I often have the pleasure of speaking with various industry veterans, consultants, experts and insiders.
I use this information to shape the editorial product of Cleaning & Maintenance Management, develop new story ideas or for general research.
Recently, one kind expert agreed to go "on the record" and allowed me to partially publish one of our conversations.
Dave Frank, who is a 30-year industry veteran, the president of the American Institute for Cleaning Sciences and columnist for Cleaning & Maintenance Management, answers some questions about the growing popularity of outsourcing.
Why Is Outsourcing Becoming Widespread Right Now?
Frank: Cleaning is not a core competency of most in-house organizations. [But,] the need for outsourcing is really stemming from a need to cut costs.
Today, chief financial officers (CFOs) are looking at the cost of everything, such as copy machines, materials and cleaning. And, since cleaning represents 20 percent or more of the maintenance and operations cost, it is on a big radar screen.
It is my prediction that contractors will grow at 15-30 percent a year over the next four to five years.
What Options Do In-house Cleaning Departments Have To Thrive?
Frank: They can organize their operations and use best practices that a contractor would employ. But, they must have management''s support.
[Also,] outsourcing will be inevitable if the in-house organization cannot provide documentation. They must be able to present layers of documentation and information necessary to justify what they are doing.
How Can Contractors Prepare For Growth?
Frank: For most cleaning contractors, the business model is based on, ''We do better cleaning.'' That is not going to work. Contractors have to be prepared for zero-base budgeting and they have to understand task-based workloading.
It all has to be built backwards, ''This is the number now so how clean can we get the building for that number?'' That''s the right business model.
The contractor is going to have to identify the business structure of cleaning. They can no longer just throw workers at it and say, ''Go clean.'' They need operational structure to succeed.
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