Why Understanding Janitorial Pricing Matters
Janitorial pricing can be confusing, but as a Facility Manager, you must understand what you are purchasing and what it should cost. How else can you determine the real value of what you are getting, stay on track with costs and hold your janitorial company accountable to the work they promised? All too often, commercial cleaning prices can get cloudy. Sometimes janitorial costs are not clear because a cleaning company isn’t experienced in accurately pricing their services. Other times, janitorial quotes are left purposely vague in order to compete in the bidding cycle but raise prices later with add ons and extras. Cleaning companies that play pricing games just add more work to your already full plate. You and your facility deserve the opportunity to compare ‘apples to apples’ with clear, easy to understand janitorial bids that give you the information you need to make the best decisions for your facility. Below we will detail how janitorial prices are best determined and how a better understanding of janitorial bids can help you determine your building maintenance budget and work with prospective cleaning companies to get a solid value for your building.
Breaking Down Janitorial Prices
Maybe you have just issued a RFP (Request For Proposal) or perhaps you have already received a number of janitorial bids. Ideally, when you receive these commercial cleaning quotes, you should get a clear breakdown of how each company is estimating their pricing. What costs are typically included in pulling together a janitorial quote?
- Insurance and taxes
- Employee benefits
- Direct costs (cleaning supplies, toilet paper, etc.)
- Management fee
Labor is the single biggest expense your janitorial services company has. Even costs like insurance and management tie directly back to cleaning employees. Most cleaning is done by people and people must get paid, managed, insured and more. And then we have profit. Not everyone is comfortable talking about profit because it can feel like an extra, expensive add on. But really, every business must be profitable in order to keep operating and a healthy margin for your janitorial company means a long relationship and better service for you. Don’t shy away from discussing and clarifying costs and even profit with your prospective janitorial company.
Profits Are Critical to Effective Janitorial Services
Of course, you don’t want to spend too much time considering your janitorial company’s profits when you have your own to think about right? And yet, it can be helpful to understand what you are getting out of partnering with a healthy, financially sound commercial cleaning company that pairs best practices with a healthy margin. There are points to keep in mind when examining janitorial pricing. First, in the business of cleaning, profit shouldn’t be a dirty word. Any janitorial services company that does not delineate a healthy profit margin from the get go should raise some red flags. Maybe you think, but if I get the price I need, why should it matter? It matters because a commercial cleaning company that hasn’t priced their services and your janitorial quote with a profit in mind is likely to shower you with surprise fees and extras later. Or their lack of sound pricing will come to compromise the liquidity of their business eventually leaving you without the promised building services. Better to be upfront with prices and profit from day one, allowing you to compare janitorial quotes in a meaningful way and find the best value for your facility. Likewise, profitable companies are in a better position to reinvest into their employees, upgrade their technology, upgrade their equipment, refine their processes in order to offer continual improvement and deliver the highest level of service and value to their customers.
Creating Professional Partnerships That Deliver Value
Low prices can be great, especially when shopping a tangible, physical good, like a printer for instance. A reviewed, branded printer is essentially the same whether you get it on sale or discounted at a different retailer, but services are different. First, your janitorial staff or office cleaning team and your facility staff or tenants work in close proximity. Second, the service is ongoing. This kind of arrangement works best with a balanced, professional partnership between companies that operate transparently and make good on their promises and agreements. No one wants to pay too much but when considering commercial cleaning services, value is much more critical. Price is what you pay, value is what you get. Is a compnay offering cloudy or enticingly low pricing really going to give you what you need? Is any price reasonable if your needs are not being met? Ideally, when you partner with the right janitorial services company, you pay a fair, workable price, you get the services you need at a level that is consistent, keeps everyone satisfied and requires the least amount of energy from you. With an ongoing, integral service like building maintenance, building a relationship with a trusted partner and getting value for your cleaning budget will deliver facility maintenance with less stress and more certainty, good things for everyone.