A bid walk-through checklist helps the bid walk-through process go more smoothly and helps increase your chances of winning the contract. That’s because having a walk-through checklist gives you an advantage over your competitors. It’s your opportunity to introduce yourself and to exhibit your professionalism to potential clients.
Companies looking to hire service contractors for their building often spend a lot of time and money making sure the hire is a good fit for their business; this often includes an extensive interview process that may occasionally even involve different contractors present at the same walk-through. Of course, every client is different, but it always helps to come prepared.
We’re going to take a look at what a bid walk-through is and why you should have a thorough checklist with you to support your performance. We’ll also explain why it can help to use mobile inspection software during the bid walk-through. For example, OrangeQC allows you to take pictures with detailed notes that you can use later when you are building your final proposal. We’ll also offer some helpful tips that will increase your chances of success on your next bid walk-through.
What is a bid walk-through?
A bid walk-through is your opportunity to learn more about a prospective client and talk through how your team will meet their needs.
The client will take you, and possibly other contractors, through their facility or facilities to give you an idea of the scope of the job they are offering. Potential clients will be interested in how you conduct yourself during the bid walk-through, so come prepared with questions and be sure to take detailed notes of the different areas you are shown.
During janitorial walk-throughs, the potential client will be evaluating you while you evaluate their facility. Be sure to note the square footage of every room, the different floor types and surfaces your team will be responsible for, and any potential challenges you see within the facility. Thoughtful questions show your interest in the client’s needs and are thinking through how your team can best meet them.
One way to exhibit your team’s use of technology during a bid walk-through is by using mobile technology to collect your notes. The OrangeQC inspection features will allow you to take notes that you can use later for your final proposal. The app will also allow you to showcase your daily inspection process as you walk through the facility. In addition to detailed notes, you’ll be able to take photographs of each area you and your team will be responsible for if you win the contract.
When you’re writing up the final proposal, you’ll have all of the notes and pictures you took during the bid walk-through available to you in the OrangeQC software. Being able to visually reference a potential client’s space and specific needs in your proposal will make it feel more personalized and show your potential client that you are truly prepared to handle their job.
What items should you inspect during a bid walk-through?
If a potential client shows you something during a bid walk-through, you can be certain it’s an area of concern for them. This is why you should inspect every room with a walk-through checklist and mobile inspections software to take detailed notes about every room.
For each room, you should note the following:
- Square footage of each area
- Floor type
- Areas of concern
- High-traffic areas
- Touch-point areas
- The client’s expectations for each space
- Any issues they mention having with their current contractor
As a service contractor, you are going to understand the basic cleaning needs of each area you are shown, but be careful not to dismiss the client’s own concerns. They understand the unique aspects of cleaning their facility, and it’s important that you prioritize those aspects in your bid proposal, because that is why they are conducting this bid walk-through in the first place.
The bid walk-through is also your opportunity to inspect the logistics of this potential contract. You should be looking for answers to questions like, What will the commute be like for my team?, and, Where will my team park? You should also begin to formulate how long you think the prospective job will take to complete and figuring out from the client what are their expectations are for cleaning frequency.
Here are a few more tips to increase your bid walk-through success:
• Dress professionally
• Stay positive
• Ask proactive questions
• Be specific about your plan for their facility
How to showcase your own quality-control process during a bid walk-through
It is important to showcase your quality control plan and process during a bid walk-through. Doing so shows that you are professional and thorough. If your potential client is unhappy with their current janitorial service, quality control is probably one of their concerns.
This is a good place to use your mobile inspection software to conduct an inspection, as if you would do were you already hired to do the job. If you haven’t done so already, create an inspection checklist using our Definitive Janitorial Inspection Guide, and then conduct a mock inspection of one of the walk-through areas using OrangeQC or your other mobile software. If you don’t have a mobile solution, use whatever your inspectors will rely on once you get the job, even if that’s pen and paper.
Demonstrating your process to a potential client will give them a good idea of your qualifications for the job. But remember to always stay positive and not to criticize the client’s current janitorial service. While they may be unhappy with their current hire, it is not your job to point out their flaws. Instead, during your inspection, explain how you would improve upon any problem areas you notice or that the client brings up to you during the bid walk-through. Make a note of these areas in your inspection software so that you can reference them in your final proposal.
Sample bid walk-through form
If you’re using OrangeQC (or start a free 30-day trial), we recommend using the Standard Inspection Form that’s pre-loaded into your account. To do this, you can either:
- Create a new site for the prospective client and assign the Standard Inspection Form to that site.
- Or, creating a new “Walkthroughs” site dedicated to walkthroughs and assign the Standard Inspection Form to that site. Have the inspector note the prospective client location with a comment on the inspection (or edit the inspection form to add a text field for the client name).
By using the mobile app, you’ll be able to compare your rating of the facility’s current quality levels with the quality levels you typically offer. It also gives you a baseline to work with, making comparison between the old cleaning quality and what your team is offering much easier.
Still using paper? Our sample inspection checklist is a great start. You’ll find it here as a Google Doc. Make a copy of the form (go to File > Make a Copy) and edit it with your own line items, logo, etc.
Good communication is the key to winning bids
Bid walk-throughs can be difficult, competitive, and overwhelming if you are not prepared. Communicating to a potential client the value of hiring you and your team is the key to bid walk-through success. It’s also important to be honest and upfront with the potential client. The walk-through is a chance for both of you to determine if the job will be a good fit.
If your services cost more than the client is willing to pay, don’t devalue your services just to win a contract. If you are thorough during the bid walk-through and prepared with mobile inspection software, then the potential client might see why spending more for your services is justified. If not? Under-bidding and ending up in an unprofitable, stressful contract doesn’t make business sense. Of course, that’s easier said than done, but consider carefully the opportunity cost of taking on a bad contract when you could be out looking for the right one.
We hope this guide is helpful in equipping you to show up to future walk-throughs feeling prepared and confident. A little preparation goes a long way towards demonstrating your team’s commitment to quality.
OrangeQC is a great tool for building service contractors to have on hand during bid walk-throughs. Start your free 30-day trial of OrangeQC to see how simple and effective using mobile inspection forms can be.