Have you had challenges with getting quality commercial cleaning results? Does it feel like you are dealing with cleaning issues repeatedly? Do you feel like you always have to manage or over manage the contractor or custodial department?
Whether you selected your cleaning vendor or you inherited them, if they are doing a bad job, you will have to deal with the consequences.
- You may have to field complaints from employees or your bosses about un-emptied garbage cans, un-stocked or filthy washrooms and dirty break rooms.
- Your company pays the price in the form of extra sick days, and that hits your bottom line in an insidious non-obvious way over the course of time.
So lets look at the big picture and determine the real “cost of clean” verses the “value of clean”. Here are some strategies you can use to ensure you hire the right janitorial service provider this time.
Why Choosing the Right Janitorial Services Provider is Critical
The cleanliness of your company’s buildings is important for two key reasons:
- Visitors and prospects often judge your company’s products and services on what your place of business looks like. In a recent survey, 94% say that they would avoid a business if they find that the washroom is too dirty.
- Employees are more productive and engaged when working in a clean, comfortable, and safe environment. Unplanned absences from work cost employers $225 Billion per year and a decrease in productivity of up to 54% . Proper cleaning reduces the chances of catching the flu or cold by 80% and reduces absenteeism by 46%.
Ensure an Accurate Commercial Cleaning Budget by Looking at the Following Factors
The following factors can drive your costs up – or down:
1) Do You Have a Well Defined Scope of Work (SOW)?
The SOW must be detailed to ensure you will get the cleaning results you want. For example:
- Are you specifying a full office cleaning or are you just specifying garbage removal?
- When you are asking for cleaning are you being specific or are you just saying we want our office clean?
A lack of specifics allows cleaners to employ shortcuts such as the technique of skip cleaning. For example the cleaners may go into the office and do the highly visible work such as emptying the garbage cans but will not dust or sanitize the surfaces that get touched frequently such as light switches, phones, and table tops. They may also skip some areas of your business completely on certain visits.
“What are the areas you want clean?” and “what are the outcomes you want to see?” are important questions to ask.
For example, when budgeting for a lunch room cleaning you must determine what to clean, how often, and how often it must be sanitized. This includes:
- lunch tables
If your contract does not list this kind of specific detail, you are likely not getting the outcomes you are seeking.
All this plays into your overall commercial cleaning budget . If you are seeking to squeeze the budget, and your cleaning contract is detailed you can determine:
- Are there some areas that just have to be cleaned rather than sanitized?
- Can some areas be skipped or cleaned less frequently?
Without a comprehensive scope of work, it is hard, if not impossible, to go through the janitorial service hiring process and have successful outcomes or to restructure your current agreements.
2) What are the Required Working Hours?
In most cases, your business will be cleaned after hours. Normally, you will get the best rates by not restricting the night-time hours in which the vendor is allowed to perform the clean up duties. This may not be a factor if you have in-house custodial staff.
There is another significant factor to consider though in terms of when you are having the after hours cleaning done…electricity costs. By having a cleaning crew perform their duties earlier and having the benefit of more light or daytime hours, you could save significant money in electricity costs.
Obviously the larger building you have, the more significant this factor can be. In a 500,000 square foot building, for example, you could save up to $100,000 per year (depending on rates). Be sure to consider the electricity cost of having the lights and temperature control system on all night versus being able to shut it down for a few hours.
3) How Often is Cleaning Required?
The type of business often dictates how often and how thoroughly the place of business will need to be cleaned.
- If your business is a service business, it may need to be cleaned just a few days a week.
- A retail business often requires daily cleaning but it could be less depending on foot traffic.
- Warehouse and manufacturing environments may need to be cleaned several times a day, or may require more cleaning hours per square foot due to dirtier working conditions.
How to Establish Your Baseline Costs
You may be wondering what metrics you should use to establish baseline cleaning costs so that you can justify and monitor your cleaning budget. You should review the following to help you establish your baseline:
- Time and motion studies.
- Association surveys designed to establish averages and baselines for specific industries.
Once you review these resources, you can come up with a baseline and budget based on your unique circumstances. As you create your baseline and budget, remember that time and motion studies are averages and you have to account for density and other contributing factors that can make the cleaning harder or easier to perform.
For example, basics like washroom cleaning usually are pretty consistent, however in a retail environment where there may be higher than average usage, the average numbers are less likely to be accurate. Size and types of dispensers in washrooms would also factor into the equation.
Creating an Accurate Commercial Cleaning Budget IS Possible
There are many factors that go into establishing and ensuring your budget is correct for your facility. Start by nailing down your scope of work including cleaning frequency. This allows you to see where your dollars are being spent and allows you to have the most control and flexibility to change budgets should you have to.
As you focus on nailing down your scope of work, you might find that it does not contain enough detail. As a result, you may discover that you are getting poor outcomes due to not budgeting enough for certain tasks. Often these are tasks that go largely unseen, but have a big impact on the bottom line when it comes to employee productivity.
Creating a janitorial services budget is just one part of your company’s maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) needs. Cost-effective strategies will help you create an MRO plan that will help keep costs low while increasing your company’s bottom line.
Considering custodial services make up the largest single line item in an MRO budget it is important to have a firm handle on all factors that play into the making of an accurate budget. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive (40-pages) e-book, Dynamic Planning for Your MRO Business Needs. The book is free; just click the button below to download it.