Breaking the mold of an employee management tech-focus
Building service contractors are always looking for new ways to improve their processes and stay ahead of their competitors. Running a successful commercial cleaning company involves managing many different departments and roles. The point when a company’s workforce starts to grow is usually also when owners generally start to look for software to manage and track their employees in the field. Whether it’s scheduling, time tracking, or payroll, these tasks can become difficult to manage. However, incorporating tech solutions for other processes can sometimes be neglected when the focus is place on employee management. Today, there are more tech solutions than ever before that can benefit not just operations, but also the sales process.
Embracing innovative tech solutions for the sales process within our industry is often overlooked, even though there is an incredible opportunity to boost efficiency, save time, and meet client expectations. The sales process is the trigger that starts everything that is to come in a client relationship. Implementing a tech-forward approach during the sales process can boost profitability, increase transparency, and streamline operations.
An initial walkthrough at a prospective client’s space is one of the most crucial steps in the sales process and is a great opportunity to begin prepping for the job after winning a contract. A walkthrough is the ultimate opportunity for BSCs to demonstrate that they will meet all of their client’s requirements and needs.
In order to gather as many details about the client’s building as possible, it is important to take detailed notes of every aspect of a janitorial cleaning walkthrough, from measuring and calculating square footage to assessing specific hot points that the client is calling attention to. This information in a BSC’s notes can quickly turn into chicken scratch on paper that can be difficult to decipher back at the office. These notes are also not easily saved or shared with others in the office as well.
Digitally capturing and organizing walkthrough notes with various apps and built in smartphone features can help to create a clean portrait of a client’s space. I recommend taking as many photos as possible during a walkthrough and creating a digital checklist or template before walking in for the meeting. This checklist will help to ensure that nothing is missed and that all notes are properly formatted.
The benefits of a digital walkthrough are tremendous. I can easily share my digital walkthroughs with my team back at the office, and they immediately have enough information to begin working on putting together a bid and writing the proposal. I can then quickly submit a proposal to the client since multiple people have everything they need from the beginning. Details aren’t easily missed and bid accuracy is increased with this tech support. I also never have to head back to the site for a repeat walkthrough if I missed anything because I have my square footage and floor type breakdowns on hand. My floor specialists no longer have to perform their own walkthroughs for any site I have already visited as well.
Additionally, my entire team can review the data, allowing my operations department to begin prepping after I finish the walkthrough. Cutting down on the disconnect between sales and operations can create entirely clean walkthrough experiences. For example, my operation’s team greatly appreciates the photos and notes about the current state of the site’s supply closet since they will know what to bring and what needs to be done on the first day of servicing the client.
A digital walkthrough can be saved securely in the cloud in case it ever needs to be referenced again—something that is much trickier to do with pen and paper notes. Overall, embracing technological solutions during walkthroughs helps streamline the rest of operations and can help a company stand out to clients.
A digital walkthrough can also be utilized in the proposal writing process. There are many pieces of software that exist today that can boost presentation quality. I recommend that BSCs try out a few of them and see which one is the best fit for their company. In this way, a proposal is another way for BSCs to stand out from the rest of the pack and sell a client on their services.
Specific proposal creating software can help to keep formatting clean and professional while also promoting what makes a company the best choice for their client. I recommend including a cover page with the company’s logo as well as the client’s logo—adding in an “About Us” page can also add some personality. In order for BSCs to demonstrate to a client that they are truly the best option to service their building, including photos of the client’s space that they took on their walkthrough and attaching a scope of work to the areas listed can really help their company stand out as well.
With this use of proposal creating software, it is easier for BSCs to use every page to their advantage, such as by upselling some of their services through the layout.
With this use of proposal creating software, it is easier for BSCs to use every page to their advantage, such as by upselling some of their services through the layout. For example, if they noticed that an area was in need of floor servicing based on images they took, they can include a quote in the proposal alongside their notes and photos. I find that most of the time the client will agree and want the additional service performed. Additionally, some software will include analytics for every proposal sent. This can include key data points such as when the client opened their proposal, how long they spent reading it, and it can send BSCs notifications to follow up with the client.
While a large portion of the industry focuses on employee tracking software, embracing tech solutions for everyday processes can change every aspect of workflow. Whether in sales, workforce management, ordering supplies, or accounting, there are multiple solutions at BSCs’ fingertips that can help them to optimize how their entire company is run. Streamlining the processes through tech from the very first step can change the way a company does business.
By Ricardo Regalado, Owner & Founder, Route