Safety First

On May 22, Ron Segura, founder and president of Segura & Associates, hosted a Building Service Contractors Association International (BSCAI) webinar titled "Changing Our Cleaning Proposals in the Age of Coronavirus."

Segura has over 50 years of experience in all segments of the cleaning industry, 10 of which he spent overseeing the cleaning of over 4.5 million square feet of outsourced services for The Walt Disney Company. With 19 years of consulting both domestic and internationally, Ron has been assisting organizations to perform at maximum efficiency, while raising the quality of service. He is the author of numerous monthly articles in various trade journals worldwide.

Ron began his message by acknowledging the challenges that COVID-19 has brought to the industry.

"When you think back at the beginning of the year, we probably had goals and certain expectations that we were anxious to meet," he said. "It's interesting that in the cleaning industry we encounter a lot of different situations."

Now is the time where BSCs are looking to recover from these challenges and position themselves as experts in the field. Ron pointed out that there is a change in how people are viewing this industry. Because of this pandemic, people are more concerned with keeping their buildings safe. They are increasing their budgets, looking for contractors who specialize in disinfecting, and demanding a higher standard for safety.

"That's where we come in," he said. "This is an opportunity for us to demonstrate that we are indeed the experts in the field of cleaning."

Ron encouraged webinar attendees to think of where the industry is today, compared to decades ago. BSCs have access to chemicals and vacuums with proper filtration that keep people safe and contribute to good indoor air quality. The tools and resources for BSCs are available, but now it's time to market their expertise.

In the past, Ron mentioned, price has been the deciding factor for anything. Now, we're entering into a different phase. People are willing to pay the price for high quality services that will keep their building occupants safe.

Ron provided a list of three items that need to be included in your RFP.

Explanation Of The Process

How would you approach our building? How would you implement a disinfecting program? As an expert, explain the difference between cleaning, disinfection and sanitation. Explain how you have made day-to-day adjustments to cleaning.

Keep in mind that prospective clients need to provide you with the necessary information.

Explain The People And Training

If your organization has employees with credentials or is a part of an industry organization, mention that.

It's also a good idea to share how you have trained your employees. This shows that you've put thought into a program that has value and benefits.

Explain The Products And Equipment

Explain what new technologies and ideas that your organization is incorporating.

Another suggestion that Ron shared was to create a team of advisors. This strategy can be useful for small and large organizations. This team can consist of various people, including you, the management team, members of the disinfecting team, a vendor representative, a manufacturer representative and a customer representative.

"Establish your commitment that you are going to have a fluid program and a communication process with your customer," he said. "Your prospects will want to know what changes you have made in your operation because of this outbreak. Prove that you as a contractor have been up to date."

Here are a couple more of Ron's suggestions:

List what actions you are taking specifically.

Talk to them about the type of supplies that you are using.

Talk about the equipment, tools and changes that you have made for the better.

Demonstrate that you are the experts.

"The most important thing to remember is that your customers are in a real jam," he said. "They just want to make sure that they can tell their occupants that their building is safe. The cleaning industry is going to be able to shine."