July 28, 2023

How to bid on multi-site Snow Removal RFPs

Bidding and Estimation

The snow removal bidding season is here, and if you're finding it challenging to handle proposal requests for multi-site projects, this article is for you. Bidding competitively for a multi-site portfolio can be a race against time. But with the right resources, you can effectively handle project sizes ranging anywhere between 2k to 15k sites - be it Walgreens, Walmarts, Target, CVS, and more. This blog aims to provide guidance on navigating the all-consuming process of bidding on multi-site snow Requests for Proposals (RFPs).

Bidding Challenges for multi-site portfolios

First, let's address the challenges of bidding for multi-site portfolios, particularly during the peak season. While time might seem like the most significant constraint at first glance, have you ever considered what is truly consuming your time and resources? The bottleneck is none other than the manual process of taking off snow areas on sites.  This manual approach poses a far more significant obstacle to your business than you may realize. Now, let's explore the reasons behind this:

  1. Time-consuming and labor-intensive
  2. Guesstimation
  3. High cost of estimating
  4. Passing up opportunities

Time-consuming and labor-intensive

Site measurements form the foundation of your entire sales process. Any gaps or errors in this stage can lead to amplified losses down the line. Spending hours clicking on polygons manually not only consumes significant time but also increases the likelihood of errors. Moreover, this manual effort diverts your team's attention from other vital tasks, such as nurturing leads, pursuing prospects, maintaining customer relationships, and submitting bids promptly. The manual measurement of sites makes managing multiple projects or clients simultaneously nearly impossible.


Why are bids for multi-site portfolios based on guesstimation? Measuring thousands of sites manually is unthinkable. The current method of taking off properties for multi-site snow removal portfolios typically involves manually measuring only 20-25% of the total portfolio, and the remaining 75-80% is averaged out based on these measurements. With limited time available to prepare bids for hundreds of properties, relying on guesswork becomes the norm. 

Apart from this being an unimaginable task, estimating the measurements for all sites manually comes with a very high cost and no guarantee of a return on investment.

High cost of estimating

Such portfolios, if measured manually, require a larger team of estimators, putting a strain on your budget. Investing in a team of 10-12 estimators to manually draw polygons on 1000s of sites and to turn them around within a week’s time is not ideal. Why spend ~$500k on a project that you’re not even sure you’ll win? This leaves you no other option but to guesstimate. 

Passing up opportunities

Multi-site portfolios are floated nationwide. With so much competition, if you miss submitting the bid in time, you miss the opportunity. The turnaround time for multi-site portfolios is often insufficient to measure 100% of the properties, refine estimates, and create impressive bids. As a result, unoptimized bids based on guesswork are sent out for 80-90% of the sites, which is a recipe for disaster. An estimate riddled with countless manual errors can lead to overbidding or underbidding, resulting in missed opportunities and financial losses. 

Automate takeoffs for your multi-site portfolios

Now that it’s established, manual takeoffs are to be blamed for all the aforementioned issues. 

Why not just automate them? During a peak snow-bidding season such as this, what do you do with the piling RFPs of multi-site portfolios and practically next to no chance to turn them around before the deadline? 

Attentive.ai offers a solution that alleviates your concerns during the peak snow removal season. Our AI-based property measurement software simplifies snow takeoffs by eliminating the need for manual clicking on polygons. By embracing automated snow takeoffs, you can accelerate your sales process and achieve highly accurate estimates. Here’s how–

  1. Save 95% of your time
  2. The cost-effective way to measure 100% of the sites
  3. Optimized bids (with every site measured)
  4. Now, be the first bid out
  5. Impressive proposals

Save 95% of your time

With Attentive.ai, you can measure sites from coast to coast without relying on a handful of measurements from your entire portfolio. Ease the pressure on your estimating team and get 100% of your portfolio measured with 98%+ accuracy, no corners cut. Get the takeoff done with enough time to refine the estimates. All your estimating team now does is create an optimized, appealing bid that wins. 

If you have an Excel spreadsheet with thousands of sites, simply send it over to us, and we'll provide accurate measurements for all the feature columns along with a URL to a high-definition sitemap. Write to us at sales@attentive.ai.

Excel spreadsheet for a multi-site portfolio with over 1000 sites and it's property features

The cost-effective way to measure 100% of the sites

Getting your entire portfolio measured manually is impossible as a) you cannot turn it around in time, and b) it will burn a hole in your pocket without giving you the desired outcome. As mentioned before, the cost of estimating for a multi-site portfolio can range between $500-$700k if measured manually. With Attentive.ai, however, get the entire portfolio measured at just about 15% of your current cost. 

Optimized bids (with every site measured)

100% of your sites will now be measured, leaving no room for manual discrepancies. With highly optimized bids based on estimates that are as accurate as they can get, you can forget guesstimating for good and send out bids that win!

Now, be the first bid out

To accurately measure a singular site of ~30-40 acres, your team needs to dedicate 6-7 hours. Now multiply that by 3000 sites; that’s math we do not want to do. Let’s talk about math we can do— 4500 Walgreens turned around in 4 days with Attentive.ai’s Automeasure. The output is a high-definition aerial sitemap with all property features distinctively marked, such as below. 

Final output image for Walgreens measured with Attentive.ai's takeoff software

Impressive proposals

Your landscaping proposals can now showcase the value you offer to your prospects. Attach impressive high-resolution, detailed, and feature-rich output site images with your bids to prove what you will bring to the table. Stand out and get picked from the pile of proposals during the peak season. 

In conclusion, managing multi-site portfolios for snow RFPs doesn't have to be a daunting task. By embracing automation and utilizing Attentive.ai's AI-based property measurement software, you can streamline your snow takeoff process, save time and money, and deliver accurate estimates. Not just snow removal, Attentive.ai offers automation for your landscape maintenance takeoffs too. 

Don't let manual errors and rushed bids hinder your success—embrace automation and unlock the full potential of your snow removal business. Just like Continuum Services did by switching to the automated takeoff method, read their success story here: How Continuum Services Drove Revenue With Automated Takeoffs.

Want to explore what Attentive.ai’s software can do for your snow removal sales process? Find all you need to know on our webpage dedicated to multi-site portfolios