Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Monday's Ask the Experts: Bidding

May 14, 2012

Monday''s Ask the Experts question from a cleaning professional on the International Custodial Advisors Network (ICAN) "Ask the Experts" page: I am bidding a small school district with a 3 building complex, high school, elementary school, and an annex building, totaling 126,268 sq. ft. School handles all supplies and has 1 day porter. I am responsible for cleaning 5x''s/wk and a day porter. Day porter pay has been figured at $10.65/hr and comes to around $22, 000/yr. Bid is by sq ft. I have never bid on cleaning/labor only (no supplies). Previous bid was $102,026, but for a different sq. ft. amount, so not accurate for comparison. Question...what price per sq foot is acceptable? Same district has 2nd bid for gymnasium complex of 31,000 sq ft. Again, they provide all supplies.

The answer:

Forget the previous bid price since you don’t know if they made money or lost it with what was charged. You need to bid so as to cover your labor costs and make a profit on the job.
No matter how you figure your pricing, in order to break it down per sq. ft. per month or per year, you must have an accurate measurement of the facilities. Here is where it gets tricky. Is that 126,268 sq. ft. figure accurate? Is it the net cleanable area or the gross? You need to measure the project, each building and cleanable space within. A lot of work? You bet, but you need to know so you can project your production times and figure manpower. The day man is easy, but how many cleaners will you need ... — Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX editor


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