By Susan Scapparone
With a significant level of volatility in today’s economy, companies are asking their employees to do more with less. Businesses are faced with many challenges as budgets are cut, costs of raw materials escalate and supply chains continue to lag. The Jan-San industry is not immune to these issues. With a shortage of qualified custodial staff workers, facility managers must rely more than ever on manufacturers who can provide cost efficient, quality products to customers with reduced budgets and trimmed workforces.
As the new year approaches and many organizations finalize their 2022 budgets, facility managers are being asked to come up with creative solutions to find new ways to save on time, labor and material costs. Eliminating inefficiencies begins with choosing the right products for the job. Working with a trusted partner that has industry experts and can offer vendor consolidation, auto replenishment, easy-to-use, reliable products at affordable prices, will bring added value.
Before completing plans and discussing new ways of working with custodial staff, here are three tips for facility managers to run a safe, clean, and cost-effective building operation next year.
1. Track inventory and consider private brands vs. national brands. To control costs, facility managers must regularly and accurately track inventory on a weekly basis. This will allow you to negotiate the best prices upfront with your janitorial solutions provider. Also, a significant savings can come from selecting jan-san private brands instead of national brands. While a national brand may have more name recognition, private brands usually have a lower cost basis and have been proven to be equal or better in performance and quality when compared to a national brand.
2. Easy to use for greater efficiencies. Brands such as Coastwide Professional™ are equally focused on both the chooser (the individual responsible for purchasing Jan-San products) and the user (the custodial staff that uses the products). Their “Systems Thinking” simplifies and streamlines time and labor costs. The company uses color as a wayfinding tool to visually communicate product use and specifically designed interaction zones with bold orange colors. The color coding makes it easier to train custodial staffs. Additionally, the brand provides bilingual instructions on their packaging systems to help eliminate potential language barriers to further reduce staff downtime.
3. Do your homework on selecting the right outside partner. Outsourcing a building’s janitorial cleaning services has proven over time to be a fiscally responsible move. According to a Statista report in 2019, 24% of facility managers surveyed are outsourcing their cleaning services. This is a significant jump from only 15% in the 2018 report. But selecting the right partner at the right price can be challenging. To ensure that employees and visitors are in a building environment that is safe, healthy, and attractive, ask your provider some simple questions. For instance, what is their training process, do they perform routine inspections to ensure their work is being properly done and what kind of custodial staff turnover rate do they have. Thinking ahead of time about these issues will enhance the value of the partnership and keep costs under control.
Being asked to do more with less is a reality of today’s business environment. The key to success for any facility manager is staying organized and working with a reliable janitorial supplier who provides cost efficient, quality products. Maintaining a constant flow of communications with your team and your supplier(s) will increase overall productivity and improve efficiencies. Facility managers and suppliers that follow these tips will run a more efficient and profitable building operation without compromising on cleaning performance.
Scapparone is the director, product management for Coastwide Professional, a Staples-owned company. She leads a cross-functional team responsible for launching new chemical solutions and cleaning tools and played a key role introducing the Coastwide Professional™ J-Series line of paper and soap dispensers and refills for the modern restroom.