I have read ALL the posts regarding SIMA and the benefits of joining. I agree with all of them. However, is there a benefit for Canadians to join? or is the information and services offered geared for the U.S. only. Thanks,,,Pat
We have members from all over. In fact Clintar is a huge Canada based business and were in SIMA from the start. We have members from over seas as well. Anyone who is in the snow and ice business can benifit Weather you plow it, make it sell it , store it, or make the equipemnt to deal with it, SIMA is your only trade organization.
We joined this year. We're in Burlington. Can't say that we've noticed any appreciable benefits thus far, but we're displaying the logo in our advertising and on our trucks. We make mention of SIMA in our quotations to commercial properties. Certainly can't hurt to join. The cost isn't too high. However, we're too far to attend symposiums (maybe they'll have one in Buffalo eventually) and the Snow mag that is available to members can also be accessed online by non-members at Lawn&Landscape. So the jury is still out. Certainly I've gotten much more useful information through this forum, than through membership so far.
While the magazine can be seen at Lawn and Landscape on line, there are benefits that go beyond a mere magazine. Having the logo is a small benny too. The large benefit is from networking with others that are not afraid to give you specifics on how to work the business better. Even in this forum, some things go unsaid - and will go unsaid.
One gets out of any organization what one puts into it. The Symposium in Portland, ME was only a few hours from you via car. If that's too far to travel to gain knowledge that could be of great benefit - then maybe SIMA isn't for you. On the other hand, I would venture to say that you may have alot to offer other members if you can see a way to attend a Symposium.
One thing that comes from belonging to an organization like SIMA is that there is strength in numbers. Do you purchase aftermarket parts for your equipment ?? If so, there is a discount available to members through J. Thomas Distributors.
Do you make long distance calls ?? I'm not sure if this applies in Canada, but there is a long distance program discount available through SIMA.
Are you large enough to afford, or want, to purchase snow pushers ?? Pro-Tech now offers SIMA members a discount on their equipment.
An insurance program is being developed that I know will be available in Canada. We should have that in place by the end of this summer.
These things come about by offering potential vendors a pool that is attractive to them. You're being a member helps increase that "purchasing power".
The organization is very new - having only been in existance 4 1/2 years now. And we are at 600 members. PGMS is just under 500 members. PLCAA is just under 1000 members. ALCA is around 1200 members. Those are VERY large organizations in their industries. And they have been around a LONG time. In another two years we will dwarf those organizations in total membership. Large numbers equal power when it comes to influencing manufacturers in their dealings with those in our industry.
Hope this information helps. I'm not trying to sermonize, just impart some of the background philosophy of the orgaization. We are glad to have you as a member.
By the way.... we plan on the 2003 Symposium being in the Buffalo area. Sure hope you don't wait that long to attend.
OK heres the thing with SIMA. It may take a while to see a return on investment. I joined in Feb of 1999, and went to the second annual symp. in Pittsburg PA. I have to say that I learned more in three days than I did in 10 yrs of plowing. After that three days, we also did a trade show booth for SIMA in Sept that year. There we met 3 other SIMA members, and last winter we did the NJ landscape show and met other SIMA members. From these people cam experience and knowledge along with product info and sales. Now I have to say that from a learning point of view, we didnt learn as much this last year in Portland Maine, but we made even more contacts, and it helped us further our business this season. Also from the last two years we have raised the professionalism with our company towards snow removal, and it is now paying off. I can say with a certainty that all the contracts we signed this year( and they are about 6 new ones) are directly or at least somewhat influenced by ouyr association with SIMA. And I cant say enough good things about about the Exec director, she bends over backwards for all the members, and the board does as well.
So even if you dont see imediate results, hang around for a while, and I think you will be surprised at what you get out of SIMA.
I can not say any thing bad about SIMA. We have gone to the past two symposium. They were great. Also have work the booth for SIMA at the last two NJ Landscapers show in Secacus. We have more than double our business over the last three years. The $130.00 is really worth it.
Ok, I just wanted to revisit the idea of being a member in Canada. I contacted Sima and got some information back and would like to know how many guys in Canada are members?
I'd see one good benefit is the fact you can show you belong to a big organization supporting the industry. I have a membership going through for Landscape Ontario and thought about joining Sima as well.
I had the opportunity to attend the Landscape Ontario show in Toronto today - didn't realize that John Allin was speaking until I got there so couldn't make it to his seminar - did anyone else from Ontario attend? Any feedback?
I did stop at the SIMA booth and ask about the video and book - I was told that I'd have to go the website to order it. That's fine, but I wonder why they hadn't brought along some product to sell at the show - I certainly would have grabbed the video if not the book also.
I"m heading out to the show tomorrow and check it out. Any good stuff?
As far as selling anything, I can answer that question. In order to get across the border with merchandise to sell, you need paperwork. Then you need to charge tax, then you need to claim it. In other words, its a big hassle to do. I know from one of my other business' I used to have. I was crossing the border for a car show in Mississippi with magazines I was carrying for a friend who is with PASMAG to give away. Got stopped, questioned and everything....big emphasis on papers....
That does make sense and I see now why they'd stick with having Canadians order over their website. I read in a prior post that the book was $20 cheaper on the Lawn and Garden site than on the SIMA. Then someone had posted a number to call - I'll have to check back and see if they can still help us up here in the GWN!
Sorry I didn't see your question about the show until now. I had a blast but I'm very new to the whole industry (both plowing and landscaping). I wanted to do some research on mini-skids for some fencing projects I'd like to take on next spring - having all the mfrs. there was very informative (Thomas, Ramrod, Toro-Dingo).
Would be interested to see what you think.
Kooy Bros. were there - you've mentioned them before - would you recommend dealing with them?
Well I was at the show today....quite good, better then those Consumer shows. I talked to a Blizzard Rep today but not anyone from Kooy. $6900 roughly installed plus tax on a 810. Also talked to Exmark and 4wd who I've mentioned before.
Spoke to the owner of 4wd, Greg, very good guy and we talked about my other business. Laundromats lol. I'll seriously look at dealing with them for the EXMARK TTHP I want to get. I didn't get a chance to talk to anyone from Walker today...I checked out the Ferris stuff they had but no one came to talk to me...I kinda look like a biker lol.
Show was very good though. I may have to deal with 3 companies lol....Kooy for the plow *maybe*, Walker for the Maruyama trimmers I like and 4WD for exmark.
I bought 2 Blizzards from Kooy's this fall. I live in North Bay (about 3 1/2 hours North of Toronto). Been Very impressed with the plows and happy to deal with Kooy's. They seem to know what they are talking about, they stock spare parts and stuff (hald the dealers up here don't) and a pleasure to deal with.