Admit it. Bidding janitorial services is like getting your tooth extracted without anesthesia.
If you’re like most property managers, bidding janitorial services can be excruciatingly painful. The entire process, from assembling specs, conducting walkthroughs, responding to bidder questions, reviewing proposals, analyzing bids, sitting through vendor presentations and finally figuring out which vendor offers the best value is tedious and can be downright daunting.
At the end of the bidding process, if you are able to do an "apples-to-apples" comparison and answer one simple question: “Which vendor offers the best value? ”, you've won the battle. By the time the bid process is done and dusted, however, more often than not, you end up being more confused about the answer to this question than before you started the process.
Are you committing these bidding blunders? Let's find out..
Here are the top 5 blunders to avoid when bidding janitorial services:
1. Failing to assemble specs.
Specs? Arent' those British for glasses?
Do you have answers to the following questions?
- What is the cleanable square feet in your building?
- How many hours of day porter service (if any) do you need? Is there any day cleaning required in tenant spaces? Are these spaces cleaned by the Day Porter, or by a Day Cleaner?
- What time can cleaning begin and what is the latest time it can end?
- What is the contract duration? Is the building Union or non-union?
- How often is periodic work performed? (e.g. floor stripping & waxing, pressure washing, carpet cleaning etc.)
- Are there any special tenant and lease considerations? E.g. Security clearances, background checks, citizenship requirements, specific times that suites need cleaning, green cleaning requirements etc.
If you have answers to all the questions above, congratulations, you’re on your way to bidding nirvana!
2. Using boiler-plate pricing templates without checking for errors.
Boilerplates belong to the boiler room.
Do you have customized janitorial pricing templates based on the needs of your building? Did you test your pricing templates for errors? Incorrect formulas in pricing templates will give you inaccurate results and can wreak havoc with your budgets. Besides, do you really want to be embarrassed by a bidder pointing out errors midway through the bidding process?!
3. Inviting EVERYBODY to bid
It’s a vacuum party. Let’s invite everybody.
There are over 50,000 janitorial companies in the United States*. But more doesn’t mean necessarily better. Pre-qualify bidders. Ask questions. Talk to your peers. Association directories (BOMA, IREM, IFMA) are a great starting point. You can get meaningful, competitive janitorial quotes with a few (ideally no more than five) well-reputed bidders.
4. Not specifying a proposal format.
It’s a free-for-all, folks!
If you do not specify a proposal format, bidders will either send you too much information, or too little. Worse, some will send you inaccurate data, marketing brochures and information that is not relevant to the bid at all. How would you like to spend your weekend reading paper mountains? Ask what you need and get what you want!
5. Choosing the lowest bidder.
Cheap must be good, right? Right?
Lowest bid does not necessarily equal best value. If a bidder claims they can get the job done with fewer people and lesser hours, question them: Ask them how they plan to get the job done. If you do not get a convincing reply, there's a sign of trouble. Compare apples-to-apples. If possible, specify the minimum required staffing when you send out the bid package.
Is there a better way?
Are you are looking for a simpler, easier way to bid janitorial services? There’s a better way.
- Get competitive quotes.
- Compare apples-to-apples.
- Complete analysis in minutes.
- Accurate, simple, all electronic.
- Expert guidance each step of the way.
Bid janitorial services at your building with these free templates. Click here for more.