1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

National & Regional Snow Contractors

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by big acres, Nov 12, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    The real enemy out there is not the "lowballer", i.e. a guy who has more guts than brains and only knows how to underbid to get work. These guys either learn fast and up their prices, or die on the vine within a couple of years. The real enemy is national and regional marketeers who actually own very little equipment. They very effectively mine larger markets for the inexperienced lowballers who think $45-50 an hour is great for subcontracting. They burn these guys up and replace them. 40% withholding until June 1st -what??? Got any true stories? If they are true, share 'em. These guys are bad for the industry. You should see the POS showing up on some Minneapolis sites since a bigger name moved in recently.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2007
  2. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    C'mon guys. I am new to this site and disappointed that with 109 views, no one has any input on this subject. Are more people actually interested in whether or not some guy across the country has his dog or girlfriend ride with on a push? Aside from you resi guys, doesn't anyone out there realize that Walmartization is even creeping into snow removal? Are you going to wait until you lose a good commercial account or two before you realize you have a real threat to your business and industry pricing in general? Any opinions? Bueller.... Bueller
     
  3. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    There has been many posts in the past few years regarding these national corporations. One of our very own, very well known was/is a contributor to this phenomonen. If you'd like some reading with personal experiences of being cheated out of money; search on "US MAINTENANCE" and "Symbiot". When you have spent several HOURS reading, follow some of the links or get back with me and I'll give you some others to check out.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2007
  4. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,868

    Don't forget Dentco and Superior Maintenance or whatever as well.

    Or try area management.

    Ryan, you're absolutely correct and we've talked numerous times about this way of doing business, that's why you're not seeing much discussion. Heck, there's hour's worth of posts that have been deleted on this subject.
     
  5. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Superior Management Group (SMG). There was another one with the initials SMG, but I forget what it was.
     
  6. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    OK Mick, I guess I am late to the party...

    Those old threads were good reading. I put in a bid for a Best Buy this year with US Maintenance. We didn't get it because it went out at about 30% over OUR standard rates -because of their terms. I am still reading up, but I have not heard of any feasible ways for the smaller operators to beat them. They are appealing to corporate management types who would not recognize the difference between a good service or a bad one -only that it saves them administrative costs. These higher-ups are hard to get in front of, unless you can say that you are a regional or national provider.

    PS. The newest one in our market is from Kansas and they do only snow. It seems most posts on this site are from the Norheast, and they have no penetration there... yet.
     
  7. dfdsuperduty

    dfdsuperduty Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    I Think We Should All Get Together And Form A National Company And Charge The Rates That We Deserve To Get I Am Sure That With The Amount Of People On This Site We Could Pull It Off
     
  8. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609


    you mean a union?

    i will sign up. i pay union dues now so whats a little more. thats actually not a bad idea because we could probably get a group discount on insurance and truck parts. and :drinkup:



    i dont think a national company would make it doing snow removal past newyork. even the big companies up here hate other big companies.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2007
  9. lilweeds

    lilweeds PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,178

    I've heard many horror stories, however there are a few good ones out there that will do ALOT to help someone getting started with equipment, salt, and just learing the ropes. USM is a pain, but HPK and ATS have been very helpful to me.
     
  10. T-Trim

    T-Trim Senior Member
    from NE OH
    Messages: 207

    I'm in NE Ohio, GO Bucks.

    A union sounds like a very good idea. Snow/Ice is no thing to laugh at some people get badly hurt in the thick of it.
     
  11. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    Right idea

    I don't know if "union" is the best approach, but an organization with some union attributes might be a step in the right direction. What about an association that is created to promote the local snow provider. You mention your affiliation during every sales call, inviting a discussion with your prospect on why the association was created. This opens the door for you, in a professional and back door way, to slam your competition. We could promote suggested price ranges, or guidelines for different regions and promote this as member education. It would not be price fixing, since members would compete within the range, and may the best contract/service/price/salesman win. You could also present a list of committments that members make to clients such as "I will not dump 3 tons of salt where only 1 is needed" for humor, as well as some serious sales points. Any other ideas?
     
  12. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

  13. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    Of course

    It sure seems like the BIG competition boasts membership to SIMA on their websites, which kind of voids the point of promoting the little guy, doesn't it. Is there any criteria that says "I pledge that at least 75% of the equipment deployed is company owned and employee operated" or something to that effect?
     
  14. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609


    better off with the union. there are federal advantages to having a union. one of them not having to worry about price fixing. another being negotiating rights that a association would not have. unions are protected. associations have no legal standing. union has arbitration rights. association doesnt. union if your not paid the union brings the person into arbitration and follows with court to get the pay. association just whines. they have no rights to argue, negotiate, or sue for anything.
     
  15. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,549

    You mean price fixing?
     
  16. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,549

    A union, heck we can't even agree on what color of truck is best for plowing or what oil to use.
    Who are you going to have this contract with?
    Each and every customer?
    A union is a bad idea and after the pain killers wear off I might tell you why.
    Free enterprise..

    P.s. I belong to a union now all a union does is get rich off the blood and sweat of it's members.
    I would rather keep my money.
     
  17. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    Union?

    Wouldn't a union open up a new can of worms for those of us that are employers? Maybe this should be more of a PR campaign/affiliate network? If the goal is to promote the local company and compete with these guys, you have to compete. If I hire you at $50 an hour, and bill BIG BOX CO $70 per hour, that is profit -BUT, the fact that I also organized, researched, verified credentials of 200 vendors to handle your 1000 stores, now that is an additional service. It seems these end clients have chosen poor service as the trade off for outsourcing their administrative headaches.
     
  18. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609



    (here we go again) lol.

    personally, i dont care if anyone joined a snow removal union or not. if they had one though. i would sign up.

    who are the contracts with? you could start with the regional/national chains, towns cities, and work your way down. point being that it regulates the value of the service.

    free enterprise? means the fifty k job can be bid for twenty five k. havent you noticed everyone on here complaining that the jobs are going cheaper and cheaper and the profit is dissappearing.

    tell ya. you and mark oomkes. i like ya both but i just dont understand you. you preach free enterprise but get upset that the bottom is falling out of this type of work. free enterprise is the reason...... too funny.
     
  19. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,549

    ..................
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2007
  20. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609


    might help you out. first of all i dont think it would start with you if you are smaller. probably start with bigger companies. it could level the playing field for you. if you wanted to ask your employees if they would like to join it may give you more pull when bidding. offer more employee retention. give the employees benefits that you wouldnt have to carry but they would still have accessible just because you are a union employer and they are union. think of construction unions or electric/telephone companies unions. the fact that the union is doing the work is more promoted than the work itself. kind of like a guarantee of a level of quality and a guarantee it will get done. i dont know why. but union work still seems to have pull even though the actual unions are getting smaller. strange phenomenon. i know the electric company came to fix a line on my building the other day. the guy was union. did a good job. worked hard. and i had not a doubt that he knew what he was doing and it would be done right. ive had some bad experiences with non union work. never with union work. a lot of big commercial construction is still given to union because the person hiring (often a city) finds a certain security in it. i think the unions have changed alot. they realized if they drive a business under and make it so it cant compete it puts its own members out of jobs. they want the employer to be profitable its job security. they also realized the workforce level needs to be productive and knowledgeable or when contract time comes they cant ask for good pay for the work.
    to each there own. another perspective is that when you bid out to a customer the union will want the members to have the work so in a strange way the union will back you up in bidding. enough of this speech eh? almost sounds like im a union promoter and im really not. im also putting myself to sleep.

    :sleeping:
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.