Collecting Data with the Bid Checklist

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Each company within an Office Center is typically a space of 1,000 to 3,500 square feet. The office in the picture on the right is 1,150 square feet. It is almost entirely carpeted.

The occupants in this space can number anywhere from 3 to 8 employees. Three of the four offices might be occupied by executives. The larger office could easily substitute for a conference room or even hold three to four desks for junior members. It has a copy / file room that can also substitute for another office. There is one washroom and a kitchenette, both which are probably covered with vinyl tiled flooring. A kitchenette is a small walk-in space with a counter, sink, some cabinets and a refrigerator. The receptionist in this rendering serves as the office secretary, maybe even that of office manager, and could very well be the person that you’re dealing with.

Upon introducing yourself, the tour begins. Most people that I’ve dealt with automatically take you on a tour of the facility. If they’ve never done this before, take the lead and tell them that you are generally given a tour of each facility. Begin asking questions during the tour. The first question to ask is how frequently the facility is to be serviced and if the service is to occur after hours (nights – usually implying key entry). Ask what the square footage is and what they are currently paying for services. If they don’t like the idea of revealing the present cost, tell them it helps you understand why the present service is obviously struggling.

When you are shown a typical executive office, ask if you are to move the clients papers during cleaning or if you are to clean around the papers. You’ll usually find that you are not to disturb the papers on the desk and that on occasion, usually weekends, the occupant will put his work away so you can thoroughly clean his or her desk. The following is a list of questions to ask along the way.

• Move papers on desks when cleaning, or don't disturb?

• Discard of open soda cans and disposable cups left on desks?

• Use furniture polish on wood desks or use wood-safe cleaner?

• Responsible for resetting window blinds to down position?

• Responsible for cleaning dishes left in sink?

• Responsible for emptying & cleaning coffee pot?

• Responsible for cleaning inside of microwave?

• Responsible for filling washroom dispensers with soap & paper?

Ask each question as you are shown their respective rooms. Also point out what work you’ll be performing especially distinct from the present services glaring negligence. If you’re near a window ledge and they’re exceptionally dusty and buggy, assure the manager that they’ll certainly be kept clean. If you see cobwebs, point it out and state that you’ll never allow that to happen under your watch. The office manager actually wants to see if you notice the current problems in the office areas. So look and point them out along the way. If your in the washroom, look around the base of the toilet or behind it. Oftentimes it will be dirty and anything wrong in the washroom is greatly upsetting to employees in the office. Don’t insult the service they’re presently using – simply point out that you do see the problems and that your service is a guarantee they’ll never occur again.

While you’re critiquing the work of the present service and asking questions from the bulleted list above of specific assignments that vary from place to place, you must also talk about the work you’ll perform that’s pretty much expected from a janitorial service.

You will mention that you’ll be emptying the wastebaskets, assuring that they’re clean of soil and always freshly relined. You’ll always assure that the window boxes and ledges are clean – that the dusting of furnishings is thorough; that the upholstered furniture is regularly vacuumed and that the base of desk chairs will be dust free. Carpets will be cleaned free of spots after a thorough vacuuming. Washroom fixtures will be sanitized and polished free of cleaning residue. Floors will shine as will door & entry glass Sound confident and proud of the services you’re offering You’ll be selling your service and your cleaning abilities much like your selling a shiny new car – although without the need for exaggeration that borders on the obnoxious

How will you remember to convey all of the cleaning assignments expected of you? While you can formulate your own checklist, I have created one you can use which you’ll find on the next page and again in the Template section (without my company name at the bottom). You can use the list to remind you of cleaning topics to bring up in conversation. But its main purpose is to remind you of the scheduled frequency of those services requested by the company your presently working with You can even sit down with your tour guide and have them help you fill out the checklist so that it can’t be said the subject never came up, should a problem arise down the road not of your making or responsibility.

At the bottom of the checklist a space is provided to enter a quote. I generally do not like to give a quote during the tour. I thank the office manager for having me in and depart to draft a well-though-out proposal at a satisfactory price. In the many years that I have been at this, I still like time to reflect, and then hammer-out a price that I feel the account and I can both live with.

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