Detroit Janitorial & Cleaning Services Blog

Can You Get Great Service From National Janitorial Companies?

Posted by Dale Saylor on Wed, Mar 04, 2015 @ 10:35 AM

bigstock-Best-Word-Chosen-By-D-Hand-75006265Finding The Right Facility Maintenance Service Provider Is Key

Finding the right janitorial company or facility maintenance service provider can be a daunting task but it can also be the difference between getting consistent, responsive service or service that falls woefully short. Searching for your ideal commercial maintenance company is a bit like matchmaking, you want to find a company you can build a true partnership with and not just pick the first person who says all the right things. So what really matters when it comes to your commercial cleaning service, can you get it from a national janitorial company and what size commercial maintenance company would be ideal to help you manage your facility?


National Janitorial Services Vs. Local: A Sea of Choices

Following the matchmaking analogy, we can say that when it comes to finding a facility maintenance service provider, there are a LOT of fish in the sea. Rather than give you more choices, this can actually complicate things because with so many janitorial companies out there, it can be an arduous process to try to cull down your list to just those companies capable of managing a facility of your size and needs. Quite often Facility Managers with sizable facilities will assume that only a national janitorial company would be large and capable enough to handle their facility. But this isn’t always the case. So when is bigger really better? How small is too small? And are there any advantages to finding a local janitorial service provider large enough to manage your facility?


Finding a Commercial Janitorial Company That Measures Up

Size matters when it comes to finding a commercial cleaning and maintenance company but bigger isn’t always better. National janitorial companies offer some advantages but so do smaller companies or large local facility maintenance providers. The key is finding a janitorial company that best meets your needs and offers advantages that really mean something to you and your facility.

Size certainly has a role when determining which cleaning company or janitorial service will fit your needs. When you find a good fit with you cleaning company, you are far more likely to create the kind of valuable partnership that will serve you both well. Contract with a big guy when what you really needed was a little guy and you are likely to get lost in the crowd. Find a small Man & a Van operation when what you really require is a large maintenance provider and significant service holes are likely to develop.


What Different Size Janitorial Providers Do Differently


Giant National Maintenance Companies

Mid to Large Local Maintenance Companies

Small Local Janitorial Company

Purchasing Power

A national maintenance company is going to have significant buying power that they may or may not pass on to you the customer.

A larger Michigan maintenance company will have significant purchase power & are likely to pass savings to their customers in order to stay competitive with national janitorial companies.

Not likely to have any purchase power due to small purchases of recurring supplies.


Like most other large corporations, shareholders are number one. Reaching a person who canfix issues is often next to impossible. Who is responsible for your account? Who knows? And  operational responsiveness can be a challenge as giant national companies are not usually quick to action.

A mid to large local maintenance company can offer great combination of personal responsiveness with operational responsiveness. You will likely know who your point of contact is and can reach the ‘top dog’ if necessary. Likewise, as a bigger operation, they can still offer you operational responsiveness like flexible staffing, quick response to emergency issues.

With a small local maintenance company, you’ll probably know who’s in charge and they would be happy to talk to you. The difficulty is, if you have a large facility or even multiple facilities, the scope of their small-scale operation just won’t be enough for what you and your facility require.

Staffing Flexibility

Some flexibility to change staffing as needed but this will depend on how large a presence they have in your area. Do they have enough people locally to shift respond to your needs?

It is here that mid to large local janitorial companies often shine. With large, qualified staff on-site, they are most likely to offer the staffing flexibility you need.

Most small janitorial providers simply cannot meet changing staffing needs. They don’t have enough employees to temporarily shift hands to meet your needs.

Geographical service area

National janitorial companies shine here. If you need one janitorial contractor in different locations throughout the country, a national janitorial service can do this.

Regional Service area

 Small local service area





People, Benefits & Employee Engagement

Many national cleaning companies are very thorough about hiring and screening employees. However, huge national maintenance companies, struggle to build loyalty and engage employees to create high employee satisfaction and low turnover.

A mid to large size janitorial service provider routinely use quality systems to find, screen and manage good people. Like the big guys, they can offer a host of attractive benefits to find and keep the best people. Being local themselves, they have better access to a network of local labor.

Often the smaller cleaning and maintenance companies have a difficult time finding and keeping good people. Perhaps they offer less consistent work, less competitive wages, no or minimal benefits or training.

A Multitude of Service Options

Large national janitorial services are quite possibly set up to offer you a multitude of services.

Midsized janitorial services quite often handle a wide array of basic and specialized services. They can also utilize creative and innovative problem solving because their hands are not tied the way those of a national janitorial service might be.

Small cleaning companies do not usually offer anything beyond the basic cleaning services leaving you to contract with multiple vendors for any corollary services like specialty floor care, painting and more.

Connection to Local Economy

Sure they employ cleaners here in the local market but beyond that, their jobs and dollars go elsewhere.

Made in Michigan companies employ locals and keep their dollars local, whether its taxes or spending their paychecks right here in Michigan.

Local Michigan cleaning companies, even small ones, offer tremendous benefits to the local economy.

Where You Fit In As a Customer

With a giant national building maintenance company, you are a little fish in one of countless ponds all over the country. National companies can replace accounts as quickly as they lose them. They fish from so many ponds that finding new business elsewhere is pretty easy.

A large or midsize local Michigan building maintenance company has just one pond to fish from and that’s Michigan. They are likely to work harder to keep your business and protect their reputation.

A smaller building maintenance company will no doubt value you as a customer but they can’t often deliver what you really need. And when smaller companies do take on a large account, they become dangerously reliant on one account to stay in business.


Facility Maintenance Service Providers: Good, Better, Best?

You should choose a janitorial services companies that routinely and reliably meet the needs of property management firms, facility managers, and building owners in a wide range of markets. Your building services contractor should be experienced and be ready to deliver on their promise to you, not working out the kinks of a newer business. They should offer the basics as well as specialized janitorial services that you need. The best commercial cleaning companies offer a full range of building and commercial cleaning services making your job easier with more needs being met in one place.

You should choose a facility maintenance service provider with a strong reputation among service workers as a good company to work for. You should find a janitorial services company with systems in place to insure great work and great communication. Your best bet in facility maintenance service providers will also offer their people advanced safety & training programs that help them deliver the best to you the customer.


Putting the Cleaning Industry Management Standard to Work For You

The Cleaning Industry Management Standard (also called CIMS) can help you find a company that is ready to deliver on their promises to you. The Cleaning Industry Management Standard is an industry certification program that requires building services contractors to meet standards in a variety of areas that directly link tot heir ability to provide consistent, quality, responsive services to you the customer. For you as a Facility Manager, using CIMS certification will help you develop a short list of janitorial companies that are likely to all offer very good service. Then you can pick your best fit from a very good cast of characters. The Cleaning Industry Management Standard can save you time and help you see the frogs and the princes for what they are.

Ultimately your goal as a Facility Manager is to find good service at the right price from a company that will work hard to deliver on their promises to you day after day, year after year. Whether you need a little guy, a big guy or something in between, ask the right questions and use all of the tools and shortcuts at your disposal to find a Facility Maintenance Service Provider that you can build a lasting partnership with.


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