Economic uncertainty and belt tightening seem to have become ubiquitous features of our business landscape. More and more businesses continue to be asked to do more with less. On one hand, it is frustrating to be under resourced. Yet on the other hand, these circumstances have created many businesses and individuals that have risen to the circumstances, gotten creative and figured out how to manage, and even manage well, with less. Are you as a Facility Manager working with a reduced janitorial budget? Are you stuck with a janitorial company that isn’t hitting the level of work you need done? Are you shopping prospective janitorial services in Michigan hoping to find a cleaning company that really gets it? Not only will the right company maximize your budget, they will deliver a level of services that lightens your load and keeps your facility clean and well maintained. So how can you find the right janitorial company for your facility and secure a solid value for your facility?
Everyone Wants Your Business But Not All of Them Are Up to the Job
There is no shortage of cleaning companies and janitorial services here in Southeast Michigan. With inexpensive websites, mobile phones and a small initial investment, nearly anyone can open a cleaning company. Then take these one man and a van operations and add the mom and pop operations, add to that the small, struggling operations, the hopeful franchisees, the medium and large local janitorial companies and the large, looming national janitorial companies and you have a large, often confusing marketplace only a few of which, are capable of doing the work you expect. The reality is that just because someone wants your business, doesn’t mean they can do the job. When looking for your next commercial cleaning company, it is suggested you get an idea of the size and types of businesses and industries they already serve in order to avoid an inexperienced, ill suited company.
Transparent Pricing is a Non Negotiable
Is janitorial pricing intentionally confusing or is it just a lack of experience and understanding of how to price these services? Do some commercial cleaning companies just throw out janitorial bids without thinking what it is really going to cost? It probably varies but the bottom line is that you NEED transparent janitorial quotes. How else can you compare services offered and pricing to find your best value? Why? First of all, if janitorial cleaning services do not take the time to get to know your facility and requirements up front, what is the chance that’s going to improve with time? And how accurate a quote can they give you if they don’t really know what is needed in your facility? Throwing low prices at you is meaningless if they can’t do the work, right? And far too many janitorial services in Michigan will initially price their janitorial quotes low fully intending to ask for more money or add fees later convincing you that what you are asking was not included in the original quote. No matter what the reason for the ‘fuzzy math,’ it will end up costing you and throwing your carefully planned budget in disarray.
Beware Cheap Cleaning Bids
When you are on a reduced budget, low low prices can be oh so tempting. When you are trying your best to make the numbers work, a super low janitorial bid can seem like a gift from the universe designed to make your life easier. But beware the lowest of the low bids. That old adage about if something seems too good to be true, it probably is holds water. Low janitorial bids are often a sign of other issues. Very low prices can point to an inexperienced company that wants to use your facility as a training ground. Cheap commercial cleaning can also be a warning that your prospective commercial cleaning company is using illegal hiring. Furthermore, excessively low pricing often leads to a cleaning company that over promises and under delivers. Further complicating janitorial pricing is the fact that while very low bids should be suspect, there are no guarantees that a high price will translate into good service. The reality of it is that you simply cannot choose your next janitorial services company based upon price alone.
How Low Is TOO Low & Why It Matters
The first thing you should do when you receive a suspiciously low janitorial bid is ask yourself how the cleaning company can do the same work for so much less. Like any other business, cleaning and janitorial have a degree of fixed costs and hard math that come into play when pricing their services. A janitorial bid that is well below the majority of the other bids could be a red flag. Maybe the janitorial company is using illegal hiring to shave costs. Two illegal hiring issues are at play in the janitorial industry, and both are bad news for you. First, there is the hiring of undocumented labor. An undocumented worker is a person working off the payroll or someone that has not supplied the necessary identification to verify their legal status or authorization to work. Second, there can be illegally classified workers who are incorrectly identified as independent contractors. Dishonest commercial cleaning companies illegally classify workers to avoid the legal requirements a company has when having employees like payroll, taxes, benefits and all of the other things businesses must provide for legal employees. The likelihood that a company is taking these risky and illegal shortcuts but then being on top of screening, criminal background checks and drug testing is HIGHLY unlikely. The reality is that if they are taking shortcuts on their hiring practices, they are taking shortcuts everywhere.
The BIG Difference Between Lowest Price & Best Value
There is a huge difference between lowest price and best value. Price is what you pay, value is what you get. A solid value from your janitorial company means you are getting the work you need at a good price. If your facility isn’t being properly maintained then it doesn’t matter how low the price is, it isn’t what you need. Basically, you have service and you have price and where they intersect is where you find the greatest value. Cheap ineffective cleaning services aren’t really cheap when they can cost you customers, tenants and your facility’s reputation. But how do you identify companies that really understand value? There are some predictive signs that a prospective janitorial company understands value. There are a number of reliable, professional, effective, fairly priced janitorial services out there. And surprisingly, many of them are likely to be within your budget constraints or at least can work with you to develop a cleaning plan that meets your needs without sending your budget into a tailspin.
Experienced, Effective Janitorial Companies Know How to Maximize Your Budget
While it can be difficult to resist a low bid when you are grappling with the reality of razor thin budgets, these low bids so often are the result of inexperienced companies. When you are dealing with trimmed budgets, those companies that are experienced will be in the best position to help you do more with less. Commercial cleaning professionals have a sense of where you can and where you cannot reduce services that comes with experience. Chances are, you are not the first customer that has needed to keep costs in line. The experienced, professional are far better at putting Smart Cleaning Principles into practice and even using size, scale and tech savvy to keep your costs in line without sacrificing your overall facility maintenance. Smart Cleaning means a janitorial company will strategically focus on the areas of your facility that see the most traffic and require more attention while maintaining less used spaces less often or as needed. These experienced, effective cleaning companies can help you determine livable service cuts and will put together a spec to keep your facility running smoothly, your tenants satisfied and your building assets protected. Likewise, the larger local janitorial companies are often better equipped and efficient, thus being able to deliver services at a lower cost while still making a profit.
Even With Budget Cuts, You Should Not Suffer Ineffective Janitorial Services
Even if you and your facility are grappling with seemingly untenable budget cuts, you deserve to have reliable, effective, consistent janitorial services. The most experienced janitorial companies should be able to assure you get the greatest value from your cleaning dollars. When considering commercial cleaning services, keep in mind the following. Those companies that provide you with transparent pricing allow you to compare quotes in a meaningful way. Transparent pricing gives you the chance to view quotes side by side in an ‘apples to apples’ way. Companies that do not resort to illegal hiring to make the numbers work protect your business and their own. Finally, the professional, experienced janitorial companies that use technology to streamline their services and cut cost without cutting quality can be your best ally when faced with budget cuts.