Digital contract templates in the cleaning industry

Customer contracts, supplier contracts and other types of contracts today exist in various forms, for example e-signed contracts, contracts on paper and contracts in e-mails. Contract management takes place in different types of devices such as cell phones, computers or in a unit for scanning paper contracts.
Cleaning companies today need to be prepared to handle contracts in different units and in different ways

How can your cleaning company become faster in creating contract proposals that can be e-signed by the customer and based on the content of the signed contract document easily list how the delivery is to be made?

E-signing is fast and convenient for all parties. Your customer does not have to print on paper, sign by hand and send in by post. Your company will have simpler administrative handling. More and more cleaning companies are using cloud services where contract documents in the form of a completed PDF can be uploaded and e-signed by the customer. This type of e-signing service solves the contract acceptance from the customer completely digitally.

At the same time, you know that the road to a good delivery requires many more steps. The terms in the contract document describe how the delivery is to be made. Once the customer has signed, contract information must be passed on to the people within your company who are responsible for the delivery. What exactly has your company agreed with the customer? When should the cleaning service be delivered? At what cost? What conditions apply? To keep track of this information, a mix of different IT solutions, hand-laying and a desire for better support is often used to facilitate the work both before and after signing.

How can your cleaning company maintain the possibility of e-signing and at the same time reduce the number of steps required for a good delivery?

Digital contract templates adapted for cleaning services is the solution. Modern contract services provide broad support for handling and filling in templates directly in the browser.

In this article, we list what is important to keep in mind for those who are considering trying.

What is meant by support for "digital contract templates"?

You are probably already working with templates today. And of course, they are adapted for cleaning services. Often the templates are spreadsheets or documents in a word processor. Maybe there are also several different documents that need to be used together to be able to produce a contract document?

Another alternative is that you use a contract service where you can both create contract drafts based on templates and fill them in. If there are also ready-made templates that handle the complexity of cleaning services - then you have a good start!

It is also not uncommon for companies to combine the above so that contract proposals are produced in word processors or spreadsheets which are then handled further in a contract service.

All of these solutions use "digital contract templates".

Keep in mind that a "digital contract template" can mean different things depending on who you ask. A digital contract template must be able to be reused in a simple way for new contracts that are to be signed with customers. By copying - or cloning - a digital contract template, an exact copy is created that is used as a draft contract

Review and list which cleaning services you offer

Then compare your cleaning services with the templates offered by the supplier.

• Does a standard template work, or does your service / product require customization of the template? Good templates provide broad support for different data. The easiest way to find the answer is to test the template. For the standard template to be relevant, it must be able to handle the "regular" orders. But what do you do with the exceptions - those that do not fit into the template? Form an idea of how common the exceptions are and on that basis you can choose to:
1) Handle them as an exception. Maybe even on paper if they are very deviant
2) Change the terms or design of the service so that it works with the template
3) Customize the template - you create a contract template specifically for your company or service
4) Only you can determine cost versus benefit.
In general, we recommend option 1 if the exceptions are few. If repackaging the service allows some flexibility, select option 2.
• How are cleaning services handled that the customer does NOT want in the digital contract templates? Templates are good because they often contain all the information required. But just as important is to be able to easily delete - or hide - information that is not interesting to customers
Request a demo from the supplier or ensure that you see with your own eyes what different templates are offered and what information is collected for each cleaning service.

How does the sale take place?

An important factor that is often forgotten when evaluating different solutions for contracts is how your company's sales staff work. Or more generally, how does your company conduct its sales?

Sales can take place in many different situations and are carried out by many different people at your company. How the sale takes place is important for what support the contract service must offer.

• Sales from the office to new customers. The seller has contact with the customer mainly via phone, web and email. The requirement for the contract service is then to be able to send contract documents for signing via these channels.
• Addon and resale from offices. The customer may already have a contract and is interested in buying more services. It is important that the contract service has support for quickly finding an existing contract and that the template has been adapted for addon sale and resale and the services and articles that can be offered within the framework of it.
• Sales to new customers in the "field". Here, the seller must be able to work with the templates on his mobile or perhaps on a tablet. Capturing the customer's needs and being able to directly note these in a draft contract saves time.
• Additional sales at the customer. It may be salespeople who carry out additional sales, but perhaps it is more common for local operations managers to pick up orders for new services or cleaning materials. The template used must then have support for additional and resale and in addition, it must be possible to create new contracts on mobile or tablet. A quick signing of a customer on-site must also be possible.
Is it difficult or impossible to get internet contact where the customers are? In this case, the contract service should have support for working with contracts in offline mode.

Cleaning services to consumers?

If your company offers cleaning services to private individuals, you have to keep track of exactly which services the customer wants
Cleaning services for private individuals are many and varied

It is an advantage if the templates handle RUT deductions. This minimizes the risk of errors and misunderstandings that are cumbersome and time-consuming to rectify afterwards.

• Examine whether the template provides support for listing in the draft contract exactly which different types of RUT deductions are to be made and which subtotals are involved. An automatic calculation of the deduction amount is also a great advantage. This saves time for your company's salespeople.
• Some types of cleaning services are not approved by the Swedish Tax Agency for RUT deductions. Is there support in the contract template for listing approved and non-approved RUT deductions? The customer can then immediately get a reliable figure on how large the RUT deduction will be.
• It is an advantage if the template supports the distribution of RUT deductions between different people. It is not uncommon for customers to want to be able to make a distribution and thus several personal data must be collected in the template.
If you want to read more about how digital contract templates for RUT services make it easier for cleaning companies, follow the link below.Show me more

Cleaning services for companies?

Cleaning services for companies are special in that a customer company may want to buy a variety of cleaning services from the same cleaning company. Cleaning companies that have a wide range of services aimed at companies should look at the points below.

• The template should support entering information about several different cleaning services so that everything ends up in one and the same contract document and that the customer thereby signs one (1) contract document. The alternative is that each service becomes its own contract document with associated signing.
• In customer companies with many rooms - for example office rooms - it may be necessary to measure the square meter area of each room. It is an advantage if the agreement template has support for specifying which rooms are available, its square meter area and which room type it applies to. Extra plus is if you can also specify the degree of soiling and cleaning activities per room and that an automatic calculation of the total area, and thus the price, can be made.
• Do you have a pricing model that uses felling rates for different room types? This is an effective way to estimate the time required for large cleaning objects and thus the pricing. A contract template where you specify the felling rate per room and where an automatic calculation based on felling rate can take place saves time. And the price is always based on the right data.
• For large cleaning assignments, framework agreements are often used where calls for cleaning services can be made at any time. A contract template for call-off management facilitates these cases, and enables you - and the framework agreement customer - to keep track of the calls that are made. In contract management, it is important that the call-offs can refer to the correct framework agreement so that contract administration becomes easier.

Do you sell general cleaning or other cleaning services as one-time assignments?

General cleaning looks different at different customers and often differs per cleaning occasion. In the same way, one-time assignments are often unique and include many different cleaning activities.

• The contract template should be flexible enough to allow contract managers to make lists of the cleaning activities to be performed. These should also be listed in the contract document so that the customer can see what the agreement looked like. This reduces the risk of future misunderstandings and disputes.
• Depending on the type of cleaning activity performed, different hourly rates may need to be charged. The agreement template should have support for registering this and a bonus is of course if the price is automatically calculated per activity and the total sums.
• The cleaning can be performed at different times. You probably want to price cleaning assignments on a big weekend differently than on a weekday. The contract template should be able to separate between these cases and use different hourly rates and / or OB supplements.

Resale of cleaning materials?

When cleaning companies resell cleaning materials, there is often a large product catalog with various items to keep track of.
Resale of cleaning items

Many customers buy cleaning materials and various types of accessories through their cleaning company. From a contract perspective, this can be considered a type of call-off of material. You need to be able to make a list of the items that the customer wants to buy, and also get an order approval from the customer.

• Some cleaning companies have set up their own web shops for cleaning items. There are of course a lot of solutions here. You can offer items via shop-in-shop at one of the larger cleaning wholesalers. Maybe your finance or product management system supports online shopping?
• Does the web shop feel like an unnecessarily large commitment? An easy - and cheaper - alternative is to manage item lists directly in the agreement template. If the template has these functions, then check which data (price, description, number, etc.) is supported. Both in the interface for you as a seller and in the agreement for your customer. Try ordering 20 items. Does it fit in the contract or order document? Can the contract template automatically calculate the total price for the selected items? This is a great advantage because it reduces the risk of errors when invoicing the items.
Lists of cleaning items should be easy to export from the contract document. For example, support for reports can be important to look at if your company sells a lot of cleaning supplies.

Calculate the price of the services

Many companies have a company-wide spreadsheet where the actual calculation is done. How often is this document updated? Who updates the document and how do you ensure that the correct version is used when selling? If the contract template supports calculation, then verify how the template is linked to the price calculation. You want to be able to change prices and formulas in the calculation independent from the template, but at the same time regulate when the template will use the updated calculation.

• A good contract template must be prepared to be able to collect all the information and figures needed to be able to make a price calculation. It must also ensure that no information is forgotten, so-called data validation. One possible solution for calculation is to do it completely manually. However, there is still a risk that contract managers may fail to transfer information after an update of a value.
• In more advanced contract templates, in addition to the above, there is an automatic calculation of prices. Contract managers can then be sure that the correct information is used, that no information is forgotten and that the correct version of the calculation is used.
• Does the customer want monthly invoices, quarterly invoices or should invoicing take place at a different time interval? Are there one-time assignments to be invoiced? Make sure that the digital contract template clearly lists these details. This means that the customer - and the company - have the right expectations.
• A final part that is important for some companies is that you can subsequently follow which calculations have been made and who did the calculation. This is usually called an audit and means that information about calculations made is saved as transactions in an audit log.

Terms and Conditions

It happens that templates also contain general conditions. You should first clarify to yourself if different general terms apply to the different cleaning services your company offers.

• The terms and conditions are part of the agreement and are often handled as an appendix. If you want to be able to provide the customer with one (1) contract document that contains terms and conditions, you should verify whether you can add terms and conditions to the contract template permanently, so that they do not have to be added manually at each contract occasion.
• Some companies use links to a web page listing terms and conditions. The problem with this is that at the same time as you update the terms on the web, a version issue arises. The contract is based on a specific version and it is the responsibility of both your company and the customer to keep track of this. It thus creates more problems than it solves.
Some industry associations offer templates and help with terms and conditions for contracts or contact a business lawyer for help and advice.

Digital workflows for contracts

Many companies have rules - or policies - that must be followed before an agreement can be sent to a customer. These may be mandatory audits that must be performed if a transaction exceeds a certain amount or that an approved credit report must have been carried out for the customer in question.

• An alternative is to let individual salespersons themselves keep track of which rules exist and which controls are to be carried out for different types of contracts. However, there are risks with this because it is easy to forget or misunderstand. But at the same time, it is easier to get started without a mandatory workflow and for companies where inspections are unusual, you can save time letting each salesperson do these themselves.
• An agreement template can support workflows, which means that certain checks must be carried out in order to send an agreement to a customer. Because workflows can be made mandatory, your company can ensure that sales of selected services meet established rules. It is also the case that if there are many people who have to follow a set of rules, there can easily be different interpretations of how the control is done. In this case, it is a safer alternative to use mandatory workflows that ensure that checks are performed in a uniform manner.
• For some companies, it is important to be able to show afterwards - for example for an auditor - that the rules have been followed and that the controls are correct. The auditor should then be able to access an audit log that shows the checks that have been carried out
The concept of workflow also includes that the contract must be handled in the right way after contract acceptance, read more about this later in the article.

Signing and acceptance of contracts

Regardless of which contract or document has been handled, it is of course an advantage - almost a requirement today - that a completed document, preferably in PDF format, can be sent to the customer for e-signing after all checks have been completed. However, do not forget that signing on paper is still common.

• A person at a company who is going to sign may not have access to the same signing methods as a private person. Check with your salespeople if they know how customers prefer to sign. Then make sure that in the digital contract template it is possible to control which signing methods are available to the customer
Regardless of the signing method, it is of course a requirement that the system used for signing can refer to the correct contract and contract template, as otherwise, it will easily be a time thief when follow-ups are to be made.

Manage the contract after acceptance

Being able to handle the contract after the customer has accepted it is an essential part of making the business work efficiently. We do not go through in this article what effective contract management should look like, but leave it to a later article. However, we list below some parts that are important.

• Can meaningful reports be generated based on the content of the contract? An example is an invoicing report which contains detailed documentation.
• Is it possible to supplement contracts with new information? Examples add an appendix or a course certificate.
• Can you easily search and find a contract?
• Can the status of the contract be changed and is the transaction saved in an audit log?
Do you want to read more about modern contract management? Follow the link to the article 'How companies can replace the contract binder with digital contract management'.Show me more

Ready to try?

Our hope is that this article is supportive when you look at if, and if so how, you want to work with digital contracts in your business. And maybe we have also contributed ideas on how you can develop the sales process with the right contract support !?

Do you want to know more about what you can do in Avtalsbanken's web service? Take a look at the video that shows what a digital contract template intended for cleaning services looks like.Show me more
Would you like to contact us for more information? Email questions to or fill in your details in the contact form and we will get in touch.Show me more
Do you want to see price information and register an interest in using a digital contract template in Avtalsbanken?Show me more