Building Manager resources
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"Turning Workplaces Into Comfort Zones"
Greater Philadelphia
Janitorial Services and Office Cleaning
Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties

Building Manager Resources

This page is designed to help the Facility Manager find a new janitorial service, without bias towards our company.

Your Cleaning Specifications
Of course a critical piece of the selection process is your specs. Here you can specify what you want done, how often it should be done, and the results you desire. Please feel free to copy and paste any of these sample specs into your own document. Or, we can help you put together your specs, at no charge and with zero sales-pressure.

Cleaning Specifications

Areas to be cleaned - Entire office block on south end of building, to include offices, lobby, reception area, restrooms, vending area, all common areas, conference rooms, kitchen, lunchroom, and exterior of building as specified, and warehouse offices and restrooms on north end of building.

To Be Performed Every Service Night, up to 7x per week:

1. Empty all trash, replace liners as needed from Company stock, clean trashcans as needed.  Empty all exterior trashcans and empty and clean cigarette urns.

2. Dust and spot clean all desks, counters, file cabinets, tables, ledges, windowsills, etc.  Without naming every type of surface in the building, the intent of this specification is to leave all surfaces in a clean and dust-free condition.

3. Clean all fingerprints, smudges, etc, on counters, desks, light switches, walls, doors & frames, interior divider glass, glass topped desks, etc.

4. Dust mop and damp mop all hard surface floors.  Remove heel marks; touch up with finish as needed.  Sweep and mop first-to-second-floor stairway.

5. Vacuum all carpeting, runners, carpeted stairs, and mats.  Remove stains and spills as needed.

6. Clean and disinfect all restroom fixtures - sinks, toilets, urinals, mirrors, walls and stalls, dispensers, receptacles, etc., polish all chrome and stainless steel, fill all dispensers from Company stock, dust-mop and damp-mop floors.  The intent of this specification is to leave the restrooms in a clean, sanitized and odorless condition.

7. Clean kitchen sink, countertop, tables, wipe down chairs as needed, spot clean exterior of refrigerator, spot clean cabinet doors and drawers, dust-mop and damp-mop floor.

8. Clean interior and exterior of elevator, polish all stainless, vacuum and clean elevator tracks as needed.    

9. Wash and squeegee-clean all exterior glass doors in and out.
10. Sweep exterior of entry area from front doors to sidewalk.

11. Secure building; set alarms, leave on designated night-lights.

To Be Performed Once Per Week:

1. High-speed buff all tile floors to remove scuffs and restore high gloss.

2. Vacuum upholstered furniture in lobby.

To Be Performed Once Per Month:

1. Vacuum all ceiling vents.

2. Vacuum elevator tracks and polish tracks with fine steel wool.

3. Clean and polish all metal kick-plates on doors.

To be performed once every 3 months:

1. Scrub, refinish and high-speed buff all tile floors.

2. Wash all interior glass visible from front counter.

To be performed once every 6 months:

1. Dust all window blinds in building before washing glass (see #2)

2. Wash all glass in building, interior and exterior.

3. Clean all lobby carpeting and main walkways in office, excluding private offices and cubicles.

To be performed once per year:

1. Strip, refinish and high-speed buff all tile floors.

2. Clean all carpeting in entire building.

End of sample specs.

Support Information

Besides your specs, there are many other things for your bidders to consider. Here are our suggestions for the type of information your Bid Package should include:       

* A complete set of cleaning requirements, with frequencies. If you'd like, we can help you out with that at no charge.       

* A simple floor plan. Nothing fancy, and it doesn't have to be to scale; just note the locations of restrooms, lunchrooms, conference rooms, etc.

* Square footage, preferably broken down into carpet footage and hard-surface floor footage.

* "Desk" population (number of people with desks).

* "Non-desk" population, such as assembly workers and warehouse personnel.

* Estimated number of visitors each day and how they use the facility. Do they simply visit the front counter, or do they routinely come into the building for extended periods and use the rest-rooms and lunchrooms as a permanent employee would?

* Special populations, such as children, senior citizens or tour groups.

* Number of rest-rooms and lunchrooms.

* All hard-surface floors that will require periodic refinishing, and all carpeted areas that might need to be cleaned more often than other areas due to heavy traffic.

* Location and number of janitor closets.

* Consider specifying that non-destructive cleaning methods are to be used. Most of this deals with banning cleaners with harsh chemicals / abrasives, and specifying that tile floors be maintained as to minimize stripping (which involves flooding the floor with stripper and water) as much as possible. If you have expensive flooring materials, such as granite, marble or hardwood, ask the bidder to specify exactly how he would maintain that type of flooring. In most cases, the methods that use the least amount of water will preserve your floors longer.

Donít be surprised if a contractor says that he doesnít do carpets - carpet cleaning has become a real science in the last few years, and often that is best left to a professional in the field. If he doesnít do carpets, at least ask if he has a company he recommends.

* Your purchasing policy for rest-room, kitchen, and lighting supplies. Will you purchase the supplies, or do you want the cost of supplies to be figured into the bids?

Note: Be mindful of the fact that having supplies figured into the bids can shift the emphasis from hiring the best cleaning company (which is what you're really looking for) to which company has the better purchasing power for supplies. All too often the company with the best purchasing power isn't the best janitorial service, and the contractor with the worst purchasing power might be the best cleaning company you've ever had. In addition, figuring supply usage can be very difficult for many contractors, and they might be tempted to raise their bid price to cover supplies "just in case we're off". In our experience, you are far better off to ask your bidders for separate prices on supplies, and to keep supply costs out of the maintenance bidding. Doing this will maintain the integrity of the RFP, the goal of which is to allow you to compare "apples to apples, oranges to oranges". Requiring that supplies be included can put the bids all over the board.   

* If the contractor is to furnish supplies, specify your preference as to the quality of paper towels, toilet paper, hand soap, etc. If your company has made a commitment to recycled and biodegradable products, you can specify that preference here. You might also note that where such products are of inferior quality or prohibitively expensive, those products need not be used.     

* Types of light tubes and bulbs your facility uses, if lighting replacement is to be part of the bid. Lighting supplies can be relatively inexpensive or very costly, depending on the type.

As with rest-room supplies, we do not recommend that you include lighting supplies as part of the maintenance bidding.  

* Your recycling systems for paper, cardboard, plastics, glass, aluminum, etc. 

* Any periods of heavy usage, such as during certain seasons, when production or population might increase, thus increasing the workload on the contractor.

* All holidays when the contractor will not be cleaning.

* If you have a multi-tenant building, you might consider getting 2 prices; one price for all of the common areas that would be cleaned regardless of vacancies, and another "cents-per-square-foot" price to be added or deducted as suites are filled or are vacated.

* Time frames for cleaning, such as "Starting after 6pm , to be finished by midnight , Monday through Thursday, with weekends open".

* How your Accounts Payables Department wants to be billed. On larger accounts, some contractors might ask if they can bill 50/50 - that is, 50% on the 15th and 50% at the end of the month to help their cash flow due to the costs of purchasing new equipment for your facility and the new wage costs to run your cleaning crew. Tell your bidders if you will accept this, and for how long.

* Consider telling your bidders that you encourage "prompt-payment" terms to be part of their proposals.

* Insurance and bonding requirements. Ask that proof of coverage be included in their bid package. Be wary of any company that claims to be self-insured, as most states don't allow this. If you feel it's important, require that the winning contractor designates your company as co-insured.

* When you want the bids to be in. In our experience 2 weeks is plenty of time for all but the most complicated bids. On very large buildings you might want to allow 3-4 weeks.

* When you anticipate the work would begin, should you decide to award the contract to one of the group.

Request for Proposal (RFP) Form

This questionnaire might work for you as is, or you might have to edit it to fit your needs. Just copy and paste into your word processor.

Attention: _______________________Company:__________________________

Fax # _______________________________

We are interested in obtaining a quote for janitorial services. Please fill out this questionnaire as completely as possible and mail or fax back. If you are not interested in providing a quote, please indicate as such and fax back. If you wish to participate, please get this completed form back to us by ______________.

If you have questions regarding this form, please contact _______________________ at

phone number __________________.

Name of your company __________________State I.D. #______________

Primary contact person __________________________________________

Mailing address:________________________________________________

Phone # ________________________ Fax# _________________________

To what amount is your company insured?__________________

It's not necessary now, but will you be able to provide proof of insurance? ________

Proof of fidelity bond? ________________ 

Current number of square feet you maintain on a regular basis _____________________

Our facility is ____________________ square feet with a population of _________.

Can your company handle a job of this size?________________________

Do you have other jobs of similar size?____________________

Do you maintain buildings in the same area as our facility?______

Please list 3 current customers for reference purposes:

Company _____________________

Contact _______________________

Phone ________________________

Company _____________________

Contact _______________________

Phone ________________________

Company _____________________

Contact _______________________

Phone ________________________

Please fax this form back to:__________________________

Attention: ______________________


Invitation-to-Bid Form - again, feel free to copy and paste

Date _____________________

Contractorís fax # _________________

Dear ________________________,

Your company has been accepted as one of the janitorial service contractors that we would like to bid on our facility.

The bid walk-through will be conducted on date ____________ at time _______.

We will meet in the main lobby of our building at address ________________________.

Please check one of the options below, and fax this back to us as soon as possible.

Yes, I will be at the walk-through ____   No, my company will not be bidding ____

Thank you for your prompt response regarding this matter.

Facility managerís name ________________________________

Phone _____________________________ Fax ________________________

Note - Call or fax only if you have questions regarding the walk-through. Sales calls will disqualify your company from the bidding process.

The Contractor Bid-Walk

How and when your bid-walk occurs is very important. In the interest of getting fair and accurate bids, consider scheduling the tour around the end of the workday, when conditions are similar to when the cleaning will be performed. This way your bidders can get an idea of what their crews would be faced with at 6pm, as opposed to walking them through a freshly cleaned, unused facility at 8am.

Before the actual tour, review the requirements in your Bid Package so your bidders know what to look for. Allow enough time for your bidders to get a good feeling for how the building is laid out, and be sure to visit all pertinent areas of the building. Try to keep the group together, so when one contractor has a question, all the others can hear the answer, and then all of your bids will be based on the same information.

At the end of the tour, sit down with the group and field questions. This is a good time to get a consensus from them as to whether your specs need any fine-tuning. If so, agree on the new wording of the specs and be sure everyone gets it right.

Make it clear that if you don't like any of the bids, you are not obligated to award a contract. Also make it clear that you are not obligated to reveal the results or the name of the successful bidder, or the winning quote amount, and, unless it's company policy, that you are not obligated to accept the lowest bid.

If you are so inclined, allow bidders to bring their bids in person for a 5-minute presentation meeting. If you don't like this idea, specify how you want the bids delivered.

Remember that most janitorial contracts require at least a 30-day notice, and your notice of cancellation should probably be delivered by registered mail so you have proof of delivery. The notice should specify the last date of service and a specific day and time for the contractor to hand you the keys to your building and remove his equipment. Remember to get the rest-room dispenser keys as well, as some dispensers use keys that are very difficult to replace. This is probably also a good time to contact your alarm company so they can arrange for new numbers to be assigned and for old numbers to be invalidated on the day of the switch.

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