• Aug 23, 2012

    Help With Slips and Falls

    How impressed would your customers be if you said you could save them a minimum of $23,000? That is the average cost of just one slip-and-fall accident. With slips and falls accounting for more than 1 million emergency room visits each year, chances are you can help them save even more money. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) have released their newest walkway...
    • Apr 13, 2012

    Who's Driving The Green Movement?

    For years building service contractors heard that green cleaning is not a fad; contractors were told to adopt environmentally friendly cleaning or get passed by because facility managers were already pursuing energy efficiency, water conservation, LEED and other environmental efforts. Green cleaning would be a natural part of this progression. According to a 2011 Contracting Profits’ survey, we know that 81 percent...
    • Feb 14, 2012

    Green's Comeback?

    Have you ever wondered where the green movement would be if it hadn’t been for the Great Recession? Right around the same time jan/san distributors were feeling the weight of the economic downturn, green had truly caught fire. In 2009 alone, five states passed laws requiring green cleaning, ISSA launched its IBEL program (later renamed Transpare) and the U.S. Green Building Council, along with 11 educational and...
    • May 7, 2010

    Let’s Talk Green

    Do you have questions about green cleaning or a success story you’d like to share? During the CleaningGreen Virtual Conference and Expo on May 11, there will be five scheduled chats allowing jan/san distributors, building service contractors and in-house service professionals the opportunity to discuss their green experiences and learn from other colleagues. Chats will be held in the Networking Lounge and work similar...
    • Apr 30, 2010

    The Latest On Green Certifications

    There’s no question that green is a fixture in the cleaning industry. However, the definition of green is often up for debate. That’s why jan/san distributors, building service contractors and in-house service professionals regularly turn to third-party certifications to help sort through the green claims to find truly environmentally friendly products. By now, most in the industry are familiar with Green...
    • Oct 20, 2009

    Infection Control: We’re Getting Better At It

    Last year the Soap and Detergent Association (SDA) gave Americans a C minus for their hand hygiene. I guess we studied hard because we were able to raise our grade from nearly failing up to a B minus. While this isn’t great, it’s at least encouraging. More people are washing their hands more often throughout the day. More people are also washing hands before eating, after sneezing or coughing and after using...
    • Sep 24, 2009

    H1N1 — Get the Word Out To Clean Right!

    The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology recently reported that an outbreak of H1N1 is predicted to occur this fall in educational facilities. In my state of Wisconsin, we are already seeing this prediction come true as more than 200 H1N1 cases have been confirmed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A family member works at the university and I asked her if she was doing anything to stave...
    • Aug 3, 2009

    Get Cleaning Back In LEED

    The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has invited the public to participate in a LEED Call for Ideas as way to improve the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification. I urge building service contractors to let their voice be heard and participate. Earlier this year the LEED for Existing Buildings: Operation and Maintenance standard removed three green cleaning points from the certification process,...
    • Jul 29, 2009

    Is The Recession To Blame For Low-ball Bids?

    The recession is forcing some building service contractors to resubmit bids due to customer budget cuts and reductions in cleaning frequencies. But how low are customers willing to go with these new bids? I recently heard from one BSC who is losing his current accounts to competitors submitting low-ball bids. Even though facility managers know these figures are ridiculously low, they still accept the bids because at the...
    • Jul 6, 2009

    Effects Of Improved IAQ

    In the June issue of Contracting Profits , I wrote how building service contractors can win school contracts by educating school boards about the positive effects green cleaning has on indoor air quality (IAQ). A number of readers have e-mailed asking for some more ammunition. A good place to start would be “Cleanliness and Learning in Higher Education,” a study conducted by Jeffrey Campbell and Alan Bigger...
    • May 21, 2009

    Restroom Service Opportunities

    Recently I achieved a new mark in fatherhood: changing my son’s diaper in a public restroom. During this messy ordeal, I realized some new opportunities for building service contractors to upsell their clients. For starters, encourage customers who do not currently have changing tables in both men’s and women’s restrooms to add them. While many public men’s rooms do offer a changing area, there...
    • May 11, 2009

    Operation Clean Sweep

    This past weekend, the Southeastern Wisconsin Sanitary Supply Association (SEWSSA) participated in Operation Clean Sweep. More than 50 volunteers representing seven local companies cleaned the interior and exterior of The Guest House, a Milwaukee residential facility that helps homeless men find jobs and housing. Many manufacturers also donated cleaning supplies to the shelter. Operation Clean Sweep was started by the...
    • Apr 27, 2009

    Swine Flu Preparedness

    Norovirus, SARS, Monkeypox, bird flu, MRSA. Each year there seems to be a new potential pandemic threatening the population. Well, you can add one more to the list: swine flu. So far there have been 40 known cases of the virus in the United States alone. While tragic, this outbreak provides cleaning professionals with an opportunity to prove to their customers how crucial cleaning is and why services shouldn’t be...
    • Mar 13, 2009

    BSCAI and ISSA Join Together

    The times certainly are changing for cleaning industry associations. During a press conference last week at the BSCAI show in Chicago, ISSA and BSCAI announced that the two associations would be co-locating their trade shows starting in 2010. This announcement built upon the partnership that the two organizations formed last November. Years ago, this collaboration would have never seemed possible, but at the press conference...
    • Feb 11, 2009

    Is MRSA On Your Sports Team?

    A recent episode of HBO’s Real Sports discussed the presence of MRSA in NFL locker rooms. Since 2006, there have been 33 known cases of the staph infection in the football league. While this story is not new, the program did a good job reporting how MRSA is spread through cross-contamination and emphasized that if MRSA exists in the NFL, our high school locker rooms must be breeding grounds for the “superbug...
    • Jan 23, 2009

    Green's Fine Print

    This month, the Missouri State Board of Education formally approved the Missouri Green Cleaning Guidelines and Specifications for Schools. These guidelines are similar to the ones used in the Illinois Green Cleaning Schools Act, the only difference being that Illinois requires the use of the guidelines, and Missouri only recommends them. Still, it’s a good start, right? Not necessarily. If you read the fine print...
    • Dec 30, 2008

    Customers Cutting Cleaning? Wrong Decision

    During a family get-together over the holidays, a relative told me how the company he worked for was scaling back their janitorial and maintenance services. I replied that once the building occupants start getting sick on a more frequent basis due to the lack of cleaning, the owners might regret their decision. Yes, it’s a bit extreme for a response, but it’s also accurate. During this time of economic...
    • Dec 11, 2008

    The Need For Younger Workers

    During the New Jersey Sanitary Supply Association Trade Show this last May, Hank Josephs, president of Spruce Industries in Garwood, N.J., was presented with the Bob Stader Lifetime Achievement Award. During his acceptance speech he said, “We need to bring new people to our meetings. Let’s educate our younger staff on the benefits of the NJSSA and what it can do for them.” Josephs is right, distributors...
    • Nov 26, 2008

    LEED 2009 Reduces BSCs Role

    Last week, the U.S. Green Building Council announced the passage of LEED 2009, the updated version of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification program. Unfortunately for building service contractors, this revision removes three green cleaning credits from the program. Under the old guidelines, facilities earned one point if 30 percent of cleaning products (chemicals, paper, can liners, etc.)...
    • Nov 13, 2008

    Marketing Product Bundles

    Product bundling is a great way to increase sales by up-selling related products, potentially at a discounted price. In a recent Sanitary Maintenance article, “ Product Catalogs: From Print To Online ,” distributors mentioned they are informing customers of these bundles in their product catalogs. For example, next to the vacuum, distributors showcase the belt, bag or filter for that product. Similar groupings...
    • Oct 30, 2008

    Web Site Functionality

    End users are giving more attention to e-commerce and utilizing the Web to make product purchases. It would be a shame though, if when they brought up your site, it performed improperly. With myriad Web browsers to choose from — Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, the list goes on — who knows which one building service contractors and in-house service providers are using when ordering products from their...
    • Oct 16, 2008

    A Better Labor Pool?

    The economy. I don’t think I need to say anything else for you to get the picture. But despite financial turmoil, is there a silver lining for building service contractors? Whether it’s a depression or a recession, people still need clean buildings. And BSCs will need to staff those accounts. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that 550,000 jobs have been lost during the past year. So, with more people...
    • Oct 9, 2008

    'Green Disinfectants' Continue To Make News, Confuse

    The Environmental Protection Agency and ISSA are working on a proposal to allow environmental or “green” claims to be used on disinfectants. This is very encouraging news for the industry. Currently, disinfectants are classified as pesticides and therefore not considered safe for the environment and therefore cannot be certified green. But this becomes a stumbling block for many in the industry. With many...
    • Sep 18, 2008

    Poor Customer Service

    It’s never a good idea to skimp on customer service, even if the client is terminating their relationship with you. Recently, I was charged for a service even after my one-year subscription expired. I called to fix the situation and was able to receive most of my money back. I still had to pay for service from the original end date up to the present. They would not refund me 100 percent. I was shocked by this...
    • Sep 4, 2008

    Reusable Packaging

    In Sanitary Maintenance’s August cover story on green distributors, at least one company was recycling their pallets and even paying delivery drivers to bring used pallets back to the warehouse. Another sustainable option would be to invest in reusable packaging such as plastic pallets and containers. These products are durable, easy to move, available in a variety of sizes and even recyclable at the end of their...