Chat with Neal Berman of Service Keepers

Today’s post is the first in a series of “fireside chats” with Neal Berman, founder and visionary of Service Keepers, one of South Florida’s leading cleaning contracting companies. The conversation focuses on how the pandemic has impacted his company, the professional cleaning industry, and South Florida, as well as the challenges and opportunities he sees in 2021.

Neal, how was 2020 for Service Keepers?

It was a challenging year, no doubt about it. Many of our clients shut their doors, which impacted our business operations. Fortunately, the company’s strength and longevity — more than 30 years — has helped us through this difficult period.

The highlights of the year are that it allowed us to focus on what we try to emphasize with our clients, and that is that effective cleaning is an investment; it keeps people healthy, doors open, and businesses operating.

However, there were other positives as well. We were fortunate to win new business in 2020, and with all our clients, our relationships became much more profound. One of our goals has always been to partner with our clients. The pandemic has made partnerships a necessity because we were all working together to minimize the virus’s spread.

The past year also helped us realize the value of custodial training and getting involved with programs such as GBAC [Global Biorisk Advisory Council]. We discussed this organization and its importance in one of our blog posts. This performance-based program helped our cleaning staff prepare and respond to COVID, helping keep our client’s facilities safer and healthier.

How did Service Keepers Respond to the pandemic?

Fortunately, our staff was already using cleaning solutions that clean and disinfect as they are used, so we were already taking the necessary steps to minimize the virus’s spread. However, we soon realized we should take even more steps. That is when we started adding electrostatic spraying technology to our cleaning arsenal. These are remarkably effective at disinfecting surfaces that may be overlooked or cannot be reached when cleaning and disinfecting manually.

Because of the pandemic, we do not want our clients to hope their facilities are clean and healthy. We want them to know they are clean and healthy. This technology helped us accomplish this.

What will be your company’s immediate focus in 2021?

We must stay informed about the pandemic. More information is coming out about the coronavirus mutations as this is being written. This may further impact how facilities are cleaned, and we want to pivot quickly if it appears that may be necessary. I am also focused on more long-term issues, and the one that is the most important thing to me is ongoing custodial training.

“Ongoing” is the keyword here. Due to COVID, things are changing all too quickly. To stay one-step ahead of the virus, and ensure we are protecting the health of our client’s facilities, we now view custodial training as a journey.  It’s an ongoing process to ensure our crews are up-to-the-minute when it comes to cleaning and disinfecting.

What would you like to see happening in the professional cleaning industry in 2021?

We see several new cleaning products and technologies being introduced due to the pandemic, all being engineered to slow the spread of the disease. But I want to make sure these new products are independently tested and evaluated. I believe this is something the entire professional cleaning industry should be asking.

We do not have the luxury of time on our side. With the pandemic raging and new strains developing, we need to know that if we put these new products to work, they will prove to be effective.

Interested in learning more?  Then get in touch today. We’re Service Keepers and we’re here for you.

Service Keepers