A Class A Corporate Real Estate Investment and Management firm hired Horizon Services to solve several janitorial challenges. The firm owns and operates a large number of commercial and multifamily real estate properties across New England and New York.
When they acquired several commercial office campuses in New England, they hired us to solve a few cleaning issues. Upon completing the transaction, they conducted a thorough analysis of the vendors.
It did not take long for the seasoned Property Manager to realize the janitorial services would need to be overhauled. After careful consideration, the manager contracted with Horizon Services to manage the janitorial services and address the challenges they faced.
JANITORIAL CHALLENGES RESOLVED BY HORIZON SERVICES
LACK OF MANAGEMENT & TRAINING
The first of the janitorial challenges was that the buildings had no janitorial supervisors or management-level presence. So no one was ensuring work was done correctly, on time, and professionally. In addition, the offsite supervisors in place needed to be well-trained. When the property manager requested solutions, there was a great deal of uncertainty and a need for more response.
Lack of a strong management structure is not uncommon in today’s commercial janitorial industry. As companies compete to be the lowest bidder, they make up for it on the back end to maintain margins. Management layers are stripped away. Very few managers oversee many dozens of properties. This results in a significant lack of presence at any given location.
The Horizon Services Solution: Horizon Services prides itself on having multiple layers of customer service. Frequently, our management staff will have an office on the property. In this case, Horizon Services decided to have an Area Manager based onsite was in order. The manager is responsible for meeting with the tenants regularly and providing real-time and ongoing training to our staff. They communicate directly with the Property Management team daily. In addition, because we have layers of management, the workload balance is well managed; this allows our janitorial staff to be in front of the clients regularly. Our team is well-vetted and well-trained before starting the contract.
NO QUALITY CONTROL PROGRAM
The number one indicator that quality control is lacking is when a building is dirty, which was the case when the firm took over the new property. Examples of this may include door tracks crusted and dirty, carpets spot-stained, and restrooms regularly in need of attention. After digging, it became clear that the cleaners had no workflow processes. There was also no regular inspection process or dedicated staff and no ongoing training plan to ensure the quality of work. This resulted in inconsistent cleaning practices and unreliable results. It also led to a high volume of janitorial-related complaints and work orders.
The Horizon Services Solution: Horizon Services takes quality seriously, which is why we have a dedicated quality control department and a robust, fully customizable, and multi-faceted quality control program deployed with every building service. For example, it includes several layers of inspections, including daily examinations by onsite personnel and weekly cross-inspections. We ensure service expectations by having a different set of qualified eyes on the job.
Within 30 days of Horizon Services coming on board, the firm was pleased to see that the number of janitorial-related issues and work orders had reduced drastically. Additionally, the completion time for each work order was reduced. Issues were addressed within the day, and in many cases, moments after, a work order came in.
LACK OF COMMUNICATION
Lack of communication creates speculation and excessive and unnecessary confusion, which increases time spent on any given matter tenfold. Because the janitorial staff did not communicate with property management or the tenants, they needed to know what services they were receiving or what additional services were available.
The Horizon Services Solution: Horizon Services provided a direct line of communication to Horizon Services Management. Additionally, the Area Manager spent a great deal of time communicating with the tenants in the buildings to review the work being done and to make supplemental cleaning recommendations.
Horizon Services also houses standard operating procedures and other documentation outlining our cleaning services, quality control processes, and sustainability program. These documents help communicate our practices both internally and externally. This sets our clients’ expectations and ensures everyone is on the same page.