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ICAN/ATEX: How should I bid on a contract when I don't know all the specifics?

December 17, 2013

Many cleaning professionals visit the International Custodial Advisers Network (ICAN) Ask the Experts page for insight and, every business day, we deliver advice to better help you perform your job.

Tuesday’s Question:ICANATEX Logo

I’m going to be bidding on a contract with a child development facility.

They said to take a tour of the 7 buildings and the main office before bidding.

They won’t be giving specifics as to what’s to be done.

I’m sure there will be dusting, disinfecting bathrooms, floors. I’m not sure how often these will need to be stripped and refinished. Also, not sure if it’s weekly or daily.

Should I bid on sq. ft. or hourly and add 15-20% profit?

Tuesday’s Answer:

I’m not sure you should bid at all until you clear up these concerns.
  1. How often will you service what?
  2. Will they allow you to keep the floor refinishing out of the custodial contract, so you can charge for what is done when done rather than when scheduled according to an unknown frequency?
  3. Actual sq. ft. figures involved in each building and the use of the area.
As to concerns about specifics, you need to recognize the various areas needing cleaning and calculate the time needed to keep them clean.

Frequency specs only tell you when to do the work; they do not tell you when it needs to be done.

Until you actually get into the project, the frequencies at which things need attention are not known, and even then may change from day to day according to   ... Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX editor

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