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Has anybody done sub-contracting for the

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by gd8boltman, Dec 20, 2006.

  1. gd8boltman

    gd8boltman Senior Member
    Messages: 326

    Brickman Group? I have been asked by them to take care of some locations in which they service the lawn care, landscaping etc. however these locations are apparently not feasible for them for snow removal. Looking for feedback from those of you which have had a business relationship with them.

    Thanks,
     
  2. 01FordPlower

    01FordPlower Member
    from PA
    Messages: 60

    They are the biggest landscaping firm in the nation, so profits should be good. I heard they make 67 milllion over the plowing season. But, I also bet that they are very demanding so get ready for a lot of work and putting your truck through hell.
     
  3. mrbrickman

    mrbrickman Senior Member
    from montana
    Messages: 138

    when you take your sites on, theyre your sites essentially, there might not be anyone to check and make sure you did a good job, so quality is number one, sticking to what the brickman supervisor says is your job description (trigger depth, is the site going to be curb to curb?... priority of drive lanes, walkways...what needs salt, what dosent...etc...etc) best sit down with a brickman guy and go over all the little details, it makes a subs life a million times easier and keeps the clients happy.

    if your a little guy we will often make exceptions and pay on 15 days, granted you get your snow bills in to us within 24hrs so we can get our bills out asap.

    its not necessarily hard on your truck, unless you have one and have more site then you think you could handle in an average snow, if theres any problems then just let the guys know, keep everything honest, we all know everyone wants to be able to handle everything but there are limits, speak up and we'd rather have you on 2 larger sites with one truck and know the property managers are happy with the service than have you on 5 sites....when you know theres no way youll be able to make it around and give each the attention they need without more trucks and manpower for shoveling.

    best of luck
     
  4. gd8boltman

    gd8boltman Senior Member
    Messages: 326

    Thank You for your responses, I appreciate

    your input, so far the Brickman Account Manager in my opinion has been upfront and honest, and I have been the same to him. I hope to enjoy a productive and mutually profitable relationship.

    Thanks,
     
  5. salopez

    salopez Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    around here...they are becoming a joke.....always use subs...different subs every year, and if you are not a BIG account they dont care. during our big storm last year, they were not showing up for some people until there was 10-15 inches down...then they busted up curbs they coudlnt find....it was a mess.

    however if you call them to become a sub, they dont call you back. Now that is just the Columbia office, the Baltimore south office is really good....low pay for subs but lots of hours.
     
  6. gd8boltman

    gd8boltman Senior Member
    Messages: 326

    I have just signed the agreement and forwarded my Insurance

    info. to them, and I bid the project as if it was my own, as I do everytime I am asked to Sub.. As I indicated the Acct. Mgr. has been great to deal with to this point. There 13 page agreement is something to behold, you can tell that they are truly a business, not a fly-by night outfit, and are very professional. I am sure as with every large Company with many Regional Offices, there are some that are good and some that are not so good, I hope mine continues to act as they have to this point. I'll keep all of you posted.

    Thanks,
     
  7. mrbrickman

    mrbrickman Senior Member
    from montana
    Messages: 138

    id have to say in response to the broken curbs = why they use different subs

    if youre not reliable, screw up once bad enough to affect how summer op relations go....youre out

    we keep close close relationships with all our property managers, if a sub jeopardizes any of these in the least, we will move the sub or get rid of the sub, depending how big they are.

    we dont want to do snow, we do it when asked, we dont avidly pursue any snow job unless it has summer maintenance attached, which is why youve noticed they will pass over lots of jobs, too many headaches, not enough capable manpower you have to reach the limit sometime. not biting off more than you can chew is a philosophy that helps us retain a 94% renewal rating, we renew contracts on 94% of our contracts each year, truegreen is in the 68 percentile.

    if any of you have read that snow mag, there was one article talking about how bad looking jobs arent always the fault of the contractor, one site we take care of says wait till the snow is over, whether it be 6 or 14 inches, obviously they pay when we need wheel loaders to do the job instead of the normal pickup. others say plow a main drag at 6 inches then wait till the storm is finished..or replow the main drag at another 6" then keep waiting...in any case what im saying is that its up to the dictation of the people calling the shots who pay our invoices....in sure there was some reason all those problems happened, a sub slipped up, bad communication, breakdowns...etc..

    but ill agree maybe some branches of the company arent as organized as other, as fast a growing company as this has been in the last few years new people are starting with us and others are always moving up the ranks, so as you can imagine there sometimes is lots of office confusions.

    go for it, you wont be disappointed, do great work and youre someone who will stick around for years....my dad worked as a sub from 1983 to the present they put him in the construction business by the snow money he earned those first few winters, and now i work for brickman overseeing the jobs my father is a sub on.
     
  8. ppandr

    ppandr Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    What are Brickman's hourly rates?????? Did you read that entire contract???????
    There is a reason that they use so many revolving subs. Let us know at the end of the season how you made out....and how fast you were paid.
     
  9. bbrsq

    bbrsq Member
    Messages: 56

    gd8boltman

    I have subbed for Brickman in the same area you are talking about for the last 4 yrs now. I have had great luck with them. This yr I am doing one account for them. In the past I had done three accounts. This year they did not take on the others because they could not get the lawn accounts.

    I have been asked each yr to take on other accounts for them and have had to turn them down because of my other responsibilities to my own accounts. They have also referred me to other companies they do not want to take on. They have been very pleased with the service we have been able to give them on the accounts we have. This has made my relationship with them much easier. I go out do my work and send my bills. Payment is not 15 days, more like 30. I don't worry about getting paid though. They have never questioned a bill or tried to hold any back.

    My best advice; be honest. Do a good job and you will keep them happy.

    Email me or send me a private message and I will tell you all I know about them in this area.

    I know of two accounts in this area they were looking for help with. If you can help them more power to you.
     
  10. Racer 28S

    Racer 28S Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    What a joke

    Lost a seasonal job to them last year at a big apartment complex, was a joke how low they bid this job, I was way low and they were lower to ensure their summer business. Always remember we are all in this to make $$$$, I personally do not want to work all night in 10 degree temps on Christmas, New Years etc. unless its worth it. I think they are ridiculous when it comes to SNOW. Plus I think all there hired help goes back to MEXICO.
     
  11. gd8boltman

    gd8boltman Senior Member
    Messages: 326

    ppandr, yes I read every word, as everyone should do

    before they sign anything, I did my bid as I do for all, on a per push basis with an accelerator after 8", and that was acceptable to them. Racer28S, I can understand your frustration, but I do snow and snow only, and like it or not, they are the largest in the snow removal industry. Number 2 is a long ways behind, that grants them my admiration and respect, and better yet, makes us all more efficient, and gives us the opportunity to learn from there expertise.

    Take Care,
     
  12. Racer 28S

    Racer 28S Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    I don't need to learn from Brickman, I have 53 Commercial only accounts from Restaurants to Malls to Hospitals, we run 18 pieces of equipment not including the snow pushers. My point is we are in this to make money, the only reason they are the largest is because they use a majority of subs and lowball most jobs they bid.
     
  13. ppandr

    ppandr Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    Yes, they are quite a large snow removal management company. Why, because they do lowball the snow for the year round maintance, which works for them. There is plenty of snow work out there for all. I'm not saying this is the case for you, but they provide a management and billing service for you for a large percentage.

    You never did say what their hourly rate was?
     
  14. mrbrickman

    mrbrickman Senior Member
    from montana
    Messages: 138

    post is below
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2006
  15. mrbrickman

    mrbrickman Senior Member
    from montana
    Messages: 138

    we dont do per push here, EVERYTHING is time and material anymore, other areas of the country beat to their own drum. we use a computing system for summer work to figure everything out, how many sq foot of turf, how much square foot of beds, mulch, how many trees etc etc...and it shoots out a number based on what machines are being used 48", 60" walkbehind or lazer, and from the bids ive seen they are right in line with truegreen valleycrest and lots of the smaller yet big for their area companies. we dont lowball we're just competing in an industry where every mom and pop mows lawns. if used to be the opposite, brickman would not do any maintenance unless we did the landscape construction when the building was built (scott paper, mcdonalds HQ..etc) and we charged a good penny for it too, it was 85% construction and 15% maintenance until the 80's and the company restructured to compete with truegreen who at the time was buying all the mom and pop landscapers out and dropping prices to the floor to get the work for all the equipment and people they took hold of....now for us its somewhere around 20% construction and 80% maintenance

    brickman sub rates per hour should be at least 75, most get 80-85 for an 8' plow, everything is different though, stakebodies with 9 or 10 footers are 15 bucks more an hr, bobcats are somewhere around 90-110 an hour...

    but if youre doing it per push then it shouldnt matter.....its hard for us to bill sometimes and sometimes we will lose money on the job and its even more difficult when the mgmt company wants the snow taken care of by the hour but the sub wants to do it by the push but if theres an acceptable way to make it work then go for it and that way you can do your own accounts too.