Issuing an RFP for Commercial Cleaning Services
Selecting a commercial cleaning service can be challenging – even for those with extensive experience and knowledge. If it’s your first time preparing for the selection problem, you may be truly overwhelmed. It’s common in the industry for companies in need of a commercial cleaning service to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) to several contractors, inviting them to submit bids. Learn more about this helpful process below.
Why Use an RFP to Select a Janitorial Service
Using an RFP to solicit bids for your cleaning services is the best way to ensure you’re truly comparing “apples to apples” between companies’ bids. This process also clarifies that bidders are responsive to the specific needs of your business or facility. Laying out clear expectations in the form of service specifications will demonstrate your requirements clearly and concisely. Each company has unique needs. How you interpret tasks and standards is likely different than other business owners and managers. An RFP also makes the proposal process easier for bidders, as each company will start with the same document (your request for proposal) as a baseline.
Requirements to Include in Your RFP
If you are unsure about what to include in the RFP, review past janitorial contracts you may have available. Several business owner and manager association groups provide samples of cleaning services agreements online and some even offer sample RFPs on this topic. Modify these generic specifications to meet your company’s needs. Solicit input from trusted associates to ensure you haven’t omitted any important tasks or requirements. Remember, the more detailed you are with tasks and measures of performance, the more responsive the proposals will be. Finally, be sure to include your requirements for cleaning products, insurance, certifications, safety standards and contract duration.
Conducting the RFP Walkthrough
Prior to the due date for proposals, hold a walkthrough for all invited bidders. This can be awkward if you haven’t done it before, as all bidders will be present together, sizing up the competition. Don’t worry – it’s common practice and any experienced cleaning service will be used to the process. Have a checklist prepared for your walkthrough, so you can show bidders key aspects of your facility. Seeing the materials, products, workflow and general layout of your facility will assist bidders in understanding the implications of its maintenance. Encourage questions and don’t hesitate to share if you’re inexperienced in this process. Good firms will be happy to offer suggestions for improving your bidding process. Ask bidders to explain their pricing models in advance as many service companies approach bidding differently.
If you still don’t feel comfortable undertaking the request for proposal process, consult with a local cleaning service in your area for advice. Reputable companies will be happy to give you the basic guidance you need as long as you include them on your invitation list. If your business is located in the Utah or Arizona, contact Town & Country Office Cleaning. Their experienced professionals will be happy to help offer their advice for constructing an RFP for quality commercial cleaning services.