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?"

In a prior article we discussed front line and supervisory wages and benefits. We also need to consider what type and how much equipment you will need including one or more vehicles dedicated to transporting some units between smaller accounts that cannot sustain the unit alone. Based on preliminary work-loading, we have determined that you will need thirty five janitor carts with caddies and attendant supplies. You will also need twelve to fifteen mop sets including bucket/wringer, handles, etc. for certain buildings. In addition, you will need to set up a vehicle (van or truck) with at least one high capacity carpet cleaning system, at least three bucket sets for your floor techs, a low speed floor machine (17 -20 inch), a high speed burnisher (20 inch) and appropriate floor pads.

You have decided to save some money in the short run by using conventional string mops rather than the recommended microfiber flat mops. You will color code with tape with is acceptable. You will count on your vendor/distributor to provide on the job training for both your cleaning crew and your floor techs to generate consistency in outcomes. You are standardizing in many areas which will allow for volume buying as well as reduced number of parts such as belts and liners. You also have chosen to go with zone cleaning rather than team cleaning so that tenants see the same person cleaning. Finally, you have chosen to use a high quality upright vacuum cleaner instead of back pack units since you read an article that alleged that uprights pick up better.

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.