A reader writes: "I manage properties and struggle with the poor, inconsistent services that I receive from commercial contractors in janitorial, carpet cleaning and floor maintenance. They always promise a lot more than they produce after a few weeks. I am considering going in house to save money as well as simplify outcomes. Any thoughts?"

We discussed the process for using an in house crew if you choose that option. We also noted that there is a possibility of converting some of the work to in house and outsourcing specialty work such as carpet cleaning, stripping/scrubbing/recoating, etc. We stressed the importance of identifying and hiring a qualified supervisor who can manage the crews, schedules and routes necessary to successfully operate your own custodial services. Only you can decide if it is worth the effort and resources that will be required. You also need to look at any opportunities you many miss while managing the custodial services.

If you choose to contract with a qualified BSC (Building service Contractor) you will still have certain duties in managing the outcomes and customer expectations. I highly recommend you require any BSC to provide a QC inspection process that provides a web based system for managing complaints, resolutions, requests and even positive comments regarding service. You should be able to use your computer to check on the day to day operations of each account you manage. You should also require your BSC to provide detailed schedules of when project work is to be performed so that you can advise customers and tenants of the pending work.

Again, the key is using facts to determine your ROI (return on investment) for which option you choose.

In you go in house at this time you will have a game plan subject to finding a competent supervisor to manage the crews.

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.