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When Choosing a Floor Care Vendor, People Are More Important Than Price (Really)

Choosing the right vendor for your floor maintenance needs is an important decision. Not only do you want your floors to last a long time, but you want your relationship with your flooring maintenance company to as well. Changing vendors is costly and disruptive. In fact, a recent industry study found that 7 in 10 times, a company will stick with subpar vendor performance and service because they fear switching will be too painful, too expensive, or both.

No one wants to find themselves in a situation where you feel “stuck” with subpar service –  and you don’t have to. By selecting the right flooring maintenance partner the first time, you can avoid headaches, hassle and potential switching costs down the line.

Unfortunately, too many companies simply go with the lowest bidder. They compare floor care proposals based on the written bid price alone.  But doing so can be a sure recipe for disappointment. You may save money initially, but end up as one of those unhappy customers stuck in a contract.

While price is definitely a consideration, it shouldn’t be the only one. It shouldn’t even be the primary one. Much more critical to the long-term success of your vendor relationship is evaluating the flooring company’s commitment to people. In fact, the people element should be at the top of your list when you’re researching the best flooring maintenance partner for your buildings.

It’s not about the cost of the services. It’s not about the size of the company. It’s about what the company does for its employees, its customers and its community.

What does the flooring company do to benefit people?

Mission-driven companies and public benefit corporations like APEX are driven by a desire to do good. That doesn’t mean we are giving away our goods and services; we are still businesses, and as such must make money to stay in business.

Where the difference is with APEX and other mission-driven companies is this: a mission driven company's primary purpose places their social mission above profit.   However, without profit, we cannot accomplish our mission. Therefore, we must operate with excellence to derive the profit needed to accomplish our mission.

When you partner with a mission-driven company, you’re partnering with a company that cares about and respects people. Like others, APEX is committed to creating a positive, healthy work environment for employees, offering quality and value to customers, and giving back to the community.

As you’re reviewing floor maintenance companies to partner with, ask yourself a few key questions:

What’s the company’s mission?

Mission-driven companies operate with a clear purpose in mind. APEX’s mission guides every decision made and reflects our commitment to social responsibility. Like other mission-driven companies, we actively engage our employees in order to create a sense of meaning. A mission-driven company’s mission may not be the same as yours, but it should include a basic desire to help people in some way.

Make sure your potential flooring maintenance company’s mission and values align with your own. If they do, you are more likely to be on the same page as you work together.

What’s the company culture like?

Ping pong tables and free bagels are fun perks, but they don’t create a strong company culture. Today’s companies must create a culture where employees feel valued and supported. Employees want to have fun, but they also want to have a purpose. Millennials, which are now the largest generation in the workforce, are particularly motivated by the desire to work with a purpose: A recent study found that 70 percent of Millennials not only want but expect their employers to focus on societal or mission-driven issues. APEX employees embrace the opportunities we provide them to make an difference in our communities, like the work we’ve done with Gatehouse Grapevine, Houston Strong, Red Nose Day and the Chair Care Month campaign, to name a few.

Find out how employees feel about working at the company. If the company you’re considering partnering with for your commercial floor maintenance has established a good relationship with its employees, there’s a good chance it will develop a good relationship with you as well.

What’s the employee turnover rate?

Generally speaking, happier employees are more productive—and they stay with a company longer. Employee satisfaction depends in part on tangible factors like salary and benefits, but intangible factors like trust in leadership and feeling appreciated also are key. Meaningful work is critical: Mission-driven companies are 40 percent more likely to retain their employees.

Ask how long employees have been with the company. If the technicians at the vendor you’re considering have been there a long time, they will be more experienced and better skilled at caring for your floors.

As a floor maintenance company, APEX is committed to providing excellence in professional carpet care, architectural surface care, furniture and textile care, tile and grout cleaning, and stone and terrazzo care. As a public benefit corporation, we are committed to social responsibility. Our social mission drives everything we do, from advancing environmental sustainability to supporting professional development for women in the industry to donating time and money to local charities. We put people before profit, and we invest in our teams, our partners and our community. Ultimately, we believe that when you invest in people, you invest in a better future for us all.