Industry Insights from the 2019 Clean Buildings Expo

What we heard at the newest event for janitorial contractors.

For TEAM Software, every spring and fall is packed with trade shows for our key industries — janitorial and security — where we get to connect with customers, potential customers, peers and industry leaders in person. Last month’s Clean Buildings Expo was a great opportunity for us to reach more of the janitorial industry, particularly to learn more how we might better serve them as a technology provider. Attendees were engaged, looking for ways to grow their knowledge and improve their businesses. The BSC-specific educational programming in the mornings added a unique charge to interactions on the expo floor. And, we were able to demo Q by TEAM Software, our latest solution, with business owners who were actively seeking ways to put the morning’s insights into action. 

Here are our key takeaways:

Employee Engagement

Labor is the largest cost category for janitorial contractors and disengaged employees can be one of the most expensive costs in terms of lost productivity, reduced quality, lost client confidence, increased safety incidents and increased employee turnover. So, it was no surprise that the Clean Buildings Expo established an entire educational track for Staffing and Management. Key points included tips on identifying and recognizing top employees, leveraging employee knowledge to drive team engagement, and identifying key characteristics to look for in new hires. They also focused on keeping lines of communication open with your employees, especially the top employees who go above and beyond.

Servicing Facility Managers

One of the benefits of attending an event collocated with the National Facilities Management & Technology Conference was the ability to learn what facility managers are looking for from their janitorial service providers and how TEAM Software can help our customers establish and enhance relationships with their customers. One of the latest trends is a push towards performance-driven contracts versus task-based contracts.

The concept is simple — rather than explicitly telling a contractor how they should clean, the facility manager establishes what the desired results are and asks the contractor to supply their plan to deliver on those expectations. It’s then up to the contractor to show they’re an innovative company with the best program at the best price compared to their competition. 

Some of key performance indicators (KPIs) that facility customers are looking for include:

  • A clean building — Does the building look good to your customer? Make sure to build your quality inspection program so it’s focused on where the customer is paying attention.
  • A happy customer — Does your customer like the way their building looks, smells and feels? Go beyond the inspection and engage your customer with regular face-to-face conversations and surveys to make sure you know what they want and keep up with evolving expectations.
  • A healthy building — Is the building a safe and sanitary place to work? Consider testing high-touch areas for germs and explore sustainable and effective alternative cleaning options to replace harsh chemical treatments.
  • Constant innovation — Is your company actively introducing new products, processes and ideas to drive up quality? Stay informed on the latest technology and best practices and get comfortable with introducing change in your operations to drive down costs and drive up quality. 

Quality Inspections

Quality inspections on their own aren’t enough. Yes, it’s better you find issues and address them to keep your customers happy, but you also need to examine how to prevent problems in the future. In today’s competitive market, it’s not enough to find and fix deficiencies, although that’s still important. You need to identify trends within your onsite performance data, so you can address root causes with better training, more explicit task definition, new processes and new technology.

Contractors of All Sizes are Looking for Ways to Automate Processes

We received a lot of great feedback on Q, our newest solution for growing janitorial contractors. Attendees were looking for ways to replace their jumbled collection of applications with an all-in-one, integrated solution to manage their growing workforces more effectively. Business owners and operation managers liked Q’s intuitive scheduling, employee shift reminders and GPS location confirmation features.

Many of the smaller BSC attendees we spoke to already used QuickBooks and appreciated the direct integration included with Q. Facility managers were interested in integrations with their own facility management solutions to improve the information exchange with their service providers. Site inspections was a popular upcoming feature and we received several additional ideas on how to serve the needs of these unique user groups in our future product roadmap. And, for the larger companies we met, they liked how our WinTeam ERP brings their financial, operations and workforce management data together in one holistic system.

Our time at the 2019 Clean Buildings Expo was critical in validating our future development plans and building relationships with those in the industries we serve. We look forward to delivering more high-value solutions to the challenges our customers and future customers face every day.

About Carissa Gappa

Carissa Gappa joined TEAM Software in 2018 as the Product Manager specializing in the Building Service industry. Armed with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of Northern Iowa and her MBA from University of Nebraska Omaha, Carissa has spent the last 14 years bringing together people, process and technology to solve problems in a variety of industries. Her life’s mission is to make the boring or hard stuff easier, so people can focus on being rock stars in their fields.