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National Companies Are Killing Snow Management And Landscape Management

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by ColumbiaLand, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. ColumbiaLand

    ColumbiaLand Senior Member
    Messages: 790

    Well I know this has been said many times around the web but its true. One of our clients recently went to allowing nationals to bid and they came in at 35-40% of what our price was. I was told by our contact that every contractor that they use within the northeast was undercut by this much. All I can say is wow. Quality of workmanship just got flushed down the toilet. These places will soon look like every other place with trash everywhere, Out of control landscaping and snow that never gets plowed. Really sorry to see it happen if it does go that way.
  2. ColumbiaLand

    ColumbiaLand Senior Member
    Messages: 790

    If your going to reply here please keep it clean. Nothing vulgure please
  3. ColumbiaLand

    ColumbiaLand Senior Member
    Messages: 790

    I will also say that we work for 1 national company who does take care of us very well. I have throughly examined all of the others and there all the same, not even worth bidding
  4. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    Everything is becoming that way, price driven. Not to sound like a jerk or pick on anyone, our society is changing, the mom & pop hardware, lumber, etc. store where They knew you by name, were knowledgeable, etc are all gone, yes they cost more but service was way better. The worst part is they get the lower price, then still expect the same quality products used, service level, the cost savings has to come from some where. It isn't going away anytime soon, I don't think our economy is getting better, I think people feel like they have waited enough and are spending a little more, unemployment numbers have gone down but I think it is either benefits running out or people taking much lower paying jobs be wise that is what is there.
  5. ColumbiaLand

    ColumbiaLand Senior Member
    Messages: 790

    I actually think things are getting better and things are changing, but its just sad to see that happen. Luckily if your diverse in what you do you can adjust to change as we have, but it will pinch some right out of business
  6. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    It's a throw away economy. They will take the chance on a slip and fall and payout a few thousand then to payout a few extra 100 thousand's for good service.
  7. tjlands

    tjlands Senior Member
    Messages: 574

    I do agree, although there is one problem.
    Take for example one local branch of a "big" Bank that my company took care of since it opened its doors 14 years ago. Zero slip and falls thru two years ago, zero.
    now the last two years we didnt have it it had 6. (with national companies) Thats just one branch
    How is that going to work?
    How does that help them?
    It raises costs all around and it will eventually Bite them.
    How do you think that works in Court?
    Saving money versus safety?
    We will find out
  8. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    As said, a few k to them and law suit settled. Don't even run through their insurance company
  9. ColumbiaLand

    ColumbiaLand Senior Member
    Messages: 790

    I am interested to know what others feelings are regarding their relationship between themselves and national companies. I am working with SIMA on a discussion/forum for this years symposium in Buffalo regarding this topic.
  10. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,954

    Happy with the 3 we work with...pay is excellent, sometimes slow...but so are some other customers.
  11. tjlands

    tjlands Senior Member
    Messages: 574

    Probably the first time I heard anyone say Excellent pay.
    Which ones do you work for?
  12. cj7plowing

    cj7plowing Senior Member
    Messages: 379

    I think excellent pay is revelant to the area you are plowing. We think as Nationals as a joke and a pain in the ass around here. Most of them dragging payments out to july.
  13. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    You can't just blame the nationals though.

    The local companies around here are doing the same thing. I bid on a set of 12 McDonald's for ground services last spring for a local owner.

    The winning bid was half of what us and two other companies were. I was shocked, mainly due to the fact that even pricing out the materials/labor/expense for those locations was the same number as the winning bid.

    There is about 4 top tier grossing companies around town that are just driving down prices like you wouldn't believe, and makes the nationals look like a hero.

    And yes, I do work for one national, and the prices seem fair (90% of the time) for the work they throw at us.

  14. csi.northcoast

    csi.northcoast Senior Member
    Messages: 320

    here is the one thing that i have trouble wrapping my brain around......contractors bid on these national contracts ...= lowering prices and previosly discussed, but the big thing is thay take on the total liability... that alone will make a property owner sign on....
    a property owner could then go to their insurance co and get their rates lowered knowing they will no longer have to be defended in a slip and fall.

    i think it is crazy for any contractor to take this on, i do work for one national but i crossed out that item in the contract. my insurance co would drop me in a heart beat if i did not
  15. papa0881

    papa0881 Junior Member
    from eastern
    Messages: 8

    go usm and springwise, thought id put that in there lol sorry
  16. doyles

    doyles Member
    Messages: 95

    every body is driving down cost. i just bid out some state mowing. the contract is good for 5 years. so since it is the state you can see what the bid went for 5 years ago. this years winning results came in and the guy that won was 800-1000 dollars cheaper than the previous prices.
    do you remember what gas cost 5 years ago?
    like a friend of mine says its a race to the bottom.
  17. northernsweeper

    northernsweeper Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    When it comes to nationals, if you want to work for them, go ahead. Just realize that things always go good...until they don't. With nationals you have no control of when that will be, or even why.
  18. blowerman

    blowerman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,261

    I know of a few other guys around here that have felt the same. Pay was decent, but the pay was slow. Considering I have local companies that started paying late, what's the difference.
  19. maelawncare

    maelawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 871

    I have to agree with this

    Another thing nationals are doing is lower the price expectation along with the quality.
    Our customers will get used to that level of service and price and expect us to follow. Only thing we can is try to survive.

    SNODOGG Junior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 7

    Nats BFS

    Anyone here about class action law suit brewing , BFS seems to have one comming. Seems 15 day payment claim in their contracts are not happening and not with most subs. The way I understand it there are many contractors not paid under this claim. Among other claims, not paid at all or just part payments. The have a range of reasons which I dont know . For all you contractors that are happy working for them, they need to make some of you happy. But I can assure you if they keep on the track you will be next. They are pushing down standards and no one is protected. Anyway if anyone has heard this please respond. I believe some of the issues are breach of contract and deception on a very large scale.