The true "cost" of going with the Low Bid
“Quality over Quantity” is a term we hear often and plays a big role in decision making. In business, it is crucial to weigh out your options so that you are making a cost friendly decision. You might think this means going with the cheapest option. However, going with the cheapest option might be costing you money. When it comes to choosing grounds management, it is important you choose a company that will not only protect but enhance your investment. The low bid might not be qualified to be taking care of your property, or they might be using low quality materials to get the job done. Choosing the best value for your grounds management needs will ensure the job is up to your expectations.
The right vendor should have a plan that is tailored to your needs and expectations, and a process to execute the plan. Choosing a company based on the quality of their service can ensure you are getting what you pay for. With a low-quality service provider, you might not see the effects immediately, but a few years down the line you will start to see the damage done from poor service and neglect. Your turf becomes diseased, your shrubs start dying off, and the roots of your trees are now girdling. This will cause issues you need to rehabilitate. Maintenance vs rehabilitation is something that should be considered when choosing your landscaper. You might have saved 5-20% initially with going with the low bid, but you could be spending triple that trying to rehabilitate your landscape.
An example of proactive maintenance vs reactive maintenance that we are all familiar with is maintaining a vehicle. There are simple things you can do to make sure your car runs smoothly. Changing out your oil is required to keep your car in its best working condition. Any car owner knows this, but some go over the recommended mileage per oil change to save time and money. If they can get an extra 1,000 miles out of the current oil each time, they are changing their oil less frequently. This might be saving you a little bit of time and money in the present, but the damage it is doing to your car is not worth it. A car that is properly maintained might last you 100,000 miles longer than a car you neglect.
When it comes to grounds management, you must also keep in mind safety concerns. Hiring the lowest bid could be a gateway to a law suit. A landscaper who doesn’t remove weak branches could have a branch fall onto a car during the next storm. The snow and ice removers who neglect to properly salt and shovel the sidewalks could have a slip and fall. “With over 50,000 contractors across the country and low barriers to entry, you may find yourself hiring a less than qualified contractor when you wait until snow is falling to call for help. You want to make sure the job is done right to avoid legal claims, property damage, diminished brand reputation, and other negative side effects caused by unsafe facilities. With holiday shopping and increased revenue during the winter months, you especially want to make sure your facilities are up and running and hiring a qualified and professional contractor is of utmost importance to make sure your facilities are prepared.” (Can Snow Removal Be Strategic?,2016)
Protecting your assets should be priority number one. Going with the lowest bid just to save money in the short term is not always going to be the wisest decision for your property in the long run. You need to choose a company that is experienced and has a proven process, and one that is going to not only protect, but enhance your property. Choosing a company that not only has the recourses to succeed, but a plan to succeed, is setting everyone up for success. With a company like JC Grounds that offers preseason planning, onsite/offsite preparation, and planning for all pre event, during event, and post event matters, you will feel confident that your grounds management needs are in the right hands.
Knowing your own expectations and adjusting your budget will make deciding more manageable. “When comparing proposals & estimates, sometimes we have to realize that Low Bid is not always the Best Bid or “The Right Bid.” Learning true expectations is a must and having someone understanding them is key! At the end of it all, Low bid could cost you in the long run if there is not a clear understanding of the scope of work.” (Lawn Butler Landscape and Grounds Maintenance, 2017)
Lawn Butler Landscape and Grounds Maintenance. (2017). “The Difference Between Value Add & Low Bid” | Lawn Butler. [online] Available at: https://lawnbutler.net/real-pr... [Accessed 5 Nov. 2018].
Klisser, Elisabeth. “Can Snow Removal Be Strategic?” SMS Assist, 31 May 2016, www.smsassist.com/affiliate-blog/can-snow-removal-be-strategic.