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lowballing plowers/property managers

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by G.Williams, Dec 18, 2001.

  1. G.Williams

    G.Williams Member
    Messages: 40

    Man you have to love this one. We had 8 retail properties that we serviced perfectly for 3 years, presalting plowing and ice control with walks etc. no lawsuits and some locations are 24 hour stores. They put it out for bid without even checking the reputation and qualifications of the prospective contractors. We did not receive the bid for the properties but we had them down as first priority and to the conditions they had specified in past seasons. The problem is they have a new regional manager who is looking to save money, too bad it will be at the expense of someones safety or life. We filled their spot in the schedule the next day. I'll be waiting for the call when the new contractor can't get them done in time.
  2. JCurtis

    JCurtis Banned
    Messages: 862

    As hard as it is to believe.....

    Some people just dont care about quality, or professionalism. To these people the bottom line is $$$$$$

    I am experiencing a similar situation on a personal level, people that I work for are looking for a cheaper way to do things.

    Bottom Line time.... gotta reduce that deficit.... of course I know that the people coming in will defer maintenance and cut corners right and left in order to make ends meet, then in three years when the place is in the crapper (maintenance wise) they will either spend great deals of money on all the capital improvements they told us we had to put off over the years, or they will demolish old buildings and build new ones.

    Its all smoke and mirrors... we'll save money next year and the year after next, but it will cost us much more 5 years down the road.

    HELL NO ... I'M NOT BITTER !!!!!
    :mad: :mad: :mad:

    WHITE=GREEN Senior Member
    Messages: 161

    these guys/companies that are willing to plow significantly cheaper than the industry/region standard are the ones that are here today gone tommorrow. keep an eye on the quality of work they do, and next year bid it again. if the customers happen to call mid-storm because theyre lots are not open yet, kindly remind them that they never had these problems until they switched contractors.;) but as soon as you finish all you regular customers you will come by and plow their lots.
  4. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 315

    Maybe they're better.
  5. John Allin

    John Allin PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,327

    I'd be asking my account or field manager why he hadn't gotten cozy with the new regional manager..... Managerial changes at customer locations are hard to track, but necessary for a continued good relationship. We've lost a few that way, and it hurts. I believe that (in some, but not all cases) this is our own fault.
  6. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 315

    What I was getting at was maybe the new company had more sophisticated equipment, ie. Bigger Pushers or Bigger Salters that allowed them to work more effciently.

    I was not as sympathetic about the managerial change as I originally read it. I thought they hired a new property management company not a new on-site decision maker.

    Those really suck, no 2 ways about it.

    While I agree with John, it is espcially difficult remaining "cozy" when you only plow; no summer work. They hire a new decision maker in May and in July you call and are "blindsided" by the new person will their own set of ideas.

    Frequently a new on-site decision-maker will want to change vendors for change's sake. The whole "new sherrif's in town" mentality.
  7. Highpoint

    Highpoint Senior Member
    Messages: 241


    I lost 34 small parking lots belonging to a realty company. All were 20 car spaces or less. They were spread out all over town. They had a 2 inch start depth to clear. They did not like using salt or sand. I was slightly bummed from the loss.:(

    BUT:) I got a call from a local ware house company. They have two lots. The previous company closed up shop this year. The guy told me what the other company was charging. That was nice but I got the feeling he was looking for the same numbers. I told him what my rates were and he said OK! This one job will pay out 3 times what those 34 small lots did with only 1 stopand way less time envolved!:D They only want chemical icemelt (expensive stuff). I'm smiling all the way to the bank!
  8. G.Williams

    G.Williams Member
    Messages: 40

    Here's what it is, I'm not crying about it, like I said, we replaced them next day with a major hospital account that is 24 hour first flake till storms over so finacially Were better off, but we are the premier snow removal and ice control outfit within 40 miles. We pride on service and safety, not on price. That's why we have been able to steadily build a high profile account base and have had great success. It's just the bottom line numbers from a new guy who thinks its all about numbers. We have made it a point to be the best and that is what we have done. He's not looking at the prompt service and track record. The same company with other snow contractors had three law suits in two years before we took over, in the three years we maintained, ZERO complaints or suits. Just really dissapointing when you get submarined on a pricing aspect when you pride yourself on top quality service.

    JD PLOWER PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 751

    I realize that this is slightly off topic but I guess its in the same vain as this disscussion.

    A friend of mine who worked for a property management company (he now is a car salesman :rolleyes: ) told me that the bonuses they recieved are tied into how much money they saved off of the operating budget for any of their properties. I don't find this shocking but he said that everything needed to have three bids (electrical,painting,janitorial landscaping...) inorder to be approved. This was for small projects and large renovations. So most times even if they knew a contractor did decent work, if they wanted their bonus they went with the cheapest price. I just don't see the logic in this? A person's motivation is usually towards their own paycheck. Is this a common practice in this industry?
  10. DEISL

    DEISL Member
    Messages: 61

    I was out one day last year working on my accounts and came across a young man about 16 or 17 tops w/ a brand spankin new ford 350 w/ a boss plow,the factory sticker was still in the window ......on MY CUSTOMERS LOT . I looked over to my partner and radioed him to pull over and watch this lad rape and pillage me and my family.Suffice to say we did get a hardy laugh outta him,he actually hit a bread truck.We asked him who told you to plow this, he said the night shift manager flagged him down w/ a 20.00 bill. I let it go , after all the push was worth 180.00.
  11. DaveK

    DaveK Senior Member
    Messages: 420

    Why was the night manager flagging anyone?
  12. BRL

    BRL PlowSite.com - Veteran
    Messages: 1,277

    Many companies have that policy. 3 estimates, choose the lowest. No flexibility for the person on site who has to deal with the contractors. I know of some fellow landscapers that get jobs from property management friends in that situation. They don't want to use some of the low bidders that they get from past experiences with them, so they try to get their friend's businesses to bid it lower to not give the work to the bad contractor. I have heard of the same bonus situation you describe also.

    Good question. The only times I have been flagged down is when the other contractor didn't show up.
  13. DaveK

    DaveK Senior Member
    Messages: 420

  14. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    Hmmmm....does he do driveways with Kenworths...??? :confused:

  15. DEISL

    DEISL Member
    Messages: 61

    the nite manager flagged this slicker down because he wanted to be a superhero like you .look at my pix ...learn something , dont worry about me chinchillo.Posts are not experience mr. 278
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2001
  16. DEISL

    DEISL Member
    Messages: 61

    brl........................snap out of it and get into the 21st century .......not all companies have policies.they have BUDGETS..if you were the manager of a 711 and someone like a joky approached you w/ a kickback ....honestly.would you fill your pockets??????????????.......its not what you know ...........its W H O you .know.....SAD BUT TRUE
  17. DaveK

    DaveK Senior Member
    Messages: 420

    What is a slicker?

    I looked at your pictures and learned "you dont need no stinkin loader"

    I guess we all learn something new everyday.

    Now if I could just find out what a slicker is, I'll have learned two things today. Both from DEISL.

    Thanks DEISL.

  18. BRL

    BRL PlowSite.com - Veteran
    Messages: 1,277

    Well I have to say your lack of English composition skills makes it very difficult to understand you & have a conversation with you here. But I am game & will attempt to respond to some of your comments. I have never claimed to be a superhero. I have only been plowing commercially since 1994, so I do lack the experience of many here. I have had anywhere from 3 -9 trucks running during storms along with 1 -3 loaders, after my first 2 years of subbing my one 79 Blazer out to other contractors. I am currently leasing a back hoe for the winters also. That's all I have for experience, but I do enjoy sharing them & learning from the other members here. I learned nothing from your pictures and can't understand why you wrote that. I have posted dozens of pictures here but I'm not sure many actually learned anything from them.

    You should snap out of it & realize the manager flagged down a snow plower because he needed his lot plowed because it wasn't done.

    My point about large company's budgets was that they don't allow for any flexibility for the on site managers. I have seen cases where the on site manager had to spend so much time dealing with the lowball contractors & fixing the problems they created, that the contract actually ends up costing more than the middle or high bid that was submitted by higher quality contractors. JD asked a question & I responded with a yes.

    I don't know what a joky is, but I have never received or given a kick back for any work, nor will I. My customers have hired me because of what I know, not who I know, sad but true. You may be able to avoid some of the "another binding arbitration" problems you had mentioned by avoiding these types of situations.

    Pass the Cod Bill ;)
  19. DEISL

    DEISL Member
    Messages: 61

    call someone who cares
  20. DaveK

    DaveK Senior Member
    Messages: 420

    BRL, can you tell me what a slicker is?