This is why custodial benchmarking is so important. Benchmarking is a process whereby industry standards are agreed upon and applied as comparison points to evaluate a company’s performance. So, for example, in the flower business there are benchmarks that tell us the average amount of time it should take to cut, clean, and package a dozen roses for transport. Information collected over a broad range of operations under a broad range of conditions gives us certain averages and standards. When applied, they give a company a basic idea of how it measures up against the rest of the industry. To ignore industry standards would be to both make yourself vulnerable to the evolving market place and deprive yourself of industry best practices.
As an in-house custodial organization, you must realize that custodial benchmarking is happening all the time in the custodial industry, and contractors are at the forefront. Custodial contractors are constantly competing in the open market, which puts benchmark standards at the top of their minds. They know how much it costs, how long it takes, and how much man power is required.
You see, for a contractor, every bid is a learning/benchmarking experience. They adjust their strategies according to each bid and each circumstance. They don’t have a choice: they adapt, or face the consequences. The market drives competition and consistently pushes advances in all aspects of the industry. Every day, a contractor competes with others just like itself. Not only do they find new ways to cut costs, but they also discover better, more efficient methods that lead to higher standards.
As an in-house custodial organization at a college or university, it’s critical that you be objective and realize that even a superior in-house organization can benefit from benchmarking. In the next installment, we’ll discuss one of the easiest ways you can begin the process – by benchmarking against other internal departments.