A reader writes: “I have picked up my first car dealership to provide custodial services. Any tips on how to proceed would be appreciated.”

Congratulations on expanding your service range. As we discussed, all your other accounts have been 2-3 days per week and this dealership is seven days including the mechanic’s bays (six days) which we will discuss in detail in another article.

Remember that the showroom, rest rooms and open areas of an automobile dealership are very important in the image they are trying to project. Based on the management attitude, the car salesmen can be very neat or outright slobs with the perspective that they are there to make money, not be neat. This may mean a lot of “working lunches” where pizza, sodas and other food is brought in each day resulting in a lot to clean up that you may not have anticipated. Just accept it as part of the job and hope they limit it to the break room.

Some of the high profile areas are front entrances, glass doors, displays and the showroom floor. Since the floor in this dealership is twelve inch glazed tiles (with grout lines) you should be able to maintain it with a quality detergent that can be mopped on or used in an autoscrub machine. Insist on cleaning and sealing the grout if it has not been sealed in the last two to three years. Also resist any direction to apply floor finish (wax) for a glossy appearance since ceramic tile was not designed to take finish and the increased maintenance costs are unnecessary. Try to encourage the dealership to place absorbent pads under any vehicles that could leak oil, transmission fluid, antifreeze, etc. When you discover a spot take prompt action to clean it up with special attention to the grout lines which can absorb the oils and become stained rather quickly.

Since there are usually mechanic’s rest rooms make sure that the customer facilities are spotless, well stocked, odor free and presentable. A final note is to use a separate set of cleaning tools in the showroom area than the mechanic’s bays to avoid cross contamination.

Good luck with this new endeavor.

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