Corinne Zudonyi

I’m a numbers person. I like math because numbers don’t lie — there’s a right and wrong answer. I think that’s why I like data. Sending a simple survey to the entire industry can generate extremely valuable data, assuming you know what to do with the information.  

I was recently asked to present our data at an industry event. Among all the industry publications I oversee, we create an average of six reports a year. This group was interested in trends in the in-house custodial department category, but I was able to identify a few stats that building service contractors might also find interesting.  

First off, in-house managers are increasing outsourced projects. Especially in times of tight budgets, departments tend to furlough or lay off staff and then outsource project work to contractors. Many BSCs use this as their foot in the door for bigger conversations (31 percent of BSCs expect an uptick in outsourcing this year, according to the “2022 BSC Market Report”). As a result, this year, 71 percent of in-house managers are entertaining conversations by outside contractors. This is especially the case in educational facilities, which makes sense since 59 percent of BSCs target these facilities as an area of growth.   

BSCs who make progress with these new contracts should be prepared to satisfy growing demands from facility clients. For example, an increasing amount of in-house managers expressed interest in engineered water systems, as well as recycling and compositing. This is an indication that there might be a growing interest in sustainable initiatives — good news for the 46 percent of BSCs who already transitioned more than half of their product/equipment offerings to green-certified alternatives. 

With COVID-19 still present, healthy and hygienic facilities are, of course important — mirroring what BSCs are hearing from their own customers. Technology is also on the upswing. Looking for productivity advantages and giving BSCs another area to compete in, in-house departments are actively exploring robotic floor equipment, UV technology and battery-powered machines. Showcasing their knowledge in these areas will put BSCs in a strong position with new or potential clients.  

The numbers don’t lie and the good news for BSCs is that these particular numbers seem to be trending in their favor, presenting opportunities ripe for the picking.