With these goals top of mind, more and more contractors are turning to bidding and field management software to maintain a competitive edge. Bidding tools allow BSCs to generate personalized bids and update them on the fly to reflect dynamic pricing.

“In the janitorial industry, the two biggest expenses are labor and supplies,” says Vicky LaFrancis, professional services project manager, TEAM Software, Omaha, Nebraska. “With the bidding software, our clients can predict labor and supply costs and see the overall profit margin before presenting that bid to a client.”

The software employs industry-standard cleaning times and tasks that improve the accuracy of quotes and allow BSCs to make adjustments as needed. With a few tweaks, they can add additional services to an existing bid, factor in extra costs such as parking, and quickly determine if the job is still profitable.

According to LaFrancis, the level of detail and transparency the software affords is valuable for educating customers, as well. By generating a clear-cut scope of work, BSCs can pinpoint the cause and effect of changing supply and labor costs and demonstrate these to clients.

“Contractors can educate their clients using bidding software,” she says. “For clients that want that level of transparency, the contractor can add services and show them that 75 percent is labor costs and 10 percent is supplies, which leaves them with a very small profit margin.”

In addition, BSCs can manipulate bids, presenting clients with alternatives that save time and money.

“Good bidding software should allow you to run different scenarios with a lot less effort, to give customers options,” says Kegler. “For example, if you’re vacuuming a client’s office every day but you need to lower your price, you can reduce the frequency, change the process and come up with a new quote on the spot.”

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