Regional Market Outlook on Ground Maintenance Services 

The outsourcing model is recommended for ground maintenance services in UK due to following reasons:

  • The local authority does not have to buy equipments or hire people to do ground maintenance services which saves a lot of money which can be utilized for other welfare program
  • Compared to in-house, the outsourcing model can provide cost savings as the agreed contract price covers all the services with no hidden or mark-up costs
  • By outsourcing, the client can achieve specialized and experts for ground maintenance services which is not possible in in-house sourcing.  For example, outsourcing can help identify issues with grass, such as funguses and how to get rid of them and suggest ideas to help beautify the property

Porter’s Five Forces Analysis- Ground Maintenance Services

  • Large buyers have strong buyer power due to the large consolidated business volume
  • Suppliers are trying to improve their supply capabilities to offer a holistic service portfolio and, thereby, gain some negotiation power

Supplier Power

  • With the emergence of a outsourcing model,  service providers enjoy significant leverage
  • Buyers can monitor pass-through costs to ensure no mark-ups and deny payment of profits in case of non-compliance of KPIs
  • Increasing competition among suppliers

Intensity of Rivalry

  • Lack of significant complexities in the outsourcing of ground maintenance services and the volume of business involved ensure considerable levels of competition
  • Global and specialized service providers have an edge, due to their experience and ability to keep costs low by leveraging scale and volume
  • Price war among small and new suppliers
  • Effort to differentiate based on service innovation

Threat of Substitutes

  • Threat of substitution will be very low, as in-house management and partial outsourcing will not prove to be cost efficient for buyers

Buyer Power

  • Adoption of outsourcing model gives buyers higher power due to the volume of business outsourced
  • Open book pricing further increases buyer power, as they can decide on the subcontractors involved and make profit payment conditional on the compliance of critical performance indicators

Barriers to New Entrants

  • No regulatory or operational barriers
  • However, buyers prefer a global integrated business model which require service providers to have significant capabilities in terms of service offerings and geographical spread
  • This is difficult for new entrants to achieve

Key Industry Trends in Landscaping Industry

  • Recruitment and retention programs for landscapers: Landscapers are giving incentives to their employees, gift cards to coffee shops, nights out for dinner, and other ways to remind them that their work is impactful in the field. This will further motivate workers to deliver quality jobs along with building personal relationships with owners. 
  • Smart phones in landscaping business : The ability to communicate internally, schedule on the go, and collect payments through mobile devices has accelerated the workflow for landscapers. This is especially important for workers in landscaping with flexible schedules, various details for jobs, and moving from property to property on a daily basis.
  • Expenditures for plants projected to grow: Garden center trends are dependent upon a number of influences, including seasonality, weather, competition from mass merchandisers and home centers, consumer spending patterns and region. The demand in the UK for lawn and garden plants and supplies is regional and highly dependent on climate and growing conditions. Personal consumption expenditures of flowers, seeds and potted plants, a major driver for garden centers, are forecasted to grow at an annual compounded rate of 5 percent between now and 2017, according to data published by APSE.
  • Hard goods demand is up as the housing industry rebounds: Demand for decorative outdoor hard goods, such as lighting, pavers and fountains, will also achieve double-digit growth now through 2016, according to the APSE. As the housing industry continues its rebound and the economy improves, consumers demand for landscaping renovations and updates will increase in 2017
  • Landscape firms scale up to remain competitive: Landscape service trends appear to be improving, according to APSE, the output of the UK landscaping industry is forecast to grow at a compounded annual rate of 1-2 percent through 2017, indicating steady growth in the longer term.
  •  Going green: Vibrant green will take center stage in landscapes this year. Combining greenery of various textures and shades, such as a formal hedge of green velvet boxwood, a border of green lily turf and dense Boston ivy-covered trellises, is just as impactful as a garden filled with a rainbow of colorful flowers.
  • Growing smart lawns: Selective breeding of plants, turf grass seed producers have made significant advancements in developing cultivated grass varieties that are designed to be smarter. They can better withstand the elements while still delivering an aesthetically beautiful and healthy lawn, making them especially desirable in drought-prone areas
  • Landscapes to unusual places: The commercial landscape industry first pioneered “green roofs” atop city skyscrapers. Now, we’re seeing green roofs and living gardens in unexpected settings, such as ballpark restaurants or even double-decker buses.

Advantages of Outsourced Ground Maintenance Services

Outsourcing ground maintenance services brings in savings on cost front and provides specialized services which may not be possible in In-house  model.

  • Specialization: An outside vendor specializes in grounds maintenance, they are able to take advantage of economies of scale since they are doing the same service for many customers, which in many cases will provide a higher quality of service
  •  Expertise: Outsourcing can provide expertise that may not be there currently. Outsourcing can help identify issues with grass, such as funguses and how to get rid of them, & suggest ideas to help beautify the property such as flowers. They specialize in the service and have been able to develop a vast knowledge base about grounds maintenance issues
  • Opportunity Costs: There are other tasks, jobs or projects that need  to be completed at facilities. The resources currently being utilized on the in-house grounds maintenance could be better utilized to take care of those items
  • Potential to save moneyOutsourcing can relieve a  local authority of costs that can add up, such as salaries and equipment  which can be utilized for other welfare programme