Today’s economy can bring challenges way beyond which mop system or chemical to use for a given task. Contract adjustments can come out of the blue since a company will often keep any news of cuts or layoffs secret until the appropriate time for an announcement. By then, they may already have made decisions based on perceived financial savings and not custodial best practices. 

Many managers will look at a reduction as a given percentage or even square foot reduction and not take into account the impact such cuts in certain tasks can have on employee health/morale or even customer’s perceptions. If they are simply going by a $/SF (dollar per Square Foot) rate they can be off since the less area covered means the cost per SF can actually go up as service goes down. 

How the $/SF is calculated can also have a major impact on the final number. The formula is usually to divide the total annual cost by the total SF being cleaned per night/visit. Example: $100,000.00/125,000 SF = $0.80/SF. Of course, there may be more complex ways of determining the cost. What is included and excluded is very important. The key is to be consistent.

There should be consistency in what is and is not included in the final calculations. The recommended approach is to simply include day to day custodial and exclude tag work (extra cost projects such as stripping/recoating, carpet cleaning, window washing, trash removal, pest control, etc.) since one account may not have all of these services provided. It would be poor math to include some costs in one account and not in the other. We will look at this further in a future article.

It is important that the BSC be perceived as a partner in the process of reducing costs and not simply another expense to slash. 

Your comments and questions are always welcome. 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