• May 16, 2011

    Wednesday Webcast: BSC Discusses Immigration Issues

    As some of you know, CleanLink is hosting a virtual trade show this Wednesday, May 18. Cleaning Innovations Virtual Conference & Expo will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, and features five webcasts and subsequent scheduled chats. The webcasts cover recruiting and retaining the next generation of workers, employee training, changes to the supply chain, day cleaning and immigration issues. Tune in...
    • Mar 4, 2011

    Marble: An Innocent Victim Of The Wisconsin Protests

    If you've been following the political news coming out of my home state of Wisconsin for the past few weeks, you know that thousands of people have been protesting a budget bill proposed by the governor at the State Capitol building in Madison. The protests filled the building as well as the streets. A number of protesters occupied the building at all hours, sleeping and eating there (and creating extraordinary...
    • Dec 16, 2010

    What Have You Done For Your Employees Lately?

    I’ve heard it over and over from building service contractors: the performance and attitude of those on the front line is vital to the image and reputation of companies. In Contracting Profits , we’ve covered the front line, talking to workers about their jobs — but we’ve never actually put the boss in their shoes. Some janitorial company owners started out as janitors — and, for...
    • Jul 23, 2010

    City Can No Longer Afford Toilet Paper

    Budget cuts have become commonplace for public and private businesses as they navigate these tough economic times, as building service contractors know all too well. Many BSCs have said that cleaning is an essential service that is somewhat recession-proof; even though cleaning budgets are being reduced, every building needs to maintain a basic level of clean. But in some buildings, nothing is recession-proof...
    • Apr 20, 2010

    CleaningGreen Virtual Trade Show: Learn About Sustainability While Practicing It

    Green cleaning and building trends are top-of-mind for many Americans, and green living has become a buzz phrase that many are striving to learn more about. So it only follows that as interest in green grows, and it is the subject of more research than ever before, the meaning of green is evolving. More and more, the greater environmental issue of sustainability — that of reducing environmental damage and preserving...
    • Jan 28, 2010

    iPad Buzz: Is It Deserved?

    Apple unveiled its latest gadget, the iPad, this week. For months, the tech world has been buzzing about this tablet computer, which amounts to a crossover between a laptop and a smartphone. The thin, lightweight iPad looks like a large version of an iPhone, with a 9.7-inch touch screen that eliminates the need for a keyboard and provides a superior medium for viewing movies and playing games. Consumers will like...
    • Nov 25, 2009

    Would You Barter Cleaning Services?

    With cash flow problems presenting roadblocks for business owners across the country, it makes sense that people are looking for new, innovative ways to make money. Old trends, however, are also re-emerging. Bartering - exchange of goods and services, without the use of money - has become a hit among small business owners, according to a recent CNNMoney article on a barter expo event. Bartering may not help a...
    • Nov 2, 2009

    Cleanliness And Godliness

    This past Sunday, my family attended a service at my late grandfather’s church as part of an All-Saints’ Day celebration (my grandfather was certainly a saint to us, and to the church, to which he was a benefactor). The first thing I saw after walking through the door was a hand sanitizer pump bottle sitting on a table for people to use upon entry and exit. A glance around the lobby and adjacent...
    • Aug 31, 2009

    Never Say Never

    In talking with building service contractors over the course of this spring and summer — for the official business of article research, or just to catch up — I’ve found the general sentiment is that BSCs are doing a lot more for a lot less. Whether they’re losing accounts to lower bids, witnessing customer bankruptcies, experiencing cash flow issues, or dealing with major service cuts, one...
    • Aug 11, 2009

    Federal Agencies Update Flu Season Guidelines For Schools

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have released updated H1N1 flu federal guidelines for public health and school officials. The guidelines outline different response levels based on the severity of the flu strain in state and local communities. Schools have been included in the broader national H1N1 response framework, which includes encouraging vaccination and preventing infection, because the...
    • Jul 9, 2009

    Swine Flu: Promote Preparedness, Not Panic

    Though many building service contractors have had their fill of swine flu (H1N1) news, health officials are warning that we haven’t seen the worst of this flu virus strain yet. During a flu preparedness summit this week, the secretary of U.S. Health and Human Services advised health, government and education officials to prepare for the virus to come back this upcoming flu season in a more severe form than we’ve...
    • Jun 26, 2009

    Immigration Reform Not Topping Legislative Agenda

    In my many discussions with building service contractors across the country during the past year or so, many have told me that one of their biggest concerns is immigration policy and reform. Though attempts at a comprehensive legislative reform package have failed, many business owners had hoped that with a new incoming administration, the issue would be prioritized and back on the table soon. Legislators in favor of...
    • May 18, 2009

    Let Refrigerator Incident Be A Lesson

    Sometimes, an incident that makes news serves as a reminder to all that when cleaning products are used improperly, occupant health is at stake. Case in point: A combination of fumes from rotting food in an unplugged refrigerator and a cleaning product sent seven employees of a San Jose, Calif., AT&T office to the hospital, caused the evacuation of 325 employees from the building, and earned the response of a HazMat...
    • May 12, 2009

    Do You Live A Life Of Weisure?

    There is an interesting new term on the block, and it may just describe the lifestyle of many building service contractor execs. “Weisure” is a melding of work and leisure — two things that were kept as separate as work and home at one time. Now, with the Internet and tech gadgets giving people the ability to work anywhere, anytime, the notion of a private life uninterrupted by work has become a bit...
    • May 6, 2009

    Don't Drop The Ball On Pandemic Planning

    It hasn’t even been two weeks since most Americans heard the term “swine flu” for the first time, but the H1N1 flu strain that has sickened thousands worldwide, including more than 400 in the U.S., is already making history as a pandemic. By now, most building service contractors have memorized the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Web site URL, met with their distributors for advice...
    • Mar 26, 2009

    How Are You Showing Employee Appreciation?

    Though a lot of companies are scrimping and saving wherever they can these days, Wal-Mart became an unexpected source of economic inspiration to many this spring by boosting its annual bonus payout to its 1.45 million strong workforce to $933 million — an increase of almost 50 percent from last year. Employees will be given nearly $2 billion, a company record, in total awards, which includes profit-sharing payments...
    • Mar 5, 2009

    Economic Stimulus: Friend Or Foe?

    With all the talk of economic stimulus, and promises being made to help businesses, are BSCs buying it? The stimulus package that was signed by President Barack Obama last month contains nearly $300 billion in tax provisions, including breaks to help companies secure a cash cushion to get through the recession. Even though the bill’s final version was watered down — for example, the net-operating loss carryback...
    • Feb 12, 2009

    Making The Case For Doing What's Right

    Following the recent salmonella outbreak at a peanut processing plant in Georgia — which affected 1,800 products, sickened hundreds and has been responsible for the deaths of at least nine people — facts are emerging that are sickening in a different way. According to internal emails and testimony from laboratory experts during a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing, Peanut Corp. of America shipped...
    • Jan 22, 2009

    Beware Latest Computer Worm

    The spread of a worm affecting Microsoft Windows has exploded this month, infecting millions of PCs all over the world with a sleeper virus that gives hackers access to personal information. The virus is called “Downadup” or “Conflicker” and does not spread via e-mail or the Web like some viruses. Rather, it affects computers tied to corporate networks that have been compromised, for example, by...
    • Jan 8, 2009

    Billionaires Make 2009 Predictions

    Ask the some of the world’s richest people what 2009 will look like, and they’re just as scared as the rest of us. Of course, it’s hard to believe that billionaires will be going to bed hungry anytime soon — but a handful of members of the Forbes 400 offer some unique insight into the status of the economy. Though opinions were polarized, with these ultra-rich expressing either bullish optimism...
    • Dec 18, 2008

    Retail's Pain Being Passed Along To BSCs

    A true victim of low consumer confidence, retail is not doing well. For an industry that depends on the holiday season to bulk up annual profits, indicators so far haven’t been promising. Consumers aren’t planning to spend much more than last year, and many will be more cautious with money than they’ve been in past years. But retailers have already suffered in this recession, with chains and independent...
    • Dec 4, 2008

    Whole New Meaning To Contracting Profits

    Pardon the pun, but with the official declaration of recession this week, it seems that for many consumers and businesses, profits have been contracting for a while. The economic stimulus package of early 2008, apparently, wasn’t enough to keep us from the R-word. While there are many indicators that this recession won’t be the worst in recent history — unemployment is still relatively low, interest...
    • Nov 20, 2008

    Reminder To Occupants: Wash Hands

    Now that it’s cold and flu season (at least it has been around here), it’s a good time to remind building tenants of that basic golden rule of good health and hygiene: wash your hands, and wash them well. Just because people have gotten their flu shots doesn’t mean they’re immune to flu or any other host of viruses and illnesses. Recent news that as many as 45 college students living in a dorm...
    • Nov 6, 2008

    Are More BSCs Buying Used?

    With budgets being stretched nearly to the breaking point — and some building service contractors will unfortunately break, and go broke, in 2008 and 2009 — contractors need to save money now more than ever. The good news is: gas prices have gone way down. For now, it’s going to cost less to run a fleet than it was earlier this year, and that’s something to be happy about. However, gas prices...