Tag Archives: commercial cleaning

The In-Source vs. Outsource Dilemma | A Case Study on the Hidden Costs of In-House Janitorial Teams

You’ve been approached by an outsourced cleaning service.  You currently manage an in-house team. Obviously in-sourcing is cheaper, right?  Let’s take a look…
We know what you’re thinking, obviously a $15/hour in-house custodian MUST be cheaper than a $30/hour outsourced solution.  It’s simple arithmetic! 
Unfortunately, wages are just the tip of the iceberg…
Consider the following hidden costs:
●       Payroll taxes – 10% of base pay, $1.50/hour
●       Benefits – The BLS estimates this to be $6.84/hour for a $15/hour wage earner
●       Vacation Time – 3.8% average downtime, $0.58/hour
●       Sick Time – 1% average downtime, $0.15/hour
●       Turnover Costs – $7,000 – $10,000, $3.36/hour
●       Equipment Acquisition & Repair Costs – $400/annually, $0.19/hour
●       Chemical Costs – $4,000/year average, $1.92/hour
●       Insurance (WC/Liability) – 6% of base pay, $0.90/hour
●       Management & Oversight – 10% of payroll, $1.50/hour
Taken together…you can conservatively add $16.94/hour to the baseline $15/hour figure to arrive at the true cost of a $15/hour in-house custodian.
Total Cost to In-Source: $31.94/hour
Still not convinced? 
Outsourcing your cleaning provides these added benefits:
●       100% Service Uptime
●       Management team steeped in facilities maintenance knowledge who spends all of their time thinking about commercial janitorial solutions
●       Professional employee supervision & training modules aimed at improving outcomes and overall efficiency
●       Enhanced flexibility to ramp service up/down based on internal facility usage patterns
●       After-hours option – can provide service outside of currently managed windows
●       Ancillary services expertise – carpet/tile/windows etc.
Next, let’s take a look at a real-life example…
In 2018 BCS Facilities Group was approached by a large uniforms distributor based in West Philadelphia, PA.  This uniforms company had been running a team of two in-house custodians for over a decade.  The team was working fine, but the second shift person was about to retire and the first shift person decided they didn’t want to shoulder the burden of the extra work and quit. 
The company was in a pinch and so for the first time in a decade decided to pursue an outsourced solution to their cleaning needs.  The customer estimated their total cost of labor for these two positions as follows:
●       Base Hourly Wage: $13.75/hour
●       Hourly Benefits Cost: $4.28/hour
●       Hourly Vacation/Sick Time Cost: $1.00/hour
●       Hourly Management Cost: $3.25/hour
●       Total Estimated Cost: $22.28/hour
BCS consulted with the customer to help identify the following additional costs specific to their business:
●       Employee Turnover Costs: $3.00/hour
●       Equipment Costs: $0.25/hour
●       Chemical Costs: $2.10/hour
●       Excess Insurance Costs: $1.10/hour
Resulting in an all-in estimated cost per hour of $28.73
BCS Quoted $28.00/hour, won the bid and has been working with this customer ever since.  Their facility is consistently look great, and the Plant Supervisor’s time has been freed up to pursue more meaningful work in the plant. 
Interested in learning more?
Want to retire from the “cleaning business” in your facility?
Give us a call today!

A Peak Behind The Curtain: Methods Used When Pricing Janitorial Services

When looking at daily janitorial services, it is important to distinguish what these services are, and what would be considered an extra, or additional service. These daily tasks typically consist of a few main elements: dusting and wiping down common surfaces (desks, tables, counter tops, ledges etc.), vacuuming, sweeping, dry and wet mopping, removing of trash, cleaning restrooms as well as kitchens/breakrooms.

Additional “extra” services not included in the daily janitorial work would be full window washing, all types of floor restoration (strip and wax for VCT tile, carpet shampooing etc.). These services would all be priced separately from the regular janitorial services.

Below, we will take a look at pricing methods for each.

Daily Services


When taking a look at this method, janitorial contractors, when evaluating your facility will determine how much time it would take in man hours to complete the cleaning scope. Based off of their hourly rate and number of hours required will determine a fair estimate to bill the customer. This typically includes all labor related costs, supplies, equipment, cleansers, mark-up etc.
Some pros and cons to this are that for the customer, you are essentially only paying for the hours worked. The con of this for the janitorial contractor is it can be tough to add increased effort/motivation for increased productivity. Depending on each company’s respective margins, this can cause a tight window to work with by adding extra time and pay to the front-line employees without increasing the price. This could also result as a pro with increased revenue for the janitorial contractor as increased hours by increasing the price for the customer. A con for the customer obviously from this is increased pricing for the extra work necessary to meet expectations. But, if these fluctuations present no issues, then this would be a good model to follow for the customer to get the most out of services.

Monthly Fee

One other popular method used is the fixed monthly fee model. After gathering as much information as possible and utilizing various calculation methods, a set monthly fee is determined. This usually consists of everything EXCEPT paper products and all types of consumables. This can provide more value to both the janitorial contractor and the customer. In most cases, this will present one of the most competitive prices to the customer as well as the servicer benefiting from possible efficiencies gained rather than going the price per square foot route.

Square Footage

This model is ultimately just as it sounds. There is a set fee for price per square feet, and gets multiplied by the square footage of the service area. For example, if the servicer provides a price of $0.25/square foot and there is a total of 50,000 serviceable square feet, your monthly cost would be $12,500. Some negatives to this model are that it can be easier to cut corners during the services. Given the set monthly price, and the typical industry production rate being roughly 4,500 square feet/hour, it should take roughly 11-man hours for work to be completed. A great janitorial servicer will spend ample amount of time to ensure the job is done right. However, lesser experienced cleaning companies can underquote at say $0.20/square foot which promotes less pay to their team just to earn extra profit (aka cutting corners).

Special Services

Special project services are more often than not priced differently. These should always be priced separately away from the regular services. One special project is window washing. Depending on the size of the pane, and if both sides are to be completed, pricing can vary. Typically, the price per pane can be around $4/pane (one side), or $8/full window if both sides are to be completed. For floor restoration services, it is mainly based on price per square feet, but varies for the flooring surface. For example, VCT strip and wax runs at about $0.50/square foot, VCT scrub and recoat is $0.25/square foot. Meanwhile, carpet shampooing can range anywhere from $0.20-$0.35/square foot depending on how heavily soiled the carpeting is.

Most Popular Commercial Cleaning Trends For 2022

In 2022, the way businesses or companies work has been changed all the way down to the basic day-to-day fundamentals. As we are in the midst of slowly but surely making our way back to some sense of normalcy, there are some new popular trends starting to emerge in the commercial cleaning industry.
Check out our list of most popular trends that we are seeing that will benefit you and your business in the coming year.


Arguably one of the most important trends to follow with your servicer. Consistency, what is it and what does it mean? To put it simply, its staying on schedule and never missing services and sticking to the scope of work properly. Maintain those high standards originally agreed upon. If a cleaner calls out, have back-up plans in place to ensure the cleaning always is completed. This will not only leave a clean and safe working environment, but establishes that ever so important trust factor and eliminates any stress or anxiety with employees.

Be Transparent

We get it, there can be a lot of confusion and uncertainty when returning back to the office. As this process takes place, whether it is all at once, or in phases, it is imperative to be briefed as the cleaning servicer on any new or updated requirements and best practices to follow. Everyone should have that peace of mind of feeling safe when returning back to work after extensive periods of working from home.

Employee Focused

Whether you are a Facilities Manager, Warehouse Manager, Property Manager, Operations Manager etc., it your responsibility to make sure your co-workers and employees have a safe working environment. Have a conversation with your employees! Ask them, what are their needs that can help outline a solid cleaning schedule, or just anything that possibly makes sense for the culture of the environment you are trying to build. Get everyone involved to help improve best practices. Some questions to ask could be:
-Are there any suggested cleaning methods to ensure additional safety (allergies to certain cleaning products etc.)? – Any tips or pointers to share? – Is the cleaning schedule currently or going to be interruptive? What is a realistic schedule to follow to prevent any decreases in productivity? -Any internal suggestions for cleaning companies/Which is the best cleaning company near me?

At the end of the day, your commercial cleaning service needs to be aware and understand your specific unique needs and pains to provide you with the best personalized service.

A How To On Cleaning Commercial Floors

Wondering how to properly clean your commercial floors? Tired of constantly looking at dirty scuffed up floors? Below, we will go over some of the most common commercial flooring and how to properly maintain them looking the best they possibly can.

Tile Floors

Commercial tile flooring is meant for longer durability especially in high traffic areas such as warehouses or manufacturing plants. You have your VCT tile floors as well as ceramic tile flooring. This can propose a more unique cleaning challenge with the grout, that can, over time, accumulate the buildup of dirt. Using a professional cleaning company can help solve this issue to restore the appearance to look brand new! With heavy duty equipment such as the CRB machine, this can affectively pick up all of the dirt and collected grime inside the grout, making them look dirt free!

Laminate Floors

First, what are laminate floors exactly? Laminate flooring consists of multiple layers of synthetic materials. The very top thin layer is what requires the most care to ensure they stay looking at their best. Albeit most laminate flooring is waterproof – water can still cause damage overtime -, the cleaning process does not use as much water as you would think to make sure the top layer does not get damaged. Commercial cleaning companies tend to use equipment such as dry mops, wet mops as well as neutral pH floor cleaner (no scent) or scented floor cleaner, depending on personal preference.

Vinyl Flooring

This type of flooring can be a little more difficult to maintain with approach and frequency. Vinyl, also known for durability and cleaner appearance needs to be cleaned regularly to maintain that look and feel. These floors can be cleaned with a traditional mop as well with neutral pH floor cleaner or added scent depending on preference. However, a professional cleaning company has proper heavy-duty equipment as well to get a deeper clean. Depending on the color of the vinyl floors – whites and greys – it may require a little more time and care to keep them looking freshly polished. Some professional equipment that can be used on vinyl as well as laminate flooring to really bring that “shine” out are a power buffing machine, neutral floor cleaner, soft mops, vacuums, brooms, and floor finish.

Hardwood Floors

Cleaning hardwood flooring requires a more delicate approach to avoid damaging the wood itself. Using the wrong equipment or cleansers can prove to be extremely costly. Professional cleaning companies tend to use – depending on the finish – a dry mop and/or a soft wet mop. You want to avoid any type of scratch marks or distortions on the wood itself. You also want to ensure you are using the appropriate floor cleaner with the appropriate pH levels. Oversaturation of any type of floor cleaner or water will result in water marks, debris being pushed around if not properly vacuumed or swept up first.

BCS Facilities Group is equipped with all of the equipment and cleansers to tackle any floor job! Call today for a FREE quote!

Expert Tips for Commercial Cleaning with a Hybrid Workforce

As we continue into this COVID-19 pandemic, work environments as we know them may never go back to being the same as they were previously before the pandemic first started. This proposes a big challenge for all businesses alike as now they are faced with how to rework schedules that best fit their model, employees, clients etc. Whether you are finally starting to become over the fact of never wanting to leave your house for work again, or absolutely in love with the fact of working in your pajamas daily, some companies have started implementing a hybrid workforce as a unique way to keep people coming into the office on a somewhat routine basis. With this, you want to make certain that you are still recognizing the importance of health and safety amidst the current state of the pandemic.

Employers have actually come out and stated that with a more flexible working schedule, productivity has actually improved! Some employers fear that they are at risk of losing employees if there is a push to return to the office full time. This is where the hybrid workforce come into play. By reducing the number of people each day, employees are more willing to come in at least on a part time basis.
However, new challenges arise when it comes to modifying safety protocols. We will dive into a couple of those below.

Scheduling Cleanings

When changing your schedule in such a dramatic, newer fashion, having a cleaning plan is very important. An example of this would be that if a specific department is due in the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays, deeper cleaning should be done on Tuesday and Thursday evenings for that department in the building. Also, for that same instance, if another department is set to come in the following day, let’s say Wednesday, then there should be cleaning done Tuesday night before that department arrives.

Implementing Strategies

It is important to have protocols or expectations in place for your staff or employees between scheduled cleaning services. Inform your employees what the scope of work entails from the commercial cleaner as well as what they themselves are responsible for. This helps employees maintain the safety and cleanliness of their workspace between services if there is some time in between scheduled services. Some ideas for this is to have hand sanitizer stations readily available or cleaning wipes that are easily accessible.
Having a safe and sanitary workspace will help smooth the transition into implementing a hybrid workforce/working schedule. BCS Facilities Group provides custom services to best fit your needs with commercial cleaning and disinfection services.

Busting Common Myths Associated With Commercial Cleaning

Whether or not you currently are using a commercial cleaning company, there exists many common fallacies associated with the industry altogether. Together, let’s take a look and hopefully shed some light on the truths, rather than the myths.

Only Necessary When Visibly Dirty

This one couldn’t be further from the truth. Regardless if you work in an office, warehouse, manufacturing facility etc., it is very important to maintain proper sanitation in the workspace. When you stay consistent with maintaining a certain level of cleanliness, this will ensure all clients and employees remain safe from viruses, bacteria or any type of infections or disease. You will also not have to worry about the buildup of that unwanted dust, dirt, grime. Remember, all because it’s not visible doesn’t mean it can’t cause you harm!

Subpar Service

This very well may be the case for some (not all) cleaning companies. With us here at BCS Facilities Group, we treat every job, big or small the exact same way with our core values intact. Each facility is unique in its own way and our employees are specifically trained to see the place just like you do! This industry can be filled with a bunch of overpromising and underdelivering. But, if you are a believer in treating your front-line employees well, then you will see less turnover and better results! It’s time to break that cycle of good service for a few months only to finds yourself scrambling to find a better service immediately after. We view ourselves as an extension of your staff and work with all of our clients to ensure that every partnership is of benefit to both parties involved. One that doesn’t dissolve after the initial starting period.

Too Expensive

All too often do we hear about companies saying that outsourcing their cleaning isn’t a top priority since it is believed that this can be something done in-house and not a necessary expense for them to accrue. Our response to this would be is that while you may not like seeing the “red” coming out of the bank account every month, it will behoove you in the long haul with less money and time spent! Even if it doesn’t seem like it immediately. We are a believer in “price is what you pay, value is what you get”. Stop worrying about wasting your employees time on cleaning, liabilities associated with injuries while cleaning, or even actually having someone on payroll for this and leave it to professionals to manage all that and provide more value to your facility. Our services are customizable to YOUR specific needs and are always here to serve YOU.

Why Professional Floor Maintenance Is of the Utmost Importance For Your Office

Floor maintenance is key when running an office, warehouse, stadium, etc. you name it. No matter the scene, floors always get some sort of foot traffic with some places heavier than others and become prone to wear and tear. Every business owner or Facilities manager wants to keep a great environment for all staff and visitors alike. Below, we will go over a few main reasons why you should prioritize getting your floors professionally maintained since flooring is a large investment for your business.

Showcasing Your Business

First impressions can make or break a relationship with a client or even a potential client. If you ask yourself one question, would you return to a business or building if right off the bat you know for a fact the place is not well maintained and often neglected? The answer is probably not! You want to be able to showcase your building to reflect what your values and brand truly are. Stop losing business or worrying about losing business because of how your building presents itself.

Regularly maintaining your floors professionally with a wide variety of advanced methods will ensure dirt and stains be removed. Whether it is wood, vinyl, marble, stone, carpet there is a method to help! Make sure your floors are regularly maintained and conduct a deeper clean annually or semi-annually to ensure the best results possible.

Losing Money with Negligence

Once again, flooring is a huge investment for your business, so you want to make sure the maintenance of your floors are better. This will provide longevity for your floors which prevents the hassle of replacing and/or repairing. Unnecessary money out the door that could be better used elsewhere. Let’s be honest, damage to your flooring over time is inevitable with constant foot traffic, debris, water damage and even sunlight all play a role in damaging your floors. But, if properly maintained and looked after this will prevent the effects from these elements from showing, and saving you the time and money to attempt to fix floors that are just simply too far gone.

With the help and knowledge from experts in the cleaning industry, it will be a lot easier to correctly identify the proper ways to care for your floors.

Contact us today at (215) 550-1820 or by email at info@bcsfacilities.com to learn more and schedule a site visit for a FREE quote!

3 Tips For Commercial Cleaning in the Winter Time

With winter just a few days away – even though it may not fully feel like it – in the midst of the holiday season, lets all take some time to start preparing your office or facility for the upcoming winter months before temperatures begin to fall even further. Let’s take a look at the top 5 tips for keeping you and your employees safe this upcoming winter season here in the PA and NJ area.


The #1 and most important tip which you should be doing year round is disinfecting and regularly cleaning your workspace. This is as especially important in the winter months as this is the season primed for the flu and colds. It is extra important to keep your employees safe and healthy during these months. It may behoove of you to reach out to your current janitorial service to schedule an extra deep cleaning. If you do not have a service already, BCS Facilities Group provides an array of cleaning services, day or night to help protect and keep you and your employees safe.

Entryways and Walkways

With the winter months comes snow, rain sleet or all the above! This can lead to a slip and fall hazard for employees or visitors entering and exiting your facility. Ways to avoid this is to make sure you set forth safety protocols for clearing walkways or paths by using anti-slip products such as salt or even runners to absorb water by the doorways leading to the outside.

Floor Deep Clean

To piggy back off of the previous tip, flooring remains to get a lot of use as is the case year-round. With the outside elements especially the use of salt, snow and people tracking all of that in with heavy duty shoes, this can cause some damage to your floors. This is where walkway mats or carpet runners can come in handy as well.

It is very important to make sure your facility is well maintained this upcoming winter season as we all start to slowly transition back into office life. Make sure your employees are well educated about the importance of health and safety during these harsh and cold winter months ahead. BCS Facilities Group has provided janitorial services for over 30 years with our “Boots on the Ground” experts here to serve YOU with the highest quality and reliable service. Stay safe and stay healthy!

Top 3 Tips on Creating an RFP For Your Janitorial Service Needs

Let’s start off with the number question you may be asking. What exactly is a Janitorial RFP? To put it simply, it is a document that solicits proposal, and often made by an agency or company interested in the procurement of a service, product or any asset that they deem to be valuable to qualified contractors. This is often times completed through a bidding process between these suppliers.

Below, we will go over some tips, from our experiences, to help you find a new cleaning company that is the best fit and value for your facility.

Tip #1: Don’t Oversaturate Your Search

What do I mean by this? Often times you want to give many companies the opportunity to bid for your business, but you leave yourself at risk since not every company is going to be the best fit for your facility. One example of this is you may be a large corporate office building that requires nightly cleaning along with a day porter during the day, and you may find yourself with companies bidding that specialize in medical facilities and retail stores. This may not be the best “marriage” between the two. Or, you are a very large facility and smaller janitorial companies may not have the capacity or resources to tackle a job like that.

Do some research beforehand to potentially eliminate some of this unnecessary hassle and do NOT send RFPs to a company that you know will not be able to handle the task at hand. This is a waste of their time and money and your time by reading it.

Tip #2: Keeping It Simple

RFPs are not everybody’s favorite to read since they can become a mess or a cluster of random pieces of information seemingly thrown together without any organization. While you want to give vendors/contractors as much information as you possibly can, as with anything there is a “too much”. Before just sending a mass request with a document from past RFPs make sure you are updating this and reading it over as most companies do change, adapt and grow from year to year. There may be added work from years past or different scopes of work needed. Make sure you are checking for outdated information. What information is needed for a vendor to create a good proposal. Some examples include:
Times of day the facility needs to be cleaned
How many people are in the facility
Square footage
Number of restrooms/kitchens etc.

Tip #3: Be Specific About Pain Points

Try to sit back and ask yourself a couple key questions. Are you unhappy with your current or previous janitorial company’s services? Is this switch in vendors solely cost related? Has the scope of work changed wherein the current servicer cannot get the job done? If there is one piece of advice, I can give you on this it’s be transparent. If you are honest with your issues, this will give vendors the opportunity to speak to these issues you are having and offer some solutions rather than just following the generic protocol. This will also give you a good look at their commitment to customer service as well as quality control.

If you follow these tips when creating your next RFP for janitorial services, this will create a significant connection with a distinguished and reputable janitorial vendor.

Day Porters: Who They Are and What Services They Offer

To put it simply, day porters and day porter services are the unsung heroes of workspace sanitation and an investment that would be worthwhile for any type of business. These services are great at maintaining a healthy, clean and safe work environment through daily janitorial services. This is a highly specialized position that keeps your building looking phenomenal when that unexpected guest visits, employees and customers. Day porters look for ways to optimize the upkeep process to ensure everything runs smoothly. Let’s take a deeper dive at exactly what day porter services entail.

What Is a Day Porter?

Day porters, to put it simply, are present during the actual work day during your work hours maintaining the cleanliness of your facility. Typical janitorial contractors operate after work hours with a specific scope of work. Day porters are also professionally trained with the proper skills to conduct best practices and use advanced equipment for proper disinfection of the workplace. They disinfect/sanitize high touch and high traffic areas throughout the day to prevent bacteria buildup to lessen the chance of illness.

Customizable and Easy to Manage

One of the more unique aspects of day porter services and quite frankly goes with the BCS motto, day porter service schedule and checklists are completely customizable to fit YOUR needs. If there are more difficult areas or aspects that need to be cleaned more frequently, day porters can most certainly add to their checklist of duties. Day porters’ jobs are to ultimately care for your building or facility to the best of their ability which makes communication with them crucial so you get the best outcome possible.

By having a day porter in your workspace, they essentially become an extension of your staff. At the end of the day, your janitorial contractor manages the day porters, so if a problem arises you can reach out to your janitorial contractor to aid in and address the issues.

Extended Hours of Cleanliness

Day porters are great at time management and find the most effective ways to keep your business clean for longer periods of time. If you already have a cleaning service that comes after hours like most, what happens when you have busy days where your bathrooms end up with piles of paper towels by the trash and no toilet paper and unflushed toilets? Most ordinary employees will not be going out of their way to clean that up. Day porters make sure that every single day, no matter what time it is, that your facility looks top-notch.

Contact BCS Facilities Group TODAY to learn more about how our day porter services can assist you in your janitorial needs!