When it comes to sustainability, facility executives are looking for BSCs to prove the same — customer satisfaction and costs. Roughly 87 percent of facility executives say they want to partner with contractors who practice sustainable initiatives.

“If you look at green cleaning, tools or processes, these were conversations that were starting to take place before the recession,” Whittaker says. “The recession caused a delay, especially in facility and operations. Now, it’s, ‘How can we manage our energy?’ They’re keeping corporate social responsibility scorecards.”

Part of that responsibility comes down to investing in, and maintaining an educated and professionally trained staff. FMs expect cleaning crews to undergo background checks (89 percent), wear proper uniforms (68 percent), wear identification badges (62 percent) and undergo drug screening (58 percent).

“I think the one thing BSCs overlook is how important their on-site supervisors are and how important training and tools are,” says Mabrey. “Route or branch managers may see a client once a month, but it’s those frontline folks who see us everyday. We are going to know if they aren’t getting what they need to take care of the service.”

That includes BSCs proving not only their commitment to corporate accountability initiatives, but also social responsibilities. At least 86 percent of FMs say it is important or very important that janitors are paid a living wage — and 42 percent would even pay more for services to ensure that happens.

As the economy recovers, Whittaker says facility mangers will continue to expect BSCs to incorporate high working standards — with cleaning, tools and processes — and with regards to employee fairness, work culture and services.

“It’s become less of a trend, and more of a standard,” says Whittaker. “There is a need to work with building service contractors to provide the right solutions. I think our partnerships are a lot more powerful.” 

Stephanie Beecher is the former Associate Editor of Contracting Profits and Sanitary Maintenance.

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