In the past 45 years, we have seen many things, including what often happens when a building manager accepts a cleaning proposal from a low bidder. Yes, there are times when everything works out well. The contractor delivers a good, maybe even a very high-quality service, at a low price. But all too often, there are problems
Here are the four most common problems we see when a low bidder cleaning contractor is selected to clean a facility:
The low bidder is “shortcut focused.”
Often, before submitting the bid, the low bidder has already looked for ways to take shortcuts. Their thinking goes something like this: “If we just clean that area every other night, instead of every night, and that other area twice per week instead of three times per week, they probably will not even notice. Then we can reduce the bid by $ xxxx.” Well, guess what. The customer invariably notices and starts complaining about poor service.
Training is an afterthought.
Many low bid cleaning contractors do not have the time or resources to train their cleaning staff. Professional cleaning is a science, and cleaning professionals are taught “best practices” to perform their cleaning duties most effectively and cost-effectively. However, invariably when the low bid contractor hires someone new, they have them work with another cleaning worker to “learn how things are done.” But that cleaning worker was never taught how to clean properly either. In these scenarios, it’s almost like poor workmanship is inherited from one untaught cleaning worker to another.
Low Bidders Often Have Hidden Charges
A facility manager contacted her cleaning contractor to report that there were several spots on the carpet in a second-floor office, asking if they could be removed. Further, she asked if the cleaning workers could keep their eyes open for carpet spots regularly and remove them when found. When the contractor’s bill arrived at the end of the month, there was a carpet spotting charge of $150 for the second-floor office and another one for $125 for “patrolling the facility looking for carpet spots.”
The manager assumed there might be a charge for spotting the carpet in the second-floor office. It was excessively soiled. But questioned the $125 for “patrolling the facility.” To her surprise, the low-bid contractor pointed out that the contract does not include looking for or removing carpet spots anywhere in the building. That’s an extra charge.
When taking bids, most cleaning contractors will state that they are “insured and bonded” and may include the necessary paperwork if required in the request for proposal (RFP). When bidding on large facilities, the RFP may even specify the amounts of insurance that are needed. However, in most locations, all that may be mandatory is that the contractor have insurance. This can be a cost-savings loophole for a low-bidding cleaning contractor, which can have negative implications for building managers.
Many low bid contractors carry minimum insurance packages. These may also have a large deductible that the contractor must meet on their own. Further, the insurance may only cover damages if they are the result of the contractor’s own actions, not one of her employees or sub-contractors.
In such a situation, if the cleaning crew damages a tenant’s item, the insurance may not be enough to pay for the item or may not cover it at all. This means the management company will be forced to cover the costs.
As discussed in other blogs, when hiring a low bid cleaning contractor, do so with caution. In all too many cases, it can be “penny wise and pound foolish.”
The Secure Clean blog is designed to help building managers keep their facilities cleaner, healthier, greener, and safer, in the most cost-effective ways possible. To learn more about us, please take a few minutes to explore our website at www.securecleanbsi.com, contact us here, or at 888-609-1410.