According to the Contracting Profits 2021 BSC Market Survey, many building service contractors (BSCs) are looking to increase their facility coverage by adding to their client base and including more retail, restaurants, transportation and recreation venues. More than half of the BSCs surveyed are also working to expand their offerings beyond general cleaning to include additional services such as exterior pressure washing, win- dow cleaning, and stone/marble/tile care, for example.

Perhaps the quickest way for these end users to grow is through mergers and acquisitions of companies already offering these services or serving these new markets. But for many, this is not practical. That leaves the more moderate and immediate option of targeting new clients and expanding service offerings to existing clients.

When BSCs are considering growth opportunities, the impact of the still present COVID-19 pandemic can't be ignored. The pandemic has significantly impacted the industry by increasing labor shortages, causing companies to quickly adjust their services.

If end users are going to emerge from the pandemic intact, adapt to the new “normal,” and succeed in growing their companies, they will have to look for guidance from their distribution partners. Here are some insights into how distributors can help smooth the transition for those end-user customers who are exploring more diversified services.

Post-Pandemic Growth

“The pandemic has had a tremendous impact on several aspects of normal business practices, and BSCs looking to diversify is a smart move,” says Joe Waite, vice president of sales for Hill and Markes, Inc., Amsterdam, New York. “The truth is that many facilities have never really looked beyond general cleaning for a variety of reasons. The services and technology have been there, but ultimately, it is an added expense.”

Yet the pandemic has changed that. There are far more people working remotely, meaning there is less foot traffic inside facilities. In these cases, Waite comments that restorative clean- ing practices are more easily achieved, providing a service opportunity BSCs can promote.

Gary Rubin has also noted a shift in the focus of BSCs he works with through the course of the pandemic. As a senior sales manager at Imperial Dade, Jersey City, New Jersey, Rubin has 30-plus years of experience working with BSCs and in-house facilities departments. Over the last year, he has seen far more diversification.

“Those that were focused on high-rise office buildings are trying to diversify,” says Rubin. “In the beginning, they were focused on disinfecting and possibly electrostatic spraying. Now some are getting involved with certifications as a way to differentiate themselves.”

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Benefits Of Additional Service And Training Offerings