Tips for Developing Janitorial/Custodial and Sanitizing Service Contracts and Specifications
Non-Core Business Solutions offers our sanitizing service as part of our cleaning process to all industries. However, if you do not believe that making your facility healthier for you occupants is best for your organization, we are still available to provide first class janitorial/custodial services to meet your facility’s cleaning needs.
Here are some tips to assure that you receive the highest quality results from your sanitizing service’s company.
Develop specifications that are right for your organization’s needs.
Each organization’s mission should be to develop sanitizing service specifications to provide for the specific needs of the organization and their budget.
Just like shopping at a grocery store, different items have different prices, values, and some items are needed more often than others. Your objective for your organization should be to get the most value for your budget to accomplish this mission. This means you first have to define your mission, write your mission down and agree on it. Then you have to price the different sanitizing tasks you want to accomplish.
Any good janitorial/custodial cleaning contractor can give you the cost of performing each cleaning task included in janitorial/custodial work, but you must have a sanitizing company to give you prices on each sanitizing task. Since janitorial/custodial work is activity measured by visual inspections, each task must be completely defined. This will eliminate any misunderstanding for such janitorial services and activities such as carpet cleaning vs bonnet cleaning carpet, shampooing, dry powder or hot water extraction. Do this for all your cleaning tasks, not just for clean carpet.
Sanitizing is results oriented work and you will need to specify the results you want. You would accomplish this by measuring the amount and sizes of particles in the indoor air of your building after sanitizing. A lab test from a certified lab will show the total VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in the indoor air.
Also you would want to include a history of illness and absenteeism expected and a comparison of this with a base line of these illness and absenteeism of the past. Also, each area covered such as the cafeteria, restrooms, offices, etc. and the frequency of performing each protocol by this sanitizing or cleaning task must be defined. Starting with developing a standard weekly sanitizing or cleaning schedule is usually the basics. Then you should put in the contract those activities that are done less frequently than weekly and also get them priced separately.
Putting the basic weekly sanitizing or cleaning tasks with its corresponding cost on a monthly spreadsheet will help you track these tasks. You should also put the frequency of items that need to be done during the month on the same spreadsheet. For those activities that are not required to be done at least once a month, make an annual spreadsheet and put them on it and then combine the two. If the cost comes out more than your budget, go back and re-allocate the tasks.
Also, keep in mind that the first 30 linear feet of your entrance floors will require much more sanitizing and cleaning than the floors that are some distance away from the front entrance. The floors on the upper levels will usually require less work than those on the first floor. Often times doing a task more often, like the entrance floors, is less expensive than not doing it as often. This might sound like an enigma but after a little thought you can easily understand why this is the case. Let me explain.
If you do not keep off the dirt which is covered with germs and that is being walked in on the feet of the building occupants, the dirt and germs will migrate all throughout the building. Now, any savings you made from not allowing this to happen by the correct daily sanitizing or cleaning will be lost in the extra expenses for disinfecting the entire building, or scrubbing and top coating (or possibly stripping) of your flooring and/or cleaning your carpet. The irony is that you have put up with an unhealthy building that very well could have caused some absenteeism during this period of time, or poor productivity. Plus, your building has not looked good during the year and you have paid more for these services than you would have paid for good sanitizing or cleaning service.
If sanitizing specifications are what you are developing, you should determine the readings from the ATP meter on the different surfaces, the readings of the particle counter of the particles in the air, as well as the humidity and the total VOCs. As a cutting edge sanitizing company we will provide you with these reports every month.
If you are only developing janitorial cleaning specifications, you must have the contact person who oversees the work of the janitorial/custodial service company to always inspect all of periodic work immediately after it is done to assure it is all done, and done well. If this is a very large time consuming periodic job, your contact person must require daily reports from the contractor so that he/she can inspect the work that was done the previous day.
Often the specifications are not defined accurately. For sanitizing specifications, a baseline must first be taken and the results of the sanitizing process is then compared to this baseline. With the janitorial cleaning specifications, sometimes the specifications call for clean light fixtures or carpets or windows, etc. The results are that some contractors bidding on this proposal might bid on just dusting the outside of the light fixture (a one-minute job). Others might bid on wet cleaning the light fixture inside and out (a thirty-minute job).
Some may bid on bonnet cleaning the carpets (an eight cents per sq. ft. job). And another contractor may bid on a hot water extracting process to clean the carpets which cost three to four times that much. Hot water extraction will usually take 5 to 10 time longer to do than bonnet cleaning.
One may bid on high pressure washing for the outside windows and one may bid instead on squeegeeing them. High pressure washing the window will cost as little as one third the price of squeegeeing them. Pressure washing the outside of the windows will usually take 3 to 5 times less time than squeegeeing them.
Another example is that cleaning a light fixture thoroughly will take 15 to 30 minutes a fixture depending on how dirty it is and how difficult it is to access. Dusting outside of the same fixture will take approximately a minute.
Let’s say there are 500 light fixtures, 25,000 square feet of carpet and 40 windows. If one bidder bids on the less expensive way of interpreting these jobs (since there are no described specifics), and another bidder bids on the most expensive way of interpreting these jobs, you could wind up with wildly different bid amounts for seemly the same jobs.
Let’s assume that both bidders will price their labor at $15.00 an hour. One bidder will then bid 8.33 hours or $124.95 for cleaning the light fixtures (this includes preparation, travel time and put away time), the other will bid 250 hours or $3,750 for cleaning these same light fixtures (this includes set, travel and put away time for the number of days of the project). The first bidder will bid $2,000 for bonnet cleaning the carpet, the other bidder will bid $6,250; the first bidder will bid $600 for cleaning the outside of the windows, the other bidder will bid $1,200 for cleaning the outside of the window.
The total for the first bidder is $2,615, the second bidder will bid $11,950.
In many cases, the determinations of these needs are very subjective and sometimes are even counterproductive. The common belief of anyone seeking bids for specific commercial cleaning services is that all bidders are bidding on the same work. But because the specification tasks are not defined in enough detail, the bidders are bidding on different work and therefore their bids will vary greatly.
In order to correct this problem, simply specify exactly, and in detail, the task desired.
The first and most important way to fix this problem is to have an employee of your organization check on the performance of each task as it is specified in the janitorial/cleaning service contract when it is completed. To make this job easier, they should not schedule certain tasks on a predetermined frequency.
As an example, do not schedule carpet cleaning, window washing, light fixture cleaning, floor stripping, and so on at a specific frequency throughout the year. Scheduling of these jobs should be on as needed frequency allowing consistent cleaning throughout the year and should be priced for cost per cleaning task
For more information about designing the specifications of either janitorial/custodial specifications or sanitizing specifications call 800-700-3313 or write us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the enclosed form.