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7 FAQs About Outsourcing Janitorial Programs

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Every space has unique cleaning needs, whether it's a retail store, restaurant, warehouse, or office building. Navigating the decision between managing an in-house janitorial team or outsourcing to a facility services partner to address those needs is a common dilemma for many organizations. Factors such as customer/employee satisfaction levels, cost, control, and quality are pivotal in shaping this decision-making process.

To help facility leaders decide which route to take, we answered seven frequently asked questions (FAQs) about outsourced janitorial programs. Use these to help make a choice that is right for your business.

KBS crew members at work

1. Does outsourcing janitorial services cost more than in-sourcing?

No, not when you factor in the true cost of in-sourcing cleaning labor, including insurance, benefits, employee turnover, and potentially lower customer satisfaction scores, which can result in lower sales. By comparison, outsourced janitorial providers, especially national providers, can take advantage of their bulk purchasing power and deep relationships with manufacturers and suppliers to deliver major savings to clients when it comes to cleaning supplies, equipment and chemicals. Outsourced providers can help to reduce costs and increase productivity in other ways too like providing access to advanced technology and equipment and by offering bundled services.

2. Would I be sacrificing local relationships if I choose a national provider over a regional one?

No. It’s a popular misconception that outsourced national providers can’t be built on local relationships and local market expertise. In today’s complex operating environment, where factors like low labor availability, lingering inflation, and heightened cleaning expectations come into play, it’s essential to set the record straight. National providers hire janitorial crew members from local markets and typically have matrixed, expanded structures that allow them to provide local leadership at every level, from site supervisors to regional executives. For example, KBS’ field managers have a deep understanding of the unique operating environment of every location and collaborate closely with local client leadership to build responsive, scalable programs. This enables a best-of-both-worlds approach: national scale and regional expertise.

3. Does outsourcing janitorial services result in a loss of control?

Not at all. Outsourcing typically enhances control, especially for multiple sites by ensuring consistent service quality across the portfolio through pre-defined brand standards, scalable best practices, regular audits, and real-time performance reporting. In addition, local field managers are constantly in contact with client leadership for updates, adjustments, and ongoing management. Outsourcing typically leads to higher quality cleaning because in-house staff often lack proper training and equipment, resulting in inconsistent standards and higher costs. Trusted service partners like KBS employ a comprehensive approach to janitorial cleaning, ensuring high-quality standardized work to ensure healthy operations.

4. How are employees of outsourced janitorial services properly vetted and trained?

Quality facility service providers prioritize the vetting and training of both direct employees and any subcontractors they use through comprehensive onboarding compliance programs. KBS, for example, conducts background and credit checks, employee eligibility verification, drug tests, and rigorous interviews to capture the best talent for its direct hires. It also ensures that any vendor partner it engages to meet client needs has the proper insurance, business credentials, and other regulatory means to keep clients protected. Finally, outsourced facility service providers like KBS typically have robust training programs that cover safety, equipment usage, and specific job functions to ensure team members have the necessary skills and latest knowledge to do their jobs effectively.

5. How do outsourced vendors ensure accountability and transparency?

Outsourced vendors ensure accountability and transparency through things like regular audits and inspections, KPI reporting, and before-and-after photos. For example, KBS leverages its core operations platforms, KBSForce, and a connected online portal for clients, to deliver real-time visibility into things such as daily attendance, project tracking, audit and inspections, performance KPIs, and other metrics. KBS also has service specific technology, such as KBS SnowMap, that provides real-time reporting on client snow removal operations nationwide. This reporting not only enhances transparency and accountability for clients but enables KBS field teams to make proactive decisions and continuous service delivery improvements.

6. Who supplies the equipment for the provider to use?

It varies from vendor to vendor. Many providers like KBS offer flexibility in equipment provisioning, allowing us to tailor our approach to meet each client's specific needs. Clients can choose to utilize their own equipment or leverage our scale and access to advanced tools and equipment, freeing up capital investment requirements. KBS has strong relationships with the leading equipment manufacturers and has also developed proprietary equipment. For example, KBS clients get exclusive access (when job appropriate) to our Multi-Tool Cleaning System, which boosts employee productivity while decreasing water and chemical and energy usage to contribute to a more sustainable cleaning process. By providing access to innovative tools and technology, outsourced providers empower their teams to deliver superior results while maximizing efficiency and minimizing environmental impact.

7. Why should I outsource?

Outsourcing janitorial services to a reputable provider like KBS offers a myriad of benefits, starting with the ability to raise standards and reduce costs while eliminating the headaches of managing an in-house cleaning staff across regions or even nationwide. Outsourced providers also deliver specialized cleaning expertise, access to national labor resources, and the latest equipment and technology, which can be used to boost productivity, reduce water, chemical and energy consumption, and improve real-time performance reporting for the clients. For these reasons and more, a growing number of brands have chosen to outsource their facility services. This strategic alignment not only streamlines operations but also offers flexibility and scalability to meet each client’s evolving business needs.

Partner with KBS

If you're interested in partnering with a commercial janitorial service provider with deep industry experience, contact KBS today to learn more.