A reader asks: "We appreciate your assistance while on probation with a very important customer. Do you agree that if we are fulfilling the contract specifications the customer has no legitimate grounds for dismissing us?"

First of all, congratulations on the phenomenal progress you have made in the last few weeks. The building is notably cleaner which is what the customer really wants to see. I suggest you look at your buffing/burnishing frequency for the guard house and other high traffic areas. My understanding is that you are not buffing/burnishing those areas and/or using a restorative product.

Simply stripping/recoating four times per year will not work with our without chair mats. It is very important that you are sweeping/mopping the floors each visit. Finally, you need to look at sweeping/blowing/hosing entrance areas to reduce grit being tracked in. This is a simple task that is often overlooked.

We will certainly support your varying from the established schedule if it achieves the desired results. This does not mean that we expect you to spend above/beyond income but recommend flexibility with high traffic areas that will require more attention than other low traffic areas. You will be spending the same amount of labor but allocating resources better. This has been a challenge in the past when you focused on the schedule, rather than results.

The question to answer is: Are the floors clean and safe as best you can achieve with resources available.

Upon my return visit, I would like to observe your night crew cleaning a carpeted area, spotting carpet, inspecting/servicing vacuum cleaners, conducting a real QC inspection and inspecting all of the equipment. Someone needs to take ownership of actually verifying equipment and processes are being performed correctly. Having it listed on a piece of paper is just one step. Please, no more excuses about equipment deliveries since you have had sufficient time to get organized and up to speed. I really hope that you have this part of the process working smoothly. We are here to help but cannot proceed further until you achieve what we have already suggested. As to interpretation of our suggestions, contract, specs, etc. the goal is a clean, safe building relative to traffic and budget.

Looking forward to seeing you soon. 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.