The word “outsourcing” can elicit a variety of responses. Companies looking to rid themselves of the hassles associated with payroll processing, cleaning, HVAC maintenance or other non-core tasks, may view outsourcing as a convenient, and often cost-effective, alternative. But to housekeeping managers, outsourcing can be confusing at best, and may leave some people wondering if their departments – or jobs — will be the next functions put out to bid.

In this issue's cover story, we cut through the buzzwords and the confusion, and take a look at some of the more prevalent trends in outsourcing. Housekeeping professionals who understand contract service language can engage in an intelligent conversation about the subject with their superiors. These executives then will be in a strong position to negotiate the right balance between in-house and contracted cleaning for their facilities.

And for those executives who wish to network with peers who have pondered similar outsourcing scenarios to their own, what better place to do so than at the 2002 ISSA/INTERCLEAN® convention and trade show in Las Vegas, Oct. 16-18. You can review our show preview, including a top-notch lineup of speakers Housekeeping Solutions will sponsor Oct. 16. We'll also be in the trade show exhibit hall, at booth #322. Stop by and let us know how we're doing; we're always looking for ways to fine-tune our editorial coverage and seminar topics to meet your needs.