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Some nationals walking a fine line, please submit your thoughts

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Watch out yelow, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. Watch out yelow

    Watch out yelow Member
    Messages: 35

    The best thing we can do is not be foolish and agree to terms that are not reasonable. You wouldnt salt a lot for $500 when it costs you $600 in materials alone, so why are so many of us trying? Trying to provide service according to a very poor scope of work sub agreement only ruins your reputation. Most nationals contract to only pay for pushing over two inches, so if an inch of sleet falls youre going to lose wether you salt a few times or plow and then salt; they are only going to pay you for one salt. Its foolish for one to think a lot he used to do for 60k per season with ten percent profit could be done for 18k. It cant on an average season, dont be fooled by the nationals forced pricing. Eventually the nationals will go under or change the way they do busniess, either way will work for the guy who is actually providing the service. "Nationals" or "paper companies" have tried in other industries and have failed. Do not let them stick around any longer. It might be nice for a large box store to write one check to one national service provider, eventually when the stores keep getting less of a service and pay more for it they will understand how foolish a "middleman" is. The local stores will have to let their corporate know whats going on for a change to take place. My experience with nationals has been that they do not take good care of their "subs" and sometimes act like we cant exist without them anymore. The fact is they can not exist without "subs".

    Most wont even introduce themselves or try to form a decent business realationship with you.. They know how badly they are about to cheat you. Has anyone ever had a national rep come to their shop and introduce his company?

    Think of this.. It should be illegal for a national to award a job to an inexpierenced contractor who bids half of what it will cost him to properly do the job. How many of you guys received calls last season from the nationals to bail them out because the guys they hired at below cost prices failed to show up after the first storm or didnt have the necessary equipment? I received two from lots that I used to contract directly with for years. I no longer can provide them the service we used to at the national's prices. The national knows it cant be done but because of their bulletproof contract they will profit either way. The poor guy who was convinced by a national that the lot could be done for those numbers is now taking the loss and harming his reputation; probably winding up in a lawsuit. Other businesses have laws.. a bank couldnt lend a million dollars to a family with 20k income per year, large busniesses cant monopolize, taking more from someone than you compensate them for is stealing.. There is a loop hole here in our industry right now. The nationals are getting away with theft. Does anyone notice this in their area or am I a special case? Does anyone know how to get the necessary laws in place to stop this from happening? If they were decent businesses and cared about the service we provide I could understand working with them, but they are after the money and dont care about the service. If you cant provide a decent service at the price you sub contracted with, you lose; they keep right on going and turning a profit. MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT THAT TWENTY PAGE "SUB AGREEMENT" SAYS! When is the last time you saw a national company have a rep out in or after the storm meeting with their client? Dont let them take advantage of you anymore.
  2. hoskm01

    hoskm01 Senior Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 475

    If they hired YOU, the competent vendor, why should they need to check each site with the customer? Good luck getting your price fixing laws in place. Call your congressman.
  3. csi.northcoast

    csi.northcoast Senior Member
    Messages: 320

    my 2 cents...

    Unfortunately we are in a nusiance business like rubbish removal, it has to get done but most companies want the cheapest not the best... the people signing the contract do not have to shop at the strore. As long as someone who is stupid enough the sign their contract agrees to plow and salt the lot for that price the national will survive.

    I would rather work for somone who pays me for the quality of wortk i do and they get to sleep at night knowing i won't let them down. there is enough real estate out there for me that i do not have to plow the "big box" store nor do i need to feed my ego (not my wallet) by telling everyone i plow xyz store.

    not only is it foolish in my opinion to work un godly hours and not make any money but to sign the "will hold harless contract". that to me is the biggest shame.

    as far as passing a law to protect us ...good luck ... you see how our government is handling us now....

    why should the goverment protect us from ourselves...

    in closing we can all go to the going out of business auction (which is a shame) but if you do not understand this business or for that matter your worth... then you should be doing something else

  4. Watch out yelow

    Watch out yelow Member
    Messages: 35

    hoskm01- Price fixing is illegal and that is what the nationals are doing in a way, not us. My thoughts were, in a way to respond to your simple comment.. its price fixing below cost.

    I agree.. as long as there is a sub dumb enough to agree to something he cant make a profit on the nationals will keep on trucking. "Hold harmless" is ridiculous when you have to go by the nationals scope of work. Any of my clients can ask that we indemnify them or hold harmless and we would be ok with that under my scope of work/service agreement. To hold harmless and defend a national on their poor scope of work in the first place is insane.

    "Why should the governmant protect us from ourselves".. We are not the nationals. Most of them do not do business like you, nor do they care about the service that gets provided. Its a money driven paper business. Matter of fact its an entirely different business than winter maintenance. We should have laws to protect ourselves, our indusrty, our livelyhoods and our clients.
  5. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    Maybe I'm missing something...the national companies will do what they want...if you or your competitor is dumb enough to work for them and accept their contracts and bs....then don't complain about it. If they want to run their business into the ground, or screw the little plow company fine with me. There is plenty of work out their, so find something else to bid on, and don't look back, let your competitors get the work, and not get paid. It's like garilla warfare

    I know a very large landscape company in the area that had a snow contract with regionally wih a bank in the area....well bank likes their work, but new guy under cut them....new guy then realizes that there are a lot of locations they need to sub...so they ask the landscape firm to do it for almost half. If the landscape firm takes it, them they just showed that bank they are willing to work for less, Or. They can do nothing, let the new guy fail, and guess who will be next on the list

    Moral, stop caring about everyone else, and all the bids that suck. Run your company, let the others fail,