Just as it is for many sectors, bidding for grounds maintenance contracts is an incredibly competitive process.
Many companies struggle to stand out against their rivals, losing out on vital opportunities for development and growth. Use the tips provided below to understand how you can enhance your chances of success and your bid writing processes.
Detail Your Experience and Accreditations
Contracting authorities want to be reassured of your ability to deliver right first time and value for money services. Therefore, highlight any accreditations you have which may either be an advantage over your competitors or indeed may be a mandatory requirement to bid for a particular contract. Examples of relevant accreditations include BALI (British Association of Landscape Industries) or RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) training for your staff, providing assurances of high quality working practices.
Also consider whether you have any quality accreditations in place which demonstrate the superiority of your quality, health and safety, and environmental management systems. Examples include ISO 9001:2008 certification for quality management, ISO 14001:2004 for environmental management, and OHSAS 18001:2007 for health and safety management. All of these provide an explicit demonstration of the quality and suitability of the processes, policies and procedures that ensure right first service delivery. These, along with SSIP (Safety Schemes in Procurement) memberships, such as CHAS and Constructionline, should be highlighted at every opportunity, reaffirming your suitability for the contract.
Case Studies and Examples
Showing evidence of your ability is vital throughout the tender process: it adds value to your submission by quantifying the information you provide. Always, therefore, keep an active library of case studies, KPI statistics and example reports which you can insert into your submission to strengthen your responses. Examples include case studies of where you have added value or overcome challenging circumstances in a contract; KPI statistics showing where you have exceeded pre-agreed performance levels; or example KPI reports which can be attached to your submission. Ensure that every statement is backed up by evidence attesting to your quality and suitability, so assessors have more to read than just a series of statements.
Benefits not Features
The use of technology is pivotal to any grounds maintenance contract. Technology enables you to deliver efficient and right first time services; it reduces your environmental impact, and allows you to record and address any issues you identify on site. When discussing the technology, therefore, you will need highlight its benefits, not features, as assessors want to know how the client will benefit. You could include as examples why you have chosen the technology, its contract management and environmental benefits, and other contracts where you have applied it previously. By showing that your technology works you can really highlight the value it can added.
Tenders now increasingly focus on providing environmental benefits and the reduction of the total environmental impact of the services. Because of this, you will need to stress how you can provide a sustainable service with a reduced carbon footprint. Responses should focus upon the reduction, reuse and recycling of waste; minimising travel time and fuel usage through vehicle tracking and GPS systems; and the use of local suppliers to reduce your total environmental impact. The more strategies you have, the more reassurance you can provide.
Local Supply Chains
As part of their commitment under the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012, local authorities are required to provide socio-economic benefits to their local communities, including the use of local suppliers. Companies who bid successfully not only detail their commitment to local suppliers but also name them and their proximity to their main or regional offices, providing quantifiable evidence. In addition you should describe why you have selected those companies, helping to give reassurances of right first time service delivery and business continuity.
If you are a grounds maintenance company and feel you could improve your bidding technique and success rates, contact us today on 0800 612 5563. Our team has considerable experience with grounds maintenance and facilities management contracts, and can provide you with the assistance that you need to win those important contracts.