Does your current service provider have the financial position to service economic blow periods, fix and maintain snow removal equipment, carry the necessary drivers and provide the necessary staffing to service your property? Can they handle an unexpected storm or equipment breakdown? Is your current level of service lowering your exposure to potential litigation due to slip an fall accidents? if you answered “yes” to all of these questions, why change? A long-term, mutually beneficial relationship with your service provider is in your best interest.
You should look for a provider that is knowledgeable and keeps current on changes in products, equipment and technology. Do they belong to a professional organization? Affiliation with a professional trade association, such as Snow & Ice Management Association, indicates that the service provider is interested in excellence and keeping abreast of industry changes.
When considering references, be sure that you are comparing apples to apples. Just because the service provider gives excellent service to a small restaurant does not necessarily qualify them to handle a hospital, which must be maintained 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
A contract should be used to clearly define the level of service provided, the pricing of those services, and the payment terms. It should also disclose the cost of additional services should they be required, such as stacking or hauling away snow.
This type of pricing is usually reserved for very large accounts that are in areas of the country where snowfall totals vary from zero inches in one year to 65+ inches in the next. Universities, airports, and extremely large sites are prime examples of where “per inch” contracts are normally used.
Most service providers’ pricing structures usually fall in the per push, per hour/per truck, or per season categories. A mixture of these three may be used by the provider to allow for the unexpected forces of Mother Nature.
A professional will price his or her services to be competitive in the market, to serve the needs of the customer, and to generate the necessary revenues to grow his or her business.
If you receive a low bid, use caution.
The business may not be properly insured and if they are underbidding the market, they probably won’t be around for a long as they won’t have the cash flow necessary to survive.
Don’t be fooled by a fly-by-night operation.
Always choose a professional!