Taking Janitorial Bids? Why The Lowest Bid Is Not Always The Best Option.

Whether you manage an office building, a manufacturing plant, a car dealership or a school someone needs to clean the facility. Some choose to manage their own in-house staff while others contract the service. Selecting the right janitorial service provider through the plethora of companies can sometimes be challenging if it is something you are not familiar with. The economy has forced many managers to take a much closer look at low bids which often does not meet their expectations. Below are several factors that should be considered before choosing a janitorial service provider.

1. Time. The bulk of the cost in a janitorial service bid is comprised of labor to clean the facility. Companies that bid significantly lower than others are likely not putting in anywhere near the amount of time that is required to clean the facility properly. They also may be trying to work at unreasonable production rates to keep their prices low. Something else to consider is the type of facility. A knowledgeable company understands that each facility is different and requires different production rates. For example a school cannot be cleaned like an office building. If a company does not bid at a reasonable production rate they will eventually begin to have problems and will be unable to meet customer expectations.

2. Wages. How much is a prospective bidder going to pay their employees? In an industry where part -time jobs are a majority of the work force wages are very important. Companies that are not paying a competitive wage will have massive turnover problems which will result in poor service. Many employees will leave one company and go to another for as little as $0.25 to $0.50 an hour more so it is worthwhile to select a janitorial provider that is paying higher wages because they will retain the best employees which will result in better service.

3. Benefits. A company that is not providing their eligible employees with benefits including medical, vacation and retirement will also have significantly higher turnover than companies that do provide them. Not to mention they may be breaking the law in terms of medical benefits according to the Affordable Care Act. Providing these benefits when applicable will raise the price, but will also provide stability to the workforce and better service.

4. Extra Services. What additional services can a prospective bidder provide besides the regular cleaning service? Do they have the expertise to strip & wax floors, shampoo carpets or machine scrub hard surface floors? Do they have the manpower to provide these services in a reasonable time frame and at what cost? These services are often not built into the regular service price, but should be considered otherwise the customer may have to take bids for those services as well.

5. Coverage. What happens when a regular employee of a prospective bidder calls off sick or goes on vacation? Can the prospective bidder provide coverage for this employee? If they cannot the routine may be left without service. If an employee or employees are out for an extended period of time this will surely result in poor service. The ability to provide coverage is something that is often built in as overhead which will slightly raise a bidder's price, but is well worth the extra money when compared to the headaches that can result from using a service that cannot provide this coverage.

The janitorial service industry is extremely competitive and many companies will cut corners in order to be able to offer the lowest prices. These companies are only thinking about the short term and will undoubtedly fail sooner than later. While the lower bids can often be attractive they should be thoroughly questioned to assure they are a good fit. At Central Maintenance our goal is to build long term relationships with our customers which we have done successfully since 1960. Our prices are competitive, but we don't cut corners which is the reason we continue to be the choice of some of the most high profile companies and schools in southwestern PA.