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Management And Training

The Value Of Quality Work

September 19, 2010
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Editor’s note:
What is the value of quality work and can it be assigned a dollar amount?

Some might argue yes, but these people tend to be cheap and would sacrifice the cleanliness of their facility to save a buck.

Ironically, when the sacrifices become noticeable and the health of building occupants is jeopardized, only then do these customers look to spend precious dollars.

In today’s society, you tend to get what you pay for.

The cleaning business is no exception.

A recent post on the cmmonline.com Bulletin Board addressed the issue of losing an account, only to be contracted again at a later date after the shortcomings of a cheaper, less effective cleaning company became apparent.


Posted by Sean Duuvel: 4/3/2008 at 1:49:06 p.m.
There is nothing better than losing a big contract, warning the customer that the franchisor is a degenerate, and then two short years later they come back and agree. Redemption? I don’t know, but you can’t have this kind of fun with a county job. Good days and bad, this is just one I won’t forget.



Responses:
David Haigler: 4/3/2008 3:22:39 p.m.
Been there done that. We clean medical buildings and these folks crack me up daily. They think nothing about spending $400 on lunch for their staff, yet they will change cleaning companies for the promise of saving $3 per month. Don’t you love it when they call you back?

Brian Earley: 4/3/2008 4:02:54 p.m.
Man oh man, timely post. It just happened to us. A franchise took over seven accounts upon our contract coming up for renewal. The great minds in management decided to go with a franchise even after I gave them some good info on working with franchise cleaning services. It has only been a few days and my contacts say there are already problems.

Bob The Cleaner: 4/3/2008 4:29:55 p.m.
“Did you like our services before you threw us over the side? Okay, then. Our new contract is for 36 months.”

Then, go buy them the biggest Harry and David gift basket. Attach a card that says “Welcome Home” like you’d get for a sick relative coming home from the hospital.

Sean Duuvel: 4/4/2008 11:43:33 a.m.
I’m not naming any companies, I’ve been in trouble for that before. But, the point is that quality always wins and, as independents, sometimes you get beat down, but you have to energize, put together a new plan, and win.

Lynn Krafft: 4/7/2008 9:26:37 a.m.
It just happened to us last fall. The national contractor we subbed from wouldn’t negotiate and give us the price adjustment we wanted and we chose to walk. Gave proper notice and all, but we were gone.

We are now back doing selected branches of the bank (our selection) at more money than the fair price we were asking for last year. They found out the local outfit that so easily replaced us really couldn’t — they are rank amateurs and probably won’t get better.

We went back with only local stuff and a monthly PO arrangement.

I think that in a few months these amateurs will be out of the picture since they are commodity brokers and have little concern for the unsuspecting customers they attract.

Clive Nobles: 4/7/2008 2:13:34 p.m.
Here in the UK, saving money means more than attaining quality services. I had one large office cleaning contract. I had 22 part-time laborers, each working 2.5 hours. The building transformed from a filthy building to a hygienic building in the space of three months.

An example was that the carpet changed color from just vacuuming. The workstations and filing cabinets changed from having a bronzed coating — from years of greasy fingerprints — to like-new surfaces.

Anyway, the first night the new contractors took over there were only 16 staff members doing two hours of work. Four weeks later when I visited the premises to see if there were problems with payments, etc., I was told that it had gone down to 12 staff, but the supervisor said they were lucky if eight turned up each evening.

While having a meeting with them in the gymnasium, I noticed thick dust on a four foot window ledge, smeary mirrored doors to a wall holding equipment, and then was astonished as to the scale/body fat buildup on the multiple shower doors and tiles. The tiny blue mosaic tiles on the floor had changed from clean gray grout to a brown/black.

But, I was informed that there was only one lady cleaning for two hours. She was cleaning a large gymnasium, corridor and two large shower rooms with six shower cubicles, a bathroom, and lockers along the walls. When I managed this site, I had two ladies cleaning the same area, working for two and a half hours.

Still, the client must have saved a few thousand dollars, but I guess they don’t worry about the quality of work.


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CM/Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online™ viewers as well as CM/Cleaning & Maintenance Management® magazine readers are encouraged to submit letters to the editor on topics of interest to the professional cleaning and maintenance industry. Send letters to the editor to rdipaolo@ntpmedia.com.
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