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Nationals fail on Nemo!

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by cda817, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. cda817

    cda817 Senior Member
    Messages: 284

    Did anyone else get an absurd # of calls from every national company that services accounts in your area?

    We lost AMC sidewalk contract this year to a certain one that starts with an F after we warned them that the contractor was doing the walks with shovels and could not perform on a large storm. We serviced this site with a Walker with a blower throughout the storms and 2 shovelers and they had 0 closure time on the winter 2 years ago. Said management company started calling me Saturday morning as the contractor never touched the site, it took them 4 days to find a contractor to get the sidewalks fully cleared.The AMC staff cleared the fire exits and entrances themselves so they could open.

    We also received calls for Walgreens, Target, Walmart(Massive Plaza), Rite Aid, Sears and Giant and who knows how many more I couldn't keep up with them. All for vendor failures from various national companies. Target, Walmart and Giant should all have equipment staged there and there has been nothing on site all year.

    Yet these companies are still utilizing the Nationals, how does that make sense? Walmart was closed for 3-4 days. That has got to be nearly 3/4 of million in lost revenue.

    What does it take to open there eyes?
  2. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,224

    The problem is these people that run these co. have no real clue on anything. the nationals come in and say it's one stop shopping you call us and we handel all your places for short money. but no one is in the area when the bad weather hits or the good weather. then the nationals are lucky enough to find some one to do it for next to nothing.I had a job i bid on and themanagement co that was handeling the site says the other guys does it for this and even sands it for practicaly nothing , i said then you better keep him because i'm not plowing it for free like he is. no idea why they where even looking for price if they wanted it that cheap.
  3. cda817

    cda817 Senior Member
    Messages: 284

    The nationals use the legitimate companies # or the incumbent contractors # as a price to charge the client then find someone to do it for half. That is how they make a profit. The client does not save any actual money. They save by only having to process one payment to the National maintenance company versus 2,000 to individual contractors, and not having to manage vendors.
  4. tuney443

    tuney443 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,847

    Always baffles the hell out of me why any contractor would do snow removal services for ANY kind of a management type company.IMHO they are nothing more than pimps collecting and controlling money they did very little work to earn while the contractor is doing the REAL work for usually less than the job is worth and then having to worry about getting paid.
  5. JB1

    JB1 Senior Member
    Messages: 182

    puts a big smile on your face to get them calls.

    TJSNOW Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    The "Nationals" did not fail.........The "Local" contractors they had in place Failed....:drinkup:
  7. cda817

    cda817 Senior Member
    Messages: 284

    @ TJS you are exactly right! Management company sent out reps to AMC and told them exactly that.
  8. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    Right on! Thumbs Up
  9. bln

    bln Senior Member
    Messages: 767

    The Nationals have to know there will be failure when they get someone to service these accounts at their prices.
  10. snowbrothers101

    snowbrothers101 Senior Member
    Messages: 154

    That is funny...to say the nationals failed. Aren't we the ones plowing? No offense to my fellow local vendors but I'm glad when you fail, with or without the natioanls in play...because when you do, I will pick up some work.

    So many of us want to say "we are so good, it is those natioanls who stink", yet I ahve seen some of the largest competitiors in my market fail during an event. Does your local pluumber or mechanic always do a great job? Do you blame a national when they do?

    Let's circle the wagons on the work we do and everything else will work itself out. Blaming "the man" for your troubles in my mind is a waste of time.
  11. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    The only contractors that will do it for the Nationals prices, are the ones that either don't know how to price a lot, or are just starting up, and trying to figure it out. Of course they are going to fail. Who was able to start a business up from scratch and have enough equipment to handle these jobs. If they have the right equipment, they have to know they aren't making enough money to pay for it. If everyone would quit working for these guys, they would go under.
    We have a guy in town that is plowing an 8 acre Lowes lot with 2 pick-ups with 8 foot blades on them. I keep waiting for a nice 10 or 12 inch snowfall to come, and bury him, but it just never happens.
  12. Spool it up

    Spool it up Senior Member
    Messages: 912

    anyone here ever here of the term bonded ?
  13. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 722

    Wait until they get a storm like Nemo to come through ;)

    We have one around here that does a similar lot with a pickup and a loader I'm curious how their lot looks after the last couple of weeks?
  14. AccuCon

    AccuCon Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 619

    I got an absurd number of calls period...

    But yeah there was a lot of equipment and general failures from that storm...I def. scored on that..

    Some people just dont understand the concept of a good maintenance program!
  15. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    And I bet these Nationals called to say they fired these companies and have better ones for the next storm,only to do it all over again.
  16. 32vld

    32vld Senior Member
    from LI, NY
    Messages: 622

    No, right off! Thumbs down.

    The Nationals Failed. Whether a National uses employees or subcontractors it was the Nationals job to hire reliable people that will show up.

    However corporate greed gets to share the blame because they left a dependable system of directly hiring competent locals that local management knows. To higher Nationals that promised great service at great savings.

    When a deal that is offered is to good to be true, it is not.

    Did those suits at the corps not know this?

    Do the elite business schools as Wharton, Harvard, and such do not teach this basic business knowledge?

    But when spreading around criticism me must say that if there were not any low balling Ho's with plows the Nationals would have to hire their own crews and buy their own equipment. With facing real costs the Nationals would have to give up this business.

    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  17. thelettuceman

    thelettuceman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,218

    The nationals would make great politicians !!!
  18. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill PlowSite.com Addict
    from MA
    Messages: 1,823

    The biggest issue with the nationals is really the fact that there is no accountability as to how anything will actually be completed. Most (not all), but most of them focus on the numbers and how to protect themselves from liability.

    I've had these people give me budgets of $20,000 for a 10 acre lot. When I explain its impossible for anyone, let alone me, given the expense of equipment alone, they tell me "oh don't worry about it, throw a skid steer down there, and have a truck swing through every few hours." Yea, sounds great in the summer time while your sitting in an air conditioned office. But they aren't paying you to put a skid steer down there with a truck swinging by every so often. They are paying you to perform on the scope of work and have the place clean no matter what. So when the sh*t hits the fan, does anyone think they will say "Oh, don't worry... We told you to be under equipped, so its our fault.. No sweat! Go home get some sleep, and start in on it again tomorrow buddy!"

    They just don't think of the reality of what this job entails..
  19. Laszlo Almasi

    Laszlo Almasi Senior Member
    Messages: 326

    I personally think it's primarily the Nationals failure...due to their lowball tactics...which only the new guys or someone that does not know what the value of the work is...takes. That being said, the ultimate responsibility falls on the Nationals shoulders.

    I had quite a few (14 locations) snagged from me by a National this year in Maryland. So far they have been lucky and nothing has hit them. However, I am awaiting the phone call when they are not serviced to the level they were serviced when I had them. Of course, the price will undoubtedly go up if/when they do call. I can already hear the "but...you did them before for 'x' amount". My response will be that was the price then and this is the price now. If they do not like it, they can contact the same National again if they so desire.
  20. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,953

    Lot of ignorant statements made about only newbies or contractors who don't know their numbers can work for nationals. We work for a few, know our numbers quite well and its been working well. With certain contracts the money is there. I'm getting so sick of the whining. If you don't want to work for them or can't figure out how then don't, but quit crying about it. They aren't going away.