Survey Finds Building Service Contractors Holding Their Prices

Jan. 4, 2007
A Tornado Industries e-Poll reveals facts about the bid process

A recent survey finds that while some building service contractors (BSCs) - as well as carpet and window cleaning professionals - have raised their bid and service price charges in the past 3 years, many have made few, if any changes.

The survey, the Tornado e-Poll, is a service of Tornado Industries, a Chicago-based manufacturer of professional cleaning products and equipment.

The e-Poll was conducted Dec. 13 to 20, 2006. Approximately 1,000 BSCs were sent e-mail invitations requesting their participation in the online survey. More than 150 people complied.

When asked how their current bid proposals compare to those submitted 3 years ago:

  • Thirty-six (36) percent indicated they are “more than 10-percent higher.”
  • Twenty-one (21) percent said they are “less than 10-percent higher.”
  • Almost 40 percent said they are “about the same.”
  • Three percent said their bids are lower today.

“It’s good to see that some cleaning contractors are now bidding more for their services,” says Jolynn Kennedy, marketing director at Tornado. “For years, there has been little upward movement in this area due to the economy and increased competition.”

Among the other findings:

  • Forty-three (43) percent indicated they have not raised the amount they charge current customers in the past 3 years.
  • Another 43 percent believed most customers select the janitorial contractor with the lowest bid “most of the time.”
  • As for hiring subcontractors, 29 percent of the respondents said this is done mainly to cut costs; another 29 percent indicated it helps them “broaden their service area;” and 25 percent agreed with both of these statements and added that they find the quality of service from subcontractors is “better.”

Green and Cost Issues also Investigated
“Because green cleaning is growing in demand, we wanted to know if BSCs charge more to use environmentally preferable products and cleaning systems,” says Kennedy. “We found that more than 46 percent would charge a bit more, while more than 32 percent indicated it would not affect their bid price.”

The survey also asked the cleaning contractors which of their business expenses has been rising the most in the past 3 years. Nearly 52 percent reported that wages were their fastest growing expense. This was followed by business insurance and workers’ compensation at 44 percent.

The cost for cleaning chemicals has not gone up according to the respondents.  However, a very small number, 4 percent, said that the amount of money they pay for cleaning equipment - such as floor machines, extractors, and vacuum cleaners - is their fastest growing expense.

This information was reprinted with permission from Chicago-based Tornado Industries, a company that has been designing and engineering quality cleaning equipment for more than 75 years. The company has a long history of developing innovative products and applying the latest technology to increase productivity, reduce costs, and improve safety. Tornado prides itself on always being on the cutting edge of floor care cleaning solutions. For more on Tornado or additional information on this study, visit ( or call toll free (800) 822-8867 (VACUUMS).

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Buildings, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Building Better Schools

Download this digital resource to better understand the challenges and opportunities in designing and operating educational facilities for safety, sustainability, and performance...

Tips to Keep Facility Management on Track

How do you plan to fill the knowledge gap as seasoned facility managers retire or leave for new opportunities? Learn about the latest strategies including FM tech innovations ...

The Beauty & Benefits of Biophilic Design in the Built Environment

Biophilic design is a hot trend in design, but what is it and how can building professionals incorporate these strategies for the benefits of occupants? This eHandbook offers ...

The Benefits of Migrating from Analog to DMR Two-Way Radios

Are you still using analog two-way radios? Download this white paper and discover the simple and cost-effective migration path to digital DMR radios that deliver improved audio...