To find the right vendor partner to meet your commercial landscaping, a properly developed request for proposal (RFP) is integral. The more detailed your RFP, the better responses and more accurate pricing proposals you’ll get from vendors.
There are essentials you’ll want to include—as well as questions you may want to ask—to help you get the highest-quality responses to your RFP.
What to include in your commercial landscaping RFP:
Start with your complete site list. To provide the most accurate response to your commercial landscaping RFP, vendors need a comprehensive list of your sites, including addresses maps if available. This assists prospective vendors in better understanding what each location needs. An experienced landscaper may also use tools like Google Maps to get a birds-eye view into your locations so that all landscaping elements are addressed.
Dig into the details. The “heart” of the RFP is built into your scope of requested services. A thorough scope shows potential commercial landscaping partners what services are expected to be completed and when, from clean-up, weeding and mulching, to irrigation start-up, mowing, parking lot sweeping and so on. Be as detailed as possible when outlining your needs.
Separate requested services from expectations. Providing detailed information doesn’t end with your scope of work. So that potential landscape partners understand your needs, it’s also helpful to share your service-level agreements (SLA). SLAs convey your expectations as well as how you’ll measure whether they’ve been met. For example, if you’re including fertilizing in your landscaping RFP, you’ll want to detail what level of services you are expecting, whether it’s strictly turf or also for flower beds and shrubs. The more you can detail in terms of how you expect your landscaping program to be managed and what the SLAs are, the better equipped prospective vendors will be to confidently prepare a proposal.
Questions to include in your landscaping RFP?
Vendors typically provide details about their business and the services offered, but just as you want to give them a clear picture of your needs, it’s always helpful to get a better look at what they’re all about. Adding these key requests to your landscaping RFP can help you feel more comfortable choosing the right partner.
1. Tell us about your company and your people.
Asking vendors for a more detailed introduction of who they are beyond the services they provide can be very helpful. This allows you to get better acquainted with key players and how they approach their work. What are they bringing to the table that might be unique? Who is their team? What is their history? This should include details on their individual and collective experience, and it’s an opportunity that many companies often neglect in their RFP process.
2. What’s your service delivery model?
Is the vendor self-performing, subcontracting or a combination of the two (hybrid)? Understanding their delivery model will increase your confidence in their ability to provide the services you’re seeking.
3. How do they ensure satisfactory service?
How does the prospective partner provide quality control and oversight? Do they take before and after photos, use geo-tracking software and clock in/out times on property? Knowing the services have been completed per your specs gives you peace of mind and keeps your properties looking their best.
Getting the word out to vendors
Here’s one final factor to keep in mind as part of your overall commercial landscaping RFP process, and it’s an important one: ensuring that your RFP reaches all the potential vendors you want to consider. Businesses can check with their local Chambers of Commerce or landscaping associations, while HOAs and apartment managers should check to see which companies are active in their local industry associations. It can also be beneficial to keep a running list of prospective vendors you learn about via advertising, tradeshows, emails, social media and other forms of marketing.
Consider including SHINEscapes in your commercial property landscaping RFP process for 2024 to make your properties shine. SHINEscapes offers lawn, tree and flower care; irrigation maintenance; general exterior maintenance and repair; and parking lot services. Contact Submit an RFP or request a quote today.