5 Minute Read

Tell me if you can relate to this situation. You show up to a facility, do a quick look around, and write an estimate for a janitorial service based on the eyeball test.

Perhaps the job felt similar to a past one. Maybe you’ve worked dozens of facilities just like it, and your gut is telling you everything you need to know about the upcoming job.

But then you or your team begin the job. You come across a curveball you haven’t experienced before, or the dynamics of the job take a shift, and now you’re working an entirely different case than the one you quoted the customer. 

Workloading can help eliminate these unexpected, time-consuming, and expensive situations from your janitorial company's schedule.

Efficient janitorial management depends on comprehensive data

The above experience probably revealed that workloading requires more than a simple eyeball test and a gut check.

Proper workloading is about breaking down each job to a granular level so you can analyze the full scope of the job.

  • What is each team member responsible for at the location?
  • How long will it take staff to complete their responsibilities?
  • What are your team’s production rates?

Without fully understanding all these metrics and accurately estimating jobs based on hard data, you stand to lose a lot of money and risk narrowing your profit margins.

Accurate workload metrics drive profitability for growth

Workloading helps your organization segment each cleaning job into the individual tasks required for each job and area.

That helps you determine materials and labor costs in a very systematic way. These costs translate into much more accurate estimates for you and your customer.

  • Clarify staff responsibilities
  • Maintain margins and costs

So why does it take so long for some janitorial teams to enhance how they workload? Well, it comes down to time, effort, and simply knowing where to start. Fortunately, we’re exploring why and how your team can start elevating their workloading management today.

Flaws of manual workloading for cleaning businesses

Manual workloading is a disservice to you and your customers. There are many variables at work in the amount of effort a job requires. Those variables can change on a dime.

An inefficient system for workload management can even affect your customer relations. 

Consider this scenario: 

  • You walked around a site and gave your customer a quote without explaining how or why you came to that number.
  • The customer didn’t see you mark anything on a document. They just know that based on what they requested and the size of the facility, you arrived at this flat estimate. 
  • Your team arrives for the job, and suddenly things have changed. They run into unexpected areas of difficulty, or they realize they need different equipment. 

For a janitorial business, this means increased costs. As a field services contractor, you can’t simply bill the customer higher. You gave them a solid quote without highlighting any of the complexities that went into that number.

Profits, morale, and customer service are at risk with manual workloading

Now, you can’t suddenly increase the rate because they don’t have insight into your billing process and will be skeptical of the new charge. The off-the-cuff quote can create problems across your operations:

  • Dropping a larger bill on a client risks reducing repeat business
  • Pricing is hard to explain to customers who are browsing competitor rates
  • Teams may show up to jobs ill-prepared, creating frustration and wasted labor hours

The problem with manual workloading is not having a system to handle service variables’ inconsistencies.

So, where do you begin to solve this problem? 

Use management software for consistent and efficient workloading

You need to begin with having a system in place. At a certain point in your business’s growth, you can no longer rely on the default of experience and know-how.

As your company evolves, so will:

  • Your customers
  • The janitorial service jobs you bid
  • The industry around you

You need to take that proven experience and translate it into a system of logic that anyone on your team can use to provide a proper estimate both internally and externally. 

Why cleaning companies swear by workload checklists

Even something as simple as a cleaning task catalog is a good place to start. Take each aspect of your services and break them down by costs and effort.

Once you know every aspect of your cleaning services:

  • Work hours
  • Required cleaning products and supplies
  • Indirect costs

You can assign a rate that ensures you maintain your gross margin instead of worrying about breaking even.

Customer trust ensures long-term success in the cleaning industry

As you examine your next site, you can check off each variable you listed for your services, and an automatic rate will populate your estimate.

Customers receive clear insights into why they paid what they did via a more detailed invoice.

Transparency in estimates and invoices builds trust in your brand and increases customer loyalty in a competitive industry. 

The amount of time you spend on workloading spreadsheets is holding you back

Checklists for work orders build consistency but are only half of the efficiency equation. The key to scaling your commercial cleaning company is to help your team manage work internally.

Plugging a list into a spreadsheet for every new job is a time waster for contractors working in building services. Even if it’s currently manageable, it’s a time management disaster when your company is bidding on dozens of jobs a week—not to mention the potential for human error in a manually tracked system.

Janitorial software offers management tools to streamline estimate creation

Deploying a software platform that accounts for workload variables increases accuracy.

Plus, it automates the most time-consuming aspects of your operations and provides a very consistent and repeatable process.

Janitorial services software reduces the need for manual data entry and allows you to standardize estimating templates and ship out detailed invoices with the click of a button. 

Increasing productivity leads to limitless growth

Many organizations struggle with the changes that come from scaling their business:

  • Scheduling of jobs through growth periods
  • Logistics of expanding market share and service areas
  • Accurate staffing to maintain a high morale work environment

Even high-grossing businesses can fail to prepare for inconsistencies in their management style.

A successful organization in the janitorial industry needs to be able to plan for:

  • Vacations
  • Schedule changes
  • Changing estimates
  • Sick time
  • Route changes

Real-time data with clear visualizations enables business owners to handle even drastic changes on the fly. 

Improve communication to unlock new efficiencies in your organization

Clear communication is one of the most effective ways to optimize efficiency. It’s the key to successfully reacting to immediate changes:

  • Delays and additions to the schedule
  • Quickly covering changes in client jobs
  • Effective time tracking for work crews

Some organizations working in custodian services believe manual processes can support communication as they grow. No amount of company culture or family-like community can support a company's ability to communicate once it reaches a certain scale.

A platform with management tools that incorporate scheduling and workloading on a mobile scale will become a necessary investment, one that’s best to get ahead of.

Implement a janitorial software solution with end-to-end functionality

Aspire understands this struggle. That’s why we dedicated ourselves to crafting software made to support businesses as they scale, while also growing alongside the company.

We’ve seen organizations deserving of success fall under because they couldn’t overcome these hurdles early in their growth.

Our solution provides comprehensive access to everything you need from a central hub. This means your team can continue to work as a well-oiled machine, aligned and fully prepared to handle their tasks.

If you’re interested in seeing how we can support the growth of your janitorial business, then reach out for a demo, and our team will get back to you.

 

Find out how Aspire can reveal valuable information about jobs and improve client retention in our blog post, "Stop janitorial client turnover with better insights from Aspire."