A reader writes: “We have a contract that was recently cut by 25 percent and are struggling with how to keep the tenants satisfied. Any suggestions would be appreciated.”

Upon closer scrutiny, I see that although the customer demanded a 25 percent reduction, you did not counter-offer with a similar reduction in tasks and frequencies. I also noted that the tenants were assured that there would be “no change in service frequencies or tasks.”

Since you readily agreed to this new price without challenging the specifications, you must have had some great margins in the past. The property manager is always going to squeeze where they can and since this is beginning to show its age, they are going to have to spend more money on replacing HVAC, replacing flooring and upgrading restrooms. Although these incremental changes should make your work easier it does not mean you can maintain the same tasks and frequencies as before without some concessions from the customer.

For instance, you are using old-fashioned mops that cannot be laundered. I noted that during a casual inspection of your janitor closets that the workers were trying to extend the life of these cotton mop heads by soaking them in bleach over the weekend. Not only does this create IAQ (indoor air quality) issues for them as well as the tenants, it can also damage floor finishes since they are not rinsing them well. These poor practices are resulting in dulling floors and increased need to scrub/recoat/buff/burnish the floors. Also, there is not color coding system apparent which means that workers will use the same mop on various surfaces.

Another point is that you are using upright vacuum cleaners when a backpack unit would be much more productive in not only cleaning the carpet but also cleaning the air of dust and microbes. Finally, I do not see that any product specific training is being conducted since you have about four different product brands on the shelf. These include polishes and unnecessary aerosols that cost a lot of money and have to be thrown away when empty.

One last point is the lack of a Quality Control scoring system to demonstrate the actual condition of the account. If you will address the suggested inefficiencies I believe that you can close or exceed the 25 percent gap.

As always your comments and suggestions are welcome. 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.