Tenders for Facilities Management Contracts

Facilities Management encompasses multiple disciplines e.g. estate management, infrastructure, cleaning, maintenance, building control, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), lighting, IT, and plumbing; and managing an organisation’s buildings and equipment can be hugely varied. Facilities Management tenders can therefore be just as varied, including one, more, or all of these disciplines, and can be an excellent way to develop and diversify a business to increase revenue and market resilience.

Our team of senior tender writing consultants have extensive experience in winning facilities management contracts and can supply your business with everything it needs to prepare an outstanding facilities management tender. Make sure your business identifies the right opportunities and prepares properly to win more facilities management tenders.

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Challenges of tendering for facilities management contracts

Facilities management is a service that is regularly outsourced as public and private sector organisations expect to make savings in time, money and energy by using the expertise of an external team to manage one or more of their functions.  This provides a regular stream of facilities management tender opportunities and with them, significant prospects to develop a facilities management business.

However, with lots of opportunities comes lots of competition and highlights the importance of matching the tender requirements to your level of experience and ability, so that you are competing in the right race. You do not want to waste precious time and resources on facilities management tenders if e.g. your only current experience is cleaning.  You may therefore try to win a cleaning contract first, build a relationship and then develop your other services to offer a more comprehensive FM solution.

You may have to read through many facilities management tender specifications to find one that is relevant to your business and appropriate to the level of ability and experience you have. Ensuring you have an efficient system to sort through information and make an informed decision to tender will help achieve a much better return on your tendering investment.

It’s crucial to develop the multi-disciplinary solutions that will generate the savings and efficiencies buyers are looking for.  This is what the biggest FM companies do.  Perhaps the biggest challenge is therefore demonstrating how you can match up to these large businesses that imply they can deliver the most productive solutions.  Showing how much more productive your services are in the long-term, and how you have delivered solutions with better quality outcomes can be key differentiators when it comes to winning facilities management tenders.  Consequently, it is vital to collect all the necessary credentials, facts and statistics that really evidence your performance against the competition.

Top tips for winning facilities management sector contracts:

1

Read all the tender documentation

There may be a lot of documentation, but you need to understand exactly what the buyer is looking for and whether you are able to meet all their requirements. If you can’t currently provide all aspects of the FM service required, is it an area you should be looking to invest in so you can tender for future similar opportunities?
2

Visit the site(s)

Often the tender documentation itself will suggest you visit the site(s); even if it doesn’t, you should try to arrange a site visit (or multiple sites where applicable) if possible. This can make your bid more relevant and site-specific – you may need to fully inspect the building controls or see the state of the floors to be cleaned to ensure you can deliver. You may also see an opportunity to really add value and improve your bid - and can also provide an opportunity to ask questions of staff at the site.
3

Contract Management

Should you win the contract, there will be regular communication between yourself and the buyer, so you will need to demonstrate robust contract management processes with a clear organisational structure and corresponding lines of communication. How experienced are your account managers at handling this sort of contract? What technology do you use to manage your service delivery? Provide evidence of previous experience such as informative management reports and adherence to the SLA (Service Level Agreement) and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).
4

Efficiencies and value for money

Buyers want to outsource their facilities management in order to reduce costs and increase efficiencies. Can you demonstrate how you will do this? Can you back it up with facts and figures from previous/existing customers? Again, showing how much more productive your services are in the long-term, and how you have delivered better quality solutions can be key differences between you and your competitors. Collect as much information on your KPI’s for your current customers as possible.
5

Environmental awareness

Due to the very nature of facilities management, you will need to demonstrate that you have a robust environmental awareness, strict waste management procedures and that you are committed to a sustainable future, e.g. by managing HVAC and lighting effectively, using environmentally friendly consumables, training staff in correct use and disposing of waste in accordance with all relevant regulations. You are likely to need good environmental policies and procedures. Can you provide evidence to support your commitments? e.g. calculation of carbon footprints for other FM clients or volume of waste recycled/produced. The best responses will consider how this commitment will then help the buying organisation with their own environmental program. So, try to calculate specifically the environmental impacts of your service on the buyer – e.g. how much less waste will go to landfill?
6

Health & safety

Buyers are risk averse and want to be confident that all services will be carried out to the highest Health & Safety standards with minimal risk to your employees, their employees and the general public. Do you have appropriate Health and Safety policies and procedures for each of your FM disciplines? Can you demonstrate staff training and qualifications in Health & Safety? Use evidence such as risk assessments and method statements.
7

Quality control

Do your systems and processes have any quality assurance accreditation? Can you demonstrate that you use quality equipment and staff? How do you monitor your service delivery so that quality facilities management is always delivered? How do you ensure it is efficient? What systems do you have in place for dealing with any problems or complaints? How have you acted on feedback to improve the quality of your facilities management services?
8

Innovation and continuous improvement

Buyers are looking for suppliers to deliver over and above the specified services as they want to use the contract to deliver a better service for their own employees, customers, residents, patients etc. Most tenders will therefore include questions for suppliers to demonstrate what they can do to enhance the contract, what innovative methods they can bring to the table, and what improvements they will deliver over the contract term. It’s important to show evidence of how your innovative methods have been used to save your other customers money or delivered better quality. If you don’t have this data, collect this now.
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Our Company first used Complete Tenders in May 2018 where I was struggling to finish a tender due to the complexities of the finances. I called Complete tenders and Matthew dropped everything he was doing to assist and pulled the figures together in a short space of time which I then submitted on time. As a result of Matthew's intervention, we were awarded the contract in June 2018. I am confident that Complete tenders will help us grow our business significantly over the foreseeable future and look forward to what can be achieved. I would not hesitate in recommending Complete Tenders to any organisation that has growth at the heart of their business strategy.

Andy PearmanUnited Cleaning Solutions

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At Complete Tenders we believe in helping small companies win contracts. However, few small businesses have the in-house expertise in bid management and tender writing to enable them to compete with larger organisations. Added to which, the process is a time-consuming activity that is often underestimated.

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