I responded in an earlier article to a writer asking about an “ideal, one size fits all” estimator and expressed that in my opinion, none probably existed although there are some very good products on the market. I do not endorse specific products so am offering some basic guidelines that I hope will be of assistance in your arriving at a realistic bid.

If you have the background in spreadsheet development you might consider developing your own. If you are not experienced in spreadsheets it might be wise to take a few classes or engage someone who has those skill sets. Be careful NOT to simply tell them what you want and leave them to their own devices since the outcomes need to make sense. I have seen some rather large, cumbersome spreadsheets that were put together by people experienced in spreadsheets who did not have a clue about custodial operations. It is very important that you work on development of a product that can accomplish your goals without it becoming overly complex.

A simple way to proceed is to identify a custodial times standard as a reference and then create a task list with the standard multiplied against the frequency. Following is a very basic example as an idea of how to proceed:

Vacuuming carpet using a 12” wide upright = 20 minutes/1000 SQ x 55,000 SF x 52 times/year /60 = 953.3 annual DLH. Note this is just a very basic example and your numbers will certainly vary. Once you have listed all the tasks necessary to satisfy the specifications, you would add them together to determine the total DLH to service the contract. Note that Task times Frequency means you must capture tasks that are performed each visit while others are performed differently based on the specifications. How often are you expected to pull trash, clean rest rooms, sweep/dust mop, damp mop? All of these factors must be captured accurately to reach at least a range of your total DLH.

Remember, the more complex the spreadsheet, the greater the possibility of error.

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.