Reducing budget deficits in our public school systems is not an easy task for public officials. Many school systems are turning to outsourcing ancillary services as an alternative to cutting vital classroom services. Custodian services are the number one target across the country. Private custodial firms work more efficiently by utilizing a fleet of new and time-saving machinery typically not in the budget for a school custodial department. They also take advantage of a full management structure to drive efficiency. School custodial departments typically just have a head custodian, and possibly an assistant managing the process on a per-school, decentralized basis. In one recent example, Monroe County School District which services the Florida Keys announced the outsourcing of custodial and maintenance services. This move is projected to save $1.2 million annually.

Outsourcing decisions are not without their share of controversy. School custodial workers argue that they are more than just cleaners . Their jobs also involve other tasks such as helping out in emergencies, and helping teachers move furniture and goods. In some cases though, the cost savings are just too compelling to ignore given the budget crises across public school systems.

Outsourcing services doesn't just save money for public schools, it can work for businesses too. Many companies may be performing services at an unnecessarily high cost as a result of anything from micro-management to a "that's how it's always been" mentality. If outsourcing services to produce cost savings is something your business could benefit from, a cost reduction specialist like Source One may be able to help.
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Scott Decker

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