The run around


Senior Member
Albany NY
What do you guys do when you try to get in touch with the right people to bid a certain site but just can't seem to get in touch with the right people. Some times it's as easy as talking to a store manager, and other times it's a long line of people to find an owner or property manager. A few times so far I've talked to three or four people and get no where. One tells me call corporate, one say talk to the store manager, one says the district manager, one thinks someone outside the company handles it. I don't have all day to spend on the phone, it's prime building season but at the same time I know if I don't start planning for winter now, I wont get around to it in time. One of the sites I heard through the grape vine is up for bid which doesn't happen every year. Any ideas? Are these sites even worth dealing with, if I can't find the right person to even bid the job what is it going to be like when i'm trying to get paid. One of the sites was a Walmart, I know there's a lot of people out there plowing walmarts, but I can't quite seem to figure it out.
I don't know if I can give you any kind of encouragement on any of your queries although I'll give you some insight as to what's happened to me in the past when bidding early in the season (or anytime for that matter). You see most of these places have a secretary that has the job of putting these jobs out to bid. I've spent long periods checking lots for obstructions etc., even had the old contract with pricing for comparison only to be told in the end they will be going with the old contractor. I found out from the secretary at one of the places that I bid on that they do this every year because that's what corporate wanted them to do. (Get at least 3 bids) Then the big boss comes in and asks the secretary, "how did our old contractor do last year". If it's "OK", you're SOL. Almost all big accounts regularly put out for bidding every year although they have no intention of changing contractors, it's just something corporate makes them do to keep them busy I think.

Winterworks Veteran
I find it heartening to hear companies choosing their last years contractor. It bodes well for our industry. Customer loyalty is what I count on year to year. It means I am doing the job above and beyond expectations. When we approach new business we always ask if they were happy with their last years contractor. If so, we then encourage them to stay with them. We need more professional service providers out here, properly pricing and servicing their clients, and less fly-by-nighters. I know I have slid off the original topic a tad and I apologize. Keep trying Casey, some contracts are worth getting even with all the detective work tracking down the decision maker.