Thus far in this series we have discussed our increased focus on the effects our actions and choices have on the environment including our places of work, the importance of selecting service providers that understand and practice what is necessary to maintain a sustainable level of indoor air quality: general cleaning of the facility, textile and carpet maintenance and HVAC maintenance.
The service providers that specialize in these areas are Professional Building Services (janitorial) contractors, Professional, Certified Carpet and Textile/Upholstery Cleaning contractors and HVAC/Mechanical contractors.
Areas to consider in the selection process for such services based on preferences, specific needs applicable to the facility/occupants, and desired results were also discussed.
We have established the service provider must meet basic minimum qualifications such as licenses, insurance and certifications, etc. But more importantly, the areas of professional certifications, designations and associations that true professionals participate and invest time and money into, to the betterment of their business and the level of services their customers receive.
Then we hit a wall; What is a fair price? Is this proposal overpriced? “I’ll just Google-it and compare.” Interestingly the wonderful tool we go to for virtually everything, the internet, has made price comparison on ‘goods’ quick and easy. This is certainly advantageous on many levels. The problem is, services are not goods. Services provided and priced based on volume come at a price. Buying services with the click of a mouse leaves you open to many disappointments. Services are provided by humans; therefore, the variables are endless!
Understanding the inner workings of the service provider industry, how their overhead contributes to the prices we pay and why appreciation and respect for specialty services results in long term business relationships, we realize there is much more behind the price on the proposal we are reviewing.
Take for instance Commercial Carpet & Textile Cleaning which requires investing in vehicles and a variety of equipment, often in multiples, to address the extensive range of fibers encountered in buildings and servicing multiple accounts. This part of doing business has a startup cost easily ranging from $65K to over $180K per van with equipment.
The average cost of operating one truck mount starts at $39.18 per hour depending on model, etc.
That is an average for just operating one piece of equipment, and does not consider other specialty equipment used, and expenses that the contractor must build into the overall cost benchmark: