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"Cutting Costs and Improving Outcomes for Janitorial Services"
Author: Campbell, Jeffery L.,
Published In: Facilities Manager
Date: September/October 2011

Recent research reveals that janitorial services account for nearly 30 percent of facility budgets, which translates into billions of dollars annually. With janitorial services consuming such a large share of budgets, other industry findings are alarming. Most cleaning systems: 1) have no quantifiable standards; 2) are based solely on appearance; 3) have little or no method of measuring effectiveness and performance; 4) are not based on actual research; and 5) are driven by chemical and equipment manufacturers. In an industry that has been around as long as public buildings themselves, janitorial methods have seen little progress. As a matter of fact, most janitors today use the same tools and processes that were used 50 years ago. With the current tight economy where every facet of business has had to become more accountable, the cleaning industry continues to lag behind. However, some innovative approaches are being introduced that efficiently manages janitorial services by utilizing measurable standards and up-to-date business practices. The author presents case studies that highlight four universities (University of Massachusetts, University of Michigan, University of North Carolina, University of Texas at Austin) that have implemented these practices. Not only have these universities improved their overall cleanliness, but they have experienced significant savings.

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