing pack also includes an employee information guide to help staff prepare for a ‘new normal’ post lockdown.

Incentive QAS have been closely reviewing guidance from the World Health Organisation, Public Health England and other Government agencies to work in partnership with clients and stakeholders during the transition to business resumption.

Jamie Wright, Managing Director at Incentive QAS said:

“The commitment of our teams across the country during this pandemic has been incredible. With many working in frontline critical environments, our staff have had to adapt quickly in largely unprecedented circumstances. The wellbeing packs are a way for us to say thank you to our teams as we begin to welcome back 50% of our workforce who were previously furloughed. “

He added, “We’ve developed and distributed a Returning to Work Brochure to help our employees return to business functions safely, efficiently and effectively. It is critical that we support and protect employees, clients, visitors and customers, and by producing these guidance notes, we can navigate the challenges that lie ahead on our road to COVID -19 pandemic recovery.”

Incentive QAS is the contract cleaning arm of the Incentive FM Group, with annual sales in excess of £18.5 million and employing more than 800 staff around the country, delivering a wide range of cleaning and support services to both the private and public sectors.

Kent Police Authority

Kent Police Authority


Kent Police Authority is a large Police force covering a county that has many difficult challenges, from the very busy docks at Dover and Folkestone to the issues that arise from the Channel Tunnel. Smuggling and immigration issues are the predominant features with these specific areas of the county, which puts added strain on an already busy force.

Incentive QAS provide daily and emergency response cleaning services to approximately 60 police operated locations across the County covering in excess of 40 geographic locations.

The services include daily cleaning of the police stations, training college and sports facilities in addition to emergency deep cleaning of cells and vehicles, scene of crime cleaning, carpet cleaning, washroom services and annual window cleaning.


Since the initial contract award in 2004, this contract has broadened to meet the challenges and needs of Kent Police Authority and its demanding role as guardians of Kent and its people. Whilst the force itself has downsized it’s property portfolio and back office staff, the front line is increasingly busy and these factors have knock on effects to the services we provide.

The rise in illegal immigration, smuggling, terrorism and sheer volume of traffic passing through Kent, and Dover in particular, has put a huge strain on the force and seen many more people being processed through the police system.


Having worked closely with the Kent Police Authority since 2004 (initially for a seven year contract followed by a new 5+2 year agreement being awarded in 2011 following competitive tender) we recognise that the key to success on this contract is flexibility.

Our contract dedicated account manager has been in place since 2005 and maintains regular dialogue with the key stakeholders throughout the Police network to ensure we are fully appraised of upcoming events, potential hotspots of activity or building closures.

We train our staff in the unique cleaning methods required for such challenging environments and have implemented a number of innovative solutions to the varied problems faced, such as robust emergency response procedures, helpdesk facilities and the management of a large staff resource

As an added value element we have introduced a decontamination cleaning process to custody suites, cars and crimes scenes, which forms part of the daily cleaning routine as well as the emergency response requirement. This has streamlined the cleaning services provided to Kent Police Authority and given them a more flexible service.

Of the 60 plus staff on the contract, approximately 30% are always available for reactive and short lead call-outs. Such is the harmony and willingness to support each other, as well as the client, that any number of staff will make themselves available to help if required.

One Canada Square

One Canada Square

At One Canada Square we are responsible for the cleaning of all common areas, washrooms and lift lobbies across all 50 floors of the 770 ft
multi-tenanted building. This includes responsibility for the lobby which is 36 feet (11m) high and clad in 90,000 square feet (8,000 m2) of marble and has a restaurant and bar. Other services include all waste segregation for the building tenants plus secure shredding.

A team of 40+ full time employees operate 24/7 to ensure that the 10,000 people who work in the building, along with members of the general public that have access to the ground floor, foyer area and basement levels, can enjoy a clean and safe environment. The team on site include a dedicated periodic team which will provide ongoing specialist cleaning to specific areas.

In addition to the landlord demise contract we also provide a range of cleaning services for the Canary Wharf Group head office which is located in the building.

The Contract
• Commenced service delivery November 2019 for 3 years.
• Contract Value £4m.
• No. of Employees 40+.
• Cleaning, Periodic Cleaning, Washroom Hygiene, Waste Management.

European Cleaning and Hygiene Awards Winners

European Cleaning and Hygiene Awards Winners

We are so proud to announce that Incentive QAS were winners at the European Cleaning and Hygiene Awards last night in the Sustainability Category.

Jamie Wright, Managing Director at Incentive QAS, said:

“We are committed to sustainable business and do whatever we can to improve the impact we have on the environment, our staff and the wider community whilst providing our service on a daily basis. We do this with the support of our suppliers, customers, business partners and consumers who have all contributed to this award.”

The Howard Centre contract win

The Howard Centre contract win

We have been awarded a three year dual service contract by Savills. Located at The Howard Centre in Welwyn Garden city.

The deal is worth more than £1.5m and brings together two of our teams Incentive Lynx and Incentive QAS.

The Howard Centre is situated in the heart of the town centre. It attracts around 8m visitors a year. The centre provides 230,000 sq ft of space set across two levels, with tenants such as Marks & Spencer, Boots and Next.

We will provide a manager responsible for 10 security guards and seven cleaners, providing an efficient, integrated approach.

Shaun Wall, manager at The Howard Centre, said:

“Incentive FM Group not only has the right expertise and skills to support us, but they also share our commitment to developing their people. This like-minded approach was key in our decision to award them this contract.”

Incentive Awarded Prestigious contract

Incentive Awarded Prestigious contract

Incentive QAS has been awarded a three-year contract by a leading property management company to provide a full range of cleaning services at Birmingham’s 55 Colmore Row office space.

Under the terms of the agreement, Incentive QAS will professionally clean all communal areas across the Grade 2 listed building, as well as providing washroom services, consumables supply, periodic cleaning and pest control. The company will deploy its bespoke LEVIY contract management system at the facility, to deliver a streamlined service, as well as investing in specialist floor cleaning machines, pressure washers and a sweeper for the car park.

As part of the deal, SWC, Incentive QAS’ sister company, will provide quarterly window cleaning via abseiling and MEWP (Mobile Elevated Working Platform), whilst delivering other services as required.

Incentive QAS stood out during a competitive tender process due to its commitment to innovation and strategic decision making, including switching the time of the core cleaning in order to maximise efficiency and reduce disruption. Incentive QAS recruited a new six-strong team from day one with each member of staff receiving comprehensive training, support and branded uniforms.

David Brown, Commercial Director at Incentive QAS, said:

“This is a significant win for our business that further strengthens our presence in the flourishing city of Birmingham, as well as underlining our position as the industry leader. We carefully analyse the needs of our clients in order to create bespoke solutions that not only deliver a superior service but also value for money.”

Jamie Wright Cleaning Up

Jamie Wright Cleaning Up

Growing Up
I suppose it is fair to say that cleaning is in my blood. When I was 10 years old my dad set up his cleaning business in our kitchen at home and woe betide us if we didn’t answer the phone professionally saying. “Hello, Quality Assured Services, how can I help you?” As I got older, in the school holidays I was roped in to help with telemarketing and after a short ‘rebellion’ when I worked in banking, I was back in the family firm when I was 20 learning the business from the ground up.

All Change
In 2009 Dad sold the business to Incentive FM Group, the UK’s leading independent facilities management company, that was looking to extend the range of services it could self-deliver. This introduced me to a new corporate world and I was lucky to be able to spend time in different areas of the business gaining valuable insight into the broader world of FM and most importantly, how cleaning best fitted into the equation.

I became Managing Director at Incentive QAS in 2016 by which time I felt I had really earned my stripes. Anyone who knows the senior team at IFM Group will know that I wasn’t a shoe in for the role because of my dad, in fact I had to work harder to prove my worth. Although little did I know that it was now that the hard work would really begin!

View from the Top
Let’s just fast forward for a moment to the present day where our turnover has trebled in the last three years. Has it been easy? No. Has it been fun? Absolutely.

So how did we do it?
The most obvious thing, but possibly the hardest, was that we had to retain and increase the contracts we already had. We did lose a couple as unfortunately we operate in a very price sensitive market and often clients think that the grass is greener elsewhere. In 2016, just after I took over as MD, our two largest contracts were up for re-tender. This was a worrying time as both contracts equated to almost half our turnover and they were crucial to our business. Luckily, we were able to not only retain them both but also increase our remit substantially, which gave us both the confidence and a strong foundation from which to move forward.

We recruited a Commercial Director and implemented a proper sales strategy for the first time. This involved taking grown up decisions to walk away from some long-standing contracts that just weren’t profitable. We also stopped cold calling and basically bidding on absolutely everything that was out there. Instead we sat down and worked out what we were good at which was quality service, so we took the decision to focus on high end buildings and locations, particularly in London. Our ongoing partnership with managing agents and large prestigious properties proved to be a good reference point.

We also looked at broadening the range of services we offer to include specialist cleaning and started to introduce more technology and eco products. The Group also acquired two successful window cleaning companies – SWC and ARL – which were integrated giving us another string to our bow.

Of course, as with every business, getting the right people on board was important but getting them to work as a team was more important. In our sector the senior managers tend to be seconded to specific buildings and/or locations, therefore operating in silos. They rarely see anyone other than their direct line manager, so we implemented regular get togethers, both for training and for social events and have encouraged the team to share problems and successes and learn from each other. This has been incredibly successful and completely changed the way we operate. It also supports our approach to employee engagement which follows that of the IFM Group in embracing “freedom within a framework” which is designed to empower our people.

Moving Forward
This year we have a number of great opportunities in the pipeline with both new and existing clients. We have set ourselves ambitious targets and are committed to meeting them. We are also aware that traditionally cleaning has been viewed as the poor relation in the FM World – often provided just as a bolt on to the main event. We are determined to change this perception.

Incentive QAS is the contract cleaning arm of the Incentive FM Group, with annual sales in excess of £18 million and employing 800 staff around the country.

Incentive QAS reach finals in European Cleaning & Hygiene Awards

Incentive QAS reach finals in European Cleaning & Hygiene Awards

Thrilled to announce Incentive QAS have been shortlisted for the European Cleaning & Hygiene Awards taking place in Berlin this year fantastic work by our dedicated teams!

Conformation from Environment Media

Congratulations on making the shortlist for the European Cleaning & Hygiene Awards 2018. We are looking forward to welcoming you to Berlin next month.

We’re keen to spread to word on your achievements and throughout October we are posting content on our Twitter channel to shine a spotlight on all our finalists. It would be great, if you have your own social media channels, if you could also post about your finalist status. We have a dedicated hashtag #ECHAwards18 and you can tag us @ECH_Awards and we’ll retweet your post.

Link Asset Services choose Incentive QAS

Link Asset Services choose Incentive QAS

Link Asset Services has awarded a three-year contract to Incentive FM Group to provide a range of facilities services across its UK estate.

The contract, worth in excess of £1m, follows a competitive tender which focused on the need for strong, responsive management and a personal service.

Service delivery will be led by the group’s specialist cleaning company, Incentive QAS, in collaboration with Incentive Tec, the building services specialist. They will provide a bespoke response that includes responsibility for all mechanical and engineering aspects and cleaning of the estate. Other services within the contract scope include security monitoring, washrooms, pest control, window cleaning and consumable supplies.

Incentive says that dedicated cleaning teams will be assigned at each of six UK sites, and both planned and reactive maintenance will be delivered through a national mobile engineering team. Around 40 staff will transfer to the new supplier under TUPE and will undertake additional training. A single dedicated account manager will work across all sites and services.

The operation will be supported by the Incentive QAS helpdesk, which will provide the client with live asset information, details on all statutory compliance and planned maintenance.

David Baker, property director at Link Asset Services, commented:

“Our choice of FM partner is extremely important to us as we rely on them for the smooth and safe running of our buildings which directly impacts our employees. Incentive demonstrated not only the right skills and experience but also the right mindset to deliver exactly what we wanted.”


Incentive QAS Managers Forum

Incentive QAS Managers Forum

On this lovely Hot Wednesday we had our second Incentive QAS managers forum followed by a lovely BBQ in the Garden. We are so proud to launch our very own Basic Skills Training which was developed in-house by Operations Support Manager Carolina Costa. The training covers 10 modules on cleaning from chemical competence to Toilet cleaning. We had a 2 hours session on train the trainer and also a quick training on our new induction training booklet. In the afternoon a brilliant BBQ was cooked by our master chef, MD, Jamie Wright followed by a quick word from Chief Executive Martin Reed. It was certainly a productive day for all and it was nice to enjoy summer in its best.

Incentive QAS take on  Rough Runner Obstacle race

Incentive QAS take on Rough Runner Obstacle race

The Incentive QAS team tackled this years Rough Runner 5K obstacle race on Clapham Common on the 17th September. The ten participants undertook a 5km run along with 10 ‘gameshow inspired’ obstacles, including hang tough and the travelator from TV’s Gladiators.

This was completed to raise funds for two young boys with cerebral palsy, Aiden Thomas and Thomas Reddington – their stories are detailed below.

Their JustGiving page is still open until 30th September, so if you think seeing Jamie Wright fall face first in to a pool of muddy water is funny, please visit the link and place a donation to this very worthy cause.


The volunteers (victims?) taking part are:

Jamie Wright (aka Jumping Jay) Gareth Thomas (aka Turbo Thomas)
Nick Shead (aka Speedy Sheady) Laura Saunders (aka Leaping Laur)
Emily Cunnane (aka Pocket Rocket) Charlotte Powell (aka Rainbow Dash)
Mark Yull (aka the Musc-Yull Man) Daniel Restrepo (aka Daniel San)
Tim Linsell (aka Tiger Tim) Ivan Cueva (aka Iron-Man Ivan)

The reason we have all signed up to endure this gruelling test of strength and stamina wass to raise funds for two exceptionally brave and determined boys with Cerebral Palsy, Aiden Thomas and Thomas Reddington – their stories are highlighted below and on our JustGiving Page

We appreciate you must receive numerous requests for fundraising donations on a regular basis, so any support you can provide will be gratefully received on our just giving page here:

JustGiving Page

There are many that choose not to embark on events such as Rough Runner.  Aiden and Thomas don’t have that choice, which is why we are running for them.

Please help us help them.


By Jamie Wright


Thomas is my best mate.

We go to the football together, he takes the micky out of me, he makes me laugh all the time and he is the life and soul of any social gathering.

Thomas is 7 and he has Spastic Quadriplegia, which is a form of Cerebral Palsy that affects both his upper and lower limbs.

Thomas can’t stand or walk, he has a manual wheelchair, which he is super fast in and is continually improving his mobility through it’s use.  Daily use aids this improvement and he regularly attends Whizz Kids Wheel Chair lessons – where more often than not you can find him at the front of the class telling all the other kids what to do!

Thomas’ disability brings many challenges for him. The smallest of day to day tasks that most of us take for granted, such as brushing our teeth or having a shower are extremely difficult for Thomas – neither of which he can currently do independently.

I want Thomas to live as full and as independent a life as he possibly can and this means that he needs a home environment that is fully adapted to meet all of his complex needs as well as regular visits to Whizz Kids and physiotherapy sessions.

Thomas is a fantastic human being, my best mate, and he deserves to live as full a life as possible.


By Gareth Thomas


Aiden was born ten weeks prematurely along with his twin brother, Owen on 1 January 2010.  Both boys spent 8 weeks in neonatal intensive and special care before being allowed home.

At around 8 months we started to notice that Aiden wasn’t hitting his milestones and was struggling to keep up with Owen.

At a routine yearly check-up we were told by his paediatrician that Aiden had Cerebral Palsy and that he would be a wheelchair user.  Aiden was diagnosed with Spastic Diplegia which means that his brain wasn’t sending signals to the muscles in his legs and right arm correctly and causing them to be stiff and stopped him using them properly.

Following an operation called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) undertaken in St Louis Missouri in 2012 it was predicted that with intense physiotherapy, Aiden would become an independent walker in all environments.

My wife, Vicky and I were naturally over the moon and Aiden continues to progress well, however, he has to attend weekly 2-hour physio sessions every Saturday and also weeklong blocks of physio every school holidays, which are all funded personally.

We have now used all of the money we have previously raised and are having to start fundraising again to ensure that we can continue to give Aiden every opportunity to fulfill his potential, lead a full life and grow up being able to do the same things as his twin brother.

See how Jamie got on!