If you are in charge of the janitorial services at your facility, you are likely in charge of many other services and purchasing decisions. And while I don’t know your specific situation, I suspect you regularly get pressure to cut costs. The competitive business environment of our day requires a constant effort to keep expenses in check.
When it comes to the janitorial program, in addition to many other services, cutting costs can potentially result in a loss of service quality. The challenge for any facility manager is finding the right balance between keeping costs low and service quality high. In the construction industry, there is a saying: “You can have it cheap, quickly, or good quality. Pick two.” The same is partially true in the cleaning industry.
But is there a way to keep expenses in check, or perhaps reduce them, while maintaining a high cleaning standard? Can you cut costs without cutting quality?
Let me suggest two possible solutions.
#1 - Modify the Scope of Work
In the janitorial industry, 60% of our expenses (give or take a little) are related to cleaning labor. To lower costs, we must reduce labor hours. One way to do this is by modifying the scope of work. Sometimes, cleaning companies will clean certain areas a certain way with a specific frequency, and no one ever asks if that’s the best way. For instance, maybe there is a set of offices in your facility that don’t get very much foot traffic. Cleaning 1x per week might be sufficient, but the current program calls for daily cleaning.
Take inventory of your facility and figure out the true cleaning needs of each area. What tasks are needed daily? How often does the trash need to be removed? Should vacuuming be done in the office daily, or perhaps just in the common areas? Work with a qualified cleaning contractor who can help give suggestions on the most efficient way to keep your building looking and feeling clean.
#2 – Eliminate Project Work from the Monthly Bill
Over the years, I have seen many companies spend way too much money on their cleaning contracts because of project work (e.g., buffing floors, stripping & waxing, window washing, etc.). These tasks are all critical to a quality cleaning program. However, some contracts specify a certain amount of projects per year and include this in the monthly bill. Often this work isn’t actually needed at the intervals prescribed or it often gets skipped. In either case, you are throwing money away.
We recommend you establish a unit price for those extra services, then schedule them as needed. This is certain to save you money over the course of a year, sometimes a significant amount.