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did you loss any contracts???

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by fireside, Nov 11, 2010.

  1. fireside

    fireside Senior Member
    Messages: 657

    I have this year lost 50 percent of my long standing contracts. Most bids were lost by half or better of what i was getting and they have seen no increases in 4 years. I di have 2 locations close and one other is being sold so we will only service it into the closing. I'm hoping the new owners will take are services on when they take over. One locations contract was awarded to a company that is 1 hour plus away on a perfect driving day. They can'nt even sub it out NO SUBS permited under the contract. They had a very poor record of lack of service with an another location thats in there hometown owned by the same company. The gms from the two locations are fighting it with the vp of the company to stay with me for my location and award it back to the contractor who did the other one the years before. so i hope things work out but i don't see any changes coming from them. So long and short i have 4 trucks and 2 machines with work for 2 trucks and one machine. Aleast we have lots of spare equipment if something breaks. I sat down with the guys who work with me for snow to explain. They have decided to rotate storms so aleast everybody will make some money. I don't want to loss them they have worked for me for years and hopefully things will be better next year.
  2. Plowtoy

    Plowtoy Senior Member
    Messages: 929

    I have lost two property's this season that Ive been plowing for the past 6 or more years. Two years ago was the first year these property's used a "lesser known national co" who sub'ed me out, last year they wanted seasonal and i accepted but declined to sign the "scope of services" after i had already signed the contract. This year they offered me just about $10k less for the same two property's and i declined. As of this past weekend i have not seen any signs of anyone else doing them (not staked yet, and the scope of services stated it needed to be marked by Nov. 1st) so i wonder if I will get a call back when the snow finely hits. Only time will tell.
    Also, I think its interesting that even though my contracts were sent out way late (end of October, I have only lost those two. I must be doing something right:nod:
  3. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    I've lost about 25%... not by workmanship but on price... oh well, they have my #. But I've also picked a few up... It'll probably end up a wash $ wise once the seasons over with.
  4. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    i lost one contract this year, a bank which was one of the biggest PITA contracts we have ever done. Last year she called the management company to complain that we hadn't been there yet that day, i went over there myself, not only had we been there, there was only 1/4 inch of snow on the sidewalk that had fallen since, so i talked to the manager, she expressed concern over the 1/4inch, feeling that we should have been back for that amount????? (we had done the contract at 7am and i was there again at 11am) good riddance to that contract
  5. Advantage

    Advantage Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    Didn't lose any from last year and picked up a few small lots, but was underbid severely on almost everything else.
  6. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    We've lost some, one big one I didn't want back. They constanly complained about everything even before the snow came, they were complaining & question my stakes, etc. They didn't pay a single bill on time, first on I only got by withholding service (in Feb), second I had to get attorney involved. The others were smaller & most complained alot. We've picked up more than we've lost though.
  7. lilweeds

    lilweeds PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,178

    It's gonna get worse before it gets better. The money will come back, but it's going to be some time.
  8. Division

    Division Member
    Messages: 41

    thats the way things are going these days big nationals are coming in a cutting out our longstanding customers.

    I was at a plow meeting w the company we sub contract for (NLCI cleveland) and they said its happening to them as well, and not just a few... were talking 206 banks in ohio lost b/c of a few dollars difference.

    A few years back I personally was getting $40 per driveway residential with salt and shoveling lead walk... Im lucky to get $25 per push nowadays!!! its pathetic!

    These guys starting companies and lowballing to get the bid.... then not being able to do the work or doing a terrible job is really messing with us, along with the terrible economy.

    I was asked to bid a local mechanic shop, its a big ass lot. I came with a good price cuz they do all my work. He didnt even call to let me know they went with someone else. (a lowballer) He just lost all my business. People are looking for price not service or loyalty and it sucks.

    Just get out there and prove yourself, hustle more work.... thats all i can say
  9. EdNewman

    EdNewman Senior Member
    Messages: 254

    Picked up a bunch even though a lot told me we were expensive. Most were complaining their prior contractor did not show up until way after the snow had stopped, did not have reliable equipment and charged extra for a "larger truck", "loader" or "too much snow". These are large commercial accounts on fixed price seasonal contracts. Guess thats what happens when someone thinks they can plow a bunch of multi-acre lots with two pickup trucks. They fail miserably.
  10. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,511

    Lost 2% due to price increase
    lost 4% they moved

    Picked up 2% new
  11. Turf Commando

    Turf Commando Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    Lost a residential, but gained another which pays double ....
  12. cold_and_tired

    cold_and_tired PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,246

    Didn't lose any and even picked up a few. I don't think things are as cut throat here as they are over there on the east coast.
  13. BlackIrish

    BlackIrish Senior Member
    Messages: 888

    You have an opportunity to seriously out perform the competition. With your reduced work load and 6 units, you can cut your route time in half which means during a storm you can hit them much closer to their opening time. Get your signs out/ letter the trucks so you're seen.
    Call the other competitors to let them know your available when their stuff breaks halfway thru their runs.
    Hustle and you'll be fine.

    I've lost tons, most at 50-60 % $ of what I got last yr, no price increase last three years,
    some I'd been doing for 10 years. :realmad:
    One because I didn't show for a 1" snowfall on a 2" contract. Hindsite shoulda gone...prsport
    Since advertising is doing its job we're picking up enough new stuff that we'll be ok. :nod:
  14. viper881

    viper881 Senior Member
    Messages: 450

    You said $10,000 less then the year before, and your plowing with a 7'2 jimmy! Holland must have some amazing rates. Are they big national companies or smaller?
  15. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    I only lost one. I have been plowing them for years. 3 business use the same curb cut drive, but I retained the other 2. Someone came in and bid $15.00 and that includes getting out and shoveling 100 of 4 foot walks. I was getting 75 for the lot, and 45 for the walks. I told the owner good luck with that and when he doesn't show, or he breaks down in the middle of the drive, I will be sure to bury his truck cause it will be in the way. I think lowballers suck.
  16. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,748

    I don't think I lost much. A few small drives (happy about a few) and a few PITA commercial jobs. Not sure why. Anyways, I picked up a big condo association and some decent driveway accounts. I was asked to bid on a lot of stuff, but didn't have a very good turn around. Oh well, I know my costs. I am also going to be submitting a bid for a condo association tomorrow, and I'm pretty sure we will get that as well. They weren't happy with the guy last year. Plus I can beat his salt price.
  17. fireside

    fireside Senior Member
    Messages: 657

    I recived a phone call today from an account i lost this year. The GM stated he finally remembered were he known the new contractors from(contract not signed yet) they did the landscaping 2 years ago and were fired for not providing landscaping services. At one point the lawn was 6" plus high for weeks. They also had 4 slip and falls just last year on a snow account they had on leased property my owners have(property owner provides snow services). So i'm not out fully at this point due to the new information. Really nice to see there home office keeps tabs on who they fire than give them snow contracts when they can'nt even cut the grass. I was told to sharpen the pencil some to make it work. only time will tell.
  18. mrsnowman

    mrsnowman Senior Member
    Messages: 126

    Man I hate that statement "sharpen your pencil" All it means is bend over if you want my work because I'm a cheap ars
  19. OC&D

    OC&D PlowSite Veteran
    from Earth
    Messages: 3,064

    I was lucky to lose nothing this year....and even picked up another small lot. I was pretty worried though, given the economy and talking to some other contractor buddies I know, I expected to lose some, but I don't think my customers even get any other bids anymore. Doesn't matter though, they'll still get top notch service.....I don't need to give them any thoughts of testing the water elsewhere. No contract is a slam dunk every year!
  20. MarksTLC

    MarksTLC Senior Member
    Messages: 103

    Kept my commercial accounts. Cut 4 residential and picked up three new ones. Roughly the same bottom line, but my sites are much closer together now.

    Just waiting for some snow!