New this year to the Snow & Ice Symposium was Workshop Wednesday, where attendees could attend two 2-hour workshops on a variety of topics. Key takeaways from some of the sessions:
With Neal Glatt, CSP, ASM & Phil Harwood, CSP
- Millennials are changing the world more than any generation in history. Leaders need to adapt thinking and behavior or will fail.
- Teamwork remains the ultimate competitive advantage.
- Everything rises and falls on leadership. The ability to find and grow future leaders must be a top priority for business leaders.
The first 30 minutes were also featured on a Facebook Live event. Check it out here. Learn more about Grow The Bench at www.growthebench.com.
JOB COSTING & ESTIMATING FOR SNOW
With Bob Smart, CSP
Bob Smart, CSP, owner of SmartScapes Snow Management and a former SIMA board chair, helped attendees get a handle on proper job costing and estimating in snow and ice. Key takeaways from his workshop included:
- Three key components affect your gross margin: estimating, price, and efficiency and execution. For estimating, you need to accurately assess the labor, equipment and materials you need to do the job; your price needs to be competitive and achieve your gross margin; and you need to learn to work within budget and still make the client happy.
- Weather is one of the biggest challenges in snow and ice. Use historical weather data to help in planning, pricing, determining the best type of contract to use, and mitigate your risk against wild swings.
- Establish a standard methodology for estimating that takes into consideration qualifying the customer; identifying the level of service expectation and scope of work requirements; contract language and insurance; portfolio management; site complexity and production rates; and capacity.
- Find the right business and financial balance for snow removal success.
Additional training on this topic is available in the SIMA Training Center. Learn more at www.sima.org.
DEVELOP A SNOW OPERATIONS AUDIT
With Phill Sexton, CSP, ASM
WIT Advisers’ Phill Sexton spoke on best practices for developing a snow operations audit that promotes your business, manages risk, identifies operational efficiencies and improves environmental responsibility.
Highlights of the workshop included guidelines from the SIMA Best Practices, including standards for safety and risk management, and operational efficiencies. A key takeaway was a framework / matrix for developing a consistent set of measures for auditing your own snow and ice management operations, based on the guidelines set by the Sustainable Winter Management (SWiM™) program and certification audit. SWiM guidelines include standard policies for measuring, prevention, improvement and optimization of snow operations for private properties and public roads.
Learn more about SWiM at www.witadvisers.com.