With so many advantages to cordless, why are many BSCs still tethering their crews with corded uprights or backpacks?

In some cases, it may simply be a habit, or, "this is how we've always done it." A BSC who already owns a fleet of corded vacuums will also have an inventory of interchangeable parts. Switching to a new machine means also buying entirely new stocked parts.

"They may also be hesitant to be the first to try new technologies," says Guinn. "Sometimes being first with a technology can burn you if it doesn't hold up or perform as expected."

Of course, cordless backpacks are no longer a "new" technology. They've been around for years and continue to evolve, becoming increasingly effective and efficient. Even so, cordless may deliver less lift and pose problems with limited battery run times.

"With corded, you're limited by your access to outlets and with cordless, you're limited by your battery runtime," says Merrihew. "We're moving toward battery as time moves on, but we still use a blend of both corded and cordless. As run times improve and costs become more competitive, we'll continue to move in that direction."

Price remains the number-one barrier to adopting cordless technology. The machines are usually more expensive, plus there's the additional cost of replacement batteries.

"People may think, 'I can buy a corded upright or canister significantly cheaper than I can buy a cordless,'" says Sawchuk. "Under most circumstances, however, you can save money and provide a return on investment by going cordless because of the productivity gains."

Increased productivity, reduced liability expenses and lower maintenance costs give BSCs many options. The savings could be used to help offset the continuing increases in minimum wage, to increase services with an eye on improving quality and customer satisfaction, to cut costs and increase margins, or to take on more clients.

"BSC's are for-profit businesses, and time is money," says Guinn. "If you can get the job done more efficiently and effectively, it's a win-win. The customer is happy because the facility is clean and the contractor is happy because they completed the task in less time."

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