Detroit Janitorial & Cleaning Services Blog

Janitorial Services: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Posted by Mitch Hesson on Wed, Mar 19, 2014 @ 09:10 AM

Janitorial-ServicesFinding the right janitorial services for your facilities can be a daunting task. Just a simple search for local janitorial services will easily net you hundreds of possible choices. But which one is right? As the Facilities manager, how exactly do you discern between the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to finding quality janitorial services?

The Good
First, the good news, there are some very, very good janitorial companies. While they may be hard to spot, reputable Janitorial Services that truly meet the needs of your facilities are available and affordable. What do the good guys of janitorial services do that sets them apart? The best janitorial services:

1. Self perform screening for properly documented employees.

2. Complete both police background checks and drug testing before hiring employees.

3. Have a documented safety program.

4. Have a quality assurance program in place.

5. Are CIMS Certified.

6. Make sure you understand and agree to services and pricing.


The Bad
Okay, now the bad news, there are a great deal of janitorial companies that while they are legitimate in their business practices, just do not have support systems in place to deliver quality work. These are not bad people trying to get one over on you, they are more likely mismanaged or inexperienced cleaning services that simply haven’t identified and addressed the problems that get in the way of giving great, responsive service consistently. What are these guys doing wrong? 

1. They do not have any formal quality assurance programs so they depend on you the customer to managing the onsite work crew. The problem is now you are not benefitting from one of the best reasons to outsource your janitorial services, letting someone else manage the team.

2. They are missing a documented safety program putting you at risk with OSHA compliance.

3. They may try to hire good people but without effective, systemized background and drug testing, they are leaving you, your team and facilities vulnerable.

4. They may lack an effective, formalized training program that keeps people safe and cleans for health.

5. They likely have a variable and confusing price structure leading them to underbid your job. When push comes to shove, they’ll either do less work or come back to you looking for more money.


The Ugly
Even worse than bad is when things get ugly. These are the janitorial service companies that either don’t care or they don’t get it and their deficiencies can spell big trouble for you. These often cheap cleaning companies can cost you a bundle in the long run. Unfortunately, due in part to the low perceived start up costs, new janitorial companies flood the market every year. Many of these fly-by-night operations don’t have the first idea on how to conduct themselves professionally and shield you and your business from harm and liability.

These are companies who hire undocumented workers and pay their employees cash or as illegal subcontractors.  This means that you the customer are put at great risk because the employees do not have insurance.  This could also put your image at risk should I.C.E. ever raid your building as most news headlines also include the raided company's name, just ask Wal-Mart!  There seems to be a don't ask, don't tell attitude amongst customers hiring these types of companies.  They become so allured with the money savings in hiring such companies that they fail to do the proper due diligence. When it comes to illegal hiring, the price is NEVER right. Don’t let the worst of the worse janitorial services companies drag you down with them.

1. Use illegal means to hire and pay their employees.

2. Don't do necessary background checks.

3. Treat their employees as independent contractors meaning they have little or no control over delivering the service you expect. 

4. Fail to adequately train their people for safety and effective cleaning.


3 Simple Things You Can Do To Make Sure Your Not Putting Your Company At Risk When Hiring A Janitorial Service
1. Ask how many hours they plan to work per week.  Multiply those hours time 4.33 weeks in a month and divide that number into their monthly price.  That will give you their hourly billable rate.  In Michigan the minimum hourly wage is $7.40.  So if the number is anywhere close to $10.00 per hour, the chances are they are doing something illegal that is putting your company at risk.

2. Ask to see their written Safety Plan.  If they hesitate or don't send one to you immediately, this is a glaring, red flag.  Cleaning Companies who care about their customers and their employees make safety a priority. If they practice safety, they will have such material readily available.  

3. Ask them to can provide you with written documentation from their background check company for each employee before they are allowed to enter your building. Sure this takes time but it simply isn’t worth the risk to leave these critical steps undone.


The One Shortcut to Fining Janitorial Services You CAN Take CIMS Certification
If you don't want to go to all this trouble, you can also hire a company who is CIMS Certified, meaning that an independent examiner has performed an audited to verify that they have all these practices in place.  This FREE shortcut can save you hours of time and lots of money by protecting you from choosing a janitorial services company that will take shortcuts with you, your employees and your valuable reputation.

janitorial pricing 

Tags: Janitorial Services, Industry Best Practices

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