A reader writes: “Thanks for reviewing these specifications. Is it just me or are they really complicated for a contract such as this?”

Although I do not have the time to perform a complete analysis, I did take a quick look and noted the following concerns about the specifications as required by the customer:

This is a campus with over thirty-five buildings which makes it complicated anyway. The buildings range from larger (60,000 + square feet) to smaller out buildings to large buildings that only require rest room care on an irregular basis. The specifications look like a menu of “ideal” cleaning schedule as only a customer could love. Some of the buildings require two and three trips per day to service different areas; whereas others require different areas be serviced at infrequent times supposedly to accommodate tenants. In most of these scheduling requirements, I saw very little justification for the frequencies other than the tenants expected this type of service from the property manager.

This is a massive failure in workloading and scheduling. What the tenants and the property manager may be missing is that based on a quick review of the travel time required to accommodate this overly-complicated schedule, they are paying between 27-32 percent travel time penalty. They may not understand that a worker is paid from the time they clock in until they clock out. This means they are paid for travel time between sites which should be minimized since it is totally unproductive resulting in an expensive way of cleaning an otherwise simple route. Travel time should not be more than 5-7 percent for this size account

I suggest you submit a counter proposal showing them the cost savings if the sites can be serviced only once in a twenty-four-hour cycle. The exceptions being some of the aseptic level accounts (day care, gym, etc.) and the larger sites where you could cycle a worker to service each of them on a well thought out route that minimizes travel time. The tenants may need to be sold on their needing to accommodate this schedule since they may not understand the benefits of these changes. Of course, if money is not an issue, then simply charge them for the costs, including the lost travel time, and let your workers enjoy the pay for not working.

Sometime we forget that the customer pays for everything even when they think otherwise.

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.