After a tough period, the building maintenance industry is back up and running with a 3.3% growth since the first quarter of 2021. As the economy continues to pick up, it’s a great time to start getting building maintenance contracts.
However, if you’re unfamiliar with the tender process, new to the business, or you’re no longer using a tender writing service, the prospect of bidding for contracts can be intimidating.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to get building maintenance contracts. We’ll explore what tenders are, tender types, and the process for bidding. You’ll also learn how BigChange’s workforce management software can not only help you manage your building maintenance company but also make the tender writing process simpler.
What Are Tenders?
While word-of-mouth or a simple business proposal may be enough to bring on a new client in some industries, getting a building maintenance contract typically requires bidding on a tender.
But, what is a tender?
Tenders are requests for work to be performed and are a staple of the building maintenance and construction industries. A tender will often include the scope of the work, the type of work, and the client’s specific needs. Unlike a job posting, a tender requires a multi-step application process in which applicants must hold the exact qualifications and credentials requested.
Types of Tenders and Tender Writing
One of the most complicated aspects of getting building maintenance contracts is tender writing and preparing all the documents required for bidding. Before you start tender writing, it’s important to learn about the two tender types.
Open tenders don’t require a pre-qualification questionnaire before obtaining the Invitation to Tender (ITT) document. You can begin responding to a business’ tender right away.
Closed tenders have a two-phase process. The first phase essentially vets bidders with a pre-qualification questionnaire before sending you the ITT.
The pre-qualification questionnaire is intended to ascertain your experience in relation to the bid you’re applying for and ensure you meet the requirements. If you pass the pre-qualification questionnaire, you will receive the ITT.
Now that you know about the two types of tenders, let’s discuss how to approach a tender step-by-step.
1. Find Out Who’s Taking Tenders
The first step to getting building maintenance contracts is to find out where companies are posting tenders. The site OJEU is a great source for finding new building maintenance contracts.
Some companies will also release a prior information notice (PIN) which informs building maintenance companies that the client intends to release a tender in the next 12 months. It’s a good idea to keep tabs of these clients and prepare any necessary materials for bidding in advance.
2. Apply to The Right Tenders
The next step is to examine each tender and see which jobs are realistic and viable for your company. Each building maintenance contract posted should include the following information for your review:
- The type of contract
- Its approximate value
- The duration of the contract
Remember, you won’t be considered for tenders whose qualifications and certifications you do not meet. In order to decide if you are a good fit for the job, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you meet the financial criteria and stability to make the bid?
- Can you deliver the maintenance required?
- Do you have the necessary certifications?
If you answer no to any of these questions or are unsure if you can meet the requirements, you should reconsider whether it’s worth taking time to bid on the job.
3. Familiarise Yourself with Contracts
Reading through contracts is one of the most important aspects of winning new business. Ensuring that you’ve understood the terms and responded to them appropriately in your tender writing will improve your chances of success.
Although every contract you receive from a client can vary, the following are the four most common types of building maintenance and construction contracts used in the UK:
- JCT (The Joint Contracts Tribunal)
- ACA (Association of Consultant Architects)
- FIDIC (Fédération Internationale des Ingénieurs-Conseil)
- NEC (The New Engineering Contract)
It’s important to acknowledge that contracts can have different specifications depending on the client and the needs of their business. Likewise, some of the above can have additional contracts, such as the CIC BIM Protocol, which is required for Level 2 BIM projects.
For more information on the different types of building maintenance and construction contracts, click here.
4. Respond to the ITT
Now you’ve found some tenders to bid on, have gone over their contracts, and even been pre-vetted after answering the pre-qualification questionnaire, it’s time for you to fill out the Invitation to Tender (ITT). At this stage, the tender writing can be challenging, but it’s the most crucial step in getting new building maintenance contracts.
The ITT exercise is where you address the tender and state why you are the best organisation for the job. When responding to the ITT, we recommend preparing the following information and documentation:
- Scope of work and pricing list
- Details of how you will perform the initial phase of work
- Your proposed work schedule
- Important staff members involved in the work
- Resources and equipment you will use
- Systems and technology used to organise and perform work
- Prior experience in the field
- References from previous clients
Once you’ve completed and turned in your tender, you will need to wait to see if you’re awarded the job. The ITT should specify how the client will rate each part of the tender. The rating is a way for the client to measure how qualified you are for the job and will give you a great insight into how well your bid performed.
Make Tender Writing Easier with BigChange
When it comes to writing a tender, you must be able to provide a range of information about your business, which can be tricky when you don’t have complete visibility over your operations.
Imagine writing a bid where you could ensure you have all the information you need to hand, from how many people you have working for you and where, what skills they have, and what equipment and assets you have in stock.
BigChange’s job management software offers a complete solution for planning, scheduling, and tracking your mobile workforce that is sure to impress your potential clients.
In the competitive building maintenance landscape, having digital all-in-one solutions for your procedures will give you a sure advantage over the competition.
Find out how BigChange can help your business, book a free consultation today. Get more helpful guides and tips delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter below. You can keep up to date with BigChange on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.