In the past two weeks, I have attended two webinars given by the Association of Property Managers (APM) on the enhanced sanitation maintenance measures for COVID-19. These were both very interesting presentations and building managers certainly picked up relevant information to better manage their sanitation maintenance contract. For my part, here is what I retained from it.
Un poste de dépense important
Building sanitation is one of the most important expenses for a building manager, representing most of the time the first, second or third source of expenses in the overall building maintenance budget. For large buildings, sanitary maintenance contracts can quickly add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. There is no need to stress the importance of remaining vigilant, from the RFP stage through the evaluation of the bidders to the awarding of the contract.
These two webinars have highlighted the importance for building managers to involve a team of consultants specialized in sanitary maintenance, in addition to the expertise of the service provider.
Quel niveau de propreté est-ce que je souhaite maintenir en tant que gestionnaire?
Yes, there are many levels! Mr. Jocelyn Trottier, President of GDI, a major janitorial service provider and building maintenance services, expressed the importance for the client to know what level of cleanliness they want to maintain in their building so that the service provider can deliver the right service at the right price. Maintaining a basic level of cleanliness is perfectly fine. Maintaining a building at over 95% in compliance with recognized industry standards is something else. Do I want all surfaces disinfected or only certain surfaces? How often? With what product? Under what conditions?
Suis-je qualifié pour monter un appel d'offres, élaborer mes profils et concevoir mes routes de travail?
Years ago, RFPs were a few pages long. Today, it is not uncommon to see documents that are hundreds of pages long! How do you navigate through the space type, frequencies, and periodic work? An important element that was brought to our attention is that the call for tenders (including the technical specifications) is your GPS, it is the master document of everything that happens in sanitary maintenance in your building, it should not be taken lightly. Moreover, it is now possible to not always choose the lowest compliant bidder but rather to evaluate a service provider according to your needs, of course in relation to the price to a certain extent, but also in relation to the quality of its service and the strengths of the company.
A well-designed RFP allows you to know everything that is being done or should be done in your building, so you can be in control at all times. Do not underestimate the potential savings you can realize by investing a little more in this crucial step. Defining all the tasks and particularities of your building, in a clear and precise manner, will allow you to understand your real needs and thus allow you to better control your expenses.
As consultants, we see too often that building managers pay for services that are only partially rendered or totally non-existent. Imagine what this represents every month for the duration of the contract.
Suis-je qualifié pour monter un programme de contrôle de la qualité?
In both webinars, all panelists were unanimous: you must have a quality control program to track, evaluate and improve sanitary maintenance operations. Quality control programs are also important to ensure that the specifications are being met and that quality is being achieved.
Audits are also essential to a continuous improvement process. They allow us to: validate the performance of our teams, ensure that we are compliant and safe, and identify recurring non-conformities. They also confirm the effectiveness of work plans and disinfection.
Suis-je au fait des tendances innovantes?
As a building manager, am I aware of the latest developments and techniques? As another panelist expressed, technology and digital applications now allow us to manage many facets of sanitary maintenance estimates more efficiently. It is to everyone's advantage, both managers and service providers, to move away from paper lists and reports and onto computerized information systems. Data collection and storage are optimized, which allows for real-time follow-up and promotes productivity.
Le consultant en hygiène et salubrité: la troisième patte du tabouret!
You see, sanitation is not as simple as it was two or three decades ago. Technological innovations, new products, industry norms and standards are constantly evolving. As building managers, your role is not limited to sanitary maintenance operations. Therefore, to manage this department like a professional, the ideal is to call upon professionals. Investing in the services of a consultant can save you a lot of hassle and dollars. Many consultants are well known and can help you. They maintain the balance of power between you and the service provider. They advise you and tell you what is reasonable and what is not, in a completely unbiased way. They have the knowledge, experience and many are qualified by the ISSA (the Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association) and the GBAC (Global Biorisk Advisory Council) to give sound advice.
When it comes to sanitary maintenance, lack of knowledge is what can cost you the most...