Want TO HAVE A BETTER EXPERIENCE WITH your next janitorial SERVICE? then understand these 5 things ABOUT EVERY JANITORIAL CONTRACT
Understanding any type of contract is important. It's no different for the janitorial services contract that you sign on behalf of your company. It is critically important to you not only understand but agree to all the terms and conditions outlined in the janitorial service contract.
It can be easy to think it's just cleaning, but the details in the janitorial service contract will govern what could be a long relationship with you and the commercial cleaning company. Also, your company will still be bound by this contract even if you move on from the business, so it is critically important that you and all decision makers are on board with the terms and service.
While the entire janitorial service contract is important, there are a few that typically cause huge problems in the future when they are not clearly understood at the beginning of the relationship with a janitorial service. This article will arm you with the information you need to thoroughly review these areas and make sure that the terms are agreeable to your company for the long run.
1. Cancellation Policy
The cancellation policy outlines how the janitorial service contract can be ended by either your company or the janitorial service company. Typically janitorial service contracts are for a set period of time. The cancellation policy puts guidelines around how and when that relationship can come to an end. There are two common types of termination that the cancellation policy will address. Those are:
The cancellation policy section of the janitorial contract should provide guidance for each type termination. It can be easy to assume that if you're not satisfied with the service your company is receiving you can just end the service whenever you want. That may or may not be true. How and when you can you end a janitorial service contract, along with any penalties for early termination should be clearly outlined and understood before entering the agreement.
Otherwise, your company could face an unpleasant situation or undesirable consequences, like having to pay out the remaining term of the the janitorial contract, if you want to get out early or be stuck paying for janitorial service that you're displeased with for months. Even with a normal cancellation, if you're not aware of the notice of non-renewal period, your janitorial service contract could be auto renewed if you miss that deadline.
2. Payment Terms
Your janitorial service contract will require a monthly payment. That payment as with all bills will have a specified due date. Think about what happens when you pay a credit card bill late. There could be late fees, additional interest and if is not paid, the account can be sent to collections further damaging your credit. The contracts that you sign on behalf your business may have similar penalties and consequences. That's why it's so important to really understand the payment terms of your janitorial service contract and to ensure that your business can operate within those terms.
Review the payment terms of your janitorial service contract carefully. Make sure that you understand when the payment is due each month and what payment methods are accepted.
You'll also want understand the consequences of late payments such as late fees, interest, service suspension or even service termination.
Many businesses ignore this section thinking that the janitorial service will comply with their established general payment term. Generally the terms that are in the janitorial service contract will govern payments between your company and the janitorial service company.
For example if your business typically pays net 60 but the janitorial contract stipulates net 30, then the payments terms of the janitorial service contract are what matters. You may be able to negotiate the payment terms to conform to your general payment schedule, however the janitorial service may increase your service rate to compensate for the delay in cash flow or decide to decline the payment terms all together. Either way, these terms need to be agreed upon by both parties.
Every commercial property requires supplies to operate. As it relates to office cleaning consumable supplies and operational supplies are of importance between your business and your chosen janitorial service company.
Consumable supplies are supplies that are used by (consumed) then usually discarded by the occupants of your building. Essentially these supplies can not be reused, only used or consumed. These items include paper towels, tissue paper, soap, wax paper bags and trash can liners.
To clean your office, other supplies will be needed. These are operational supplies or work supplies used to actually clean your building. Think of things like trash barrels, vacuum cleaners, cleaning towels, dusters and chemicals.
Now that we know what these are, the question now becomes- who is responsible for providing these supplies. The janitorial service contract will or should answer this question in detail so that there is no confusion regarding responsibility. Review these provisions carefully so that you feel comfortable with the items that you are responsible for providing.
Typically the janitorial service should provide anything that is needed to actually clean your facility- the operational supplies. The client (your business) typically provides supplies that are needed to operate their building or that are used by the occupants of the building-consumable supplies. But that doesn't mean all janitorial service contracts are written this way. So read carefully and negotiate anything that is unreasonable.
The term of an agreement is how long it lasts. The term of a janitorial service contract sets the length of time that the janitorial service will clean the client's (your business) office. Essentially it is the length of time that the client (your business) is bound by the contract before it can be ended. The term can be a variety of lengths and it is usually negotiable, however a twelve month term is pretty typical.
Why should you care about the term length? Well, depending on the cancellation terms in the contract this will be the length of time you are obligated to work with the janitorial service good or bad. A great strategy is to sign a shorter contract term to begin with, then if you are happy with the service and have established trust over that time, then renew for a longer contract term.
5. Scope of Work
The scope of work, which may also be called a task list is what the janitorial service will do when they clean your office. It will also state how often each task will be performed. It is very important to review this section carefully and take the time to ensure every task you want done is included and done at a frequency that produces the level of cleanliness you want for the facility.
Often businesses will decrease task frequency or cut out cleaning tasks in an effort to save on janitorial expenses. However if doing so makes it impossible to meet the expectations of cleanliness that you have, it can create problems down the line that could be prevented by nailing down an effective task list.
When creating your task list keep in mind that janitorial services do what the business has compensated them to do as outlined in the scope of work. Many businesses have the idea that once the janitorial service is in the building they can ask for extra services or on demand services. This is not the case.
While additional services and tasks can be requested, there could be an additional fee to compensate cleaning staff for the additional time spent cleaning your facility. To avoid these extra costs, take the time upfront and make sure that your scope of work accurately capture the work you want performed, even if costs a little more.
Understanding your janitorial service contract makes for a better experience with your chosen janitorial service provider. Taking the time to understand your janitorial service agreement will eliminate surprises in the vendor relationship. The ultimate goal of any agreement is to create fair terms from both your business and the janitorial service contractor while having a service plan that achieves your facility maintenance goals.
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