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LANDSCAPE & GROUNDS MAINTENANCE


CURING THE GM HEADACHE


When you scale things up, even the simplest tasks can start to become complex. It’s a truth that is immediately recognised by any successful property manager - and especially apparent in grounds maintenance, explains GRITIT.


With multiple sites to manage, everyday tasks such as keeping lawns cut, hedges trimmed or trees regularly inspected to ensure safety cascade into a substantial facilities management challenge. As a result, this is an area where the traditional craft of caring for landscapes is now benefiting from some of the most modern business disciplines and even the application of data driven technologies.


There’s a tipping point very early on when property managers realise that the task of grounds maintenance starts to exceed the ability to manage in house. Although maintenance teams can usually take care of basics such as work orders and regular site management services, many essential grounds services usually require operators with specialist equipment, materials, training and skills. For most individual sites, it’s simply uneconomical to budget


30 | TOMORROW’S FM


for this in house, and hence the focus is usually on the procurement of external contractors.


From a practical and economic point of view, bringing on board local gardeners and contractors can be an affordable and straightforward way to offload the burden of grounds maintenance responsibilities. Yet, this approach can prove problematic when scaled up. The larger the property portfolio becomes, the larger the admin challenge of dealing with multiple local contractors becomes. Inefficiency breeds cost, but more seriously it can also create blind spots in which risks can proliferate.


The risk management challenge Property owners and managers have a legal duty of care to maintain a safe environment for all occupiers, visitors and employees. Neglected grounds presents many risks


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