The hidden cost of inaction: Why implementing change is key to your janitorial business success

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PublishedMay 15, 2023

The hidden cost of inaction: Why implementing change is key to your janitorial business success

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Today’s janitorial businesses face several challenges that get in the way of success. From razor-thin margins and dealing with rising costs and inflation, it may seem like you can’t catch a break.

So how do you navigate the ever-changing janitorial landscape to run your business efficiently and—most importantly—turn a profit? The answer is easy: supporting change within your business.

In fact, Forbes 2018 report stated that 90% of companies that failed to adapt to change went out of business. How do you avoid becoming a part of such a statistic? Let’s dive in. 

Where's the biggest impact?

While external factors like market pressures and inflation will always exist, influencing your operational inefficiencies will make a substantial difference. But how do you implement change within your business to effectively make that difference?

The key is adopting technology designed to target these internal challenges.. Many janitorial professionals have already made the leap to implement commercial cleaning software, like Aspire. In doing so, they have been able to improve their business to:

  • Increase profit margins

  • Address growing customer expectations

  • Drive growth

Let’s face it—nobody likes change. But avoiding it isn’t doing your business any favors. It’s actually costing you money.

How inaction impacts your business

There are three areas where your business is most affected when it comes to avoiding change:

Poor customer satisfaction

It’s no easy feat to keep your customers happy. This becomes incredibly difficult if you don’t have the proper tools to seamlessly facilitate communication, resolve issues quickly, and ensure you’re meeting their growing expectations.

If you cannot manage your current customers and keep their business, it will hinder your ability to open new opportunities as well.

Labor management

Your customers aren’t the only ones you need to ensure you’re retaining. You also need to ensure you’re meeting the expectations of your employees.

And the truth is you’re more likely to fall victim to staffing turnover if you’re unable to:

  • Communicate clearly and effectively with your staff

  • Ensure quality control and staffing accountability

  • Provide your employees with the tools they need to do their job well without adding complexity

A 2018 survey conducted by Ernst & Young LPP revealed 70% of employees are more likely to stay with a company that is constantly innovating.

Missed opportunities

Most commercial cleaners price their services based on previous job data or gut instincts, but since actual burdened labor costs are either unknown or not visible to those doing the estimates, pricing isn’t based on actual costs. This results in significant profits being left on the table.

For a $5 million commercial cleaning company with 100,000 labor hours per year, even a slight difference of $0.50 per hour in your labor rate translates into $50,000 in lost revenue and profits.

Without a clear picture of this data, you’re not only losing out on revenue, but also:

  • Limiting your ability to scale your business into new markets

  • Missing out on opportunities with larger-scale projects and clients

  • Losing deals to your competition

But there is good news! It doesn’t have to be that way; there is a solution to the whole problem. 

How Aspire combats these challenges

"Aspire is a true workflow process, and it's designed to push the data downstream all the way from estimating through to invoicing,"  says Mark Layton, enterprise sales manager for Aspire.

Other systems in the market are often modular, he explains. "If you want a specific feature, you have to onboard multiple portions of the platform, and they still don't all communicate together," he says.

"The data continuity and how Aspire pushes work ticket management downstream is critically important for companies—and it's what differentiates us in the market," he adds.

Workforce management

To allow you to meet your clients' scheduling needs and expectations, Aspire offers time-based scheduling for scheduling visits within specific time frames rather than in an ordered sequence on a particular day. Managers can set the working hours for their crews, view available time on the schedule board, and schedule overnight visits.

In conjunction with time-based scheduling, Aspire also provides absentee notifications to alert you immediately via text if a scheduled visit doesn’t begin at its designated time. With early notice of a staff absence, you can take necessary action to ensure the scheduled work gets completed.

Aspire’s mobile app enables your business to capture labor costs as staff works and provide real-time, two-way mobile communication via notes and photo attachments.

The platform's site audit functionality helps facilitate continued quality assurance for the properties you service. This functionality is also beneficial to your account managers in assisting in identifying, estimating, and ‘winning’ hidden opportunities from their laptop or tablet while at a customer property.

Estimating

Without an understanding of your business's actual costs, there's no way to ensure your estimates are truly accurate. Unlike other business management solutions in the market, Aspire provides real-time job costing, which can be viewed in reports to inform pricing.

With an accurate measurement of actual performance and costs vs. the estimate and past performance, you can be confident your pricing—and your estimates—cover your costs and include proper margins. 

Aspire’s estimating functionality also allows you to account for your estimated costs, using a catalog of labor, material, equipment, sub, and other costs, which automatically factors company-specific margins and markups into each service.

To facilitate the quick turnaround of new proposals, Aspire lets you build and save custom bidding templates and kits that combine your production factors with labor and supply costs.

And upon completion and review of your estimates, proposals can be delivered electronically to your customers, who can accept and digitally sign them—minimizing the turn-around time to get started on new work.

Issue management

Providing attentive and responsive service is key to keeping client satisfaction and retention. Aspire facilitates three-way communication of issues between field employees, management, and your customer to enable transparent communication while also providing clients with reassurance that their needs or concerns will be heard and adequately handled.

Custom reports can be built to stay on top of open issues, keep track of your progress toward resolution, and ensure that no issue falls through the cracks.

“Many times, companies resist switching software—but too much was falling through the cracks, so I knew I had to rip the bandaid off. I knew I had to do it while change was still manageable rather than waiting three more years when we've grown and have to wrangle that many more people into the system.”

— Brent Shears, President of Crown Facility Solutions

Does it sound like implementing software like Aspire is the answer to your problems, but you’re fearful that taking on new technology might be too heavy a lift? While implementing new software might sound daunting, we've compiled a step-by-step guide to guarantee your success.

Tips for successful change management

Accepting change isn’t always easy, but implementing it doesn’t have to be hard. By following these steps, you can successfully increase efficiency with better workforce management, wow your customers with high service quality & consistency, and achieve your goals with greater profitability:

Establish implementation objectives
  • Set clearly defined goals

  • Openly communicate expectations 

  • Determine appropriate success metrics

Minimize internal resistance
  • Include employees as stakeholders

  • Build support of the process

  • Provide comprehensive training at work

Make sure you plan to succeed and are open to change
  • Select a provider who can support your needs

  • Identify key goals, actions, and outcomes 

  • Assemble the right team 

  • Measure as you go and adjust for success

Schedule a software demonstration today to see how to turn your inefficiencies into profit.


Download our free guide: "The 3 software features you need for janitorial workforce management"

References: 1 Original research linked to in article can be retrieved from: http://web.archive.org/web/20180422225711/https://www.ey.com/us/en/newsroom/news-releases/news-us-workers-report-innovation-disconnect-between-executive-and-junior-level-staff-new-ey-survey

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