Tenders for Grounds Maintenance Contracts

Grounds maintenance is not just about cutting the grass, so grounds maintenance tenders are not just about cutting prices. They can be tough, with lots of questions to answer about your methods, but are an excellent way to secure long-term contracts.

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

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Challenges of tendering for grounds maintenance contracts

Grounds maintenance is a service that is regularly outsourced as public and private sector organisations won’t have the capability and can struggle with the costs of staff and equipment. This provides a regular stream of tender opportunities and with them, significant prospects to develop a grounds maintenance business.  However, this also means there is a lot of competition. As a result, one of the main challenges is 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 time and resources on tenders that your business has no chance of winning yet; it’s much better to train hard first and build your business credentials to ensure you can beat those bigger companies.

Consequently, you may have to read through many grounds maintenance 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.

Top tips for winning grounds maintenance sector contracts:

1

Read all of 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 don’t have all the right credentials, e.g. ISO14001, 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 see an opportunity to really add value and improve your bid - and can also provide an opportunity to ask questions of staff at that 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

Quality Control

Do your systems and processes have any quality assurance accreditation? Can you demonstrate that you use quality equipment, materials and staff? How do you monitor your service delivery so that quality grounds maintenance is always delivered? How do you ensure it is timely and staff turn up to site each day? 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 grounds maintenance services?
5

Environmental awareness

Due to the very nature of grounds maintenance, 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 re-using green waste, using environmentally friendly consumables, training staff to use them correctly 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 your carbon footprint 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 the work on their site(s) will be carried out to the highest Health & Safety standards with minimal risk to your employees, their employees and the general public. Can you demonstrate staff training and qualifications in Health & Safety? Do you provide appropriate PPE? Use evidence such as risk assessments and method statements.
7

Innovation and continuous improvement

As mentioned at the beginning, grounds maintenance is not just about cutting the grass, so grounds maintenance tenders are not just about cutting prices. 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 customers, users, 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 PearmanUCS

Tailored support throughout the entire tendering process

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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