Selecting the best janitorial services firm is key to maintaining a clean and healthy environment for your employees, tenants and customers.
However, the competitive marketplace can make choosing the right services a challenge for building owners.
But you don’t have to blindly select the first company you come across.
Here are 10 factors that you should consider to help you find a cleaning company that’ll suit your business cleaning needs:
1. Market Reputation
Research suggests that many consumers see low prices as a sign of low quality – and they may be right.
Janitorial services that claim to be the least expensive may be out for a quick fix rather than establishing a long-term working relationship based on reliability, quality services and your property’s requirements.
You’ll know that a company is well versed in the industry when it appreciates and takes great pride in its workforce and product. Keep in mind that commercial janitorial services are labor-intensive.
One of the best ways of getting more information about the quality of service of a prospective commercial cleaning company near you is through testimonials, word of mouth, and references.
A janitorial company is good if other businesses in your industry have used their services and are satisfied enough to endorse them to others.
2. Transparent Pricing and Clear Cleaning Bids
There’s no excuse for commercial cleaning prices to be unclear.
Often, a fuzzy pricing structure shows that a company doesn’t understand how to accurately price its services.
Other times, it’s a blatant attempt to hide extra charges. Either way, don’t work with janitorial companies that can’t offer easy-to-understand pricing and cleaning bids.
You may lose a lot of money in the long run and may not get the quality services you expected.
A good janitorial service pricing will generally consider the following factors:
Examples include office, retail, industrial, healthcare, hospitality, medical office, manufacturing and mixed-use.
Your property’s classification will determine cleaning specifics, as well as the products and equipment needed.
Different floor types require different maintenance procedures and practices.
The janitorial company may break down your facility’s square footage by the different flooring types within your property.
This will allow them to calculate a spot-on assessment of your floor care and know exactly what to include in the cleaning services – for example, tile burnishing, ceramic tile, scrubbing, and carpet cleaning.
Additional examples of finishes are elevator interior cabs, restroom fixtures, countertop surfaces and door materials.
What services are you looking for from the janitorial company?
Make your expectations clear so the cleaning company can provide an accurate service price quote.
List everything you know you’ll need to avoid being charged more than the initial quote amount—which definitely won’t make you happy.
Expectations and your financial budget should be in-line with one another.
Consumables include hand sanitizers, toilet paper, soap, hand towels, and other restroom supplies.
Some janitorial services will manage the use of consumables in your property, and will, therefore, include it in their quote.
In this case, they’ll need to know the daily number of occupants and visitors in your property/facility for more accurate pricing.
Frequency of Service
How often will you need cleaning services? Daily? Weekly? Monthly? Quarterly?
A good janitorial company should give you recommendations on how often you need the cleaning tasks performed.
For instance, high-traffic areas such as restrooms may need to be cleaned and re-stocked several times a day, while carpet cleaning done quarterly.
3. Commitment to Safety and Health
If you run a busy property with a lot of traffic, the risk of transmitting diseases such as the common cold, the flu, and COVID-19 increases.
A qualified janitorial company can assist with effective measures on how to mitigate the risk of transmission in your property/facility.
Additionally, the janitorial services provider’s operations checklist should also consider the safety of your facility and those who enter the property.
This means they should put up the correct warning signs whenever necessary to prevent slips, falls, and trips as well as ensure high-quality indoor air.
4. Good Communication
Research shows that businesses with effective communication channels are up to 25% more productive. This means good communication is vital for high-level service delivery.
Ensure you know whom to contact when there’s a problem or when you need something. Your janitorial services company should also communicate regularly and on time for smooth operations.
You can improve and enhance your communication with your commercial cleaning company by:
· Defining your goals: As a property/facility manager, you need to give your janitorial company clear and achievable goals, outlining what’s required on specific tasks.
It’s also important to let your cleaning team know the objectives of your organization so that they work in line with your goals.
· Choosing an appropriate medium for communication: While face-to-face communication is recommended, it’s not always applicable, especially in large facilities.
Take time to decide whether communication will be through printed copy, email, or an integrated software platform.
· Involving everyone: Actively encourage regular maintenance updates and progress reports and keep lines of communications open at all times.
· Listening: Communication is a two-way process. Listening to your janitorial team allows you to learn about underlying facility problems that may need to be addressed as soon as possible.
5. Trained Professionals
Without professionalism, everything else is called into question.
Professionalism should not just end at wearing nice uniforms to create a good image. It should extend to all other aspects of the business.
It’s estimated that over 90% of employees are more loyal to companies that invest in their skills by training them.
This means trained janitors will be more dedicated and efficient in what they do, giving you some peace of mind.
Cleaning isn’t just about dusting, mopping, and sweeping—it’s an actual skill that needs to be taught.
The cleaning process is a blend of chemistry and mechanics (the interaction of cleaning products such as solvents, detergents, and disinfectants with the mechanical action of the cleaning tools or equipment on a particular surface, under prevailing external conditions.)
Without proper training, the cleaners may offer substandard work.
For example, using cleaning products or equipment that are too aggressive for a particular surface may cause irreparable damage to the surface. Or, using some cleaning products in extra-ordinary temperatures (too high or too low) may make them less effective.
For this reason, it’s crucial to hire a cleaning company with trained, knowledgeable, and dedicated staff for top-notch quality. Additionally, the janitors should perform their tasks safely.
6. Lower Than Average Employee Turnover
Employee turnover is generally high in the service industry.
For instance, in the janitorial industry, the employee turnover of below-average employers can be well over 200%.
This means that in a given year, a poorly run janitorial service provider may replace its entire cleaning staff with a whole new crew, twice!
How a High Janitorial Turnover Can Affect Your Business
High turnover from your janitorial company not only creates headaches for you as a property or facility manager, but it also impacts how you run your business with substandard service delivery, missed deadlines and forgotten duties resulting in complaints.
A new cleaning crew will require fresh training, and this means your property will bear the brunt of the employees’ learning curve—and who’d want a constant stream of new faces in their facility every month?
Since high employee turnover is financially straining, some cleaning companies will make up for their losses by reducing employee wages, limiting cleaning budgets, neglecting important cleaning equipment, and (eventually) passing this cost to you by charging too much while providing sub-par work.
Choosing a Janitorial Company with a Low Employee Turnover
A professional janitorial company understands how much of an impact high turnover can have to their clients. Therefore, they strive to make their employee turnover as low as possible. The best cleaning company should:
· Have an employee turnover of less than 40%
· Attract experienced and thoroughly screen new hires
· Provide comprehensive training
· Use hands-on management techniques to offer feedback and support to its team
· Promote employee recognition opportunities and other incentives
· Offer competitive wages and worker benefits
These practices will keep janitors motivated and prevent them from finding work somewhere else.
7. Commitment to Sustainability
As stated earlier, the best janitorial service providers should offer green cleaning solutions to minimize harsh chemical exposure to the occupants of your building.
This will also help reduce your company’s carbon footprint, while still giving your facility the deep cleaning it deserves.
But, as a property/facility manager, how can you ensure the cleaning company you’re hiring is really invested in green cleaning?
The following tips should come in handy:
Green Cleaning Documentation
Request copies of their green cleaning services program; this may include an environmental policy statement, a green cleaning technical manual, and a company green cleaning policy.
Green Cleaning Equipment
Green Cleaning Products
Determine whether their disinfectants and other cleaning chemicals have a Green Seal certification, which means that they have been tested and approved as eco-friendly.
Likewise, ensure the cleaning products have an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approval.
Reusable Cleaning Products
A sound green cleaning program should include microfiber cleaning cloths and other reusable products.
Furthermore, it should have a color-coded microfiber cloth system that will help reduce cross-contamination in your commercial space and keep the general work environment healthier.
Green Cleaning Training Program for Employees
When hiring a new janitorial company, ask for confirmation that the janitors have completed a Green Cleaning training program (some companies may have a training program in place but don’t make use of it).
Don’t forget to request client references in which they’ve provided green cleaning services.
From mobile apps to chatbots, virtually every industry has benefited from the evolving technological advancements– and the commercial cleaning industry is no exception.
Emerging technologies have made the cleaning and maintenance process faster, easier, more effective, and cheaper. They have also enhanced safety in various commercial facilities.
For best results, choose a janitorial services company that has adopted various technologies in their day-to-day operations, including:
Communication systems such as Slack have sprung up to improve the interaction between cleaning companies and their clients, boosting the quality of service. Other devices such as modern two-way radios for janitors can cover up to 250,000 square feet outdoors and 20 floors indoors.
With such devices, the cleaning crew members can easily and quickly dispatch to different areas of the building without wasting time.
Software applications like Servi-Tek’s proprietary Servi-Trak software are specially designed for service industries such as commercial cleaning.
You can monitor task completion across different areas of the facility to ensure your resources are being utilized efficiently.
Additionally, the data collected from such software can be used to determine forecasts for future contracts and cut out unnecessary costs.
Janitors can also use the app to send pictures of completed work, report maintenance issues, and conduct audits.
With automated reporting from your janitorial team, you can receive detailed analytics to prove that specific tasks were completed by the expected deadline, saving you time and money.
Modern Cleaning Equipment
State-of-the-art cleaning equipment such as electrostatic sprayers can save labor, time, and money.
Some modern sprayers can disinfect and clean up to 18,000 square feet in just one hour. Even better, the equipment is easy to set up and operate.
Backpack vacuums, while more costly, offer improved mobility, ergonomics an micro-filtration systems.
GPS Time Tracking
GPS time tracking allows employers to monitor the cleaning crew during work hours without being there physically.
It allows you to know the exact time a task was started and completed as well as the performance of each task.
9. Insurance and Management of Liabilities
A good janitorial company does not only protect itself, but it also ensures your property is well protected. Knowing that your janitorial company is fully insured will give you some peace of mind.
Your prospective commercial cleaning company should have four main coverage types to manage liabilities and mitigate risk including:
Also known as business liability insurance, general insurance protects your company from general claims involving property damage and bodily injuries. It can help cover attorney fees and medical expenses resulting from the damage and injuries.
In most states, general liability doesn’t cover auto accidents, employee injuries, professional mistakes, intentional acts, and punitive damages.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Every business that has employees is required to have workers’ compensation insurance. It covers lost wages and medical costs of work-related injuries.
For example, if a janitor trips on a flight of stairs or slips on a wet floor while performing routine cleaning tasks at your facility, the janitorial company will cover the medical expenses through the workers’ comp insurance.
Auto vehicle insurance provides coverage for vehicles owned by the cleaning company. The insurance covers costs for property damage or bodily injuries to a third party in the event of an accident.
The coverage may also include vehicle repair and replacement.
An umbrella liability insurance policy provides an additional layer of coverage over the primary insurance policies already in place.
For example, a janitorial company with a general liability policy limit of $1,000,000 per occurrence may purchase an umbrella liability policy that could provide an additional[A1] $5,000,000 to $10,000,000 of the liability limit.
10. Customized Services
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to janitorial services. Every property comes with a different layout, traffic rate, and cleanliness expectations.
All businesses want to save money, and one of the best ways to get value for your money is by not paying for services you don’t need.
For this reason, work with a janitorial company that can customize a cleaning and maintenance schedule with your facility’s needs in mind.
This means that a commercial cleaning company shouldn’t offer you quotes based on square footage alone.
A good company should understand how you use your commercial space and what you consider important to provide an accurate price quote with the services you really need in order to create value for your property.
Servi-Tek Facility Solutions is the best-in-class full-service janitorial provider.
Contact us today so we can enhance the value of your property