Before the advent of modern technology, accurately estimating the amount of time and resources it would take to complete a cleaning job could be quite challenging. Many BSCs would calculate these costs in their heads, and due to all of the different variables involved, workloading a job used to entail a lot of guesswork. Many BSCs would base their estimates on similar jobs or try to come up with a universal price per square foot. However, because each job—even those with a nearly identical amount of space—is highly unique, such estimates are often inaccurate, which can cause a BSC to lose a bid, or even worse, win a bid but then lose money on the job.
"Workloading technology eliminates the guesswork and streamlines the calculations needed for BSCs to arrive at an equitable bid."
Fortunately, we now have technological solutions specifically designed to help BSCs accurately workload new jobs. Today’s workloading programs are available as either cloud-based systems or as separate software packages for a BSC’s own computer servers. Such technology eliminates the guesswork and streamlines the calculations needed to arrive at equitable bid. Even more, many modern workloading programs also offer a host of additional benefits, which make them an invaluable resource for managing a BSC’s operations.
“Workloading allows BSCs to more effectively retain business through process analysis, labor optimization, and service excellence,” says Michael Fabian, manager of CompuClean at Spartan Chemical. “Workloading gives BSCs a competitive advantage because they know every detail about the facility, thoroughly understand the cleaning requirements, and can customize processes and procedures to address the unique needs of the customer.”
The following are a few of the many benefits offered by today’s workloading programs:
Simplicity and efficiency: Workloading programs primary benefit is to simplify a complex collection of data, including a job’s size, cleaning tasks, labor requirements, and time requirements, so a BSC can develop a highly accurate cost analysis. This automation eliminates the guesswork and mistakes that comes from trying to figure such costs in your head. Ultimately, such a program will make your operations more efficient and allow you to fine tune both your bids and your cleaning procedures.
Streamlined staffing: A workloading program will help you determine the correct amount of manpower you will need to effectively clean a facility. Beyond figuring out how many people you need to handle a job, the data collected also allows you to quickly and easily manage your staffing needs. For example, workloading programs enable you to determine if a job is overstaffed or understaffed, allocate staff to the places where they are needed most, come up with short-staffing plans, and validate staffing levels. Such streamlined staffing management will not only save you money, but also improve your performance and increase client satisfaction.
Added professionalism: When bidding on a new job, it’s important that BSCs are not only able to provide clients with an accurate and competitive bid, but also show clients how they arrived at this estimate. Clients want to see exactly what they are paying for. Presenting a client with a report of your workloading data gives clients a comprehensive breakdown of how you arrived at your bid, which adds professionalism and transparency to your estimates.
“Workloading can boost the image and brand of a company by incorporating professional-looking reports and data points into sales proposals,” says Jill Davie, senior vice president of client experience at TEAM Software.
These reports provide solid evidence to validate your price levels, and moreover, it provides facility managers with the data they need to justify their own cleaning budget to their superiors. In this way, workloading can actually become an added selling point and put you ahead of the competition.
“Workloading can be used to demonstrate the infeasibility of low-ball bids from competitors by demonstrating that the bidder simply cannot clean the facility at the levels required by the scope of work,” says Fabian.
Answering “what if” questions: Another benefit of workloading technology is that it allows you to virtually forecast how certain changes in your cleaning processes might affect your service and cost. This allows you to quickly answer “what if” questions. For example, workloading can answer questions, such as “What if we vacuumed three days per week instead of daily?” or “What if we reduced floor cleaning frequency for this low traffic area and increased frequency in one that sees heavy traffic?” This added flexibility helps you predict how such changes will affect your time and costs, which can be a valuable way to save money and increase your efficiency.
“Workloading software enables BSCs to provide flexible options to potential customers, which opens the door to meaningful conversations about pricing and service levels,” says Davie.