Detroit Janitorial & Cleaning Services Blog

How Much Should Janitorial Services Really Cost?

Posted by Mitch Hesson on Mon, Oct 03, 2016 @ 09:25 AM


Why Does Janitorial Pricing Seem So Hard to Pin Down?

There are a few reasons why getting clear and accurate janitorial pricing can be challenging. First, because of the low perceived cost of entry, many people try to start janitorial businesses each year. So there is a crowded marketplace with janitorial companies of all sizes and levels of experience. Inexperienced cleaning companies in Michigan just don’t have the knowledge needed to accurately price their services. Hard as they may try, they don’t even know what they don’t know yet. And because of the competitive nature of the janitorial marketplace, many companies will low ball a bid in order to get the contract, only to hit you with upcharges and hidden fees later. Second, in order to offer you a reliable janitorial quote or give you good, solid information in a RFP (request for proposal) janitorial cleaning services need good information from you the Facility Manager.


Help Your Commercial Cleaning Company Accurately Price Your Facility

In order to give you an accurate janitorial bid or respond to a Request For Proposal, your cleaning services in Michigan needs to start with good information. What good information do they need? They need good numbers on cleanable square feet categorized by floor type. Different flooring requires different cleaning methods and times on these vary. Simply using gross square footage might give you a very rough estimate, but it leaves out a lot of needed information to give you clear pricing and an accurate quote. Likewise, your janitorial services in Michigan needs your building’s head count. Not only does this give them an idea of your facility’s traffic and thus cleaning requirements, it helps them estimate consumable goods like trash can liners, toilet paper, paper towels, hand soap and more.


Site Visits Are An Essential Part of An Accurate Janitorial Quote

Next, no meaningful quote is complete without a site visit. Site visits will help a prospective janitorial services company identify a need or lack of need you might not even notice. On-site, a Michigan commercial cleaning company can help identify ways to Smart Clean, do more with less, and help you get to the budget numbers you need to stay on track. On top of that, an in person site visit gives you as a Facility Manager the opportunity to gain valuable insights on how a prospective janitorial company might handle your account and it gives you the opportunity to ask the questions that help you decide which company will make a fitting partner for your facility.


Don’t Keep Pain Points A Secret

Finally, while you might not share your hurdles and past problems with just anyone, when you get to your short list of potential janitorial contractors, tell them your pain points. Need to make painful, imperfect cuts to your maintenance services, share this with them. If you are dealing with an experienced, professional janitorial contractor, they will do their best to get creative and put their expertise to work making the budget you have work hardest for you. Likewise, if your last janitorial service had poorly screened people ortoo many new faces in and out of your facility due to high janitorial turnover, tell them. This is a good opportunity for you to learn how your next building services contractor might handle issues differently. And if they know one area is a particular sore spot for you, if they are proactive and responsive, they will work hard to sidestep the same issue.


Getting Effective Janitorial Services Even as Belts Tighten

We work with a number of facilities that have had their janitorial budgets cut and slashed to near unworkable levels. It’s never optimal and works easiest for everyone when budgets accurately reflect the work and yet, as an experienced janitorial company, we know better than most how to do more with less. From understanding how your facility is used we can put together minimum acceptable plans that are so fine tuned to your facility, you and building occupants need hardly notice shifts in service. In a perfect world, your janitorial service company comes nightly completing every task on your wish list to keep your building sparkling. But with the reality of tightened budgets, you and your commercial cleaning company can work together to put together a workable plan. You may not get everything you want but you can get what you need. But buyer beware, only the most experienced, professional companies can help you in this area. With volume they can afford cleaning innovations that shave off some costs and with knowledge, they can trim work in areas that won’t negatively impact your facility.


Get What You Need From Janitorial Companies AND Stay On Budget

When you must make cuts in your janitorial budget, be certain your Cleaning Specification reflects them. Often a Facility Manger and their janitorial company can get off track by cutting labor without specifying specific, livable changes to cleaning frequencies. This lack of careful planning when working with reduced building maintenance budgets is the best way to set your commercial cleaning company up for failure AND fail to meet an acceptable level of clean in your facility. When you cut janitorial labor hours, it is impossible for your office cleaners to meet the same expectations. When you scale back your janitorial labor hours, you must scale down the work load to reflect that. The realities of reduced cleaning budgets are what they are, you will get less in your facility but if your work in tandem WITH your janitorial cleaning services, they can be livable cuts and you get a say in what services are critical and what are non essential.


Communication Is the Key To Getting What You Need From Your Commercial Cleaning Company

Communication all around is essential when janitorial pricing must change and changes to your services along with it. For instance, if facility vacuuming is reduced from daily to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule and your building occupants are aware of it, you are less likely to get calls on Tuesday complaining about a lack of services. By clearly communicating reduced services and strategically cutting in areas that are livable, you can ride out janitorial service cuts. If you as a Facilities Manager need to manage with less, enlist your janitorial services company as an ally helping you determine how your space is used and how they can customize a cleaning program that focuses on the areas of your building most important to you and your buildings occupants.


Reduced Janitorial Budgets Don’t Excuse a Dirty Facility

If your building is dirty and tenants are complaining, you are either not optimizing your budget or your budget has been reduced beyond a workable level. If you convene with your janitorial service on a regular basis and set well-defined, realistic expectations for them, you are far more likely to get what you need from your cleaning services. The key to doing more with less is to use each janitorial labor hour you DO have in the best way possible. This is referred to as ‘Smart Cleaning’ as it takes thought and planning for a janitorial company to use their resources in a way to help you net the best value for your dollar. You can find a commercial cleaning company willing to work with you to develop a Smart Clean plan and still deliver on their promises to you. With planning, you can come up with an agreed upon work schedule that you can still hold your office cleaning company to.


Making Janitorial Industry Certification Work For You

Like we noted, it takes careful planning, experience and even innovation to effectively price janitorial services and Smart Clean for those customers facing budget cuts. Not every janitorial company is prepared to help you effectively do more with less and. In order to uncover those cleaning companies that can innovate and customize their operations to meet the needs of your facility AND your budget is to look for those building services companies that are CIMS certified. ISSA is the International Sanitary Supply Association, an international industry association that offers this high level certification to building services companies looking to set themselves apart by stretching to meet and define industry best practices through an adherence to the practices and systems that define janitorial excellence. Janitorial services companies that meet ISSA CIMS certification have documented processes that demonstrate their ability deliver the most effective, consistent, responsive janitorial services and yes, even work with you to price your janitorial services clearly and manage facility budget cuts.


Tags: Commercial Cleaning, Cost Saving - Pricing, Industry Best Practices, Janitorial Pricing, Customer Focus

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