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Snow Plowers Union?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by big acres, Oct 17, 2008.

  1. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    Yeah, I'm sure that title will get some attention. Last year I started a thread that got pretty crazy on this stuff -see link below. So, after stumbling across a thread on this site... I thought of a new twist that might unite smaller vendors to compete against big maintenance -the co-operative. Are any of you familiar with the principles of a co-op... if so, how would you implement them in our industry?

    Here is that olf thread that made it to 125 posts before it was closed for getting to specific about what the big guys are doing:

  2. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    here we go again. lol :jester:
  3. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

  4. tom_mccauley

    tom_mccauley Senior Member
    Messages: 465

    But I don't wanna go Dad!!!!!!!!!!:jester::jester::jester: MOOOOOOOMMM!!!!!!!!
  5. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    I would have felt let down if I didn't get a few of those comments from you guys -lol.

    Co-operative. Tell me what you know of the concept, and how you would apply it.
  6. powerjoke

    powerjoke PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,341

    riding in the truck is a pud!

    management of the hand's and snaggin contracts bla bla bla bla bla is the sh!t i don't like.......i might be interested in loseing a little money just to go work for someone, but if i am gonna do the work, and put the contract's in the kitty

  7. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    There are several things these management firms & large service providers bring to the table:
    one point of contact, one bill, etc.

    I read somewhere it costs these large corporations somewhere between $ 50-75 to process each invoice by the time it is all said & done. That is intially a good part of how this got started, was basiclly taking care of the invoicing & sending out one bill. Then more people got in on it, price wars, etc. Same thing we deal with only on a larger scale, but in the end, our pricing is what has suffered as it is the intial number, or what is left over depending on how you look at it.

    I don't see how your going to get around it as it decisions made by bookkeeper with bookkeepers. Its all about trying to save money, not liability, not quality, they don't see the end result or care, I've heard it from store managers several times "Corporate doesn't have to look at it, we do" , especially with regards to mulch (they wanted dyed, corporate wanted cheapest). They don't care, look at the news just before Christmas every year there are layoffs because factories slow down, they don't think twice about it, just let them go, not "Well its the holidays we can wait a week". In order for it to work you would need someone in an office, punching numbers, then your just another one of "them".
  8. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    Mike, thanks for the thoughtful reply, I agree. I came across a thread on ps (see link below) about a guy who has borrowed principles of a co-op for HIS business, which I think is a good model btw. Here is a concept of a TRUE co-op, and a couple of ways it could apply to us.

    A co-operative is a member-owned entity. It is governed by individuals elected by the memebership. It's financial info is transparent, and all members have complete access to it. Co-op members agree to a charter of principles to follow including edcuating fellow members, customers, community, business practices, etc... Profits are distributed among all members.

    This concept is common in the natural foods industry. You probably have a natural foods co-op near you. I worked for a cooperative food distributor at one time, which is like a service provider. For the sake of conversation, here is some ways this could be used.

    Independent snow contractors join the co-op. It would take a few ballsy guys to get together and bring their accounts into the fold... maybe not all of their accounts either. An office would be set-up to centralize billing, collections, advertising, etc... all the things that companies like USM are doing to steal market share from us. This model could offer big clients the same benfits as USM with better qaulity and benefit ALL members, not just one guy at the top trying to sKrew the subs.

    Alright... critism is expected. Let me have it.