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Thursday's Ask the Experts: Bidding by the hour

September 03, 2009
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Thursday''s Ask the Experts question from a cleaning professional on the International Custodial Advisors Network (ICAN) "Ask the Experts" page: I recently walked through a production company building of 30,000 square feet. They need cleaning five days a week in the evenings. The current cleaner takes three hours to clean. Most of the building is carpet. The job specifications are as follows. I have four cleaners at a rate of $7.50 an hour, and myself supervising at $8 an hour, three hours a day as well. That is as far as I have gotten in this bidding and they want me to hand in the bid ASAP. What am I missing in price for this bid? I supply the equipment and supplies. I went with hourly pay instead of square feet. Do I need to add square feet costs in the bid price as well?
The answer:
Some things are, indeed, amiss with this situation.
One, you say the current cleaner is working for three hours, making the production rate 10,000 square feet per hour.
That is higher than I would expect for anything more than just a quick run-through with a backpack vacuum hitting the traffic areas. This doesn’t sound like a valid rate.
Four cleaners working for three hours each (12 man-hours) comes to 2,500 square feet per hour which makes more sense, so we’ll work with that, making your nightly payroll (cleaners only) $108 ($7.50x12, plus 20 percent burden). That is $2,340 per month on average. Is that about right so far?
Two, the equipment and supply costs are unknown to us. What do you have on hand? What must you purchase? What will you use up each month (expendables)? You will have to figure all this out and add it to the price.
Three, you are charging $24 a night for your supervision. Is it your intent to be on the site for ... — Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX associate editor,
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