A lot can happen in a year. Employees may come and go, budgets go up and down and cleaning policies may shift as the need arises. Twelve months proves to be a very long time as new technologies and cleaning techniques emerge on a daily basis, making cleaning and maintaining facilities easier and more efficient.

At this time last year, many readers were still weeding through the green lexicon in search of understanding for these newer green technologies — and how they would impact the facility mission. There was still uncertainty as to whether “green” was worth the price and the effort of educating and training the custodial crew.

Yes, a lot can change in a year. According to our 2008 Reader Survey, not only do readers better understand the green initiative, they have welcomed it with open arms. Noticing the improved perception of clean, reduced absenteeism of building occupants and cleaning workers and in many cases, return on investment, cleaning managers have embraced the push towards green.

As we close another calendar year, many cleaning managers are looking towards 2009 and the challenges and changes it will present. Many commented that they expect their responsibilities to grow with facility advancements, but are already struggling with stagnant budgets. To accommodate, many have adjusted their purchasing priorities, and require value-added services from their distributors.

Now is the time to look back over the last year at how things have changed within the cleaning department. As 2009 looms, plan ahead for potential adjustments that can be made to streamline the cleaning program. It will make the transition that much easier.