How to Optimize Your Building Management Budget

clip_image002It’s no secret that budgets are tightening up in all fields of building management. This is also true in the janitorial services area. You want the “best bang for your buck.” Who doesn’t? Selecting an outsource maintenance company can be daunting. But it doesn’t have to be! Begin by identifying your building’s requirements. Be precise! Then submit a Request for Proposal (RFP) for janitorial services. Your criteria should include: commitment to quality; reputation/references; scope of resources; existing relationships; cultural match; added-value capacity; and, of course, price. A finely-tuned RFP gives janitorial companies the necessary information to ensure an accurate response. ESC can help you with this process.

Cost control is a serious issue and is the primary reason for outsourcing. A survey of facilities managers indicated that the primary areas outsourced were custodial and housekeeping operations (72%), and the primary functional area that respondents claimed savings from was custodial and housekeeping (52%) (FMLink & Encompass Global Technologies, 2002). According to IFMA, “in-house cleaning costs an average of 23% more than contract cleaning services” (McCagg, 2001). Costs can be measured in varied ways, such as cost per square foot cleaned, labor costs, supply costs, costs of benefits and overhead costs.

One important benefit that outsourcing janitorial and maintenance provides is that property managers will benefit from the nation-wide vendor relationships that a well-respected firm like ESC has developed. These vendor relationships translate to better quality supplies purchased at reduced costs and increased profit to the bottom line.

Bundling services may allow building management to operate with a smaller total management staff than would be needed for separate management of those services through several smaller contracts. For example, the person who manages building maintenance activities, such as plumbing services, can also manage other services, such as janitorial.

This bundled approach may give the property owners and managers opportunities to introduce process improvements, particularly those that reduce internal/external transaction costs. By consolidating the inbound logistics services and using an integrated tracking system, a single provider can supply parts and equipment to the site with fewer labor hours. One quality assurance program that ESC recommends is “SmartInspect”, which is web-based, digital and secure. Inspections are performed with smart phone devices that are loaded with customized SmartInspect software that has been configured to your facility’s exact cleaning specifications. Simply touch the device’s display screen to select locations, buildings, rooms and area types specific to your facility.

Bundling of services can save you money, time and offer quality service improvements. Bundled services with right partner will give you the right solution at the right price to optimize your budget.

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