These days, almost every business across every sector is trying to control and reduce costs. In the property management business, costs are extensive and always seem to rise. One area that people often look to cut costs is commercial cleaning services.
Wanting to have greater control of these costs is a perfectly sound idea and worth exploring, but it must be done correctly. Cutting corners or simply reducing hours is not going to solve the problem. It might give you a short-term cost-saving but that will lead to higher costs down the line. Whatever you do, avoid going to the lowest bidder when it comes to commercial cleaning services. There are only a few ways a company can underbid the more established companies and none is good for your property.
Despite needing to reduce costs, there are several reasons you cannot compromise on the quality of commercial janitorial services. To a large extent, the value and appeal of your property are based on appearances, especially first impressions. Poor cleaning will diminish the appeal of the property, which will have a direct impact on the value of the property.
It could lead to disputes with tenants who are dissatisfied with the quality of the cleaning services. This can be costly and time-consuming. You do not want bad relationships with tenants. A small issue over janitorial could lead to other problems and complications. An untidy property could also turn potential tenants or investors away. Because this is the lifeblood of your business, you cannot let this happen. Cutting the quality of your cleaning services for small savings in one area of the business could lead to massive losses in other areas.
Another area where poor janitorial services could cost you is increased maintenance. If certain areas are not cleaned as often as they need to be, they might have to be repaired more often or replaced. Again, small savings could end up costing far more.
So, if you are going to reduce costs, you need to take a strategic approach. You need to speak to your commercial janitorial service company to discuss your options to reduce costs, but make sure you’re prepared.
By having all your facts and figures sorted, you will be in a stronger position to negotiate reduction options with the professional cleaning company.
Although the janitorial crews are the experts in the industry, having a clear understanding of the cleaning requirements for your property will help determine what you can do to trim down spending.
Look around the area, inspect each aspect that the janitorial company attends to. Where possible, observe how they operate, what equipment is used and how long different areas take to complete. You want a clear breakdown of each area, size, surface, and what needs to be done. Reference your agreed upon scope of work to determine how frequently each area is cleaned.
Through basic observation, you might notice some areas that can be cleaned less frequently because of low foot traffic. Or maybe you will uncover that the janitorial company is cleaning an office every night that is vacant.
Determine Priority Areas
This will depend on several factors, including traffic, the purpose of the area, the location, and the structure or surface.
Determine the Cleanable Space
This refers to actual cleanable square feet and is determined by subtracting non-cleanable and vacant space from the gross size of the property. It is important to have exact figures because if your “guesstimate” too high, you will pay too much. If you guess too low, you will be dissatisfied with your service.
Develop or Update the Scope of Work
This can be done in conjunction with experts from the professional cleaning company, but if you already have a detailed plan, it will make the process faster, more accurate, and more efficient.
Detail all cleanable areas and determine the cleaning frequency required. You should also calculate the frequency minimums for each area. Remember, this can always be fine-tuned later if you discover you have under or overestimated any areas. The minimum will again depend on traffic, the use of the area and any risk attached. An office, for example, might need to be cleaned once a week, while the bathrooms must be cleaned daily or, in some cases, more than once a day.
Observe as much as you can. Even the best professional cleaning companies get it wrong sometimes and you might notice time wasted moving cleaning equipment or materials that could be done more efficiently. Take note of these observations.
Now that you are armed with all the facts and figures, call a meeting with your professional cleaning company. Simply tell the company you need to reduce costs and you want to discuss how this can be done without lowering the standard of cleaning.
Tell the cleaning company about the preparation you have done to perhaps give them time before the meeting to do their own analysis and think of solutions. The company’s experience will give them an advantage and, between the two parties, you will be able to find ways in which costs can be reduced.
The commercial janitorial company might suggest a few ideas to reduce costs, such as the use of technology. Depending on the area, there are several automated machines that can clean faster and more efficiently than labor alone. Your cleaning vendor might have other innovative ideas and solutions that might not have been available or viable when the contract started but could now be effective.
Armed with your own research and the commercial cleaning company’s experience, you will be able to achieve a decent cost saving while still maintaining a clean and hygienic building.
Trustworthy and professional janitorial businesses will not want to lose you as a client, and given the opportunity, will find ways that work for both parties to reduce costs. The key is to find more efficient ways of cleaning that will not lower the standard of the service.
Are you finding yourself in a similar cost-reduction situation? Speak to the team at iNX by calling 1 (888) TEAM-INX or simply fill out a contact form. We value the relationships we have with our clients and are eager to work with them to identify innovative cost-saving cleaning solutions.
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