How to Lower the Cost of Janitorial Services

It may seem strange that the owner of a janitorial company would be giving advise on how to reduce the cost of janitorial services.  But the fact is that the more efficient manner in which janitorial services are provided the better and longer lasting the relationship between client and company.  For the recipient this means consistently getting what you are paying for; and for the janitorial company this means less resources being allocated to fix problems and police an account.  So how do both parties arrive at this win-win position?  It’s all in the cleaning schedule, which will list both the janitorial services and the frequency with which they will be performed .  In order to build a cost effective cleaning schedule you must first identify all of the janitorial services that you truly need.  I always tell prospective clients that if it is something small and you have the resources, then do not pay a janitorial company to perform the service.  Do it yourself.  Some examples of this are spot cleaning walls in a kitchen, wiping down desktops, cleaning the inside of refrigerators and microwaves, doing dishes and cleaning the kitchen sink.  The important thing here is to take ownership of these areas and to maintain them and to not let employees blame the janitorial company if these areas are not living up to expectations.  It is common for employees who are unaware of the janitorial services included in the cleaning contract to adopt a see-dirt-clean-dirt mentality.  They attribute any dirt or dust they see to poor performance on the part of the janitorial company.  This can over time create a great deal of ill will towards the cleaning crew and allot of unnecessary requests and complaints for the facilities or office manager.

Once the areas that need professional cleaning have been identified, the next step is to honestly determine the frequency with which each janitorial service should be provided.  It is important to not try and just cut back on frequency in order to save money- unless doing so will not cause any problems. Being in touch with both customer and employee expectations is crucial. For example, do employees expect to have their trash emptied everyday? Are they eating at their desks and will leaving food and beverages in the trash for more than a day create unpleasant odors and/or attract insects? If so will ALL of the people in the workplace truly not mind? If the answer is “no”, then trash removal on a daily basis must be included in the cleaning schedule.  But there is also a bit of caution that needs to be exercised here as well.  I once had an experienced franchisor tell me that no one reads cleaning schedules in any detail; rather they only look at the general outline and the number of items listed therein.  In essence, many janitorial companies pump up cleaning schedules in order to meet client expectations.  However,  the truth is that the janitorial company has no intention of ever providing these services at the frequency shown.  They are betting that no one will ever read the cleaning schedule in detail and then check to see if the items listed therein are being done.  As well, what is listed in these pumped-up schedules amounts to overkill most of the time anyways.  The frequency can be cut way back to what is truly necessary, creating a thinner, more efficient and more cost effective cleaning schedule.  A cleaning schedule should not be put on a scale and weighed in order to determine it’s worth.  Rather it should be reviewed in detail for what it accomplishes in terms of maximizing in house resources and addressing crucial janitorial needs.

One final caveat is that of special services.  Most establishments have a need for carpet and floor maintenance.  Addressing these areas on a regular basis is not only good for the longevity of the material and the overall hygiene of the facility, but it is also cost effective.  For the most part, carpet and flooring that is cleaned on a regular basis is easier to clean and consequently cheaper to clean.  Most janitorial companies will generally offer a reduced rate in both of these areas if it is included in the cleaning schedule.  This also takes the hassle out of trying to locate and or schedule the work. A reputable janitorial company will also calendar the work and let you know when it is time to perform the service, saving you both time and money!