Productivity is the magic word when it comes to custodial operations. When we think of tasks (what we do) and frequency (how often we do it), we need to realize that the less often a task is performed per week (dusting, sweeping, damp mopping), the longer it will take each time. There are different published time standards that allow a set amount of time to perform what are considered daily or regular tasks. These time standards usually assume that the task if going to be performed often enough to avoid build up.


Build up of soils can cause a task to take longer than the published standards. When a customer indicates that they only want to pay for services one day per week instead of five or more, they need to understand that it takes longer to perform the same tasks to the same results if performed less often. No matter how well a worker is trained or how productive their equipment we reach a tipping point of being unable to go faster and still achieve the desired outcomes. Something has to give. Either we reduce the expectations or we adjust the time standards to reflect the additional required time to achieve those same results. 


Of course, the customer also needs to understand that the area will only be “clean” as per specifications immediately after the service is rendered since use and traffic will diminish the appearance and overall cleanliness rather rapidly in a high use area. Be sure to invest in appropriate training, purchasing of quality chemicals and effective use of equipment and tools designed for the job at hand. 


Educating your customers these realities can be challenging but necessary for long term success. 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