Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Friday's Ask the Experts: Bidding and estimating advice

January 13, 2012

Friday''s Ask the Experts question from a cleaning professional on the International Custodial Advisors Network (ICAN) "Ask the Experts" page: We are in the process of submitting a bid against other cleaning services to clean a Public Library with an area of 11,000 sq. ft. We normally just clean homes, but when got "wind" of an opportunity this size, we, of course, welcomed the chance to submit a bid and possibly "land" the account. The facility has 3 floors with 5 restrooms total. The contract calls for mopping some hardwood floors, dusting, vacuuming and cleaning of restrooms. The contract would for one year and the cleaning would be done on a weekly basis. Since this will be our first big job of such a large magnitude, we would appreciate your helping us with an estimate to clean such a facility. We are in a small town in Pennsylvania with a population of approximately 6,000 people, and around here, are NOT used to paying a high price to outsource cleaning. Whatever advice and help you can give us would be greatly appreciated.

The answer:

Let’s start with the time you need to spend in there. Is 11,000 sq. ft. the actual area of the spaces you will clean or is it the gross area (length x width) of the building? Use the actual figures from prints or on-site measurements to come up with the correct number so you don’t bid to do more space than you need to. Now, what is your production rate in each task in this sort of facility? Keep in mind that you are doing everything one time a week (probably the weekend) and you have 5 or 6 days of soil accumulation. and no second chance to catch it before the next opening. This will slow you down somewhat because you will have to look closely at every surface to assure you don’t miss dust, litter, grit, etc. Let’s assume you can do all the tasks in there at the rate of 2000 sq. ft. per hour. The math shows you... — Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX editor

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