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?"

As we noted in prior articles, converting your operations from a commercial BSC (Building Service Contractor) to in house operations may be more challenging than first thought. Many property managers and owners chose to outsource part or all of their custodial operations to simplify their lives as well as focus on their core strengths of managing properties rather than cleaning them. Their decision was based on their own skill sets as well as the challenge of dealing with changing laws and regulations that could better be handled by SME (subject matter experts) in those fields.

Based on a review of your operations, I recommend you continue to outsource to a commercial BSC that has proven qualifications. Although they may appear to cost more up front, they will make up any differential over time due to you not having to re-bid contracts and micromanage them and their crews. You need to consult with someone who can help you to develop a practical, site specific Statement of Work that captures the needs of the varying accounts you have. You also need to identify a pool of service contractors who can provide the level of services you require at a competitive price. Finally, you may need to consider hiring one or more day porters who report directly to you. They can be used for emergencies as well as some day work in secure areas. If these are your staff then you will need to deal with payroll, benefits and other issues or you can simply negotiate with the winning bidder for the position.

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.