A reader writes: “I resent your assertion that I am unclear in my requirements. I have been in the business for over 20 years and learned the hard way in dealing with contractors. Your response?”

Thank you for your candor. I believe that you are misinterpreting my intentions. Please understand that I try to be as clear as possible based on the available information I have at that time.

Although we all want to grow custodial business, it is incumbent on all parties to work towards common goals. One of those goals must be clarity in expectations. In reviewing your specifications, I came across requirements using unacceptable terms such as “As Needed,” “Every,” “All,” and other absolutes that placed an undue burden on the bidder without you assuming any of the costs for those risks. It is inappropriate and certainly not best business practice to require something you are unwilling to pay for. Your quality control inspector has demonstrated that they will fail a trash can (actually an entire area) if they find trash in it even though the area has been in use for several hours. This is unacceptable behavior on your part by enforcing an arbitrary requirement.

Since the building service contractor has to price in that “all trash cans are to be empty at all times” they have to adjust their task/frequencies for that possibility. This means a higher cost to you. The general approach is that whomever assumes the risk has to pay more (and on the BSC’s side) has to charge more accordingly. If the BSC has to guarantee an empty trash can or a spotless restroom or a mark free floor “all the time” then they will have to charge more to fulfill that requirement.

Please understand that you, the customer pays for everything involved in the specifications. Please consider clarifying your requirements for a win/win (think lower costs and less hassle) for all parties involved.

Your comments and feedback are always appreciated. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.