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Contracting Profits surveys its readership every year to ascertain industry profitability, product purchases and market share. Building service contractors can use this data to see how they measure up against industry averages.

Last year’s survey showed BSCs were optimistic about 2015, and those predictions held true with 65 percent of this year’s survey respondents reporting higher profits than 2014. The optimism continues, as 78 percent of respondents expect 2016 profits to be even better.

The majority of contractors service the commercial market, but BSCs saw gains in government and industrial markets in the past year. With schools continuing to contemplate outsourcing, the education market remains a target for growth. The increasingly aging population also makes the healthcare market a popular target for contractors.

It’s no surprise that the standard BSC tools of the trade — brooms, mops, cloths, cleaners, disinfectants and vacuums — are the products purchased most often. However, BSCs continue to look to increase productivity, evidenced by an increase in floor equipment purchases over 2015. Also of note is the fact that even though engineered water is a new innovation to the industry, it’s already being used by nearly 20 percent of respondents.

BSCs still buy the majority of their products from jan/san distributors, but the amount purchased direct from manufacturers grew from 2015 and doubled 2014’s percentage. This amount may even grow larger in coming years as BSCs embrace Internet of Things technology, which, at least initially, will primarily be sold direct from manufacturers and not through distributors.
 
Other Contracting Profits’ surveys show that facility executives will pay a higher price for cleaning if BSCs are also able to offer add-on services. As was the case in 2015, carpet cleaning, floor stripping, window washing and stone care remain the most popular diversified offerings.