I like refresh buttons. Whether it’s a browser or an online document, the refresh button stands for something new, something updated. It stands for progress. As leaders in the facilities management industry, refresh buttons come in the form of quality janitorial services and handyman services. A janitorial service is a refresh to a facility. A handyman service is a refresh to an asset.
I also find the New Year to be similar to a refresh button. You get to bring in everything you learned from the prior year, and add to it the new things you want from life (a.k.a., New Year’s resolutions). The New Year is cathartic and motivating to me.
I only wish that motivation came packaged with preservatives. We all wish for a longer shelf life to New Years resolutions. Consistently acting on our New Year’s resolutions is hard work. The English writer, Aldous Huxley once said, “…The only completely consistent people are dead!”
That makes me laugh, but as I think about consistency I can’t escape the fact that so much in life depends upon it. Take for example trust. Trust is built with consistency.
With both local and national janitorial companies, trust can be an issue due to the inconsistency of the service. Take national janitorial services for example. National contracts include:
- Buildings dotted across multiple states and rural locations
- Sites are often managed unseen by the customer
- Frequencies of periodic work can lead to periodic tasks numbering in the hundreds of thousands making it difficult to keep a finger on in terms of compliance
The logistics of a national janitorial service make it difficult to deliver consistency, and therefore difficult to trust. As you set New Year’s resolutions for your facility, here are four ways you can ensure better consistency and trust from your facility service providers:
1. Validate the Service
You can predict the level of consistency and service with more confidence when your facility service provider is certified through a third-party. ISSA provides third-party certification through its CIMS Certification Program. You can find a list of both local and national janitorial service companies on their website. For handyman or other maintenance services, look for personal certifications. The ACHP (Association of Certified Handyman Professionals) provides handyman certifications.
2. Make Sure the Service is Visible
Most quality national commercial cleaning companies will be technologically advanced. They will use a mix of smart phone technology and web-based technology that captures the voice of the process for your portfolio or facility. Technology gives you visibility and insight into how well the service is being delivered. Look for companies that can deliver insightful and meaningful reports.
3. Make Sure the Service is tangible
A service is intangible. Unlike when you buy a car, you can’t just go out and kick the tires. A service is a promise to perform something. Quality facility service companies make their service tangible by developing processes, training, systems and tools that help manage the service better leading to improved consistency. Make sure your service provider has these tools. Ask them to demo the components to help you see through the “Marketing Hype.”
4. Make Sure the Service is Accountable
The more accountable your facility service provider is, the more you will trust them. One way you can make the service accountable is through a regular Voice of the Customer (VOC) review (Typically quarterly). A VOC review will evaluate the contractor’s performance and set expectations so that everyone is clear as to what value is expected from the partnership.
If you have already written your New Year’s resolutions, there is nothing stopping you from amending them. Set your goals to assuring your facility service providers are valid, visible, tangible and accountable. By doing so, not only will you create consistent quality service, but you will develop trust in you contractors making them a valuable part of the solution for your building occupant and owners.
In 2011, Marc's team won the large company category, "Best in the Industry" marketing materials from the Building Service Contractor Association International (BSCAI). Marc also directs Varsity's proposal writing, sales process and tools development, marketing campaigns, corporate website SEO performance and customer support center.
Marc has spent his career developing strategic capabilities that enhance value to customers and the company. A Lean Sigma Green belt himself, he developed the company's Lean Sigma offering, providing an innovative solution to customers' need to lower cost while raising quality. He led the development of JanOPS, an industry-leading janitorial operating system, which brings standardization and service consistency to large campus and geographically disperse national accounts.
Prior to this position, Marc was responsible for strategic management at Varsity. He has initiated or directed multiple strategic technology initiatives, ranging from a corporate website, a corporate intranet, a web/smartphone based quality control system, a learning management system, a corporate content manager and knowledge wiki, salesforce.com deployment and customization, and an Android app which facilitates the GROW sales process he has developed.
Marc is the author of several leadership and management training manuals, field guides, marketing collateral and case studies. He speaks Portuguese and Spanish and holds a bachelor degree in English/Technical Writing and a Masters of Business Administration in Finance from Idaho State University. Marc enjoys mountain biking, skiing, fishing and golf. He is happily married, and he and his wife Victoria enjoy raising and spending time with their four children.