Not All Janitorial Software Is Created Equal

Based on our research, cleaning services professionals searching for janitorial software to improve and expand their businesses would do well to keep the title of this article firmly in mind when conducting their search for a suitable product for their business. Here’s how we went about our search and what we found.software

Beginning the Search:
Below is a list of alternative search phrases that Google returned when we typed the phrase “janitorial software” into their search engine, recently.

Google Searches related to janitorial software:

* cleaning software
* office cleaning software
* maintenance software
* custodial software
* janitorial bidding software template
* Maid service management software
* janitorial programs

Among these related search phrases, there is a range of “intended specificity” that reflects the specific interests of various groups of cleaning professionals, using Google as a search tool to find software appropriate to their business needs.

 

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Using “office cleaning,” “maintenance,” or “custodial,” as part of your search phrase, (all attempts at narrowing the search results to a particular sector of the cleaning services industry,) yielded mixed results for us, spurring us on to make further searches with other relevant search terms, in order to find ample relevant website sources for professional cleaning services software.

The results we got using these sector-specific search terms, very likely occurred because few manufacturers cater directly to specific sectors of the cleaning services industry (e.g., pressure washing, construction clean-up, etc.,) for reasons of profitability. As a result, relatively few manufacturers actually produce dedicated software, that is focused on a single sector of the cleaning service industry.

Also found in this list of alternate search phrases, is “Janitorial programs,” an interesting search phrase variation, which is creative in that all janitorial software is ultimately composed of computing programs. However, this search phrase will actually yield much fewer relevant janitorial software product results than expected. This is because “programs” is less frequently used as a search term in internet searches for these types of products, and as a result, fewer companies target this keyword phrase in order to obtain high search result rankings for this search term, for that reason.

“Janitorial bidding software template” has the most specificity of all the above search phrases, because it refers to a specific item. However, our investigation into the search results for this phrase yielded only one company which actually shows its website visitors examples of professional janitorial bidding spreadsheet templates. The company’s name is a long but apt one, “Janitorial and Home Cleaning Business Systems.”

OK, you are likely thinking at this point, this is all well and good but how can I actually find the right janitorial software for my business? Well, we have already established that it is unlikely that you will find very many sector-specific cleaning software products to choose from if any.janitorial

Based on our online research with a large combination of search terms, we found the largest number of relevant software websites, by focusing on more general search terms such as “janitorial software,” cleaning software,” etc. These search phrases yielded the most websites with all manner of cleaning services software. It then became a bit of a time-consuming process, carefully sifting through all of these sites, to find suitable, affordable, and professional cleaning software choices.

Evaluating The Software’s Features Closely:

When you conduct your own search and land on a website, we recommend that you find out quickly, how the cleaning software is summarized and what its computing features are. In our research, we found a group of manufacturers that provide very generalized products that are intended for multiple service based industries, not just the cleaning services industry. These products cover basic service based business functions, such as the preparation of scheduling and dispatching, bid estimations, proposals, service contracts and maintenance agreements, inventory management, purchasing, etc.

These manufacturers often design their websites in a way that ultimately requires you to call them in order to find out the price or to find out exactly what the software can actually do for you. This tactic is obviously intended to provide phone sales professionals the opportunity to pitch their product to you personally, in an effort to persuade you that their generic products are indeed fully applicable to your cleaning business.

As a result, we found that these generic software products are most often quite pricey. The high price tags, likely reflect the unnecessary cost of phone sales support, and additional programming costs needed to make the software versatile enough for use in multiple service industries, all of which is then built into the price of the software. More importantly, they often lack key features such as charts and tables with cleaning rates or cleaning times (also called janitorial production rates,) which are very helpful if not essential in determining accurate workloads for new prospective cleaning accounts.

Based on this result in our research, we recommend that you always confirm that the janitorial software that you are reviewing, is designed specifically to meet the needs of the cleaning industry as a whole, and does not employ a generic “one size fits all,” multi-service industry design approach.

Furthermore, if you specialize in one or more cleaning service sectors, such as pressure washing, floor care, apartment clean-outs, maid services etc., make sure that the cleaning software covers most or all of your specific needs as well. Many websites will specify what cleaning service sectors their product is suited for. Above all, look for visual examples that give you a good sense of what to expect in using the product. Again, if you are required to call for the price, or to find out how the product works, you are likely in for a pricey product with a hard sell.

What To Look For:

If you are starting a cleaning business, or trying to actively expand your business, make sure that the product has the following features, spreadsheets for preparing precise janitorial bids which use professional work loading approaches, charts, and tables with production rates and cleaning times, janitorial proposal examples, sample janitorial service agreements, and if it is applicable to your business, a sample NOA (government notice of award, for a winning cleaning contract bid, with terms of agreement.)

These features are most often found in professionally designed cleaning software products that are dedicated to janitorial bidding and janitorial proposals. If bidding is your primary focus, you can search simply search for the phrase janitorial bidding software.

The balance of what you may find in more comprehensive computing products centers around day to day business operations, such as scheduling, inventory, and record keeping. Deliverables for many of these functions can often be derived from customizable janitorial software dedicated to the bidding process.equal

Pricing… If It’s Too Good To Be True…

We have already touched on why you might pay an inflated price for cleaning software products, say more than $120 or so. In other words, the old adage “you get what you pay for,” may only be partially true when selecting suitable janitorial software.

But why would there be cause for concern in paying too little for cleaning services software? Generally speaking, the old adage “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is,” may be a good rule of thumb to follow when selecting a suitable janitorial software product.

There are a number of reasons to be concerned about “free” bidding calculators, or inexpensive software priced, say less than $35, that we found in our online review of the janitorial software. Precision and detail are perhaps the most important components most often missing from such products. In general, it appears that you would be wise to avoid this price stratum completely if you are serious about succeeding and want to prepare precise professional cleaning bids.

If you should happen to prepare an inordinately low janitorial bid, with one of these low priced or “free” bidding calculators and then win a cleaning contract, you would only end up losing money, and find yourself performing a portion of your services for free. At the end of the day, there is no substitute for careful deliberation of all of the overhead, materials, equipment, labor, and profit margin bidding considerations, required to make a precise and professional janitorial bid, tailored to your business and its resources.