A reader writes: “I am the project manager of an office complex. I am responsible for making sure the cleaning service abides by the contract specifications. I conduct random inspections and respond to complaints from tenants. Any suggestions on how to get the most from the cleaning service?”

You have a very important function in the successful operation of the offices and buildings under your management. Following are some suggestions that might help:

1. My primary recommendation is that you read and understand the specifications so that you can have reasonable interpretation of the standards and expectations that can become a great source of contention if there are differences in applications.

2. Some questions to consider are:

a. What are the cleaning times allowed in the buildings? For instance, you need to make sure the cleaning crew is cleaning within the assigned time frames; although this does not necessarily mean that they have to be on site the entire time allotted.

b. Are there day porter functions that require a person to touch up glass, spot clean entrances, inspect and stock rest rooms and perform other tasks during the day?

c. Are there high profile offices that require more attention due to the expectations of the tenant?

d. Do you understand your limitations in requiring additional work not specified in the contract which might lead to additional charges?

e. How do you define “clean” and does it match the contract specifications?

f. I highly recommend you develop a close working relationship with the contractor’s onsite supervisor and their direct report, usually a project manager. You need to develop a level of trust and communication with them so that they are comfortable with your definition of clean and your overall expectations.

We will continue these thoughts in a future article.

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net