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Wednesday, January 28, 2015


I am bidding on a plant with several offices and small rooms. I have this account already. This is a re-bid. Example: One office is 1840 sq. ft. x $.14 = $25.76. It takes about 60 minutes to walk back and clean it. Next office is 5620 sq. ft. at $.14 it is $78.68. It takes about 1 hr. 30 minutes to clean. I pay employees $8.50 / hr. Supervision is not included. Do you notice the difference in price?


Yes, but I also noticed apparent confusion on pricing and some math errors. Cleaning based on a sq. ft. rate ($.14/ sq. ft.) is common. Once you figure your actual job costs and add in overhead, supervision (yours or others) and your profit, you will have a figure that can be used to calculate a charge per sq. ft. However, that charge must further be determined for a set period of time. Usually a monthly figure is used.
For example, if your math was correct in your question, you would be charging the customer $257.60 per month to arrive at a monthly sq. ft. rate of $.14. And that rate would always be expressed for a set period to avoid confusion. Think of the disaster if you were to tell the customer that your cleaning rate was $.14 /sq. ft. / year!
The larger office is billed out at $786.80 per month or $9441.60 per year.
One office cleans at the rate of 1840 sq. ft. / labor hour and the larger area cleans at the rate of 3747 sq. ft. / labor hour (5620/1.5). While this difference may be a cause for concern, neither figure is alarmingly low or high. Different areas clean at difference rates due to occupant density, clutter, traffic variations, equipment used, speed of cleaner, etc.
To check the times, why not clean each office yourself and note the times you need to get the expected results? You may find that one is being done too quickly and the larger is being cleaned too slowly, or you may find each time is about what it should be. If the client is pleased with the service, you are doing fine and the pricing doesn’t seem out of line.
Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Associate Editor