Why Use VLM

Why use VLM

We believe our exceptional reputation for complete grounds management is fundamental to our client's satisfaction. 
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From the blog

By Jon Alexander 03 Oct, 2016
In the busy town centres of modern Britain, especially around London, it doesn't seem there's a square inch to be had without a tower block there already, being built, or due to start soon. With more and more open space disappearing, we may well be forgiven for wondering if there's anywhere we can go at lunchtime for a breath of fresh air, short of catching a bus tour to the coast.

The answer could be that we look upwards. For every tower footprint there is, that footprint is still there, only that its a few stories higher (please notice, this is not applicable to The Shard). Therefore central cities are awash with flat, open spaces on the top of their buildings. So why not turn them into communal seating areas?

Valley Landscape Management are able to offer a full design, installation and ongoing maintenance package for Roof Gardens and Communal Areas, working with our sister brand, Provincial Planters . Contact the team now on 01322 279799.
By Jon Alexander 30 Sep, 2016
Managing the extensive range of maintenance tasks on your commercial property is like running an operation that’s unrelated to your core business. If you’re a manufacturing plant, your focus is on producing goods—not tending to landscaping. If you’re a healthcare institution, you’re delivering patient care—not rushing to the car park to clear snow, or repair that fence that came down in last night's storm.

We’re guessing your company mission is not to create and maintain an attractive show-garden. Still, who can afford to cut corners on grounds management? Your property says a lot about who you are as an organisation and how any tenants may feel. (Unkept, Messy grounds send a negative message.)

So, how should you handle grounds maintenance?

We know there are pros and cons to outsourcing facilities ground management. When you hire a contractor to do anything on your property, you’re entrusting in an outside partner to appreciate your grounds like you do. You might be worried about quality—and of course, there’s cost. Perhaps keeping maintenance duties in-house is an effort to control expenses? 

On the other hand, what are you  really  saving by choosing to do your own facilities grounds management? And, how much time are you spending on maintenance that could be redirected toward core revenue-generating activities? 

In business, the savvy owners and managers recognize their strengths and focus on performing what they do best. They surround themselves with talented teams of people who complement their skills— professionals who are strong where they lack expertise.

We know you’ve got decisions to make concerning who and whether you hire out services like grounds maintenance. So, let’s discuss the pros and cons here.

Delivering Quality

No matter your business, customer experience matters. First, there’s the appearance or “feel good” aspect of your commercial property. Is it welcoming? Do tenants, customers and employees have pride in their decision to do business with you or work for your organization?

Is the property safe—free of debris, clear of snow and ice. Taking that a step further, does the grounds meet environmental services expectations? Cutting corners on landscape maintenance will compromise all of these factors that play into the customer experience.

When any business tries to do it all, details get overlooked. The benefit of hiring a professional facilities grounds management firm is that the company specialises in assuring your property looks and performs in the first-class way you want to present your business.

Cost: Will You Really Save Money?

Every business has a budget, and has to draw a line somewhere with spending. The question is, when determining whether to carry out grounds maintenance in-house or hire a professional, are you considering  all  of the costs associated with expertly caring for your commercial property? Believe us, they add up.

We have experience working with corporate campuses, manufacturing facilities and other institutions in healthcare and academia. Many of them who tried to manage their own grounds management at one time stopped because they weren’t saving money like they expected. In fact, some of them found they were spending more.

Of course, managing landscape maintenance in house (and don’t forget about snow and ice removal!) could cost less than a professional. But often that is only with cutting corners, and then you’re risking quality and safety. Cost, quality—it all goes together.

Keep in mind these expenses associated with in-house facilities grounds management:

  • Employee wages. This includes benefits, health insurance and disability. Estimate the total cost of keeping grounds maintenance employees on payroll. Remember, you’re paying them 52 weeks out of the year and potentially adding in overtime expenses during the busy landscaping or winter seasons.
  • Additional employee costs. What about training? And liability insurance? Also, the manager of your grounds team will need to earn more, so figure in those supervision costs.
  • Equipment expenses. You must also purchase the equipment required for your maintenance teams, and suitable vehicles to transport material or cuttings. Often the industrial sized equipment required costs thousands of pounds apiece. 
  • Personal safety. You’re insurance provider will need to know that you are operating a grounds maintenance program. Also, there are regulations concerning personal safety, such as requirements for equipment like safety glasses, earplugs, boots, gloves and other PPE.
  • Operating costs. Most equipment requires fuel. All landscape tools require maintenance and eventual replacement. Also, operatives will require training and licenses to use certain equipment. 
  • Supplies. Adding to your expense list are supplies such as mulch, fertiliser and irrigation parts. (And where will you store all of these necessities?)

Timing Is Everything: Scheduling Grounds Maintenance

having considered the costs, you may be prepared to work those expenses into your budget. Beyond what you’ll spend in terms of pound notes, an equally important factor is  time and scheduling.  Plus, someone needs to take responsibility for doing that (more money...). Scheduling is often a difficult aspect, especially when responding to emergency situations such as a fallen tree or fence blocking a road. These occurrences are regular on business parks, and when protecting client and employee safety is critical, they cannot be left unattended too. Will your maintenance team have the diverse skill set required to undertake these emergency tasks, when they are often very varied in nature? And have they got the equipment required to complete these varied tasks? You could be in a position where you have your in-house team employed, but still find yourself calling on professional companies to undertake more complex tasks.

Also, some property owners assign maintenance tasks to their grounds management crews that are completely unrelated to the outdoors. If in-house maintenance is tied up handling an electrical or plumbing problem, what happens to the exterior of the property in the meantime?.

The benefit of hiring a professional facilities grounds management company is that the firm is dedicated to enhancing your property’s appearance, safety and environmental services.

Conserve Resources By Partnering With A Pro

There are commercial properties that manage their own grounds maintenance and they are willing to dedicate the time, people and financial resources to get it right. But what’s your primary focus as an organisation? Consider the pros and cons of dedicating yourself to what’s most important and generates revenue vs. “doing it all yourself.”

Let’s talk about how partnering with a professional grounds management firm can help conserve your resources. Call us on 01322 279799, or  fill out this simple contact form  and we’ll get in touch with you.

By Jon Alexander 30 Sep, 2016

Using a commercial landscaper is a great way to ensure your premises or property always gives a brilliant first impression to customers, tenants and employees. 

The luxury of a beautiful, well-kept property serves as a subconscious reminder that your company offers quality work. An aesthetically pleasing commercial landscape and hardscape could also increase the value of your property, make it more desirable to tenants and enable you to add value to tenant fees.

But how can you be sure the company you're choosing can achieve this for you? Here are four important things to consider when choosing a commercial landscaper:

1. Professionalism
You wouldn’t hire an unprofessional employee, and it’s just as important to hire a commercial landscaper you can trust. Will landscaping team members be courteous to your tenants and prospects? Will they pay attention to the smallest details?

2. Wide Range of S ervices
Ensure the commercial landscaper you’re considering offer a range of services. From commercial landscape design to snow management, you want a commercial landscaper who can manage every aspect of your property. Valley Landscape Management offer all these services, including a Rapid Response service for when unexpected problems arise, such as fallen trees.

If you find yourself having to hunt for other companies to undertake works that your commercial landscaper cannot offer, you may not be getting out of them what you could.

3. Experience

Ask about the actual crew that would be doing work on your property – how experienced are they? Does the team hold certifications, and does the company have professional affiliations? These are good indications that the commercial landscaper follows best practices.

4. Cost

You shouldn’t choose a commercial landscaper solely based on cost, but be sure to consider return on investment. Does the company offer affordable, high-quality services? Ensure they provide clear invoices with proper documentation for each project?

5. Ability to Maintain Multiple Premises

Many of our clients own multiple properties and estates. It's essential if you are in this position to choose a commercial landscaping company that can serve all, or at least regional, locations. By doing this you will be making an overall saving, as opposed to dealing with each estate individually.

To work with Valley Landscape Management as your commercial landscaper, call us at 01322 279799 or let us know here .

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