Window cleaning tenders can cover a range of services across a variety of industrial, commercial and residential buildings. If you’ve never applied for window cleaning contracts before, it can seem daunting. The procurement world can be confusing, but hopefully, this blog will help if you’re new to the whole process.
Why should you tender for window cleaning tenders?
If you’re a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME), there are several benefits you can take from tendering. These include:
- Gain experience.
- Guaranteed pay when tendering in the public sector.
- Sustainability from securing a pipeline of work.
There are a number of different tendering opportunities and it can be confusing to know the difference between them.
Public sector tendering
The public sector is probably the largest procurer of window cleaners. Examples of public organisations who commission window cleaning tenders are councils, educational institutions and other public-owned organisations like the NHS.
Private sector tendering
There are some private companies that also tender for window cleaning tenders. These companies often have multiple sites that require window cleaning services such as hotels, offices or restaurants.
DPS and framework agreements
Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPS) and framework agreements are both tendering opportunities often used within the public sector.
A DPS is ultimately a supply chain list. Tenders are published to specific members who have been successful in maintaining a position on the list. Any organisation or group could put out a DPS to outsource work in one or more service areas. These are known as ‘Lots’ often relating to a specific region or service. The buyer can then refer to their set-list of applicants as opposed to going over hundreds of applicants each time. Applying for a DPS is flexible and you can join any time it’s open.
A framework agreement typically asks for multiple suppliers to deliver goods or services across various locations. They also use ‘Lots’ allowing businesses to work alongside other service providers in the contract. The contracts can last for several years and can be lucrative if you can secure a place on one. They’re effective ways to build up experience and places your organisation in good stead for future contracts.
Before you begin applying to window cleaning tenders you need to ask yourself: can you deliver? There’s no point wasting time and money on applying for an opportunity that you can’t fulfil. Read the specification carefully beforehand and double check you meet the minimum criteria before beginning. If you can, then that’s great! Below are seven tips to help you succeed when applying for window cleaning contracts.
7 things to consider when applying for window cleaning tenders:
Health & Safety and Equal Opportunity
When applying for window cleaning tenders, you’ll need to state your health and safety policies are up to scratch. Accidents can happen and the buyer will just want to ensure that you have taken suitable health and safety measures. These include:
- CHAS (Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme)
- RIDDOR (The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations)
You’ll also need to state how your business implements equal opportunities and non-collusion. You will most likely be asked if you comply with the UK/EU Equalities and Discrimination legislation of the:
- Human Rights Act 1998
- Equality Act 2010
Window cleaning tenders have been known to have a greater weighting on pricing than quality. You’ll want to make sure to price your services competitively. Although this isn’t always the case, it depends on whether you are applying for a public or private contract. It’s important to note that the lowest prices don’t always win the contract.
For public sector contracts, it’s worth noting that the buyer is often looking for the most economically advantageous tender (MEAT). This means the buyer is looking at more than just the price. The buyer could be looking for innovation, customer service, accessibility or the ability to deliver on time and more. Each aspect can be looked at by the client separately or as a mix with other considerations.
Qualifications and accreditations
When applying for window cleaning tenders, you will be asked about the relevant qualifications and accreditations your business has. Relevance is key here and the buyer will want to know you are qualified for the job at hand. You may be asked if you implement certain policies or are members of any federations or institutions. Below are a few examples of qualifications and accreditations relevant for window cleaning tenders:
- Member of the International Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA) or International Powered Access Federation (IPAF)
- ISO 9001; 14001
- Safe Contractor
- British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICS)
- British Window Cleaning Academy (BWCA)
Buyers want to be reassured that you have safe working plans in place, in case something were to go wrong. Some window cleaning tenders may ask for well-written risk assessments, method statements and proof of adequate insurance. You may be working from considerable heights if cleaning high-rise buildings. If this is required, you may need to state how you will minimise the risk of working from a height.
Resources to be used
You will typically need to disclose what resources you are going to use while delivering the window cleaning contract. For example, the proposed equipment and cleaning solutions you will be using. You may need to detail any safety considerations when handling cleaning fluids.
Delivery of service
For the delivery of service, a business will need to state how they plan to deliver the service to the buyer. For example, the details of the staff working on the contract and your proposed operating hours.
You may want to consider the location of the contract when you are applying. For example, say a contract is based in Stoke but you’re based in Bournemouth. The buyer will want to know you’ll be able to fulfil the contract obligations in a timely manner.
Detail is key and you want to be as close to the word count as possible. There’s a reason they have included a word count. You don’t want the buyer to assume anything, so being clear and concise is paramount.
What quality controls do you have in place when delivering the contract?
Social value now has a minimum weighting of 10% for government contracts as of the 1st of January 2021. In some contracts it could be considerably more. This means you will need to consider how your organisation increases the social value when carrying out a contract. This can include social, economic and environmental considerations such as:
- COVID-19 recovery.
- Environmental management – details of cleaning materials and chemicals you will use and how these are the most environmentally friendly option.
- How you would add workforce and skill based development to the local area – for example, through apprenticeships or workplace training.
Environmental awareness is increasingly important and it’s worth really thinking about your businesses’ impact. Buyers in the public sector will want you to demonstrate you are committed to a sustainable future. The best responses will include how this commitment will coincide with the buyer’s own environmental goals.
Below are some examples of window cleaning tenders we recently sourced on our portal:
BCHC-20-0015 Trust Wide Window Cleaning
Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust- West Midlands- Budget: Undisclosed
Close & Window Cleaning 2021-24
Ochil View Housing Association- Scotland- Budget: £100,000
Hafod Window Cleaning Services
Hafod Housing Association- Wales- Budget: Undisclosed
Provision of Cleaning, Window Cleaning and Pest Control at UK Astronomy Technology Centre
UK Shared Business Services Limited – South West- Budget: £340,000
Phoenix Community Housing- London- Budget: £8,000
Need help writing window cleaning tenders?
So, you’ve found the right window cleaning contract for you but you’re not sure where to start – we can help!
Our tendering experts at Hudson Succeed can help take your business to new heights! They offer four bespoke bid writing services whether you’re completely new to tendering, or you aren’t seeing any success. They have an 87% success rate and over 40 year’s bid writing experience. The four services are:
- Tender Writing Services.
- A Tender Ready programme.
- The Tender Improvement package.
- Tender Mentor support.