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When is a Bargain Not a Bargain? When Your Cleaning Service Diminishes.

When is a Bargain Not a Bargain? When Your Cleaning Service Diminishes.

by Brad Staines

In these difficult economic times it’s tempting to jump at the cheaper option but Aquamark believe that the cheaper is not just unsustainable, but it’s a false economy too.

In a competitive market, there will always be firms who offer the job for a cheaper price.  While some may see this as healthy competition, Aquamark would argue that it’s just not possible to reduce prices as low as they are being offered at the moment.

Plucking Figures From the Air

When a company like Aquamark cost a job or put a tender in for a project or contract they do so following rigorous accounting that takes in factors that go beyond simply the hourly cost of staff. Costing for items such as cleaning products, equipment, training, security checks and insurance are calculated too in a final quote, as well as the additional staff costs such as holiday pay and staff cover. Brad Staines, Managing Director of Aquamark, believes that many cleaning companies are “plucking figures from the air when they put very low quotes in for cleaning tenders.”

Consideration in Quoting

Charging a company an hourly rate has to cover all the hidden costs of completing a job thoroughly. The National Minimum Wage in Britain at the time of writing this article is £6.08 per hour (£6.19 per hour from 1 October 2012), but when all the additional costs such as National Insurance and sick pay are factored in the figure rises dramatically. Discussing a contract that Aquamark recently pitched for, Brad explains the current situation, “I dropped our usual hourly rate from £12.50 to £11.70 to secure this job.  We didn’t get it as another company came in at £8 per hour.  With all the additional costs based on the UK minimum wage we would be losing money at £8 per hour, we would not be able to provide a quality service either.”

Problems lie not just in pitching for new work but also losing contracts to cheaper companies.  Aquamark recently lost a client to another firm who pitched in at £7.10 per hour for cleaning. 

Brad said: “The company called and asked if we could compete with that price.  The truth is we can’t. We couldn’t offer the service that our clients rely on at that price.  This cost doesn’t even cover cleaning products, let alone equipment or additional staffing costs such as training and insurance.” 

Aquamark later learned they had lost their client to a company who had block contracted the whole building and brought lots of staff in “mob handed” to power through all the floors of the building in record time.

The old adage, you get what you pay for, is as true in the commercial cleaning business as it is in any aspect of life. Figures are not just “plucked from the air” they are carefully considered to include quality staff, training, products and an all-round service that meets client’s Health and Safety guidelines. This is something to consider carefully when choosing quality cleaning staff that really deliver on their promises. Contact Aquamark today for quality office and commercial cleaning services, at realistic, sustainable prices. 


06 August 2012