Managing janitorial services in-house versus outsourcing to a services partner has long been a key question for many organizations when considering making a change. Cost, control, and quality are just a few of the factors that fuel the discussion.
However, when weighing their options about whether to outsource, prospective clients can encounter a myriad of misconceptions as they look to make the best decision for their business. And now, given how the recent pandemic has raised awareness and expectations for both clean and safe working environments, companies cannot afford to make a decision based on incorrect information.
Here are five common myths and realities about outsourcing janitorial programs:
1. MYTH: Outsourcing is more expensive
REALITY: Outsourcing frequently saves costs and generally proves to be more valuable over the long run. This is especially true when partnering with a national provider like KBS that can provide best practices in technology and chemicals, efficiencies in volume pricing and contract management, process improvement expertise, and a dedicated support team among other things. These factors can drive down costs while elevating standards. By comparison, an organization’s in-house staff may have limited training and insufficient technology and tools.
2. MYTH: Local and regional contractors provide better service at a lower price
REALITY: National providers can typically offer better prices through sheer economies of scale, but the part they sometimes get wrong is maintaining local focus. Not so with KBS, which employs a “nationally strong, locally great” philosophy that focuses on delivering better local service through improved operational efficiencies. For example, KBS leverages a unique management infrastructure that includes more than 700 field managers who understand both local and national expectations. Under this structure, local field managers have easy access to national resources, best practices, and nationwide data and technology that they can use to make the best program adjustments for a local site.
3. MYTH: Companies lose control of janitorial services when outsourcing
REALITY: A client still maintains control by working closely with the commercial janitorial service provider on an upfront scope of work that spells everything out. KBS, for example, sets about meeting -- and exceeding client -- expectations by constantly communicating data-driven performance updates to the client. In addition, outsourcing to a vendor like KBS can often give clients more control when multiple sites are involved because the same scope of work can be set for all locations. Outsourced janitorial services with a systemic approach ensure an identical, elevated level of service consistency across the portfolio. By comparison, when the scope is left up to the discretion of each location, there is little assurance that everyone is doing the same thing.
4. MYTH: Outsourcing compromises quality
REALITY: When it comes to the quality of cleaning, in-house staff are often overtaxed, not properly equipped, and do not have expert knowledge of the services they are attempting to perform. This always results in higher costs and appearances that do not meet brand standards on a consistent basis. Trusted service partners, on the other hand, tend to have a comprehensive, systematic approach to janitorial cleaning, which is built upon standardized work and mistake-proofing, and measuring continuous improvement with real-time data. This approach ensures higher quality and increased efficiency due to better service-level consistency.
5. MYTH: Employees will not be properly vetted and trained
REALITY: A top priority for quality facility service contractors like KBS is to make sure employees are thoroughly vetted through background and credit checks, drug tests, and an in-depth interview/evaluation process. The costs associated with vetting and hiring staff are significant, so having a proven, scalable screening and hiring process is critical to finding the best talent while managing expenses and minimizing turnover. In addition to vetting, ongoing training is critical to maintaining a quality workforce. KBS takes a systematic approach to outsourced janitorial services: we provide employees with training right from the start, including programs covering safety, equipment, and job functions. This ensures team members have the confidence, knowledge, and skills to successfully meet their responsibilities. KBS reinforces this training with daily safety huddles and regular briefings from manufacturers about different chemicals, tools, and equipment they may use on the job.
Outsourcing janitorial services have proven to be a highly effective method for many organizations in managing today’s complex challenges. By doing so, they can benefit from enhanced process efficiency, best practices in technology and chemical usage, and access to scalable operations that raise standards and increase efficiency. So, when an organization needs janitorial services and operations support, they should strongly consider partnering with a proven provider that operates with national scale and local focus rather than building and maintaining an expensive in-house staff.
If you’re looking for a commercial janitorial service partner with deep experience in a variety of industries, KBS can help. Contact us today to find out more.