Five Key Questions to Ask a Potential Partner

Not all proposals are the same when it comes to water and wastewater management, operation and maintenance. So, what are the key questions a city looking to partner for those services should be asking? Here are the Top Five you should always get the answer to:

Are vehicles included? They are with PeopleService, the operator(s) needs transportation for emergency response, maintenance, training, etc.… Whether it’s a PeopleService vehicle or a City vehicle, you are still paying for a vehicle. Knowing if that cost is in the submitted proposal will give you clarity if it’s a budget item that can be removed or if the City needs to add the vehicle expense to the proposal to get the ‘true’ expense.

Will you be paying for an engineer? Some companies have engineers on staff, why pay for something you do not need? We do not employ engineers, so our partners do not pay for an unnecessary expense. However, we have relationships with many engineers and if the need arises, we will help facilitate a connection and you end up paying for what you need, when you need it.

How large is the company? You know that saying, it’s not the size of your company that matters…but how efficient it is…what did you think I was going to say? PeopleService has served clients in the Midwest for over 32 years. We do not have a large fleet of trucks that large municipalities require, therefore we do not have inflated costs that we need to pass down.

Are there hidden costs? Misc. expenses not mentioned that you should be aware of: Lab fees, chemicals, maintenance and, if applicable, sludge hauling are included in our proposals. Make sure they are included in any proposal you get to ensure you remove from your budget and get the real representation of the total expense.

Rule of thumb: Labor represents roughly 65% of the proposed cost, the remaining cost is all of the support, software licenses, company profit, etc.. Knowing how many personnel and their license levels proposed will quickly help you discern what the proposed number consists of. When you are ready to discuss I would be happy to do a budget analysis, I can highlight which line items get removed and/or reduced so you can make a fact-based decision on the true costs of partnering with a company like PeopleService.