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Maintenance in Banks: Are contract strictures undermining quality?

An old expression on price versus quality: Cheap things are not good, good things are not cheap. This is as true in every sector as much as it is in facility maintenance. Originally, maintenance largely kept in house, was determined by factors such as cost, control and cleanliness. This is true of the banking sector too. Either the security guard did cleaning himself or a local cleaner was hired to maintain the bank premises. Primarily such practices enabled in giving a clean look at low costs. With many multinational banks, nationalised banks and private banks opening several branches in various cities and ATMs at almost every street, the need for better cleaning standards is enhanced. The heavy footfall during working hours at all these premises has paved the way for outsourcing professional maintenance services. Outsourcing, simply put, would mean hiring workers to clean but in actual terms it’s not just about outsourcing maintenance services but outsourcing the right service provider. It’s about the right vendor implementing the best cleaning practices; about engaging the right cleaning aids and agents; about paying the right cost to procure these aids... Cost control by way of automating maintenance processes resulting in higher efficiency is yet to catch up in many segments, including banking which is broadly divided into cooperative banks, private banks, nationalised banks and international banks in India. As more and more banks have now begun outsourcing cleaning services, what is the prime factor that determines their choice while hiring a contractor? Cost or Quality?

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