How The Budd Group stands out from the competition 

Episode 6
September 23, 2023

“How do I succeed and thrive in the new reality that my facility services organization is facing?”

The answer for many companies starts with a culture of change management, collaboration, and adopting new technologies to pass value on to your customers.

In this episode, Mero’s Co-founder Nathan Mah chats with Jason Lee, Director of Special Services at The Budd Group, an innovative facilities services organization with over 4,000 employees. The company has taken major steps to adapt to the new normal of cleaning.

Join us to learn more about how The Budd Group is navigating this new landscape, including the strong values that have made their company resilient and adaptable, embracing change management, working with technology for better results, expertly managing their supply chain, and implementing a concierge level of cleaning.

Watch the full episode:


“Our purpose is to provide a healthy environment for occupants, just like doctors treat illnesses, custodians prevent
them and I think that’s taken for granted. People forget about that when talking about tasks to be completed and
cleaning frequency.”

- Jason Lee

Top takeaways:

Takeaway 1: Strong values make a strong company

The Budd Group takes pride in being a family business with deep roots and over 60 years of experience. At the core of their business is their founder Richard Budd’s motto, “Do what you say you’re going to do.” This motto and their core belief that in the building services industry, people always come first has helped them earn the confidence of their customers. 

These core values reach from their management team to their cleaners. They develop their team to always be true to those high standards. This shows in the work they do, and their attitude that you can talk about SLAs and SOWs all you want, but at the end of the day, your clients need to have confidence when they outsource work that it will be completed.

Takeaway 2: Embrace change management as a way of life

With the pandemic changing the way the facilities services industry has traditionally worked, The Budd Group was able to take the steps needed to transform the way they clean thanks to their strong culture of change management. By meeting twice a week in a workshop format to field questions, share information, and overcome challenges, the company was able to come up with creative solutions to develop new ways to keep their customers' buildings clean. 

For example: When buildings were shut down and many of their workers wanted to keep working full time, the company quickly pivoted in line with its people-first values to cross-train their employees to become Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) certified technicians. They then created a branded mobile route-based disinfection service to keep their employees working and providing service to their communities.

As offices started to open back up with reduced staff or variable occupancy, The Budd Group was ready to pivot again. Realizing that their clients may not need cleaning as much or as often, the company kept up with their route-based cleaning, allowing their employees to service multiple locations within the same week. This helped keep jobs available and let their cleaners keep working.

Takeaway 3: Use data to better allocate your labor

“Everything we do, we measure.” — Jason Lee

The Budd Group has embraced the fact that taking action based on data given by technology allows facility services companies to excel. To track their work better and make sure that work was being accomplished, they built their own proprietary work order management software called Team Task. This software lets their cleaners understand what cleaning tasks they need to complete in each of their assigned buildings and allows management to understand what is being accomplished in real time. 

Team Task puts together a report so management can understand what’s going on in each building and get a clear picture of what tasks are being finished. What makes this more effective for the company is that the data feeds into its quality assurance system and helps them identify issues and nip them in the bud before they turn into client complaints.

Another example of how innovations in technology usage help The Budd Group thrive is its air monitoring and purification program. This lets them quickly be aware if there is any drop in air quality or if any major concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are present. With that data, the company can make recommendations to their clients for scheduled cleaning times to help improve the health of the building. 

This program not only helps to increase occupant health, but it can also act as an early warning system for diseases. In one instance, The Budd Group was able to detect COVID-19 in a classroom full of students before any symptoms were shown. After a phone call to the administrators, that class was canceled for the day and a student tested positive for COVID immediately after. By embracing new technology and taking action on the data it provided, The Budd Group was able to help prevent a potential outbreak and provide excellent service to their client at the same time.

Takeaway 4: Implement concierge-level cleaning to clean for health

Imagine you’re in a hospital where their environmental services team only comes around to clean at night. That would be more than a little upsetting as a patient or a doctor. Now ask yourself, why is that acceptable in an office building full of people who could be passing around germs and pathogens all day?

To solve this problem, The Budd Group performs a concierge-level of cleaning, a method that has their cleaners present during the day, making them able to clean when and where occupant density is highest and respond quickly to issues. This level of dynamic cleaning is effective for maintaining the health of their client’s occupants and preventing the cross-transmission of illnesses that take place throughout an entire day.

This emphasis on cleaning for health and the impact that day cleaning can have on the state of a building has played very well with key stakeholders in buildings that The Budd Group works in. As Jason says: “Once we explain the cleaning for health impacts of a day cleaning program, it’s almost a no-brainer for our client.”

Takeaway 5: The supply chain links it all together

No company can work effectively without effective relationships with its suppliers. The Budd Group goes out of its way to make sure that they have the best tools, technology, and environmentally friendly products to deliver the highest quality service to their customers. This culture of supply chain excellence stretches to their delivery system, which brings supplies to their customers in a just-in-time manner. 

This level of expertise, combined with the size of their organization and their close partnership with the National Service Alliance (NSA) helps the company broker deals with manufacturers and suppliers to gain volume discounts, allowing them to pass on savings directly to their customers.

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