Founded in 1984, Minster Cleaning Services is the UK’s largest franchised cleaning network, with 43 franchises and group revenue in excess of £40m. The individual franchises (known as branches) are spread all over the country and range in turnover from £0.5m to over £2.0m.
Although the branches benefit from centralised support in areas such as training and marketing, the company recently undertook a major project to provide them with a standardised, software-based contract management platform that will relieve them of the administrative and operational pressures that cleaning brings. These include staff scheduling, timesheet management, payroll, materials ordering and client billing. As a result, in July 2017 Minster awarded Templa the contract to install its TemplaCMS management software across an initial twenty-six franchises.
To get the ball rolling, Sheffield and Leeds, two of Minster’s largest branches, were chosen for a 6-month pilot project using Templa’s Contracts, Pay and Billing modules. This gave Minster the chance to see the software in operation first hand and Templa the opportunity to tailor the package to meet some of Minster’s particular requirements. In August 2018 the pilot concluded successfully and Steve Seaton, Minster’s Group Financial Controller, gave the green light for rollout across the network.
In terms of payroll alone, Steve recognises the huge significance of the project for his franchisees. “Until now, our branches have relied on a combination of spreadsheets and paper-based scheduling to manage their staff, calculate gross pay and run their payroll. With Templa, they will now have access to sophisticated rostering software, as well as online, real-time timesheet completion and consolidated payslips for staff working across multi locations and at different pay rates. It’s a big change for them, but they are about to notice a welcome reduction in payroll errors and benefit from much tighter control over their labour budgets. By also using the Templa Billing and Stores Control modules from day one, they will be able to produce invoices in the format that clients prefer and with one consolidated invoice for the different services they provide. Further down the line, branches will be using the software’s Quality Audit, Advanced Forms and Mobile modules, giving them access to the full range of benefits enjoyed by Templa’s existing clients.”
Steve particularly praised Templa’s flexible attitude throughout the pilot. “Although we are essentially purchasing an off-the-shelf package, Templa has bent over backwards to accommodate some of the specific challenges facing our franchisees, as well as incorporating into the software the natural segregation lines between the branches.”
The software also brings benefits from the franchisor’s point of view. Whereas the branches previously submitted monthly revenue returns to Minster, which acted as a basis for royalty calculations, revenue by branch will now be visible through the system and royalties calculated automatically.
Rick Stoor, Templa’s MD is particularly pleased with progress. “Minster is our first franchised client. Working alongside Steve and his team has given us the opportunity to develop a very close understanding of the franchised cleaning model and we now look forward to engaging with other franchised providers who are keen to support their branches in a similar way.”