Stop guessing and start increasing revenue with detailed janitorial production rates
Giving a quote is always a balancing act. How much can you charge so that you make a healthy profit, but so that you don’t overprice yourself? If you’re taking an “educated guess,” you might be close. Then again, you might not be. The only way to know exactly how much time you need to complete a job, and what you need to charge, is to determine your janitorial production rates.
Janitorial production rates are, in the most basic form, the time it takes you to perform any given task, usually measured in square feet. For instance, if it takes one hour to clean a 2,000 square-foot space, your production rate is 2,000 square feet per hour. If that same space requires a significant amount of detailed tasks, and it takes two hours to clean, your production rate is 1,000 square feet per hour.
It’s vital to account for these probabilities when you’re giving someone a quote and when you’re scheduling your team. The more accurate and efficient you are, the more your janitorial production rates can improve.
Think of it in the way a mechanic approaches automotive work. To maximize profits, they need to schedule appointments efficiently. If the average oil change takes 30 minutes, but the garage only schedules them for every hour, they are effectively cutting their production rate (and potential revenue) in half. On the flip side, if the oil change takes an hour, but they only charge for a 30-minute job, they are losing money.
So how do you calculate your janitorial production rates? Here is your guide to figuring it out.
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These factors will impact your janitorial production rates significantly
Knowing what your production rates are will help you determine labor costs, and therefore, what your quote should be. It tells you how long it will take your team to perform specific tasks in a particular location. As such, you can’t necessarily work with a “standard” production rate. You can use an industry standard to start, but there are simply too many factors to make production rates a one-size-fits-all situation.
The most obvious factor (and the one on which janitorial production rates are based) is the square footage. But is it that straightforward? Not quite. Cleaning a tile floor versus carpeting versus an open floor plan versus a crowded space can all impact the time it takes to finish a job. If you’re washing windows, the position of the windows can make a huge difference in timing. Are they all easy to reach, or will you need a ladder or step stool to get to them?
These are all elements you can explore on your walkthrough. Once you know what the actual space looks like, you’ll be able to offer a more accurate quote based not just on production rate, but also on details like whether or not your team should use green cleaning products or if personal protective gear is in order.
The frequency at which you clean a space will also impact your production rates. It takes a lot less effort to keep a floor sparkling if you mop it twice a week rather than once per month. That’s one reason you can’t necessarily offer a 50% cut in price for a 50% cut in the frequency of cleaning. It actually costs you more to service a location less regularly.
Consider, too, the tools you have. If your janitorial equipment is older and prone to malfunction, that will alter your production rates. Similarly, even if it doesn’t break down, but doesn’t perform efficiently due to poor maintenance, that will also have an impact on how efficiently your team can work.
In addition to the performance of your janitorial equipment, using the right tools can boost your production rates. Going back to the mechanic example for a moment, imagine trying to change the oil in a car without a lift. It’s not impossible, but it’s certainly not ideal. And it will probably take a lot longer. That’s true for any job, but what’s also true is that using the right tool can improve the effectiveness of any situation.
Also, don’t forget about your location, both geographically and in relation to your clients. In both congested and very rural areas, the travel time between locations can be significant. To work more efficiently, try to schedule clients based on proximity to one another.
As for geography, it might be more precise to say climate. When you and your clients are in a snowy location, consider the extra effort it takes to deal with melting snow, sand, road salt, and all the other grunge that gets tracked across floors.
Lastly, your clients can have a major impact on your janitorial production rates. Are they in a heavily trafficked location, like a school, for instance? Or is it a low-key establishment, such as a real estate office, where most of the work takes place away from the building?
For that matter, what kind of client are you offering a quote to? Cleaning a bookstore may not require any special equipment or training beyond what you already provide. A medical office, on the other hand, might require specific training around bloodborne pathogens, enhanced sanitation practices, or any number of local regulations.
How to boost your production rate
Once you’ve determined your janitorial production rates for a location, and agreed upon a price with your customer, there’s still a lot you can do to improve (or reduce) your profit margin.
One of the most vital components of that is making your entire workflow efficient. The easiest way to do that is with Janitorial Manager software. You can offer detailed, accurate bids more easily than ever, handle overall project management, track your employees’ time, manage inventory, and use the built-in inspections app to get real-time updates on every job.
Manage projects, stay in touch with clients, and more with Janitorial Manager. Contact us for a free demo right now and see how it works!