The Great Debate: Internal vs. External Cleaning Teams

by | Jun 13, 2024

In the food and beverages industry, cleanliness is a top priority; very high hygienic standards should be met as a compliance regulation and for consumer safety that ensures the brand is maintained throughout the process of considering human safety. Auditors and bodies regulating the industries have set very high standards for disease prevention and contamination, principally associated with the drying industry off the human chains. Non-compliance has penalties that are severe, including but not limited to fines, legal action, and the possibility of business closure. Building trust with the consumers and partners is, therefore gaining market strength in a clean environment.

When deciding on having a cleaning structure for your facility, you have two main ways, which are the internal cleaning team and the external cleaning team. Now, let’s discuss both.


Internal Cleaning Team: Pros & Cons

Internal Cleaning Team: Advantages

1. Control: Managing and overseeing directly how cleaning is performed to align with particular standards and expectations.
2. Flexibility: An in-house team can easily cater to shifting cleaning needs on short notice.
3. Accountability: Employees may begin owning up to the place better and become more responsible for cleanliness up close.


Internal Cleaning Team: Disadvantages

1. Management Time: Significant time and effort are required to manage staff schedules, handle overtime, and cover absences.
2. Training: Continuous training on proper cleaning techniques and safe chemical use is essential, diverting resources from core operations.
3. Equipment Costs: Investing in and maintaining cleaning equipment can be costly and complex.
4. Compliance Burden: The auditing process demands meticulous documentation and constant vigilance to stay compliant.
5. Liability: The business bears full responsibility for any hygiene lapses, posing significant risks.
6. Export Limitations: Rigorous auditing requirements can limit export opportunities, as non-compliance with international standards may prevent market entry.


External Cleaning Team: Advantages & Considerations

External Cleaning Team: Advantages

1. Specialization: Outsourced cleaning firms have achieved specialization by working with the unique needs of the food and beverage industry to maintain stringent standards of cleanliness.
2. Cost-effectiveness: There is a fixed one-off cost, but external teams bring their equipment and are responsible for their maintenance, thus cutting down on long-term expenditure.
3. Focus on Core Business: It enables businesses to create time for focusing and concentrating on core business with delegation of cleaning responsibilities, ultimately maximizing productivity among other companies.
4. Reduced Liability: External companies carry their own insurance, mitigating risks for the business.
5. Regulatory Compliance: External teams manage auditing, you meet all the industry standards, and your staff is relieved of pitiful office work.
6. Advanced Equipment: Companies such as SGA invest in research and development to continue making a difference in equipment efficiency, hence benefiting the company together with its clients.


External Cleaning Team: Disadvantages

1. Initial Costs: Although long-term savings can be achieved, the upfront cost for hiring an external team may be high.
2. Less Control: Outsourcing means you have less direct control over the cleaning process and must rely on the external team to meet your standards.
3. Communication Issues: There may be communication barriers between your staff and the external team, leading to potential misunderstandings or delays.
4. Dependency: Relying on an external team can create dependency, which might be problematic if the service provider fails to meet expectations or if their services become unavailable.
5. Security Concerns: Having external personnel on-site can pose security risks, especially in sensitive areas where proprietary processes or information are involved.


Limitations Of Auditing Requirements & Export Market Considerations

Auditing Limitations:

1. Stringent Standards: Meeting strict and ever-changing standards demands careful documentation and practice in the cleaning operation.
2. Resource Allocation: Maintaining compliance takes up considerable resources that would otherwise be used for other crucial business purposes.


Export Market Insights

The exporting of Australian food and beverages accumulated to $80.4 billion, which is an increase of 17% for agriculture. Exports sent for the beef and veal market to $10.7 billion in 2022-23, up 8% compared to the year before. Staying true to form this year, for 2022-23, Victoria remains the nation’s food and fibre leader in exports, with grain and meat exports heading the victor.

Exports of Victorian food and fibre were forecast to increase to more than $20 billion by the time 2030 arrived—crystal-clear evidence of the state’s strategic plan and sector resilience. The export market faces challenges such as high costs and stringent regulations but also presents opportunities for growth through innovation and expansion into new markets like China, Japan, and the US (China lifted bans on Australian beef on May 30, 2024). The Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) has increased scrutiny on agricultural deals, highlighting the importance of compliance and strategic planning for foreign investments.



Indeed, External Cleaning Is the Better of the Two Alternatives

With the complexities and problems involving cleanliness which the food and beverage industry encounters, outsourcing an external team that deals with cleaning is deemed a more practical and beneficial resolution. Outside teams possess specialized expertise, take some of the burden off your workforce, make sure your business is compliant, and free you up from the time-consuming auditing process. Regaining more excellent cleaning results, reduced risks, overall improvement in business efficiency, and advancement in business success can be achieved if you entrust your cleaning to professionals outside your business door.

At SGA, we have over 25 years of experience in external cleaning. We take pride in the fact that we can meet and, better still, exceed your requirements while simultaneously providing both safety and cleanliness. External cleaning often has many costs and efficiency benefits, but what stands out with superiority is when the price of inner cleaning is talked about. For more depths and greater understanding on this topic, I referenced sources such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Austrade reports on the export market, industry standards Austrade, Aussie Food & Grocery, Invest Victoria, Allens: A leading international law firm, etc.