As offices across the country begin reopening, many organizations have begun the process of reengaging former facility service providers to reactivate programs that were disrupted as a result of temporary facility shutdowns.  Some examples of categories impacted by facility closures includes services such as water & coffee, food & beverage, security, and janitorial services.  While there is a lot to gain by establishing a go-to-market sourcing strategy for each of these categories, this blog will specifically focus on how to successfully source best-in-class janitorial and cleaning services. 

Identify current state vs desired future state

Before going to market it’s important to understand what’s working and not working with your current janitorial services provider.  Take the time to run an internal review and score the supplier based on factors that are important to your company, some examples may include: Is facility cleanliness acceptable, are staffing levels adequate, are response times for emergencies acceptable?  Understanding the pain-points with your current supplier will help naturally pivot the next crucial step which is updating and/or creating a Scope of Work to align with your desired future state.  The Scope of Work (SOW) should be created and included in your janitorial services contract to ensure supplier expectations are clearly established.  Any concerns regarding the requirements established in the SOW should be aligned on between both parties prior to contract execution to ensure your desired future state is fully understood.   

Request for Proposal (RFP) development

Prior to building your RFP to receive supplier pricing, it’s important to ensure you have the correct janitorial service providers invited to this sourcing event.  I highly suggest starting this process off with a Request for Information (RFI) with detailed questions submitted to a wide range of potential suitors to help identify suppliers that fit the needs and requirements within your newly updated SOW.  Once this list of potential janitorial services providers has been properly vetted, the RFP construction process can begin

When building your RFP, it’s important to arm bidders with the proper metrics to ensure an accurate bid can be delivered to help meet the requirements established within your SOW.  Some examples of metrics that will lead to a successful RFP may include: total locations in scope, cleanable sq/ft per location, supplier’s forecasted full-time employee (FTE) bid count per location, and FTE hourly rate per location.  While there are many other metrics that could also be included, these selected inputs shared by bidders will enable you to accurately understand costs by location as well as the total cost to service your janitorial services portfolio.

Holding awarded supplier accountable

Congratulations, you’ve successfully gone to market and identified your suitable janitorial services provider through a successful sourcing initiative.  While you’ve confirmed that the supplier’s price is acceptable, now is not the time to let up!  It’s important to establish processes during the contracting phase to help manage expectations of the supplier, and to ensure they are held accountable.  For instance, if you wish to establish a required cleanliness score minimum across your entire portfolio, apply language within the agreement that applies penalties associated with facility scores below a certain threshold.  Quarterly check-ins should also be a goal to ensure continuity is in place, this can be achieved by including language in the contract requiring Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) to be conducted.  While these suggestions may not seem like much, they can often mean the difference between a good program and a great program.  

Going out to market can be a daunting task at times, I hope this blog helps guide you and your organization along the way to successfully source best-in class janitorial and cleaning services.  

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Ryan Ganley

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