The other day, I was visiting one of the elementary schools we partner with. Kids had already left for the afternoon, but I saw a young teacher working in her classroom, preparing a science experiment for the next day. What struck me was that she didn’t seem frustrated to be working such long hours; she was genuinely excited for the learning experience she was creating for her students.
This is one of the many reasons I love working with schools. These dedicated professionals are always willing to go above and beyond to help their students. But sometimes, that dedication can also create a mentality of trying to take it all on—a difficulty with delegating. While this hard work ethic is admirable, it can lead to a plate that’s much too full.
One area that can become cumbersome is your schools’ custodial needs. But often, school administrators feel a hesitation with outsourcing work. I get it, but I’ve also seen the enormous benefits for schools that do decide to partner with an outside partner to relieve the burden.
So, now’s a good time to address some of the common outsourcing concerns schools might have and clear up some misconceptions.
Concern #1: Outsourced work is impersonal and won’t fit our needs.
This concern makes so much sense. Keeping your schools clean is a priority, and is important to keep everyone happy and healthy. You don’t want to risk the possibility of poor-quality work from a corporate organization that doesn’t care.
Look for a cleaning group that can bring a small-business mentality into each partnership. You want someone willing to take the time to understand the needs of your school and work with you to create a plan that will ensure a thorough and consistent level of cleanliness.
Concern #2: We want to hire locally.
So do we! We love supporting local economies in the communities we partner with. As a school district, you are an integral part of your community. We recognize and honor your desire to give back to your neighborhoods on every level.
It’s our policy to hire from our own communities. Rather than seeing employees as commodities, we see them as assets. Our recruiting process starts with engaging in the local communities and finding employees invested in the well-being of your school just as much as we are. We’re committed to better pay and high-quality training for our staff—all with the end goal of providing better quality, service and performance to you.
Concern #3: Outsourcing is too expensive.Growing up in the Southwest, I can relate with the do-it-yourself mentality. At the onset, taking on the staffing, management and coordination of a janitorial staff feels doable. But in reality, this burden spreads administration’s time, energy and resources thin.
Schools in Georgia have learned firsthand the cost benefits of outsourcing custodial services, with 36.7 percent currently using a private vendor. And according to the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, outsourcing can reduce a school’s costs by 10 to 20 percent or more.
Many of the schools we partner with were also able to lower their yearly expenses by partnering with us. Our flat fee and consistent billing makes budgeting easier. We customize custodial plans based on each client’s specific needs, fitting expectations and budget together. Lee Smith, superintendent of Horatio Public Schools and one of our clients, recently commented about this: “They are more efficient and sanitary,” he said, “and they take the burden of employment off us.”
As I said, the concerns with outsourcing are completely understandable. But consider for a second what you’d be gaining by taking the custodial workload off administration’s shoulders. Let us bring our expertise of exceptional cleaning to the table so you can focus on what you do best—helping kids succeed.
Dave Harvey is the president and CEO of SG360, a facility services company specializing in janitorial, facilities management, restoration services, and inventory management. What’s keeping you from outsourcing? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.