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national service providers

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Cougar5550, May 20, 2012.

  1. Cougar5550

    Cougar5550 Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    I was thinking of signing up for some national service providers for this upcomming snow plowing season. Does anybody tell me a few good companies I could sign up with?
  2. Khowie644

    Khowie644 Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 93

    Slow, underpaying, late payments, and bunch of ******** with most of them.

    Can look around and maybe find a couple good ones but they're few and far between.
  3. Cougar5550

    Cougar5550 Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Sounds like you had some trouble with them. I'm looking on getting some large commercial accounts. I know most companies don't want to deal with me directly. What would be your advice on getting like a Walmart, Homedepot or an account that size?
  4. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    Go big or go home....., go buy a bunch of new wheel loaders while your at it, work for every NSP.......go bankrupt. I hope you got the senerio.
  5. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    Their criteria is simple...have the lowest number for the site, and be prepared to be jerked around.
  6. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    Do you have the mindset that "bigger pays better"? Defiantely not now a days... The nationals love guys like you....join SIMA if you want to get call from every national out there....... Before you waste your membership fee on sima, do a search here....lots of good reading on nationals (if the mods havnt deleted them all!)
  7. Herm Witte

    Herm Witte Senior Member
    Messages: 595

    Mick, I'm sorry you think a couple of hundred dollars is wasteful for a SIMA membership. I have been employed full time in the industry for over 40 years, I don't do any national provider work and probably won't either, and my take on SIMA is the opposite of yours. I have made friends in other parts of the US and Canada that have helped me improve my business, I have learned more and more about ice management strategies, SIMA has worked with our state legislature on our industry's behalf, each time I go to the symposium I take more knowledge away from it, not to mention all the learning opportunities SIMA provides. If SIMA is a waste of money I would like to meet you because you must know everything and I'm sure I can learn from you as well. I'm sorry I hijacked the thread but felt a response was needed. Cougar can and would benefit from membership in SIMA.
  8. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    We did meet in RI last year... I had so many nationals/regionals contact me it was a joke.... its true, sima wants you to "work with the nationals"... hence the reason Im no longer a member .. I wont give my support to a membership that doesnt support its members...period
    Last edited: May 22, 2012
  9. Plowtoy

    Plowtoy Senior Member
    Messages: 929

    There are nationals out there that arn't horrible to work with. I have worked with a "lesser known" national and got a call last DECEMBER from them wanting me to work for them again because they hadn't found anyone to cover the properties they had in my area. Mind you, these were properties i had serviced for 10 years before the national came in. I plowed for the national 3 years after they won the contract, however, payment was slow, demands were high, and the right hand, most of the time, didn't talk to the left hand on their end.
    Needless to say, I CHOOSE not to work for the nationals anymore. There is plenty of work in my area, and I have a GREAT customer base that I have had for 15 years anyway, and they can keep me busy. Getting new customers isn't a problem if you do quality work and your current customers get the word out about you.
    I wish you luck in your journey, and hope you find what you are looking for
  10. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    Well said Plowtoy & Herm. This industry is so diverse but yet information is difficult to find, especily before the internet it was near impossible. Any and all learning opportunities to educate ones self should be utilized, For the money I think SIMA offers an excellent value, nothing says you need to work for any or every national company. Personally we have worked for 3. Been screwed by two of them, one still owes me $ 7500 I will never see, one broke a 3 year contract and left me with 100k worth the equipment after the first year to find work for. The other broke a 3 season landscape contract. Nothing to do with performance on our end, they either lost their contract, or found someone cheaper.
    We more than likely will not be dealing with any of them again between our past experiences, & current pricing structure. It's a risk vs reward thing, this business is risky enough without dealing with nationals.
  11. Cougar5550

    Cougar5550 Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Thanks for the advive guys. I been working for another company for years and would like to start having my own accounts. I have the equipment just need to know where to start looking.
  12. Plowtoy

    Plowtoy Senior Member
    Messages: 929

    If your looking to do "department store" size properties, try some to bid on some of the regional or local department stores or grocery stores. I would start by calling the property and setting up a meeting (face to face) with the manager of the store(s) you want to service and they should be able to tell you how to go about bidding their property. Show up well groomed, professionally dressed and with CLEAN, well taken care of truck to make the best impression (showing up in a t-shirt and cut-offs, with a truck that just went through the mud run isn't going to get you far IMO).
    If I were you and its going to be a 1 man show, I would start with a few small commercial accounts and work my way up in to something of that size, where you will have to have employees or subcontractors. I know you have been working for someone else, but there is a lot more pressure when the client is calling you because of issues. You want to be able to treat your clients like they are the only client you have.
    The other thing is, you said you want your own accounts. By working for a national, they wont be your own accounts, they would be the nationals.
    I would encourage you to go door to door and meet face to face before you sign up with the nationals. In the end, I think you will be much happier.
    Last edited: May 24, 2012
  13. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,931

    lol, i had the same questions years ago too.. time flys !

    We've dealt with one company for 3 years now, hardly any issues until last year, payments were all late, called them on day 47, hey where is our 45 day net term payments? They said those sites are 60 day terms, didnt say 60 in the contract but later on it did describe, per storm accounts are allotted an additional two weeks over the 45 day period... great. They did pay around day 62-66 for most of all payments though.

    This year it states, 60 day terms PLUS whatever day your billing falls on, so basically you'll be paid the soonest of day 61, or longest of day 76 :/ Thats too long and we're getting away from issues like this. Plus good snow coverage GC blanket policies know what language/verbage in contracts to be leary of, and when they're hitting us with $300-400 fees to write the cert for said National maintenance company, thats money out of our pocket before the season even starts.

    Certain "select" and unnamed" maintenance companies still owe us money from snow in 2009/2010 and a little from 2010/2011 LOL, ok so its not so funny to laugh out loud, im more disgruntled that its eating up attorney fees to get them to pay anything now :(
  14. hoskm01

    hoskm01 Senior Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 475

    You're getting ripped if you're paying so much as a dollar for a certificate of insurance, even with
    "additional insureds" and the like. Find a new broker.
  15. Perfectcutca

    Perfectcutca Member
    Messages: 52

    I would never work for a Landscape/Snow Removal Management Company Again. A Certain one in the mid-Atlantic had screwed us big time this year.
  16. leigh

    leigh 2000 Club Member
    from CT
    Messages: 2,342

    Try industrial / manufacturing lots.Less hassle than shopping center lots.
  17. snowbrothers101

    snowbrothers101 Senior Member
    Messages: 154

    Lipinski and Ferrandino & Son have treated us pretty good
  18. Angel

    Angel Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    Lipinski? Had to sue them, owed me 12G after they struck out all of their DEMANDED pushes and saltings. Their attorneys are employees and get paid no matter what, they know full well they will settle for half and then we loose another 30-40% of our half to our attorney. They walk away smiling. Will be a cold day in hell before I work for them again.

    Ferrendino--took almost 5 months, threats of attorney's and then negotiation of a rate reduction. It's all bulls**t, they will always get something for nothing.

    Go call the property manager and find out who is doing the bids for snow. Constantly call them and eventually they will think to call you when their guy doesn't show up. We get most of our best customers that way. Save them and they love you (providing you do a good job) and will stick with you. An "in house" contract is worth way more than being a sub to one of the giants.
  19. Donewithsnow!

    Donewithsnow! Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Together as an industry of snow professionals we need to stop signing the rediculous contracts from NSP's. They are all weighted in their favor and leave us holding the liability. They are all the same if you work for them long enough, some being better than others. I suggest dealing on a local level directly with district or area managers. Good luck to all.
  20. hoskm01

    hoskm01 Senior Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 475

    Who assumes the liability for your customers that are not a NSP?

    You commit to service the lot at the specified scope. If you don't do it, you're liable, no matter the customer. Maybe you have some luck pulling the wool over your customer's eyes on this when dealing at the local level? If so, you're a prime example of why companies go to a larger player, because they indemnify and expect the same from their subs.