A young, successful office building developer had just completed her latest project. This was a multi-floor office building.
It was designed with large spaces, which an entire company would consider renting. It also had smaller office suites for attorneys or consultants as well as alternative office space. This is where an individual or a group of individuals can rent desk space, meeting rooms and conference rooms, and use the area on an as needed/when needed basis.
To top things off, she rented the top floor to a popular local restaurant operator. With its great views and low prices, it became a hit as soon as it opened.
In fact, the entire facility was a hit. Within a year, nearly 80 percent of the building was rented out to quality, long-term tenants.
About a month before the facility opened, the developer sent out requests for proposals to several cleaning contractors in the area. One bid came in considerably lower than the rest.
While this low bid contractor was relatively new to contract cleaning, she believed the company had been in business long enough to be able to meet the cleaning demands of the facility satisfactorily.
Further, since this building developer had once had to prove herself in the construction industry, she decided to give this contractor a chance to prove himself. If he did well here, it would help him build his business, and she wanted to feel she had a part in making that happen.
For the first few months, everything went along very smoothly. The tenants were happy with their new offices, the restaurant was immensely popular, and the cleaning was more than satisfactory.
However, then something very unexpected happened.
On a Monday night, none of the custodial workers for the company came to work. On the phone with the contractor the next day, the contractor apologized and suggested the cleaning workers may have thought it was a Monday holiday. The cleaning workers did return the following evening, and all was soon forgotten – until the end of the month.
This time, the workers did not come back to work. No apologies or excuses could justify what was going on. Finally, one of the custodial workers came to the building to pick up personal belongings. The developer met with him, and he told her the cleaning workers were not being paid. Many of them had even received bad checks from the cleaning contractor.
This low bid contractor, she later learned, had very shaky finances. He was winning accounts by offering extremely competitive bids. Profit margins were slim, and if one or more customers did not pay on time or when expected, his entire business fell like a house of cards, leaving no money to pay his staff.
But, that’s not the end of the story for our developer. Now, she had to get a new cleaning contractor hired and working as quickly as possible.
Finding another contractor to jump in and take over was not easy. It took more than a week before a new cleaning service was able to come on board. During that week, many tenants complained. The restaurant had no choice but to close and wanted to be reimbursed for its losses.
While the new service did charge more, they provided exceptional service from the start and are still cleaning the facility five years later.
The moral of this story, and the one this young building developer learned, is the following:
While it’s admirable to help another business get a start, a little due diligence is always recommended, especially when it comes to hiring low bidders. Always hire low bidders with caution.
Secure Clean believes in the value of clean. We help facility managers keep their facilities cleaner, healthier, and safer, in the most cost effective way possible. To learn more about us, explore our website at www.securecleanbsi.com, contact us here or at 888-609-1410