TJ Barnes

We are very concerned about the implications of health care reform on our bottom line. In today’s environment of corporate cost-cutting, we can’t pass on these additional costs to customers because they will not pay for any increases and we have fixed multi-year contracts. I envision having to cut back on cleaning staff for some of our larger contracts to keep them profitable and pay for the new health care expense.

On the other hand, I believe providing health care for all working employees will improve their work product, decrease absenteeism and prevent serious health issues. There is nothing more tragic than hardworking employees getting sick or missing work because they can’t afford to go to the doctor in the richest country on the planet. If all contractors have to pay for health care, the cost of the reform will be absorbed by end users when they rebid contracts.

TJ Barnes, Vice President
Manhattan Maintenance Co.
Fairfield, N.J.

Steve Hendrickson

One thing seems certain: the sweeping health care reform bill has the potential of changing the landscape in how BSCs conduct business. While the major points of this reform have been trumpeted in the press, the details of this bill still remain a mystery.

It appears that all industries will be treated with the same “broad brush” approach. This creates a major challenge for BSCs, as our industry, unlike many others, is highly labor driven. Couple this fact with the reality that a BSC’s “revenue per employee” is one of the lowest and we have a legitimate reason for concern.

BSCs with fewer than 25 full-time employees will probably escape these challenges; however, larger companies will be placed at a competitive disadvantage in an already hostile bidding environment.

As the idiom goes, “The devil is in the details.” Unfortunately, to fully answer this question, we must wait for more details!

Steve Hendrickson, President/CEO
Porter Industries Inc.
Loveland, Colo.

Paul Taylor

Any time the federal government imposes more requirements, rules and regulations on our business, my initial reaction is anger and frustration. I don’t disagree with reforming health care, but I think what we ended up with is a very large, cumbersome product that will be extremely difficult to implement and administer.

As a result of the Affordable Care Act, our expenses will increase. We will have additional administrative expense, increased insurance costs and more dependents on our plan. Our struggle will be to continue to make a profit while bearing the increased cost. We may be able to pass some of the cost to our customers, but our costs will be significantly higher than that of a “small business” and will put us at a competitive disadvantage. According to the act, a “small” business does not have to bear the same costs as a “large” business. As we have always done, we will persevere and figure out a way to continue providing great service for our customers while making a profit at the same time.

Paul Taylor, President
Environmental Solutions and Services Inc.
Urbana, Ill.


Next month: What was your biggest mistake?

If you’d like the opportunity to share your opinion, send an e-mail to Dan Weltin