Woman cleaning restroom

Critics of janitorial outsourcing often cite administrative headaches and poor operational management as reasons to keep services in-house. In many cases, low-cost providers don’t take the time to invest in tools, training, and technology that enable smooth administration and operations. But that doesn’t always have to be the case.

Beginning with the transition process, a quality-oriented janitorial provider should be prepared to ensure smooth operations that don’t disrupt business. Among those issues is transitioning your existing staff to their payroll. You should also ask if they have dedicated transition personnel, how long that personnel will stay on site, and whether their transition plan is tailored to your business.

You should also ask about standard operating practices (SOPs). SOPs are the guidelines by which your facility is cleaned. They keep service workers accountable, and allow you to see, in detail, how your janitorial provider will address the specific cleaning needs of your facility.

This allows for clarity on what may seem like basic tasks. For instance, if someone is instructed to clean the restroom, what exactly does that entail? Without SOPs, individual cleaners may focus on different areas of the restroom, resulting in inconsistent service. With an SOP manual, they all march to the beat of the same drummer.

Low-cost janitorial providers may overlook these details. A quality-oriented janitorial provider is more invested in building a long-term partnership and will take the time to ensure your satisfaction with high service quality and smooth operations.

Alan France, CS-P, CSR-P, is Vice President of Quality and Sustainability at ABM Industries. He has been with ABM for 19 years. Prior to this year, Alan served as the Director of Sustainability, Environmental Services. In this role Alan was responsible for the oversight and the operational deployment of ABM GreenCare and worked closely with new and existing customers to implement and maintain our sustainable service programs. Alan worked with ABM's suppliers to ensure their newest products and innovations are introduced to the ABM GreenCare program.