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combining per push price to total inch price?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Ramairfreak98ss, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,931

    A commercial account we have, we had bid on per push prices, but for an inch total.

    Say anything requiring plowing to 3" was $500
    4"-7" was $650
    8"-10" was $800 etc.

    Our only two big storms in the year, Feb 4th and March 2nd, we had two pushes at each location

    Their bill is for the first push prior to the company opening in the am hours at 7am, for 3" or less, $500

    Later in the day, we had to come back again, clean up, push piles back and re-salt and it was say more than 4" by then, $650 charge.

    The company has had our invoice for a week now and they're requesting that we "group" the plowings per day together at the higher rate.

    But $500+$650 is $1150 for their invoice for that day, if we group together, that gets cut way back to $800 OR the one storm wasnt enough to go past the 2nd threshold amount so $500 and $650 is cut to $650 only.

    Both times we plowed nearly the entire area on the 2nd pass through and spent just as much time as the first push.

    Would you reduce their bill this much?

    Theyre a good client, but since we just bid out landscaping for them as well as maintenance contracts for both locations, i know with the way the economy is, and the extreme lowball bids ive seen already this year, were going to lose both of these locations and have NO work from them the entire rest of the year. We would then have to re-bid or re negotiate snow contracts fall of 09 as well, which we arnt on contract to already have.

    I guess my feeling on this is that, if they were a long time client, which they arn't, only for this past snow season, or i was already under long term maintenance contracts with them for landscape maintenance, i would just reduce the amounts, keep the company managers happy and get on with their other services.

    But i know, 3 weeks from now by the time they pay my invoice, if i reduce these amounts drastically, we wont get the bid and lose the company anyway.

    The company managers have been thrilled at our service though and have boasted about having the least amount of ice buildup and problems this year than in the past 5 years with any vendors :/
  2. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    Explain to them that if they want the single plow rate, you will only plow once, at the end of the storm. That would be 7" plow at say, 1 PM, after they have been open for 5 hours and all the employees/customers have had to walk through it. I feel your pain and feel you deserve the full price, but I see you are a smart guy and realize you will probably have to take a hit to keep the business long term. I would say unfortunately you should try to meet them in the middle of what you billed, and what they want. THe other downer is that now they are going to try to do this to you EVERY time. Good luck.
  3. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Cut the bill to $800 and just remember it next year.
    Lesson learned.

    RODHALL Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    you answered your own question with
    "we had bid on per push prices, but for an inch total.
    Say anything requiring plowing to 3" was $500
    4"-7" was $650
    8"-10" was $800 etc."

    you quoted them a price per storm / event.

    First storm you said 3 inhces and 4 inches = 7 total inches = $650

    Second storm you said never went past 3 inches so 3 +3 = 6 total inches =$650

    Now go wonder why they are not paying you....
  5. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,594

    You could ask where you stand as far as the landscaping bid goes. You know, "will I get the landscaping if I reduce down to $800.00 for the snow bill". If yes then I would do it. If your not getting the landscaping why lose the snow money. You had your contract set right, you had to go out twice, so they owe you that money.

    Just the fact that this came up throws up a red flag about doing business with them in the future. Make this negotiation a one time deal!
  6. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,931

    For who them or us? :rolleyes:
  7. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,931

    Its PER PUSH not per storm, per day or per event... maybe you didnt read it the same as the others. We gave them PER PUSH prices, so if we come in ONE time at say 5am, and push 5" or more, they pay the 5" price, not the 3" price or less.

    If we come in at 7am and push 12" already, they have to pay the 12"+ price.

    The idea is that we come in a couple times of course for better service and try to stay in the 4" or less range at all times.

    A couple times we were pushing over that 4" mark so we were in the next bracket.

    I like the idea though of asking them if they'd rather us come in at 2pm to start the 10" of snow cleanup after being open since 7am, i know what theyre answer is going to be.

    I guess i still havnt made up my mind about billing as quoted, as i feel justified, reducing their bill "parially", or reducing it to what they asked, but then as someone else said, theyre going to expect this all the time and probably another company will out bid us next 09-2010 season by a few bucks and come in with a half ton truck and just plow constantly and be thrilled for the money :/
  8. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,931

    hydro, keep in mind too, there probably wont be a next year, or even this summer for that matter. Most of my final say in this balances on the fact that we could or i feel "will" lose their future business for this landscape season due to their bid process and possibly not even plow for them next year anyhow, so what is lost? a half cranky managers opinion?

    Out of their multiple snow bids for 08-09 season this year, we came in 2nd lowest, actually only our first push price was and theyre allowed to pick the 1st or 2nd lowest contractor.

    We must have made some sort of better impression on them to chose us over contractor B that was lower to use us instead.

    The first push on one site my driver spent way too much time. Ideally we get in and get out until the end, he cleaned up too much for my liking up front, which he didnt need to while it was still snowing hard.

    I "feel" for them to try justifying the invoice and the two push prices is BS since we did more than the norm for them, they were thrilled with the overall result of services and expectations for this season but then balk at the price at the end.

    I think its just because of the monthly total, which could have been a lot worse, since we only plowed 2 events that whole month and a couple salts, if Feb 09 wasnt darn warm in jersey, it could have been another 40% on top of that tab.
  9. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,594

    Don't let the customer dictate when you come out. Try to always have a way to do things that works good for your business. What I mean is don't ask if they want you to come out at 10" instead of staying ahead of it and coming out at 3-5". They might want this and you know as well as I that's the wrong way to do it! 10" of snow breaks men & equipment, whereas 3-5" is totally managable.

    Some customers like to run your business as well as theirs. You don't need them, you need customers that trust you know what to do and let you do it.;)

    RODHALL Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    Yep sure sounds like "contractor"

    you want to keep up with the event and push every 3 inches and make $500 per push...
    a 12 inch stom you be making $2000... Sign me up I do it....

    A "contractor see it the way he wants too (More profit fot himself) and store owner is going to see the other (where it saves him money) the issue i see is you set limit of how much snow is on the ground when you plowed. If you have to take him to court to get your money how will a judge see it? (I am betting if it gets to that point a judge will side with store owner. 7 inch snow fall you chose your own plow depth)

    how many times did your half ton trucks serivce them? Then why worry if someone else uses there 1/2 ton to service it... if you so bothered about next season, then you need to make sure your clinets from this year are happy so they come back next...
  11. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    If there is "no next year" then I would charge them full price.
    Don't discount a penny.
    The lesson learned was for you. Now you know how some customers will treat you, especially when money is tight and the economy sucks.
  12. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,931

    i did review "our" contract, but the company also has us "quote on their contract" so their contract tends to lead toward "total accumulation", thats what i'm thinking the manager even questioned my invoicing structure.

    I've never had a commercial account want services prior to say XX time in the am, and then only bill one amount at the end... screw that.

    Only thing that relates close even is very large accounts where you have loaders, and a truck full time or multiple trucks and where "per push" cant apply because you probably plow constantly throughout a 10" storm until its clear finally.
  13. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    OK so what is the problem?

    one bill, plowed twice at $650 (the higher rate) = $1,300


    RODHALL Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    yep per storm/event on there contract... this is common...

    most commercial accounts want it opened up before they open and cleaned up after the storm is over. (9 of 11 i have are)

    no it is not. They want opened up so they can make $$$$$$$$$ and then cleaned up after it is over. most could care less if you come in before they open and only push the front half of the store open and come back once it is done, clean up and plow everything...
  15. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,257

    My first question is what is the rate for 3.5" and 7.5".

    Next question, when you start plowing and there is 3" on the ground and by the time you have 1/2 the lot done there is 4.5" on the ground and when you had finished the first pass, 6" has fallen. There was 2 more inches of snow during the day. You go back to plow again and the first part of the lot has 5", the middle has 3.5" and the last part has 2". What do you bill for this plow?

    I don't know how you guys bill this type of plowing. You need to either bill per plow or bill where your rates are more proportionate. I only have 1 account that works on per plow. We get paid 1 unit for up to 6" and 2 units for over 6 inches. I know I loose when it comes to plowing 2" compared to 5" but I have my pricing figured on 4". I make out better on 7" then 5" but on average it all works out.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2009

    RODHALL Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    next question - Answer- this is why I perfer per event pricing... total snow fall is 14 inches they know what to pay you and you know what your getting paid. you can service one twice or 5 times.if they want opened up at 5 am their is $xx charge for it + per event total pricing...

    I do my pricing differently then some others here. from 2-6 inches is priced at 6 inch price. so if i plow only 4 inches then i make more $$$ I use 2to6 inches 6+to9 inches 9+to12 inches and anything over 12 is $xxx per 3+ inch total.
  17. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,931

    guys, its not a huge site.. i totally agree, big sites that eat up many hours should be per inch total or per event, but not per push since you can run into pushes running together.

    This place just wanted to not have to pay for separate pushes on the same day thats all.

    Why charge a "per event" for say a $300 upto 4" account, when you may have to plow 2-3 times for just 4" worth? Is that worth your time to make 2-3 trips in a days time on light snow to do 2-3x the work for the same base price when you can get $300 per push on other similar accounts?

    $900 is much more profitable than losing money at $300 for a gross amount charge for 3 pushes :/