Perhaps nothing is more sacred to your company than your reputation. One bad review could cost you thousands of dollars, right? Right.
Then, imagine this: You hire a janitorial company to work their magic on your property. You’re in a rush, so you make a hurried decision. Price plays a factor into your choice of service providers because, let’s face it, you don’t have an unlimited budget.
As you begin working with the new company, you realize that the importance of the janitorial proposal you should have requested before work began. The company has not fulfilled their oral promises, your company’s reputation is swirling down the drain, and you are struggling to communicate your dissatisfaction with the team you hired to help.
It’s an all too common problem. If your current janitorial company is letting you down and hurting your business in the process, it’s time to switch.
Requesting an RFP for Janitorial Services
You’ve been burned once before. Now, it’s your chance to make a better decision about which company to go with. Before you get started, consider the five questions that you should have answered in your RFP:
- Does the janitorial provider responding to the RFP understand whyyou need a new solution?
- Does the janitorial service understand what your company does and who you serve?
- Does the janitorial service understand the nature of the project?
- Did the janitorial service clearly read through your proposal evaluation criteria, where you outlined how you will award the contract?
- Did the janitorial service meet all of your deadlines?
With these five questions in mind, you’re ready to go through each of the critical sections in the janitorial proposal.
10 Must-Have Sections in Any Janitorial Proposal
To make the best decision for your properties, you need to have all of the necessary information. However, if you’re like many property owners, you might not be sure exactly what you should discuss and review up front.
Long before drafting an RFP or narrowing the field of custodial companies, spend plenty of time clearly identifying your requirements. The more detailed your expectations — and your RFP — the more precisely your needs can be met. — ABM Facility Solutions
To help guide you, here are the 10 most critical sections you should look for when evaluating RFP’s.
1. The Statement of Purpose
This section describes what your organization is looking for. When a janitorial service provider includes this in the RFP, they show that they understand your needs and the objectives of the contract.
2. Background Information
Learning about a company’s past is the best way to get to know what they can and will deliver to your organization. When reviewing the background information, look for specific demographics and psychographics. Working with a company who understands your customer will help you get better performance reviews overall and minimize how many complaints your properties receive.
3. Scope of Work
Make sure the RFP you’re reading is in line with the specific duties you need performed and your expected outcomes. This section should include a detailed listing of responsibilities. The service provider will always need to come out to your property to do a building survey so that there is no confusion or miscommunication about what is needed.
4. Outcome and Performance Standards
The RFP must also clearly outline the outcome targets, minimal performance standards, and methods for monitoring performance. This sets the tone up front, before anyone is hired. It gives you, the property manager, the ability to stop poor performance before it hurts your reputation. Defining this early on makes communication stronger and improves the likelihood that your provider will meet all standards.
Do you need a specific type of product used? Do you expect reports or plans to be sent on a regular basis? What is the delivery schedule of work you need accomplished? Look out for deliverables in the RFP to make sure you’re on the same page. Adding requests later on can drain your budget and cause a rift.
6. Term of Contract
This gets down to the nitty gritty. Define when the company will start and the duration of the contract. It should also discuss options for renewal of services once the contract is on the verge of coming to a close.
7. Payments, Incentives, and Penalties
Are your payment processes in line with the expectations of the company you’re seeking to hire? Does the company expect an incentive for a job well done (beyond a pat on the back)? This is part of the expectation setting process. It should be addressed in the RFP.
8. Contractual Terms and Conditions
This is the section where any certifications, forms, or assurances are addressed. Look for these attached. If you don’t require them, ignore them. But sometimes they can prove useful — even if you didn’t expect to want to see them.
9. Process Schedule
In the proposal, make sure the company you’re working with understands your hiring process. In this section of the proposal, the service provider should agree to all of your deadlines and expectations. Doing so keeps everyone on the same page and minimizes any friction before a contract begins.
10. Points of Contact
Keeping an open line of communication is essential — especially when hiring a company that has such a tremendous impact on your reputation. List the points of contact in your organization and describe when it makes sense to contact each person.
Streamline The Process
Want to streamline the process? Many janitorial service providers expect that you will have a standard structure for RFP’s. With a standard structure in place, you ensure you get all of these 10 points addressed, you make your job of evaluating multiple RFP’s easier, and you ensure nothing is overlooked. Sending a janitorial proposal template before an RFP is submitted makes the process much, much easier for everyone involved. Want to learn more about implementing an effective RFP process? Download “Dynamic Planning for your MRO Business Needs: How to Apply Cost Effective Strategies when Procuring Maintenance, Repair, and Operations Services for Your Business.” In it, you’ll find tips on how to make the most cost-effective decisions for each of your properties.