Aviation & Aerospace

Cleaning Contract Management – Heathrow Airport


Time is one of the highest priorities for every airport across the world which means all its operations including Cleaning Contracts must be highly efficient and ultimately streamlined if these hygiene services are not to impact on the customer experience in this busy environment.

MCP Consulting Group’s experience in the transport sector and other complex ‘live’ environments, such as Aviation, was a key factor in this commission. Heathrow had identified a number of issues including varying standards, inefficiencies and the performance issues of the differing cleaning contractors and various practices across four of the five terminals.


MCP offered a unique solution that achieved the optimum balance of short, medium and long-term aims with embedded review stages. An expectation of the programme was to identify cost reductions and opportunities for increased productivity that would benefit Heathrow Airport by delivering improved services, greater value for money and importantly an evaluation process that would support sustainable continuous improvement.

Over a period of 13 months, MCP Consultants were on-site to implement an improvement programme that would support sustainable continuous improvement and identify opportunities for cost reduction and to increase productivity.

• Management methods employed

Greater emphasis initially put upon getting cleaner training up to date and controlled with ‘training matrices’ for all operatives. The example below shows the breadth of what was covered.

Washroom cleaning Bio hazard pack Carpet cleaning maintenance
Colour coding Dust, damp wiping, polishing. Window cleaning
Consumable replenishment. Graffiti removal Surface cleaning
Daily work schedules. Suction cleaning Flat mopping
NVQ level 1. Spray extraction Gum removal
BIC’s 1 & 2 Chemical competence & COSHH Sharps
Bush meat cleaning Bin cleaning Litter picking
Mop sweeping Trolley, equipment care Body fluids
Single solution mopping. Lone worker
Drugs & alcohol training Slips, trips and falls.
Fire security Polish removal and application
Manual handling Hard floor maintenance

• Cleaning Quality Monitoring (CQM), Quality of Service Monitor (QSM)

Encouragement was given to the contractors to use and develop the electronic data capture method for allocating CQM quality scores to all areas and to produce regular report monitors. The involvement of BAA MSD & CSDM personnel was also facilitated.

• Action Plans

Action plans were then developed for short term, medium term and long term issues and regular review meetings instituted once or twice per week to address user concerns and quality matters and to intensify management focus upon the contracting companies.

• Monthly Review Meetings and KPI’s

KPI reports were completed for review at monthly meetings between BAA and Contract Cleaning Company managers and covered, with detailed scores, the following evaluation areas:

  • Financial Reporting
  • Audit of Service Delivery
  • Management – Service Delivery Improvement
  • Management – Health & Safety
  • Management – People
  • Delivery – Environmental


• Service Quality Rebate (SQR)

The SQR level is assessed monthly by the CAA from the QSM data and was running at a ‘fine’ level of £37,146 for T1, prior to MCP’s involvement, this is based upon a failure to meet the target for 3 months and could have been £150,000 pa. After our involvement, it went to zero.

For T1 and T2, graphs were developed to compare CQM data with independent QSM data in order to accurately forecast QSM’s for the following month, so that corrective action can be taken. Over the range of expected QSM variation, the graphical forecasting shows a 25% improvement in T1, though this, as yet has not been implemented.

SQR target score 3.7

Months Above Target T1 T2 T3 T4
Previous Year 5 7 5 12
Target Year 11 10 9 12
% Improvement 120 43 80

• Productivity

Activity sampling studies were conducted in T1 and T2 and the workload and the required number of operators assessed. From this it was possible to evaluate the effectiveness of individual operatives and areas of excess manning, which made possible:

Labour redistribution Reduction in working hours Improved shift patterns
More effective labour force Reduced costs Improved cleaning


Identified Potential Productivity Improvements T1 T2
26% 15%


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