By “standardization” I mean creating and supporting a uniform approach to a custodial contract. The larger the operation, the greater the benefits that can result in enhanced services at a lower cost. Following are some points to consider in standardizing a custodial contract:

1. Develop Common Service Levels that make sense. In most cases, service levels should be limited to five based on the level (and frequency) of service required with “uniques” listed on when necessary. Since most cleaning is only conducted five days per week (260 x year), we will consider six and seven day service as well as 24/7 service as a “unique.” Following are suggested service levels to consider:
a. Service Level 1 = Five days per week (260 x year) would be for a high level of cleaning that includes pulling trash, sweeping/damp mopping, vacuuming, restroom service, glass cleaning and dusting as performed as per industry standards.
b. Service Level 2 = Three days per week (156 x year) would be the same tasks only performed less often.
c. Service Level 3 = Two days per week (104 x year) would be the same tasks only performed less often.
d. Service Level 4 = One day per week (52 x year) would be the same tasks only performed less often.
e. Service Level 5 = Less than weekly for same tasks performed.
f. Service Level 6-10 = Can be customized as needed to capture recreational areas such as ball fields, swimming pools or other areas requiring different tasks and frequencies such Command Centers, Fitness Centers, etc.

2. Require that a building or area have the same service level and frequency so that travel time is kept to a minimum. Do not allow tenants to dictate times and frequencies (unless there is a security reason) since such adjustments can result in lower productivity and increased errors resulting in higher costs.

3. Note that Project Work such as stripping/recoating, carpet cleaning, window washing should be scheduled separately. The trend (due to environmental impact and Executive Orders) is to scrub/recoat/burnish rather than strip/recoat. If the floor cannot be maintained it is advisable to consider not applying floor finish (wax) and instead utilizing a diamond pad system that creates a clean, matte finish that is safe to walk on and easier to maintain.

Always think annual cleaning events per year since it makes estimating more accurate and reduces confusion on when service is to be provided. 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