Navigating Custodial Transitions: The Realities and Solutions for Seamless Service

When a potential client contacts us, they’re often dissatisfied with their current cleaning provider. After explaining why we’d be an ideal custodial partner, they typically ask two crucial questions:

  1. “How much will this cost?”
  2. “When can you get started?”’

While the first question is addressed separately, this article focuses on the second, shedding light on the often-underestimated complexities of transitioning custodial services.

“Help! My Current Cleaning Vendor Quit!”

Consider this common scenario:

Facility Manager: “Bob, we’re not getting the results we need. We’re making a change, and in line with our 30-day termination notice, we’re contracting a new janitorial company.”

Bob: “I wish I had more notice, but I’ll inform my team.”

A week later, Bob leaves a voicemail:

Bob: “After telling my team they’d be jobless in 30 days, they left faster than Gladys Knight and the Pips on that midnight train to Georgia. I cleaned out my stuff too. If you need anything, call me. Hope we can do business again!”

Concerned, the Facility Manager urgently contacts the new janitorial company:

Facility Manager: “ACME just bailed, and our plant manager found no toilet paper in the main restroom. I need you here now!”

Custodial Startup Truths

Truth #1: Building the Right Team Takes Time

Contrary to common belief, a janitorial company isn’t an instant staffing agency. Recruiting the right mix of male and female, part-time, and full-time staff tailored to each client’s needs is a meticulous process, taking time.

Truth #2: Effective Janitorial Work Requires a Good Plan

While janitorial work isn’t overly complex, it demands a well-structured plan outlining specific cleaning sequences, checklists, and other details to ensure consistent results.

Truth #3: Proper Training is Essential

Many assume they know how to clean, but the reality is different. Thorough training is crucial to teach team members the proper use of equipment, appropriate chemicals for different surfaces, and efficient cleaning techniques while ensuring safety.

“So When Can You Get Started?”

Not before three weeks, but realistically, it’s more likely to be at least four weeks. Finding the right people, providing proper training, and establishing an effective work plan collectively take about a month.

“But There’s No Toilet Paper in the Main Restroom!”

Absolutely, and it’s crucial to address that concern. Here are some steps you can take to prepare for the transition period:

Request your existing cleaning company to fulfill their commitment through the contract’s end (30 days) and remind them of their obligation.

Check if your new cleaning company has a “floater” team member for minimal coverage in case the existing company falls short.

If using a staffing agency, inquire about coverage for essential tasks during the transition, such as emptying trash, cleaning restrooms, and ensuring the availability of toilet paper in the main restroom.

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