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what to ask and what to expect, from an experts cleaning service
1) How often Should Our Facility Be Cleaned?
Most facilities with five or more employees will need a janitorial service to clean and maintain a location on an ongoing basis. Once per week service is usually recommended but in some situations, service every other week will do as well. This depends very much on your own preferences and the demands that are placed on your facility.
The larger the location and the more people using it, the more frequently you will need cleaning.
Frequency of service is a very important consideration.
Having a cleaning service visit too often is costly and unnecessary.
But having service too infrequently can make it very difficult for the contractor to maintain your facility and cause the appearance of your facility to loss appeal and the deterioration of your facilities. The following guidelines may help you determine how often you will need a cleaning service to maintain your facility properly.
5 employees + 1,500 ‚¬ 2,000 sq. ft. = one visit per week
10 employees + 2,000 ‚¬5,000 sq. ft. = two visits per week
20 employees + 5,000 ¬ 10,000 sq. ft. = three to five visits per week
30 to 50 employees + 10,000 ‚¬20,000 sq. ft. = five visits per week
50 or more employees + 20,000 or more sq. ft. = five visits per week
You should also remember to take into account the amount of traffic you will have from the general public, type of conditions, is the parking lot paved or all dirt, type of traffic, office personal or construction works, etc.
2) Your Needs and Service Requirements make a list of exactly what you do and do not want your cleaning service to offer you.
This will help you clarify your Needs and once you are taking bids, you will be able to present the same Needs and requirements to each cleaning contractor ensuring that their bids will include the same services. This lets you compare "apples to apples" instead of "apples to oranges."
Some cleaning requirements such as window cleaning, carpet cleaning, and floor stripping and waxing are handled on an on-call basis with the customer charged when the service is actually performed.
This works well in many situations, however, some customers will want one flat monthly fee which includes these "extra" services on a set schedule. A good way to decide which works best for you is to ask your contractor to submit bids with the extra services included in a flat monthly fee compared with what the charges and monthly service charge would be if billed separately on an on-call basis.
3) Insurance and Legalities
Decide what insurance and legal requirements are important to you.
Cleaning contractors should have General Liability insurance so ask them to submit "proof of insurance" or certificates with their proposal. It is a good idea to be "additionally insured."
This will provide you with additional protection should an accident or insurance related problem occur.
You can also ask if the cleaning crew is bonded and ask for these certificates as well. However, bonding insurance can only protect you if you can prove someone actually took something from your facility. Bonding insurance has definite limitations. Your office may require even more insurance.
If so, keep in mind that insurance is expensive and these costs will be reflected in the contractors estimate.
Many cleaning contractors out-source their work. ( Schuh’s Services We Clean It Up only use our employees.)
This means they may have both company employees as well as subcontractors working for them. With employees, the cleaning contractor has more control over his staff. However, working with subcontractors is very common in the industry and often works very well.
If this is an issue for you or your firm, discuss it with the janitorial contractors bidding on your location.
4) Touring the Facility the janitorial vendors will want to meet with you and tour your location.
This is very important since they will want a "look and feel" of your buildings Needs and requirements.
Both parties will also want to "get to know each other." This is an ongoing working relationship and both parties should feel they can do business with each other. Have all of your location's specific duties and Needs ready for presentation to your janitorial bidder. Show the individuals all of the areas you want maintained and be very clear what is important to you and your coworkers. It is always best to have any potential issues addressed and their significance clarified from the very start.
5) Once the Bids are Received : Janitorial contractors use a variety of ways to determine their charges. Do not be surprised if these vary extensively with some very high bids, some very low bids and many right in the middle. If you prefer a certain vendor but his or her bid was too high or too low for your consideration, invite them to take a second look at the location and see if an adjustment can be made.
Once you have selected two or three vendors to seriously consider, you must check references. This cannot be stressed enough. Besides checking the references, if at all possible, you should actually go visit the locations listed. Also, ask the client you visit how often. They have complaints with the service and how quickly they are rectified. The concern is not really the problem but how quickly and smoothly things are corrected.
See if the janitorial proposal addresses issues regarding the training and experience of their staff. The more training and experience a cleaning crew has, the greater their professionalism and ability to perform to your expectations. If these issues are not addressed in a proposal that you are considering, ask for this information. It's important.
6) Once the New Service Begins Since most cleaning work is performed after hours, customer and cleaner rarely see each other. For this reason, good communication is critical.
Set up a Communication Log Book for quick and easy comments between yourself and the cleaning crew. This is a book where items needing attention can be written by either party. For emergencies or immediate attention, make sure you have a cell phone or pager phone number for your service and they have one for you as well. Your janitorial contractor should also have an emergency phone number for the alarm company servicing your location.
If you have a janitor's closet, allow your cleaners to store their equipment and supplies in the closet.
This should be a safe place for their items. If any chemicals are to be stored on location ask the contract to have all safety data sheets in this location for your inspect.
Janitors usually prefer cleaning a location when everyone is gone. Let your cleaners know when the best time to service your building is. Additionally, it is a good idea to schedule regular face-to-face meetings with your cleaning contractor clear up any issues that may arise.
Some large complexes will meet with cleaning supervisor’s on-location during business hours every day.
Smaller offices may like someone to pay them a visit every few months.
7) Cost Factors: You might get a price break by signing a long-term contract, your own trash, and washing inside windows less often, Not including dishes being clean can save a great deal of money. Having the office cleaned less frequently will cut costs. Purchasing your own cleaning supplies can save you money. Carpeting is less expensive to clean than hardwood or tiled floors. You will pay more for white glove service than for standard cleaning. Densely populated office space will be more expensive to clean as will a factory. Multiple bathrooms will add to your bill.
8) Working with Your Janitor: Do a walk through to explain tasks that you are expecting to be performed. Establish a routine before first cleaning. Make sure janitor has building access and knows security procedures. Obtain an emergency contact number for you to contact them and furniture them one for you.
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