In an era of intense and ever-increasing competition in the building service contractor (BSC) market, the typical BSC firm faces a number of ongoing challenges to win new business, uphold a high level of service delivery, meet demanding customer expectations, comply with changing government regulations, and ultimately maintain profitability.
To better understand the often-complex dynamics of BSC businesses in today’s marketplace, Cleaning and Maintenance Management (CMM) conducted our annual BSC Benchmarking Survey this spring. The following pages include an analysis of the aggregate results, which we hope will be useful to benchmark your own operations.
Survey Methodology and Participant Profile
To conduct the 2016 CMM BSC Benchmarking Survey, CMM editorial staff distributed the survey via email to all active contacts in CMM’s BSC email database. Survey questions addressed a range of BSC business dimensions—structure, operations, human resources, sales, and purchasing—to identify benchmarks and critical issues for BSCs.
A total of 231 qualified contractors completed the survey; 77 percent of these identified themselves as traditional BSC/janitorial service providers, and 15 percent were specialty cleaning/maintenance contractors. Nearly three-quarters of respondents work in corporate management or own the business. However, the aggregate survey results represent a wide range of BSC businesses. Respondents’ businesses varied in size and scope of operations, as 22 percent are responsible for cleaning less than 250,000 square feet on a monthly basis, while 23 percent clean more than 5 million square feet each month. Additional respondent profile information can be found on Page 27.
Trends and Takeaways
When it comes to critical issues BSCs face, two resonant themes were evident in analyzing the survey results: BSCs consistently are challenged to hire and retain qualified staff, and must bid competitively—albeit prudently—to gain new business and maintain desired levels of profitability for each account.
However, despite these considerable, ongoing challenges that impact contractors today, the majority of respondents maintained a positive outlook with regard to revenue growth this year. In fact, 46 percent of respondents predicted their revenues will increase some this year compared to last, while 20 percent expected revenues to increase significantly in 2016 versus 2015.
Of course, these highlights only scratch the surface of today’s BSC business landscape. Continue reading to review the aggregate results, which we highlight in a series of graphs and illustrations in the following pages, and analyze how your BSC business compares from a benchmarking perspective.