A reader writes: “Thanks for the consulting visit; however we still are confused about how to satisfy our customer and make a profit.”


The key to any custodial contract is maintaining labor so that you can generate an acceptable profit margin. Once labor is under control, the rest will take care of itself. Labor can best be managed by having the right supervision focused on day to day results as well as a training program that allows each worker to do their job at the major rate of production. 


In a prior article, I stressed the importance of getting away from an inefficient upright vacuum cleaner for each worker and assigning all vacuuming tasks to one person using a quality, well maintained backpack system. Another challenge was to reduce the number of tasks for each worker so that they had fewer decisions to make and could focus on quality outcomes in fewer areas. The rest room specialist took on other tasks so that each worker finished at the same time each night even though they had different tasks to perform on several days. The confusion was limited by targeted training and regularly tweaking the Job Cards to reflect the needs of the account. 


During this transition, the onsite supervisor had to be fully engaged in the process and provide steady feedback to each worker so that they clearly understood their duties. He/she also was able to monitor productivity which showed a steady improvement week by week. Over a period of time, one worker, then two were transferred to other accounts and retrained for that facility. 


The investment in better equipment and training paid off handsomely with a contract that is competitive as well as profitable. 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.