Detroit Janitorial & Cleaning Services Blog

Rising Minimum Wage Could Spell Disaster For Janitorial Service's Costs

Posted by Mitch Hesson on Tue, Feb 19, 2019 @ 11:58 AM


michigan minimum wage, detroit janitorial companies, detroit office cleaning companies

How Michigan’s Rising Minimum Wage Will Change Janitorial Pricing

In the state of Michigan, legislation has pushed up the minimum wage resulting in the small but impactful raise from $8.15 in 2015 to $8.50 in 2016 to $8.90 in 2017 to $9.25 which went into effect January of 2018, and now again $9.45 for 2019 starting in late March. This is all while the federal minimum wage is just $7.25 an hour. As an industry that is largely pinioned on its employee base, pricing can be severely impacted by an increase in such costs. While we can try to absorb these changes to limit the impact on your business, it is easy to see how challenging manage operational cost increases without passing along some of this price to you, the customer. That being said, you as the Facility Manager are still under pressure to keep your janitorial budgets under control. Let's look at a couple of ways that commercial cleaning companies are responding to higher labor costs to make sure that your cleaning budget isn’t further impacted while maintaining an effective level of service. For many of the most experienced, consistent, effective cleaning companies, it is a combination of some of the industry's best practices like:


The Difference Between Team Cleaning & Zone Cleaning

Team cleaning has been demonstrated again and again to be strictly more efficient than the traditional zone cleaning. To zone clean is to divide a building up into areas, assigning a specific cleaner or cleaning team to each respective area. While this may seem like a common sense approach to cleaning it can present a couple of problems, namely duplication and specialization. Take for example the process of cleaning one floor, it must be vacuumed or mopped (or both), dusted, surfaces cleaned, trashes emptied, and restrooms cleaned. This requires a large amount of equipment, consumables, and other products for each cleaner to do their job. Further, to properly complete these tasks, each cleaner must be familiar with the specifics of each task that goes into cleaning a whole section of a building. This is a challenging task and can often lead to incorrectly completed work. Team cleaning instead sends a group of people, each with assigned tasks to do throughout a facility. Each person is a specialist in their own right working on one specific item or process for each room. This way, each individual is better trained in their task and doesn't have to move large amounts of equipment from room to room helping to increase efficiency and decrease overall cost. Similarly, if you have a vacuum specialist, a floor cleaning specialist and a restroom specialist, for example, you do not have to outfit each individual cleaner with the equipment and supplies to do a variety of tasks. It is cheaper and far more efficient.


Industry Innovation Can Help Keep Prices Low

Like every industry, the janitorial industry has gone through a number of technological advances in the past few years. As a result, commercial cleaning has become increasingly more effective and more cost efficient. As an example of, the Clarke’s Boost floor cleaning machine, through case studies, has been shown to reduce labor costs by over 80%. While investing in this technology has a high associated cost, the efficiency it offers and reduction in hours can help keep janitorial and commercial cleaning prices down despite a rising minimum wage. Another technology that drastically changed the industry is HEPA filtration backpack vacuums, which allow cleaning staff to cover more than twice the area in a facility in the same amount of time as before. Additionally, the HEPA backpack vacuums also helped reduce repetitive motion injuries as well as improve indoor air quality compared to traditional vacuums. As you can see, not only does innovation in the commercial cleaning industry reduce labor hours, it also improves the health of your building by implementing greener, more sustainable technologies.


How to Use Smart Cleaning to Keep Prices in Check Without Letting Go of Quality

Implementing Smart Cleaning in your facility can help you keep costs down while living with the rising cost of labor in Michigan. To Smart Clean is to strategically target certain services while reducing others to help reduce the overall cost of cleaning while maintaining a similar, livable level of quality. Strategicallyis of course the key word. If your level of service suddenly drops off you are sure to be flooded with complaints and numerous other ancillary problems. The key to effective Smart Cleaning is two things: first, use a cleaning company that is experienced enough to know what can be cut back on and what cannot. Second, find a company that is willing to take the time to understand the ins and outs of your building as well as your specific needs so as to best implement Smart Cleaning in a way that works well for you and your facility. Smart Cleaning isn’t just a phrase that you can throw at your commercial cleaning company and expect results, it requires forethought, innovation, customization and above all, commitment. By cutting tasks that can go undone intermittently, you can significantly reduce your cleaning costs. When applied by an experienced company, you'll find you can reduce your cleaning hours and cost without drastically lowering the quality of your cleaning.


Janitorial Turnover Can Hurt Your Cleaning and Your Wallet

Any service businesses’ single greatest resource is their people, this is in part why rising labor costs have a big impact on Michigan cleaning companies. Employees are key to delivering quality service but the commercial cleaning industry can be notorious for its employee turnover. So, when you come across a janitorial company that actively works to reduce their turnover rate, you are very likely to benefit from their endeavors. Why is that? Mainly because the cost of bringing in new employees with any degree of frequency is a very large expense as it entails recruiting, screening, hiring, and training among other things. Add to that newer employees are more inefficient as they are learning and mastering their responsibilities. This is of course unavoidable, but if your cleaning company is a revolving door of new hires, they are really always in training mode reducing the quality and value of the cleaning services you are receiving. The higher the turnover rate is, the higher the cost is going to be to you, not to mention that the quality of your cleaning will be reduced by the constant changing of the staff that is cleaning your facility.


Use Open Book Pricing to Your Advantage

Open Book Pricing is when a janitorial company literally opens their books and shows you how they break down costs and profit. The benefit of this type open communication is that you can see exactly what it is your paying for and exactly what the hard costs are for your janitorial company. What you should be expecting to see when it comes to hard costs is the following:

  • Direct Costs (often in the form of consumables like cleaners and other paper products)
  • Labor
  • Taxes
  • Management Fees
  • Employee Benefits
  • Insurance
  • Profits

In terms of expenditures, the highest expense will always go to staffing, and with the increase in minimum wage, this number will only go up. The best companies in the industry will look to position their business model in such a way to avoid passing on the cost to you by utilizing techniques like Smart Cleaning and by investing in efficient equipment. However, if you need fixed hours, the cost is going to go up. Taking advantage of industry innovation can help keep prices level, but understand how the rising wage impacts the price of your janitorial and commercial cleaning service provider.


Managing a Rising Minimum Wage Without Sacrificing Service

Inevitably, Michigan’s rising minimum wage will have an impact on costs in a number of industries and the janitorial industry is no exception. Still, there are things to be done with both you and your janitorial company making adjustments to try to keep costs as level as possible and still keep your facility well maintained. Are you looking for better service? Better value? More consistency? Reach out and let us show you how we can make your facility services work for you rather than against you.

Stathakis proudly serves the Southeastern businesses of Ann Arbor, including Detroit, Royal Oak, Farmington Hills, Downriver, Farmington, Dearborn, Livonia, Troy, Auburn Hills, Novi, and Plymouth.

janitorial pricing


Tags: Janitorial Services, Industry Best Practices, Janitorial Pricing

Using the Request For Proposal (RFP) to Find Janitorial Services

Posted by Mitch Hesson on Mon, Nov 05, 2018 @ 05:24 PM

janitorial bids, janitorial requests for proposal, janitorial rfps, leaning rfps

What is an RFP?

What is an RFP (Request for Proposal) and how does it impact you? An RFP is a written document that details the specific needs of your facility and asks for a comprehensive plan from a qualified contractor on how they propose to address those needs. The RFP is designed to be an open tool for you to look at a number of janitorial service providers and find the right contractor for your facility. The better the RFP you receive, the better chance that your prospective cleaning company will be able to understand and offer your facility the services it needs. While this may seem like a straightforward idea, it can quickly be derailed by a number of things from imprecise specifications, quickly thrown together for your RFP, to janitorial bids that are clearly not realistic for your facility. Fortuitously, there are a couple of important tools you can use when considering RFPs to be certain you get (and give) good information and get proposals that clearly address the unique needs of your facility.


Competition is a Good Thing… Usually

Having competition for your facility’s business is likely to lead to more and better options for you and your facility. That being said, in order to be useful, an RFP requires a lot of work from prospective janitorial companies. It shouldn’t be a first tool you use to narrow your search for the right building services company. Odds are, if you cast a wide enough net your are going to be bringing in a lot of RFPs from unqualified, inexperienced, under skilled companies that you shouldn’t have to sort through. Having to sort through such RFPs is a drain on your time and taxing on those cleaning companies that are not really in league for your business. The RFP, for that reason, should never be used as your first qualification tool but rather later in the process when you have identified a few companies that seem promising. When bids are open to nearly anyone, sometimes the most experienced companies will opt out concentrating their efforts elsewhere to avoid the hassle.


Take Advantage of Industry Certifications Like CIMS

A good way to wade through the crowded janitorial marketplace is to take advantage of the ISSA’s CIMS accreditation program to prequalify contractors before you even meet them or ask them to submit a proposal for your facility. ISSA CIMS certification offers you a free shortcut to sift through the crowded janitorial marketplace and identify those companies most equipped to provide the kind of cleaning and maintenance that will best fit the needs of your facility. CIMS is a voluntary accreditation that requires a janitorial company or commercial cleaning company demonstrate a superior level of cleaning and maintenance in industry specific areas. 

CIMS, or the Cleaning Industry Management Standard, is a clear demonstration of a company's capability and commitment to providing the highest levels of service and management. These rigorous benchmarks are all good indicators of a company’s competency and can be used to effectively help you winnow down your short list to the best of the best. It can be helpful to narrow your search using CIMS and then use the RFP in combination with an onsite inspection to best get an idea of what your prospective company can provide for you. If you are looking for a CIMS certified partner in your building maintenance, check in with ISSA for a complete list of CIMS certified cleaning companies and building services companies in your area.


Overly Complicated RFPs Do More Harm Than Good

Information is king, except when it is not. There is information that can help you make decisions and there is information that just overly complicates your issue or gives you more information than could possibly be helpful. A frequent problem that we see is when RFPs are just thrown together versions of older RFPs that haven’t been edited since the company started business. The RFP grows in size and complexity but doesn't actually provide any more useful information. As such, a overly complicated RFP creates extra work for you and your prospective janitorial company without really TELLING you much about the company and how they will actually DO business in your facility. An RFP should be detailed and specific but focused on that information that is pertinent to getting a specific and accurate janitorial quote. What kind of information is important in making a decision on your next janitorial services company? First, cleanable square feet by floor type because different types of flooring will require different equipment, cleaners and have different time requirements. Second, giving an accurate number for typical building occupants is important because it is the best indicator consumables use like toilet paper and hand towels will be used in a day as well as how quickly your building will need attention. This information will allow your janitorial company to stock, plan and estimate janitorial hours accordingly.


Got Maintenance Headaches & Pain Points? Share Them

A common mistake is to use the RFP as a way to address problems that you had with you last company and propose solutions to said problems. However, finding fixes to these solutions isn’t your job, it is your prospective janitorial company’s job. But you have to tell them what isn’t or wasn’t working for you otherwise your prospective janitorial company might run through possible solutions testing ones you already know don’t work for you. Were you disappointed with your last commercial cleaning company? Did they consistently underperform in your restrooms? Are you facing budget cuts that are leaving your maintenance on shaky ground?

Share this with qualified janitorial companies. Not only will you get to see their problems solving skills in action before you give them a yes, they may have better, more efficient, effective and even less costly solutions to the issues plaguing your facility. You are not the specialist in cleaning that is why you’re outsourcing you cleaning to a business that specializes in it. The best way to help with your RFP is to talk about pain points and building it around actual business problems allowing the professionals you hired to present solutions which is both free advice and allows you to compare the different strategies of companies. Let your prospective cleaning company do the heavy lifting!


The Importance of Site Visits

A site visit is an important aspect of any future contracting and all too often it is only quick and cursory. For this reason, it is important to thin your list of prospective janitorial companies before you do facility walkthroughs. By doing this, you can give your potential contractors more time to inspect your facility allowing them to produce a more detailed, facility specific plan for the future. Not only will you get a more accurate bid, in the long run you’ll end up receiving a better, more attuned cleaning.


Get the Commercial Janitorial and Cleaning Company That Does it Right

One of the most challenging tasks for any Facility Manager is finding the right janitorial service provider for your facility. Putting in the time into the RFP process sets you and your facility up for success. Further, take advantage of the CIMS certification to sort through the dense commercial cleaning and janitorial services market to narrow down your search to those companies that perform at a level above the rest. 

Here at Stathakis, we have served the businesses of southeastern Michigan for over thirty years. We provide commercial cleaning, janitorial services and commercial handyman services to the following Southeastern Michigan Counties: Genesee County, Livingston County, Washtenaw County, Monroe County, Wayne County, Macomb County, St. Clair County.

We offer effective, professional facility services to the cities of Detroit, Ann Arbor, Farmington Hills, Dearborn, Farmington, Livonia, Plymouth, Downriver, Royal Oak, Southfield, Troy, Auburn Hills, Novi and more. For more information on our services and how we can help you, please contact us at 1-800-278-1884.

janitorial pricing


Tags: Janitorial Services, Janitorial Pricing

How Much Should You Budget For Office Cleaning?

Posted by Chris Stathakis on Thu, Aug 16, 2018 @ 11:27 AM

office cleaning companies, dearborn office cleaning service, detroit office cleaning companies, livonia office cleaning, downriver office cleaning, plymouth office cleaning, novi office cleaning

Getting Clear & Reasonable Office Cleaning Pricing

Getting an office cleaning price point that is in line with what you are paying for can be a tall order. Not only is the office cleaning company marketplace a crowded one, but many of these companies aren’t experienced enough to accurately price their services. Hard as they may try, they don’t even know what they don’t know yet. Second, many commercial office cleaning companies will lowball their bid for your contract and then slam you with upcharges and hidden fees. Finally, for an office cleaning company to give a well-informed quote in an RFP (request for proposal), you as the Facility Manager need to give them good information about your specific requirements to work off of.


Giving Your Commercial Cleaning Company Good Intel

The best office cleaning bids or responses to a RFP start with good information. So, what information should you be providing? First, you are going to want to provide accurate numbers on the square footage, and not just total square footage but footage broken down by different type of flooring. Each floor type has its own needs and can significantly change your price point. Similarly, you should also provide an estimate if the number of people that work in and pass through your facility. This will give your prospective office cleaning company an idea of how much cleaning your facility will likely need as well as a rough count on the number of consumable items like toilet paper, paper towels, and trash can liners needed to keep your facility adequately stocked.


Site Visits Are Key To Accurate Office Cleaning Pricing

If your prospective Detroit office cleaning company provides a quote without doing a site visit, you should be concerned. A site visit will help pin down aspects of your facility's cleaning that you may not have thought to bring up before. Further, a site inspection can help to identify ways to Smart Clean, do more with less, as well as keep you on budget and your facility on track. Finally, the site inspection isn’t just an opportunity for your prospective Michigan cleaning company to learn about you, it will provide valuable insight on how they plan to handle your account and gives you a chance to ask specific questions that will help you select a future partner in your facility maintenance.


Communicate Your Pain Points to Prospective Office Cleaners

No one wants to relive past cleaning company drama or dwell on what wasn’tworking, but make sure you tell prospective commercial cleaning companies you are seriously considering contracting with your pain points. Most experienced, professional companies can put their years of experience to work and come up with real, workable solutions to whatever problems were particular thorns in your side. Similarly, if you’re last cleaning service provider seemed to have a revolving door of employees due to high cleaning staff turnover, tell them. Take advantage of this opportunity and see how your future partner addresses these issues (hopefully) differently. Finally, if your prospective Detroit office cleaning company knows what’s important to you, they can work proactively to address it.


Get the Most Out of Your Cleaning Service Even with Tight Budgets

Facilities with nearly unworkable budgets for office cleaning are commonplace in our industry. While cleaning will never be easy or optimal with this type of budget, an experienced office cleaning company does know how to do more with less and at the very least make deep cuts livable in the short term. Through a site inspection and careful analysis, we can construct a cleaning plan that will meet your facilities needs and fine tune so that your employees and customers barely notice a shift in service. Ideally, we would all love to have a meaty budget that addresses all facility needs at an optimal level but, unfortunately, sometimes life has different plans. But rest assured, the right office cleaning company can work with you to get your facility cleaned even with tight budgets. Don’t labor under the impression, however, that every company can do this for you. Only the most experienced companies can take advantage of innovation and extensive knowledge to trim work in areas that won’t negatively impact the cleaning of your facility or your facility’s reputation.


Communication Is Essential

Marriage counselors and Facility Managers alike agree, communication is key. Take, for example, your office vacuuming. If you communicate to your building occupants that it takes place every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday then odds are you won’t receive an irritated call on Tuesday complaining about a lack of service. Likewise, by clearly communicating a reduction in office cleaning service as a result of specific cuts to help with budgeting, the better said cuts will go over. Finally, as a Facility Manager, consult with your office cleaning company and building occupants to target specific areas of the building that need to get cleaned and areas that are most important to your employees.  


Reduced Budgets Don’t Mean You Have to Settle

If your facility is getting dirty to the point that complaints are piling up, your budget optimization is either not working or it is too far gone to help your facility. To get the most out of a slashed cleaning budget, talk with your office cleaning staff often to set out a plan with realistic goals. The key to doing more with less is ‘Smart Cleaning’ as it takes thought and planning for a janitorial company to use their resources in a way to help you net the best value for your dollar. A commercial cleaning company does exist that will work with you to come up with a Smart Clean plan and deliver on their promises to you. With a little finesse and due-diligence, you can come up with a work schedule that works for your facility on a drastically cut budget.


Using CIMS to Your Advantage

It takes planning, innovation and experience to offer effective service on reduced budgets and a solid value no matter what price you are paying. The office cleaning companies that can help you effectively are few and far between. To find these companies that actively strive to innovate and work around unique situations in facilities as well as your budget, you should look to tools like CIMS certification. The ISSA (International Sanitary Supply Association) provides a rigorous, high level certification that said company performs at the highest level in the industry repeatedly demonstrating cleaning excellence and a commitment to their customers. Any medical office cleaning company or general office cleaning that meets these standards has demonstrated that they provide an effective, consistent service and is demonstrably more likely to work with you and your budget to make sure that your facility gets cleaned and looks its best while minding your bottom line.

janitorial pricing

Tags: Cost Saving - Pricing, Janitorial Pricing, Office Cleaning

Get Lower Prices & Better Service From Your Office Cleaning Services

Posted by Chris Stathakis on Mon, Jan 22, 2018 @ 02:19 PM

detroit office cleaning, livonia office cleaning services, Downriver office cleaning, Ann Arbor office cleaning

Office cleaning prices, while based on measurable factors, can vary tremendously from rock bottom low to downright extravagant and everything in between. The problem is, extremely low prices can be a red flag but high prices are simply no guarantee of effective office cleaning services. Unfortunately, when it comes to finding an office cleaning company, price doesn’t necessarily equate to value. The goal when shopping office cleaning companies is to both get a good understanding of precisely what services you are purchasing and then get a solid value. Understanding office cleaning pricing is a critical component of getting the right office cleaning services at the right price. So how can you as a Facility Manager determine how much you need to budget to get the value you require and the service you deserve all at a price you can live with? The answer is you get at least a general sense of how professional office cleaning companies price their services so that you know what you are looking at and what it all means. Whether you are in search of office cleaning Plymouth or searching for a Dearborn office cleaning company, you will have the information you need to make the right decision for your facility.


How Commercial Office Cleaning Companies Estimate Costs

If a prospective office cleaning service gives you an office cleaning quote based on square footage alone, run the other way. Why? Because there is so much more to getting a meaningful office cleaning quote that both describes the scope of work and helps you understand cost. One-size-fits-all pricing, quick thrown together quotes and straight square footage estimates don’t provide an accurate estimate of what your facility really requires and what you should be prepared to pay for it. Understand the things that go into accurate office cleaning pricing and you will be in a better position to break down a prospective commercial office cleaning services prices and determine if it works for you. What variables are most significant when it comes to your pricing Auburn Hills office cleaning services?

  • Geographic Area – Where is your building located? Location, the labor market and such can impact pricing.
  • The Scope of Office Cleaning Services – What specific areas do you need cleaned? What services are most critical? Do you require outdoor maintenance or other specialty services? Are you looking for very basic office cleaning services or high level services, or even Day Porter services?
  • What Frequency Do You Need – Do you want daily cleaning or twice weekly? Is day cleaning or a Day Porter service better or after hours cleaning when your building is near empty?
  • What is Your Facility’s Square Footage – Do you manage a small office building or a 40,000 square facility? Square footage while not the only factor, can help your Farmington Hills office cleaning company accurately estimate cost.
  • How Is Your Building’s Square Footage Broken Down By Floor Type? Hard flooring type and carpet all require different maintenance at different intervals so this has an impact on overall cost.
  • Your Facility’s Foot Traffic and Population. The more people in and out of your facility, the faster it gets dirty and the more frequently it must be cleaned.
  • How ManyRestrooms Do You Have? Restrooms are often the most time consuming to clean as they see a lot of activity and can increase the risk of cross-contamination if not properly maintained.


Transparent Pricing Is Essential

Transparent office cleaning pricing is an essential part of getting the right services at the best value. After all, how can you compare office cleaning quotes in an apples to apples way if prospective office cleaners are not giving you clear, easy to understand office cleaning quotes? Transparent office cleaning pricing and clear, easy to understand janitorial bids can also help you avoid low low quotes that do not offer value because they simply include less work than your facility requires, as well as sky high office cleaning quotes that are charging significantly more for the same services another janitorial company might provide for less. Transparent office cleaning prices can help you steer clear of overly low janitorial bids that are quite likely a sign that you are either dealing with an inexperienced Troy office cleaning company that does not understand how to price their services accurately or perhaps a Royal Oak office cleaning company that will play pricing games down the line. 

So that you may secure the most accurate, clear pricing, ask prospective office cleaning companies how many hours they intend to spend cleaning your facility. Annualize that cost and divide it by the annualized number of labor hours to calculate an hourly billable rate. If an Ann Arbor office cleaning company is charging to little, you can almost guarantee they will take shortcuts on people and processes designed to protect you, your building and it’s occupants. These can include illegal hiring and subcontracting as well as inadequate drug and criminal background screening.  Well thought out office cleaning bids should always include the following:

  • Labor costs
  • Direct costs (ex. cleaning supplies, toilet paper, etc.).
  • Employee health insurance
  • Employee vacation time
  • Insurance & taxes
  • A management fee
  • Profit

These seven factors are the building blocks of pricing and any prospective Detroit office cleaning company should be willing to be transparent about these so that you can understand where their office cleaning prices come from.


Your Office Cleaning Company Must Be Profitable

Sometimes when we imagine a company’s profits, we think of some Scrooge type character rolling around in piles of money oblivious to the hardships of those around them. But making a profit is an important component of any business. Healthy profits grow and maintain thriving companies that reinvest in their employees, technology, equipment and in the long run you the customer. If your Farmington office cleaning company isn’t profitable, they won’t be around long. Profit can’t be a dirty word when it comes to sifting through prospective office cleaning companies. Your Livonia office cleaning company needs to make a profit from their services, after all, they run a business just like you. On the same note, having an idea of what represents a reasonable profit and where that profit comes from gives you the ability to negotiate a fair price and solid value. When you outsource office cleaning to a reliable and effective Detroit office cleaning company, they will be happy to provide you with how the come up with pricing and precisely what their services include. In this way, both you and your Downriver office cleaning company can chart a path to success with a map that will measure how effectively your Novi office cleaning company is delivering on their promises to you. 


Are You In A Position Where You Must Do More With Less?

The single most significant component of office cleaning prices is the cost of labor. So if you are in the unenviable position where you have to maintain your facility on ultra tight budgets, reducing office cleaning labor hours will net you the most significant cuts. But how do you get your office cleaning service to work with the budget you have and still deliver an acceptable standard of clean? The reality is that if you must do more with less, you need an experienced, professional office cleaning company. Why? Because only the best office cleaning companies following industry best practices will be in a position to maximize the budget you have. New, innovative cleaning equipment like Boost floor cleaners and even tech-savvy cleaning practices like Smart Cleaning and Team Cleaning can all help shave labor hours without sending your office cleaning into a downward spiral. When it comes to making the most of your office cleaning budget, experience and prior success with less than optimal budgets is critical. 


CIMS Certification Can Help Clear Through the Crowded Office Cleaning Marketplace

Sifting through office cleaning prices and the crowded marketplace of office cleaners can be overwhelming. Do the prices offer real value? Is the office cleaning company providing the services you really need? Are they using high tech, cost saving equipment and following industry best practices that get you better services at a better price? Do they make safety and security paramount? Are they set up for effective quality control? Do they utilize environmentally conscious products and practices? It can often feel like as a Facility Manager, there are more questions than answers. Recognized industry certifications like CIMS, may offer a valuable and easy path to finding those Detroit office cleaning companies in the best position to offer both quality service and reasonable prices. CIMS, or the Cleaning Industry Management Standard is an industry certification offered to the very best office cleaning companies who have demonstrated specific competencies that directly translate into better service and value for you the customer. The CIMS standard measures:

  • Quality Systems: A framework to ensure effective operations & continuous improvement.
  • Service Delivery: Processes & systems in place to deliver consistent, quality service.
  • Human Resources: Best practices for managing any service industry’s greatest asset—their people
  • Health, Safety, & Environmental Stewardship: Ensuring regulatory compliance, workplace safety, and health and environmental management.
  • Management Commitment: Establishing our Mission, Vision, and Values and ensuring that the organization's continuity is secured.

When you partner with office cleaning services that have put in the time and resources toward establishing themselves as an industry leader, you are all but guaranteed better, more effective office cleaning services.


Don't get stuk with below average office cleaning, you deserve more. If you are interested in learning more about what the best office cleaning companies do differently, read more like Seven Things About Commercial Office Cleaning Your Boss Needs to Know.

Tags: Commercial Cleaning, Cost Saving - Pricing, Janitorial Pricing, Office Cleaning

What You DON’T Know About Janitorial Pricing Could Hurt You

Posted by Chris Stathakis on Mon, Jan 15, 2018 @ 08:44 PM

 janitorial pricing, janitorial quotes, janitorial bids, cheap janitorial prices

What We Hear From Facility Managers Just Like You

We talk to Facility Managers day in and day out, it is after all, part of our job. The thing we hear over and over again is how Facility Managers are working with tighter janitorial budgets and overall belt tightening and as such, need to hold costs steady or even reduce them. This, of course, is not the ideal but we understand that it is sometimes simply an unavoidable part of doing business. So Facility Managers have to be careful how and where the allot their dollars and yet, no Facility Manager wants to meet budgets at the expense of having a well maintained building. Angry phone calls and an email box filled with complaints is not a scenario any Facility Manager wants to entertain. SO what are you to do if you are in the position of trying to manage both getting your facility properly cleaned AND keeping costs down? If you are working with a reduced or suboptimal janitorial budget WHO cleans your facility is even more important. The best janitorial companies have responded to the economic uncertainty of budget cuts, increased minimum wage and increased employee healthcare requirements with creative solutions and high tech cost cutting measures from machines that do the work faster, better and cheaper to methods like team cleaning which offer more efficient and effective service. The best cleaning services do not always have to cost more. In fact, the best janitorial services can help you maximize your budget, deliver a level of services that lightens your load and keeps your facility clean and well maintained avoiding complaints from employees and tenants.

Finding a Janitorial Services Company That is Ready, Willing & Able

Reduced budgets require an A team, not the B, C or D team. While there are a great many janitorial and cleaning companies, there are only a few that are really poised to do more with less and clean and care for your facility well. The janitorial marketplace is a crowded one and while competition is good for you the customer, often there are so many companies that finding the right one for YOUR facility can be a challenge. And so often, we talk to Facility Managers that think just because they are working with less than ideal budgets, they have to settle for crummy service. Sure with reduced budgets you might not get everything you want but the right janitorial company will make sure you get everything you need. When looking for your next janitorial services company, we suggest you get an idea of the size and types of businesses and industries they already serve in order to avoid those janitorial companies that are simply not going to deliver services up to the standard of work you require.


Transparent Pricing Is Key

The only thing worse than getting less than what you need from your janitorial services is paying too much for it. One way to insulate yourself from unnecessary costs and still get the service you need is to get clear,transparent pricing up front. Not only will this help you find the best value, it creates a map for you and your cleaning company to measure whether they are meeting expectations or not. Cloudy pricing and fuzzy math is a bad sign that a janitorial company either doesn’t know how to price their services or is purposefully keeping pricing vague so they can charge you more down the road. A prospective janitorial cleaning service must take the time to acquaint themselves your facility and requirements up front, from the cleaning spec, site visit, they must understand and have a solid sense of your requirements and be prepared to meet them. If they cannot exhibit good planning and process BEFORE they get your business, what is the chance service and quality will get better AFTER they already have a contract? Whatever the reason for the ‘fuzzy math,’ it will end up making a mess of your carefully planned budget.


Cheap Cleaning Bids Are a Giant Red Flag

While they can certainly be enticing, in reponse to your janitorial RFP very, very low cleaning bids are a giant red flag. Listen, there are unavoidable hard costs when it comes to maintaining large commercial buildings. Think about it, how exactly can a janitorial company do the same work for so much less. Anyone who says they can do it for far less than other bids coming in is either going to do much less than you need or charge you more through hidden pricing and pricing games. Too good to be true pricing can be a sign that your prospective janitorial services company is using illegal hiring. Extremely low janitorial prices can signal an inexperienced company that wants to use your facility as a training ground. A very low janitorial bid can be tempting because when you are trying to puzzle together the pieces of your budget it seems to solve the problem. But overly low pricing will create far more problems than it will solve and it’s almost guaranteed to cost you significantly more long term.


Too Good To Be True Pricing Points to Illegal Hiring Practices

Janitorial pricing that is well below the majority of the other bids after a janitorial RFP is a possible indication that the building services company is participating in illegal hiring practices. They might be using illegal hiring to trim costs. Two illegal hiring issues are problematic in the janitorial industry, both of which are bad news for you. First, some cleaning companies hire undocumented workers. An undocumented worker is a person working off the payroll or someone that has not supplied the necessary identification to verify their legal status or authorization to work. Second, some janitorial companies illegally classified workers as independent contractors rather than employees. Dishonest janitorial companies illegally classify workers to avoid the legal requirements a company has when having employees like payroll, taxes, benefits and all of the other things businesses must provide for legal employees. These companies willing to put themselves at risk are certainly willing to put you and your business at risk, it’s just not worth the liability.


Sure Price Is Important But Value Is KEY

As a Facility Manager, it is likely your job to find the best prospective janitorial services and stay on budget. When you requets a janitorial RFP, low prices can be enticing but remember, as important as prices are, value is KEY. Price is what you pay, value is what you get. A janitorial services company that does a shoddy job with cleaning and maintenance isn’t a good value at any price right? And making things even more complicated is the fact that a higher price point doesn’t necessarily translate into better value. Basically, what you need is an acceptable level of facility maintenance at a price that comes closest to your targets. You have service and you have price and where they intersect is where you find the greatest value. So how do you recognize those commercial cleaning companies that really understand value? There are some signs that point to a janitorial service company that truly understands service and value.


The Best Janitorial Companies Know How To Make the Most of the Budget You Have

It takes a certain kind of janitorial company to do more with less. Although it might seem counterintuitive, if you are asking for a janitorial RFP and dealing with reduced janitorial budgets you need a better, more experienced and resourced company to clean your facility. Some Facility Managers are under the impression that the better companies MUST cost more but in fact, the very fact that they are experienced and resourced can dramatically cut overall costs. For instance, the best janitorial professionals have a clear understanding of where you CAN and where you CAN’T reduce services that can only come with experience. If a janitorial services company is experienced, you aren’t going to be their first customer who was working with a less than optimal budget. And experienced, knowledgeable commercial cleaning companies understand Smart Cleaning, Team Cleaning and have invested resources into using equipment, supplies and processes that all save money and time. Smart Cleaning means a janitorial company will strategically focus on the areas of your facility that see the most traffic and require more attention while maintaining less used spaces less often or as needed. Team cleaning is when duties throughout a building are assigned to specialists thereby reducing the need for extra equipment as well as creating specialties and efficiencies that save labor hours, the single biggest component of janitorial cost. They make themselves more efficient so that they can be cost competitive while still providing a quality baseline of services. Those janitorial companies that are better equipped and employ the most efficient cleaning processes are much more likely to be capable of delivering effective janitorial services at a lower cost while still making a profit themselves, a necessity in any business.

janitorial pricing 

Tags: Cost Saving - Pricing, Janitorial Services, Janitorial Pricing

What Is Team Cleaning & Why Does It Work?

Posted by Chris Stathakis on Mon, Jan 08, 2018 @ 03:55 PM

4 - team clean.png 

When It Comes to Janitorial Service, Multitasking Isn’t Necessarily Good

While often as a society we extol the virtues of multitasking and ‘wearing many hats,’ there is a great deal of data that doesn’t confirm that. In fact, studies show us that specialization is often more effective and productivity increases with task focus. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that the old way of cleaning a large building, with one person working within a specific area or zone and performing all functions of cleaning is falling out of favor.

It is easy to imagine that with varied responsibilities, it’s simply more likely that a cleaner will miss duties and tasks. With zone cleaning, each cleaner needs their own equipment, which causes costly duplication, storage and maintenance/replacement issues. Zone cleaning simply takes more time and is significantly less efficient because cleaners are task switching and even multitasking, which is slower and requires more labor hours. A single individual handling all cleaning duties in a specific zone often results in a higher margin of error, specialized equipment requirements for every zone, and training that is more involved, costly and challenging to manage. So what is the alternative?


Team Cleaning Outperforms Zone Cleaning Hands Down

Having a single cleaner or custodian in a facility is often the answer but in some facilities, especially larger buildings, team cleaning can have significant and substantial advantages over the oft used zone cleaning. What kind of perks can you get from Team Cleaning?

  • Faster, simplified training results in a cleaning employee fully equipped to do THEIR job well.
  • A team of both specialists and generalists giving you both precision and flexibility.
  • Getting consistently high results much easier and more likely.
  • A higher quality of cleaning performed in less time saving you labor hours and cost.
  • Streamlined training, ease of supervision, and absentee/team member replacement equals consistency for you.
  • Lower onboarding cost of cleaners passed on to you the customer.
  • Can be customized to the needs of YOUR  facility.
  • More cooperative attitude among workers as everyone fully understands their duties.
  • Fewer equipment costs/servicing resulting in lower costs for you the customer.
  • Efficient use of required labor hour means reduced overall costs.
  • Better bottom line for both janitorial companies and their customers.
  • Directives and outcomes like Cleaning for Health & Smart Cleaning are more likely.
  • The more simple the system, the greater chance of sticking with it.


Team Cleaning Can Be the Simple Answer to the Problem of Cost

If you are a Facility Manager facing belt tightening and budget cuts, Team Cleaning can help you reduce janitorial costs without sending your facility maintenance into a tail spin. With Team Cleaning, individual cleaners learn and perfect tasks, performing them throughout your facility. For instance, a light duties specialist might dust and clean all surfaces, clean windows and doors, empty trash and stack trash for pickup by another team member to collect. A team could also include a vacuum specialist, utilities specialist, restroom specialist and more. With task specialists, not only do you limit the risk of cross contamination, the team members are specialized to clean the right way, every time. And quality control is simplified because the guidelines of who does what and who is responsible for what are completely clear. Think about it, one or two people vacuuming your facility can get that task done far more efficiently than eight people juggling a laundry list of duties. Even better, Team Cleaning can be completely customized to the individual needs of your facility.


Labor Hours & Rising Janitorial Costs

The single highest cost in a janitorial services company is labor. While that has always been the case, major upticks in minimum wage, including here in the state of Michigan, as well as changes to health care requirements, have sent commercial cleaning costs soaring. After labor hours, the second highest cost to a cleaning company is that of their equipment. When commercial cleaning companies can drive these costs down, they can then pass along some cost savings to you, their customer. Team cleaning goes a long way in managing labor and equipment costs without compromising the overall quality and effectiveness of your cleaning and maintenance plan.


Is It Time For A Change?

Are you satisfied with the quality of service and value your current janitorial services company is providing you? Is it perhaps time to find a new cleaning service that focuses on best practices, efficiencies and cost saving measures without sacrificing service? Do you need to cut costs but don’t want that to result in a bevy of complaints about the state of your building’s maintenance? Here at Stathakis, we deliver consistent, responsive, effective service and real value for businesses all over southeastern Michigan. With over thirty years in business, we have developed a standard of service delivery that works, just ask our customers. We work hard to create lasting partnerships and offer the businesses of southeastern Michigan the quality, cost-effective janitorial services they deserve. If you are a Facility Manager in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Royal Oak, Farmington Hills, Farmington, Dearborn, Livonia, Troy, Auburn Hills, Novi, Plymouth, Downriver or surrounding areas and you are looking for commercial cleaning services, office cleaning, school cleaning, industrial cleaning, medical cleaning or a janitorial company, please contact us to learn more about how we can help make your job at least a little easier and make your facility shine.

janitorial pricing

Are you looking for school cleaning companies? Think your facility might benefit from day porter duties and what does a day porter do anyway? Are you a Facility Manager lookign for real committment and quality from medical office cleaning services? Call Stathakis at 1-800-278-1884.

Tags: Cost Saving - Pricing, Janitorial Services, Industry Best Practices, Janitorial Pricing, Customer Focus

Smart Cleaning, the Right Way to Clean Lean

Posted by Chris Stathakis on Mon, Oct 09, 2017 @ 01:20 PM


Like It Or Not, Leaner Budgets & Methods Are Here to Stay

Here at Stathakis, we work with Facility Managers and business owners from all over southeastern Michigan. We know how many of you are struggling to make reduced budgets work in your facility. We know you don’t want an exodus of tenants or the interruption of constant emails and phone calls complaining about service issues. Outsourcing your janitorial services was supposed to make you job easier and your facility maintenance better right? While we all wish we were dealing with more robust budgets that made it easier to cover all of the bases without so much thought and analysis, we all understand the reasoning and need for leaner approaches to building maintenance. And while budgets narrow, your responsibilities seem to grow in tandem. It is likely that beyond supervising your facility’s maintenance, you are responsible for things like lease management, assigning and managing space, managing people, understanding and assuring compliance with all relevant regulations. You may even be responsible for the planning and management of building work and renovations. You may be tasked with uncovering greater energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness, forecasting and budgeting, and even directing security and general administrative services. And of course, figuring out a way to do all of this for less. Assuring solid, effective maintenance with a reduced janitorial budget is like Ginger Rogers doing every move Fred Astaire did as a dance duo, except Ginger Rodgers had to do them backwards.


Which Do You Want First The Bad News Or The Good News?

The bad news is this belt tightening isn’t showing any signs of waning. With increased competition and economic unpredictability, most businesses are continuing to try to do more with less. And while it isn’t really bad news per se, the reality is that the workload for many for the Facility Managers we have sat down and talked to, has become far more complex than in the past. The good news is that business challenges like these have always driven American innovation and we have found this to be the case within the janitorial industry. As budgets tighten, professional janitorial companies and their suppliers are continually working to cut waste, looking for ways to create efficiencies and work leaner in an effort to support Facility Managers and secure new competitive business. Of course, some janitorial companies continue to do business ‘as usual’ without trying to address the growing need for leaner processes, reduced waste, increased efficiencies and reduced or flat costs. In order to work with reduced budgets without a bevy of complaints and unlivable, unworkable services, you have to partner with a commercial cleaning company that approaches these needs strategically rather than haphazardly.


Smart Cleaning Can Help You Get Right Where You Need to Be

At Stathakis, we have developed and use Smart Cleaning to help get the Facility Managers we work with where they need to be regarding their janitorial budgets without creating the extra headaches of unlivable service drop offs. We do this through our Smart Clean/Smart Cleaning method. What is Smart Clean? Smart Cleaning is a workable approach to reduced or suboptimal janitorial budgets in which we do a holistic review of your facility in order to determine which janitorial services are essential to the appearance and overall smooth operation of your facility, which services are important but not essential and thus may be delivered at a reduced frequency and which services represent a degree of waste and may be eliminated altogether. In our holistic review, we ask:

  • “What are we doing currently and does it make sense given your maintenance and budget needs?”
  • “What tasks and duties are must haves that need to be included regardless of reduced budgets?”
  • “Where are the areas we might be able to get by with less?”
  • “What tasks are we performing that might be unnecessary?”
  • “What better, more efficient ways might there be to complete those things that are necessary?”
  • "How can we use janitorial industry innovation, products, equipment & processes to better meet our customer's needs?


Smart Cleaning Requires a Plan & a Partnership

Smart Cleaning can’t just be a directive you throw at your current commercial cleaning company. “Here, do more and better work with less money.” That’s how you end up with an inbox full of complaints and a janitorial company that is either resentful for doing work they aren’t getting paid for or searching for ways to add fees or extra costs to break even. No, it’s called Smart Cleaning not Less Cleaning for a reason, it is smart cuts and smart cuts require both you and your janitorial services company to talk about a plan for going leaner without going meaner. As a janitorial company, we have to be given the opportunity to really know your building and how you use it. We need to understand what your pain points are and what your priorities are. Smart Cleaning is customized and as such, requires some upfront communication and planning between you the Facility Manager and us, the Detroit janitorial services company. Yes, there is upfront work involved but the long term benefits are immeasurable and certainly worth the initial effort.


Smart Clean: What It Is & How It Works

Smart Cleaning is a combination of philosophies, methodologies and specific competencies that taken together, work to deliver more for less. Sound complicated but really it’s a pretty simple, yet effective approach. First, when embarking on a Smart Clean approach, your janitorial spec shifts from a general list of cleaning tasks to a needs-focused directive to your cleaning company. Smart Cleaning has many moving pieces and requires thought, planning and a solid system. 

The Smart Clean approach requires:

  • Getting a solid sense of your facility and how you use it
  • Site visits a must in order to look well beyond simple square footage in determining work and pricing.
  • A holistic review of your needs to be able to put the focus where it is needed most.
  • A thorough review of services and how they can be reduced and scheduled to minimize the appearance of less by employees or tenants.
  • An understanding of your pain points, whether with previous janitorial services or within your own organization so we can offer you the solutions that will actually help you.
  • Leaner approaches to cleaning through enhanced staff training and efficiencies like Team Cleaning, where appropriate.
  • Creating efficiencies through the use of better, tech savvy equipment that reduces janitorial hours while still providing effective service.
  • Solid, effective communication in order to catch problems early and adjust in real time.

Smart Cleaning cannot be about just doing less cleaning. Rather, it must be about a strategic shift in services that eliminates redundancies and spreads out work in a way that maximizes your janitorial budget. Smart Cleaning works best when we both uncover areas to reduce waste and create efficiencies through improved processes, products and equipment. While evaluating your facility for overlap or unneeded work is a critical element of Smart Cleaning, we also look to do more work with fewer resources. This is the only way we can both reduce costs and deliver quality cleaning and maintenance. Smart Cleaning relies on a janitorial company that is experienced, professional, effective and steeped in the advances and best practices of their industry. Smart Cleaning only works with those commercial cleaning companies highly resourced and professional. Why? Because the Smart Clean plan requires a considerable investment from your janitorial services company in products, equipment, training and even the framework in place to make it all work.

Do you think your facility could benefit from Smart Cleaning? Is your facility in the southeastern Michigan area? Here at Stathakis, we have spent over thirty years developing a standard of service and working hard to create lasting relationships with our customers and offer the businesses of southeastern Michigan the solutions and services they deserve by adhering to and even developing janitorial best practices.

If you are a Facility Manager in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Royal Oak, Farmington Hills, Farmington, Dearborn, Livonia, Troy, Auburn Hills, Novi, Plymouth, Downriver or surrounding areas and you are looking for commercial cleaning services, office cleaning, school cleaning, industrial cleaning, medical cleaning or other building services, please contact us to learn more about how we can assure you get the service you and your facility require.


Tags: Commercial Cleaning, Cost Saving - Pricing, Industry Best Practices, Janitorial Pricing, Customer Focus

RFPs & Choosing A New Janitorial Services Company

Posted by Chris Stathakis on Wed, Sep 27, 2017 @ 02:03 PM

rfp, requests for proposal, janitorial services, building services contractors, janitorial services company, janitorial companies

Janitorial RFPs

RFPs, or Requests For Proposals, are documents that detail a facility’s janitorial needs and ask for proposed plans from qualified contractors. Similarly, RFPs provide guidelines to contractors on how to best meet the needs of an organization as detailed in the request. They are intended to open up the process to a range of janitorial companies in order to find the right contractor and value for your facility. The better the RFP, the better chance you will find the commercial cleaning company that offers the best fit and value in your facility. But while the Request For Proposal process can help you find the right Building Services Contractor, the process can quickly go off track. From imprecise specifications to hacked together RFPs to bids that are not grounded in reality, problems with RFPs can sometimes make it harder to find the right janitorial services company. But there are some ways to guide and manage the Request For Proposal process so that you as a Facility Manager can get an RFP grounded in reality and specific to the needs of your facility.


Don’t Cast Too Wide a Net

Sure you want to open up the process to a range of companies and allow them to compete for your business, but using RFPs to assess every possible contender is unnecessarily costly to both you and the janitorial companies. Think about it, you are asking for complex RFPs from a number of janitorial companies that are likely unqualified. These RFPs take time and money to put together and tremendous time on your behalf reading and sifting through so much information. You should prequalify prospective janitorial companies and the RFP shouldn’t be your first prequalification tool. When anyone and everyone are invite to bid, often the most effective, professional commercial cleaning companies will concentrate on other business that they know they have a better shot at, leaving you with perhaps lots of janitorial companies that want your business but few that are actually set up to deliver professional, consistent janitorial services at a good value.


Use Industry Certifications Like CIMS to Prequalify Janitorial Companies

A sound way to cut through the crowded janitorial marketplace is to use industry certifications like the ISSA’s CIMS to prequalify contractors before you invite them into the bidding process. CIMS can help you get the basic, and not so basic, information that can make all of the difference when it comes to finding the right janitorial services contractor. ISSA CIMS certification offers you a free shortcut to sift through the crowded janitorial marketplace and identify those companies most equipped to provide the kind of cleaning and maintenance you really need. CIMS certification is a deliberate certification process that requires a building services company to demonstrate competencies and proficiencies in a number of areas that directly correlate to the delivery of high levels of cleaning and maintenance. CIMS or the Cleaning Industry Management Standard demonstrates a janitorial company’s commitment to industry best practices. These benchmarks are all predictors of competency that can at the very least, give you a healthy starting point in the search for a janitorial services contractor. Our suggestion is use CIMS as a starting point to develop your short list of qualified janitorial companies, then do a RFP (Request for Proposal) including on site walk thrus using price and your feel for which company will ultimately fit your needs best. If you are looking for a CIMS certified partner in your building maintenance, check in with ISSA for a complete list of CIMS certified cleaning companies and building services companies in your area. 


Where You Can, Simplify the RFP

Information is good but there is a tipping point where too much information begins to be present a handicap. Look, there is some information you really need and some that you don’t. Some RFPs can be a cobbled together version of older RFPs with new information included without the requisite editing. This can create organizational RFPs that get bigger and more complex without actually providing or requesting better information. Again, overly complex RFPs can create unnecessary work on both sides. Of course you want to be detailed, specific and thorough but it can be wise to pare down your RFP to the most critical, pertinent information. What kind of information is important in making a decision on your next janitorial services provider? Cleanable square feet by floor type is critical because different flooring requires different processes that are completed at a different speed. If all you include is gross square footage without breaking it out by specific flooring type, it will be more difficult for janitorial companies to accurately estimate. Second, accurate building occupancy is important in both pricing consumables like toilet paper and hand towels as well as getting a good understanding of how many janitorial hours will need to be allocated based on the amount of people using a space.


Identify Your Issues & Pain Points & Look For Janitorial Companies That Focus On Solving YOUR Problems

We often see RFPs where an organization will go into great detail presenting solutions for their existing problems, when really, the burden for solving your cleaning and janitorial issues should be on your prospective janitorial company. They may not even share the actual problem with prospective contractors. Were you disappointed with your last commercial cleaning company? Are you facing budget cuts? Share this with qualified janitorial companies. Not only will you get to see their problems solving skills in action before you give them a yes, they may have better, more efficient, effective and even less costly solutions to the issues plaguing your facility. Isn’t that why you outsource your janitorial services to experts or specialists in the first place? You know your business but if a prospective janitorial company is good, they know their business. They know and have the most practice solving issues just like yours in other facilities. Help them help you by identifying your issues and pain points and sharing them with would be Building Services Contractors. In structuring your Request For Proposal around actual business problems and allowing prospective janitorial companies to present solutions, you get the benefit of free advice from a number of seasoned pros, the opportunity to compare cleaning companies with regard to expertise, problem solving skills and competency and a much better chance that you will end up with a company poised to help you solve your most pressing, costly and time consuming problems.


Extend Site Visits to Prequalified Janitorial Services Companies

All too often site visits are quick and cursory because everyone is afforded one. What is much better than a lot of bids is a handful of qualified bids based upon very good information. For this reason it can be helpful to offer site visits to would be commercial janitorial services after some thinning of your list. This way, you can allot more time to fewer contractors saving you time on-site while allowing increased time for qualified companies to accurately assess your facility. You’ll get a more accurate cleaning bid as well as better insight on the company itself.


Get the Building Services You Need

As a Facility Manager, one of the most difficult things you must do is find the right janitorial services company to help you manage your building’s maintenance. Put in the time adjusting and refining your RFP and you set your facility up for success. It certainly isn’t easy sifting through the crowded janitorial marketplace but it is important to set yourself up to more easily compare potential cleaning companies and get solid information on what they can offer you. Here at Stathakis, we have served the businesses of southeastern Michigan for over thirty years. We provide commercial cleaning, janitorial services and commercial handyman services to the following Southeastern Michigan Counties: Genesee County, Livingston County, Washtenaw County, Monroe County, Wayne County, Macomb County, St. Clair County. We offer effective, professional facility services to the cities of Detroit, Ann Arbor, Farmington Hills, Dearborn, Farmington, Livonia, Plymouth, Downriver, Royal Oak, Southfield, Troy, Auburn Hills, Novi and more. For more information on our services and how we can help you, please contact us at 1-800-278-1884.

janitorial pricing

Tags: CIMS-GB Certification, Commercial Cleaning, Janitorial Services, Industry Best Practices, Janitorial Pricing

Ten Signs It’s Time to Give Your Janitorial Services Company the Boot

Posted by Chris Stathakis on Fri, Sep 15, 2017 @ 02:12 PM


Ineffective Janitorial Services Can Flood Your Desk With Complaints you grappling with the many problems that arise when you have ineffective janitorial services? From a building that looks sad, grimy and uncared for to an email box full of complaints, it’s a bad situation to find yourself in as a Facility Manager. One of the main reasons you outsource you cleaning services is so that you DON’T have to micromanage them and have FEWER problems. So when your janitorial services company is either incompetent or phoning it in, it’s time to start considering your options. Is it time to give your janitorial company the boot? But choosing a commercial cleaning company isn’t an easy feat. There are so many and all of them claim to be good, how do you really know? An examination of the signs that your current commercial cleaning company is failing to deliver on their promises to you can help us frame what is required when you go searching for your next janitorial services company.


When a Few Off Days Becomes A Few Off Weeks Becomes a Few Off Months…

No one is perfect even as we’d like to see ourselves as such. Even the best janitorial companies will have an off day sometimes. But if the day is turning to days is becoming weeks trailing into months, something has to give. Commercial cleaning companies are made up of people, and people make mistakes and forget things. But doing so with any regularity is a much bigger problem, and a problem you can’t solve. Consistently inconsistent janitorial service is an issue that belongs to your building maintenance company and it’s one they have to fix on their own. Poorly performing teams are often the result of bad people processes and screening, insufficient training, poor management, none of which you can even remotely control. And when the cleaning services have sunk to this level, it’s not likely your Detroit janitorial company can right their ship anytime soon. When a few mistakes have become a pattern of mistakes, it’s time to move on.


  1. Don’t Let THEIR People Problems Plague YOUR Facility

People and people processes are the cornerstones of all service businesses. You can have every part of operations figured out but if there are issues with your frontline people, everything falls apart. If your janitorial company has people problems, you can bet they’ll become YOUR problems in short order. How can they not? What people problems show up the most with contract cleaning services? It might be that your janitorial cleaning services isn’t attracting and screening the right people for the work. Maybe they don’t offer the competitive pay and benefits that a help attract and retain the best people. Perhaps in an effort to cut costs they are engaging in illegal hiring or illegal subcontracting. This is a problem that will quickly become your problem and presents liabilities you want zero part of. People problems may also stem from a lack of adequate training and effective management. This will lead to poor performance and even higher turnover, which then impacts the amount of new faces in and out of your facility. Finally, we all understand that a commercial cleaning company willing to take shortcuts with their people is willing to take them everywhere. Not exactly the recipe for effective janitorial services.


  1. When THEY Skimp on Training YOU Lose On Service

Adequately trained office cleaners and custodians are vital if you are to get consistent, effective, responsive service. Effective cleaning necessitates both general training in cleaning and training specific to YOUR industry and facility. Cleaners need to understand safe chemical storage and usage, cleaning for health, how to operate equipment most effectively and signs that it may need to be serviced or replaced. They need to understand where they can contribute to green cleaning goals. They need to be clear on the consequences of poor job performance and they need to know there are rewards and incentives for great work too. Effective employee training isn’t just vital to the level of services you receive, it impacts how people feel about their work. Well trained cleaners feel better about the work they do, they feel competent and professional. All of the benefits of solid training are passed along to you the customer in the form of satisfied, competent, professional cleaners caring for your facility at the level you need.


  1. Is Your Janitorial Services Creating Unnecessary RISK & LIABILITY

Nothing is more important that protecting the safety of your building’s occupants and shielding yourself from unnecessary risk and liability. If your janitorial services company aren’t doing all the things they need to in order to assure that, it is certainly time to give them the boot. Don’t let your janitorial services company use illegal hiring or subcontracting under your nose. Just because you don’t know about it doesn’t mean you wont feel the weight of its consequences. Similarly, you must confirm that your Detroit janitorial company is screening their employees, every single time. That means criminal background checks, drug screening, employment verification and reference checks, at a minimum.


  1. How Old, Poorly Maintained Equipment Makes a Bad Situation Worse

Commercial cleaning equipment has gotten better, quicker, greener, quieter, lighter, more ergonomic, more efficient and more effective. The right janitorial equipment can significantly cut labor hours which is the single largest component of janitorial pricing and costs. Reduce janitorial hours and you reduce cost, which translates into lower prices for you. Dated and poorly maintained equipment isn’t saving anyone money except perhaps your janitorial company. But even for them, operating with the best and most effective equipment reduces labor hours, unusable equipment, frequent service and more. If your cleaning company is making due with equipment that has seen better days, it’s time to give them the boot.


  1. When Janitorial Prices & Expectations Are Fuzzy

Commercial cleaning prices must be clear for a few important reasons. First, as a Facility Manager, you deserve to know EXACTLY what something is going to cost you. You have budgets to meet and any contracting partner you work with has an obligation to help you do this with good information. Second, transparent pricing gives you the opportunity to compare different janitorial bids and pick the one that offers the most value. Third, clear pricing helps you budget, forecast and otherwise plan out the rest of the pieces of your facility maintenance puzzle. Finally, clear pricing outlines clear duties and expectations and helps assure you and you janitorial services company are on the same page and understand what constitutes success.


  1. When Inconsistency Reigns

As we’ve previously noted, mistakes happen, things get missed, service dips as a new hire acclimates to the requirements of your facility. But these issues should be few and far between. If inconsistency reigns in your facility maintenance, it is time to give your current janitorial service the boot. Maybe they get it right some of the time, but as the saying goes, even a broken clock is right twice a day. If you are getting consistently inconsistent service, the truth is, you are not getting what you paid for, period.


  1. When Your Janitorial Services Company Leaves You Hanging

As we said, mistakes can happen, issues can arise. Sure if it’s with any regularity, something is amiss, but as important as not making regular mistakes is, is how your commercial cleaning responds when things do go off the track. If your Detroit janitorial service doesn’t respond immediately to issues, there is a problem. If they tell you 'we’ll take care of it' but they never do, you have a problem. If they do not have a formal system to handle complaints and issues, you have a problem. Sure, it is on you to relay issues to your janitorial services company, but once you make them aware, steps to remedy it should begin immediately. And then THEY should check in with you to be certain the issue is rectified to your satisfaction. If you are not getting that kind of responsiveness from your current commercial cleaning company, it is time to give them the boot.


  1. When Apathy Has Become the Norm

Apathy starts with missing little thingshere and there grows into an attitude that missing little things is acceptable. And the worst part about apathy is it is highly contagious. An apathetic cleaning team will impact your services sure, but it will also infect your business, your employees, tenants and customers. Seeing a facility where the cleaners don't care translates to the perception that you the Facility Manager don’t care. When apathy starts to seep into your facility, it is time to give your Detroit commercial cleaners the boot before you have an epidemic on your hands.


  1. When Communication With Your Cleaning Company Has Broken Down

When you call, does it take days to get a call back? Do you have to call multiple times to get something taken care of? Maybe you don’t even really know whom you are supposed to call. If communication with your cleaning company is broken or absent, it’s probably time to give them the boot. You outsourced your janitorial services to make things easier, not harder. You shouldn’t have to be chasing them down to get the job done right.


  1. When You Get the Sense You Might Not Be Working With a True Professional?

Professionalism is paramount in every industry and the janitorial, cleaning and building services industry must operate with the systems and processes of a truly professional company. That means great people, training, and management. That means not leaving you and your facility open to safety, security or liability risk. That means operating with consistency, reliability and communicating regularly. That means things like wrapped company vehicles, uniforms and badges and other hallmarks of a professional company. One way to confirm a baseline plus level of professionalism is to use industry certifications like the CIMS, Certified Industry Management System to weed out companies that just are not committed to continual improvement.


When Too Many Mistakes From Your Janitorial Company Makes It Clear It’s Time to Move On

Mistakes happen, missteps will occur, but when bad service is becoming the norm, it is time to give your cleaning company the boot. You, your facility and your building’s occupants deserve better. You deserve to get your value from your commercial cleaning without an inbox full of complaints and the stress of having to manage your cleaning contractor’s people. If your janitorial company is garnering more complaints than compliments, it’s time to give them the boot. There are companies getting it right, day after day and not only do you deserve that level of service, it won’t necessarily cost you more than the lackluster service you are getting now. While finding the right partner isn’t effortless, arming yourself with good information allows you to ask the right questions and get the information you need to make sound choices in your facility.

 janitorial pricing

Tags: Commercial Cleaning, Janitorial Services, Industry Best Practices, Janitorial Pricing

Why Team Cleaning Outperforms Zone Cleaning In Larger Facilities

Posted by Chris Stathakis on Tue, Sep 12, 2017 @ 10:52 AM

 team cleaning, detroit janitorial services company, livonia commercial cleaning company, downriver, dearborn

Are you on a winning team with team cleaning?

Innovation Has Changed Everything, Including Janitorial Services

As the pace of technology and innovation has moved faster and faster, businesses have had to respond and adapt, often learning to be faster themselves. Janitorial services are no exception and the industry has had to respond to a variety of factors changing the way they do business including:

  • Changes to the required minimum wage
  • Changes in employee healthcare requirements
  • Green cleaning goals of customer & company alike
  • Reduced janitorial budgets
  • Increased understanding of cleaning for health

What might have taken little more than a mop, a bucket and a custodian years back, has leapt into the realm of the high tech. Not only are the best janitorial companies using innovation to clean, they are using innovation to adjust how they clean. The switch to team cleaning has been a significant one. So what is team cleaning and what are its goals?

Innovation has impacted not only what we use to clean, but also the fundamentals of how we clean.

The Downsides of Zone Cleaning

High tech equipment, green supplies and methods, and more have revolutionized commercial cleaning. But a more recent change in the way we clean has had a huge impact on cutting waste, cutting cost and managing resources. So what is team cleaning and why is it so much better? First let’s look at how cleaning a building is often done, with zone cleaning. With zone cleaning, a building is often broken into zones. Sometimes it’s sections of the building, sometimes it’s different floors of your building. These separate zones are then the responsibility of assigned cleaners. With zone cleaning, each cleaner is responsible for all the cleaning tasks in their zone. So with zone cleaning, every member of the cleaning staff needs to vacuum, clean restrooms, empty trashes, dust and more. This method might sound like it makes sense, in fact, most janitorial companies used it for years if not decades. But zone cleaning has a lot of downsides. What are the relative disadvantages of zone cleaning?

  • With varied responsibilities, it’s easier for cleaners to miss things.
  • Each zone cleaner needs their own equipment & supplies like vacuums, floor cleaning tools & more. Equipping each employee costs much, much more.
  • The cost of more equipment means your commercial cleaning company will try to get every last bit of life out of their equipment, often using it far beyond its period of effectiveness.
  • Zone cleaning takes longer & is less efficient because cleaners are task switching and even multitasking, which is slower and requires more labor hours. 

  Team Cleaning helps cut waste, cut cost and better manage resources.


Team Cleaning, Why It Works & Why It’s Better

While zone cleaning falls out of favor as Facility Managers and janitorial companies work hard to keep costs level or even reduce them, team cleaning has become the go to method for effectively and efficiently keeping larger buildings clean. So what is team cleaning, how does it work and why is it better? With team cleaning, individual cleaners master a few specific tasks and perform them throughout your facility. So, there is likely to be a light duties specialist, a vacuum specialist, a restroom specialist and a utility or general specialist whose duties may change based on your facility or staffing. Specialists are far more likely to clean the right way, each and every time. With team cleaning, each cleaner is responsible for a very specific set of duties so both task mastery and accountability are increased skyrocketing efficiency. This efficiency means the need for both labor and equipment is reduced. As a final point, with each cleaning team member completing their specific set of duties, less equipment is needed. When janitorial companies have less equipment to buy, they can buy better equipment and replace old, dated equipment

With team cleaning, each cleaner is responsible for a very specific set of duties so both task mastery and accountability are increased skyrocketing efficiency.


Keep Cleaning Costs Down With Team Cleaning

The single greatest cost in a janitorial services company is labor. And with the minimum wage growing in many states, including here in Michigan, as well as healthcare coverage requirements and costs rising, labor costs are likely to continue to rise. After labor, equipment comes in at number two in terms of cost. When janitorial companies are able to reduce these two major items, they can subsequently pass along some savings to you the customer. Team cleaning can help manage both labor and equipment costs without sending your overall facility maintenance into a tailspin. The task specialization that comes with team cleaning means less equipment and even reduced labor hours. One or two people vacuuming your building can get that task done far more efficiently than eight people juggling multitude of duties. While it is certainly dependent on the size of your facility and the scope of your cleaning, team cleaning has proven itself to be a method that can significantly save time and money.

Team cleaning can help manage both labor and equipment costs without sending your overall facility maintenance into a tailspin.

Are you content with the service and value you are getting from your current janitorial services company? Is it time to look for a new cleaning service firmly planted in 21st century practices? Do you have a less than optimal cleaning budget but don’t want your email box crammed with complaints? Here at Stathakis, we deliver consistent, responsive service and real value for businesses all over southeastern Michigan. We have spent over thirty years developing a standard of service delivery. We work hard to create lasting relationships with our customers and offer the businesses of southeastern Michigan the service they deserve. If you are a Facility Manager in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Royal Oak, Farmington Hills, Farmington, Dearborn, Livonia, Troy, Auburn Hills, Novi, Plymouth, Downriver or surrounding areas and you are looking for commercial cleaning services, office cleaning, school cleaning, industrial cleaning, medical cleaning or a janitorial company, please contact us to learn more about how we can help make your job at least a little easier and make your facility shine.


Tags: Commercial Cleaning, Janitorial Services, Industry Best Practices, Janitorial Pricing

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