A reader writes: “I am from the Middle East and have acquired a very large, prestigious building due to the poor performance of my predecessor. I have excellent management skills but am not versed in custodial operations. Can you provide guidance on how to proceed since time is running out?”

First, congratulations on this exciting opportunity. Unfortunately, you do not have a lot of time to get control of this more than 300,000-square-foot, high-profile building, so it is important that you get up to speed rather quickly. I believe one key is your onsite supervision. I suggest:

1. Give serious consideration to bringing in a consultant to assist you in your challenges.

2. If a consultant is not available, speak to your chemical and equipment vendors who may be able to provide leads on finding the right people to help run this contract.

3. Evaluate each of your onsite supervisors for their level of competence and experience in what I call custodial best practices.

4. Bring in your vendors (chemical and equipment) to conduct regular training sessions for key staff for key jobs. Example: Do not waste your time training a daily housekeeper on floor work if he/she is not going to be performing those tasks.

5. Identify and train your floor crew (hard floor and carpet) in the safe, effective use of the equipment you have on hand.

6. Work on standardizing all your chemicals and equipment so that new hires are less confused by the options they have to deal with.

7. Observe your supervisors to determine who stands out as to initiative, quality outcomes, people skills, etc. since it is important that you have good people in these positions.

8. In coordination with your consultant, develop a Quality Control plan/inspection system that reflects the expectations and the specifications.

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.