What are some trends you see developing in the building service contracting industry?
What I see happening, after we get past the pandemic, is that the value provided by the cleaning industry will be looked at with a much higher regard. Hopefully, this leads to a reduced focus on the cost to clean and a shift to the value of clean. I believe that people and facilities will be more invested in having professional cleaners handle the cleaning and disinfecting/sanitizing of all elements in and around a building. It has been that way in healthcare forever and now I think people see the importance of controlling the health of an environment by professionals. To me, that is very exciting for our industry.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I would say I take the approach of leadership by example first and then secondly, I look at a good leader as being somewhat of a coach. Your job as a leader is to help everyone around you get better and help get the most out of their talents and abilities. Whether that is helping remove obstacles for them or helping them dig deep to find their strengths in order to excel.
What is one challenge you’ve experienced in your career, and how did you handle it?
I think the challenge we faced just this past year really stands out to me. As a manufacturer, we had to do a lot of pivoting based on many different factors. The best way we could handle this, was to be honest and open with our partners. The next step was to be creative and help them solve problems. We do not always have the answer that someone is looking for, but we cannot hide from that. We need to be honest about it and help them find an alternative solution because that is what true partnerships are all about.
Any advice for new BSCs coming into the industry?
The advice I would give to new professional cleaners is to “learn your craft”. We always talk about it in sports, whether it is a golfer taking thousands of swings on the range or a basketball player spending hours in the gym on a jump shot. As a BSC, you must know your craft because that is what customers expect. They do not always know what they are looking for in a cleaning program, so you need to educate them and make sure they feel comfortable that you know and understand their needs and can address them. I would also say look at opportunities to diversify your portfolio. This may be in existing accounts or for new market verticals. This became very apparent this past year because of the pandemic, which caused many facilities to be closed for extended periods of time. Be willing to educate yourself on other market verticals that can help you find growth. And then, in existing accounts, look for areas of growth that may be outside your typical scope. This will help you grow “roots” with your customer and expand your offerings to them for a service that they may not have known they needed or that you could offer.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received in your career?
Once I was told that “People buy from People” and I truly believe in that. I am biased and feel that I have the best chemicals in the entire industry. However, I also think that if I cannot earn the trust and respect of customers or potential partners then it does not matter what I have to offer them. When was the last time you purchased something from someone you could not stand? Probably never if you are anything like me. Be truthful, trustworthy, and someone that a customer wants to be a true partner with, and you can excel in any industry.
Jerred Attanasio is the director of Building Service Contractors at Spartan Chemical Company. With 22 years of experience in the janitorial/sanitation industry, Jerred Attanasio has extensive industry experience, most recently serving as Spartan’s Manager of Building Service Contractors. Prior to that, Jerred was a regional manager for Spartan’s North Carolina region for over 6 years.