Question: How can BSCs combat theft of these products or janitors unknowingly walking off the job site with extra dosages in their pockets?

This is a misconception — that janitors are untrustworthy. Janitors and housekeepers are the ones who have the difficult, essential job of stewarding and caring for our buildings. In ancient mythology, Janus, the "Keeper of Keys," protected the riches of the gods, and "janitor" is derived from Janus. In my experience, people who are respected work to maintain that value rather than sabotage it.

The advantage of pre-measured products is that janitors and managers always know how many envelopes of product are needed to complete a job. That way, everyone knows how many envelopes they should have at the beginning and the end of a shift. This kind of accountability makes it easy to track usage over time and catch any mistakes before they happen. From a practical standpoint, if you can count it, you can track it.

— Jerry Goldman, national sales manager, PortionPac Chemical Corp., Chicago


Is the custodian who juices up his window cleaning solution by drilling holes in the top of a $75 blend-center refill any less irresponsible than the fellow who takes the 75 cent packet of concentrated window cleaner home in his pocket? Was the act of pilfery undiscovered until portion-control came along? If they will steal that packet, then they are already stealing more valuable things now.

Inventory can be easily controlled by locking up the master cases of product as the cases are not very large or heavy. Further, the supervisor might distribute the individual packets in nightly kits for each cleaning staff member. Additionally, the supervisor can insist on receiving the emptied packs as proof that they were used on-site.

Inventory shrink will be a problem with blend-centers, bulk or premeasured if you do not have a supervised chemical management system. The CIMS and GS-42 quality management systems for cleaning operations require chemical usage to be tracked and documented. Losses are losses whether they are due to waste, tampering or pilfery. Premeasured chemical programs positively address the waste and tampering issues.

— John Everitt, president, Stearns Packaging Corp., Madison, Wis.


The first line of defense against theft is to hire a team of trustworthy people who care about their company and their clients and have a sense of right and wrong. If BSCs are not doing that then no matter what the product is they aren't going to sleep well at night.

— David Baumgarten, vice president, Baumgartens, Atlanta