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Wal-Mart and USM

Discussion in 'Sweeper Forum' started by Sooner, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. Sooner

    Sooner Member
    Messages: 34

    I haven't been on here in a while and read two separate posts about Wal-Marts in several states going to USM for snow, landscaping and sweeping. Is this a trend? Does anyone have any more information as to the scope of this change?
     
  2. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    yep, it is all going to USM, and don't seem to be a very good company to deal with
     
  3. ajslands

    ajslands 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,033

    Here we go again! :eek:
     
  4. Sooner

    Sooner Member
    Messages: 34

    Again?

    What do you mean? If you don't mind...
     
  5. ajslands

    ajslands 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,033

    Usually if not all the time their is a thread with USM in it, it's always a big debate or fight! Or complaint!
     
  6. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 617

    Here is how I look at it. There are only a few companies which offer sweeping in our area. Whenever USM puts the other companies out of business, then I have the entire local market to myself. I will NOT work for them. Don't care if my trucks sit idle for 2 years. Shouldn't take this long for USM to put the other guys out of business. Harsh business strategy? I prefer to use the term "realistic."
     
  7. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,598

    The guy who USM hired to "sweep" our local WM shows up each morning with a handful of workers who are equipped with brooms and dustpans. No joke. They just walk around and collect cigarette butts and other trash.

    I should really snap a picture of that some time...
     
  8. badabing1512

    badabing1512 Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    :nod:
    :nod:
     
  9. Sooner

    Sooner Member
    Messages: 34

    Good Call

    I'm with you. I haven't ever worked for them and don't intend to. I am, however, quite concerned about my 7 WM sweeping/power washing accounts. That is going to sting a bit.
     
  10. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 617

    Well Sooner, think of it this way: For one contractor to sign and pick up 7 stores he/she is most likely going to need to add equipment. Add equipment, not get paid by USM, suddenly they have higher overhead with lower returns. Bingo! Failure. This opens up your 7 stores plus all their other accounts. Patience my friend. In the smaller sectors, we can survive!
     
  11. plowtime1

    plowtime1 Senior Member
    Messages: 446

    Well said Phil!

    I don't waste energy on large big box stores, plenty of others who appreciate local providers.
    I consider the investment of a machine and labor nothing but "minimal profit" and "overnight babysitting"
    Heck..with the type of service a sweeper company offers, we should be getting the property managers pay as well!
     
  12. shooterm

    shooterm Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 260

    They'll dump USM soon. The work isnt being done anymore. Only thing USM has is liability worked out but that will be put into question. They'll most likely go with a regional instead of national maintence plan which they toyed with a few years back. Much like the recent BP oil rig accident lawyers are thrashing liability contracts for sub work.
     
  13. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 617

    I hope you are right PDMcgowan. I know there will be other contracts available when USM puts other local contractors out of business. I know I have good faith and have treated my customers right in the past 13 years I have been in business. Maybe the good Lord has something else in store for me. This is the only way I can look at it. Seems everytime we lose an account we pick up two more. Faith, patience, hard work, and honesty will pull us through. Sometimes you don't know how it will work out, but it seems we always do. There are always new opportunities. I never enter a business venture without an exit strategy. I try to keep overhead as low as possible and plan for today, tomorrow, and the next decade all at the same time. All I can do is play the cards I am dealt and roll with the punches. We are survivors. USM might try to throw a monkey wrench in our plans, but honestly, I am more worried about the government and what they are trying to do to destroy the small businessman or woman than I am USM.
     
  14. plowtime1

    plowtime1 Senior Member
    Messages: 446

    Ditto,

    I'm sure a majority on this site will agree to your points, way to much governance.
     
  15. DMPUS

    DMPUS Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Hmm.. That's called Porter Service by my understanding :). I've seen it a lot in my low ball area :)..

    Btw that's my first post here. Hello everyone :)

    D.
     
  16. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,598

    Welcome
    I've never heard of that before but I'm pretty new to parking lot maintenance so that's probably why.

    Here's what I use when I'm just looking to pick up trash:
    [​IMG]

    $377 and it works perfectly for cigarette butts, pop cans and soda bottles.
     
  17. DMPUS

    DMPUS Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Sweeping a parking lot can be divided in two parts: Night time power sweeping and day time porter service.

    During the night, power sweeping involves heavy duty machinery and detailed vacuum cleaning of the parking lot area. Most contracts cover landscaping liter pick up, sidewalk blowing and changing the trash liners.

    During the day the cleaning of a parking lot is done by hand. The day porter also has duties such as cleaning the exterior of the building etc.

    Night sweeping should be charged accordingly due to the use of expensive machinery, usually crew of two employees and night time work.
    The day time porter involves only supplies expenses and one employee salary.

    Day time porter can never substitute night time power sweeping especially for large and busy shopping centers due to the car and people's traffic presence during the day.

    Leaders in the parking lot power sweeping industry are Schwarze, Tymco and Victory Sweepers with their vacuum units. The most common used machine which has been proven for more than a decade as very strong, reliable and efficient machine is the Schwarze S348i and its lighter single engine version - S347i. Victory Sweepers provide high end, quality units for professionals who are specializing in that field.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2010
  18. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 617

    DMPUS- We don't see a lot of porter service around here, but many of the national companies try to sell me on "Well, just send a guy out there once a week while you are mowing to pick up the bottles along the curbs." My most recent favorite line was "Do you think if we awarded it to you seasonally, and you just did it by hand once a month it would work for you?" My reply, sure except your spec sheet says Mechanical sweeping once a week to include changing trash can liners, sweeping curbs, cleaning trash from lawn and landscaped areas. . . . Were you suggesting I just call in once a week stating I was in there, and then just picking up the big stuff by hand once a month? Where I come from this is called "lieing". No thanks.

    Here is a scenario to think about. You are driving a $60-70k truck. You are consuming fuel. You are wearing it out. You have maintenance on it old or new. You have labor to cover. The lot is going to take 45min to one hour (not any particular store in mind, just stating a generic lot which might take this amount of time). Then the nationals expect you to go out for $16-25/hour. I think they are in the wrong line of work. I think they should be comedians, not maintenance companies.
     
  19. Cmbrsum

    Cmbrsum Senior Member
    Messages: 141

    Is there a web site for USM that tells about what and how much they are hiring for in local areas? I want to see how much damage they are doing in utah.
     
  20. shooterm

    shooterm Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 260

    You can't get away with once a week porter service. The trash cans at a Walmart fill up in two days. We did it everyday and "police called" the area once a week. Who ever is doing it now in my town is doing it whenever theres complaints which is causing alot of problems with store managers. We just fixed a 36" culvert in a stream for Walmart and there up in arms on how bad USM is botching outside maintence. I still expect USM to be dumped for for another system which interesting enuff we started providing for three large companies in our town. Local control one head to go to is what these business require.