Wednesday, June 26 // 10:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Wednesday is all about staying in your lane or stepping out of your comfort zone to learn about something new. All attendees choose one role-focused, hands-on workshop focused on a key area of snow and ice management
Get a Grip on Your Business: Using the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) to Gain Traction
Bobi Siembieda // Conrad Business Results
EOS, the Entrepreneurial Operating System, combines timeless business principles with simple, practical, real-world tools to help entrepreneurs get what they want from their businesses. EOS focuses on three key areas to help drive businesses forward:
- Vision — Get your leaders on the same page with the vision for your organization: who you are, what you do, where you are going and how you will get there.
- Traction — Help your leaders become more disciplined and accountable, executing consistently to do things well and achieve every piece of your vision.
- Healthy — Work with your leaders to become a healthy, functional, cohesive leadership team, because leaders often don’t function well together as a team.
Siembieda, a certified EOS implementer, will help attendees work through the Six Key Components that must be managed and strengthened to be a great business. Attendees will receive a workbook that they can take back and implement in their own snow and ice company.
Targeted audience: Owners, CEOs, high-level managers
Maximize Sales with the 3Ms: Metrics, Management and Mentoring
Kirk Armstrong // Armstrong Sales Coaching
Symposium favorite Kirk Armstrong, who returns to the SIMA show for the first time since 2015, will engage attendees in interactive exercises and lessons that will help salespeople and their managers be more efficient and effective in selling snow and ice management. This session will focus on key points in the 3Ms:
- Metrics: Understanding what sales activities to track and when, why and how; how to develop key performance indicators and use them to motivate yourself; and how to create sales accountability.
- Management: Selling snow and ice requires a nuanced approach. Learn how to manage special sales situations, such as selling to multiple decision makers, getting meetings with decision makers, managing the proposal process and selling when your price is the highest (or in the middle).
- Mentoring: Effective coaching is essential for growing snow and ice sales teams. Kirk will share effective closing skills, effective questions that hold salespeople accountable, how to fix common sales problems, motivational techniques and more.
Targeted audience: Salespeople and high-level managers
Making the Business Case for Liquids
Jim “Turk” Turcan, CSP // Cornerstone Partners Horticultural Services Co.
Jim “Turk” Turcan, CSP, has been there. Five years ago, he was intrigued by the concept of adding liquids to his company’s snow and ice management toolbox but was unsure of how to get started. Workshop attendees will benefit from his experience as he walks through several points in the implementation process:
- Cost and material savings that can be realized
- What to consider before you jump into the process as it relates to impact on your existing operations
- Looking beyond the sticker price to understand the true costs of implementation in terms of labor, equipment, materials, storage, etc.
- The importance of employee and customer education and buy-in
- Trends in liquids (equipment, non-chlorides, etc.)
There is no one way to implement liquids, which is why it is essential that you make decisions based on solid business sense and industry best practices. Each attendee will come away with worksheets and advice to help ease the burden of those decisions.
Targeted audience: Owners, CEOs, operations managers
Know Your Numbers: Metrics to Track to Ensure You Win Every Snow Season
Ken Hochkeppel // Enterprise Analysis
Have you established clear expectations to measure your performance in snow operations?
Do you know your capacity? Have you developed a budget for your snow & ice management services? Are you charging the right price? When you finally have time to look at your financials, are you disappointed with the results? This session will identify key performance indicators for companies to measure and ensure they are “winning” every step of the way:
- Develop a model for your market and capacity
- Understand the impacts of various contract types
- Prepare a budget and establish gross profit goals
- Sell to your capacity
- Compare performance to budget and year-over-year
Targeted audience: CEOs and operations managers
Asset Procurement: Look Beyond the Price Tag
Ed Schultheis // ThruPutNow, a WIT Advisers Associate
For many companies, snow and ice equipment purchasing is one of the biggest line-item expenses they incur. Strategic procurement is essential, as is how you make sure you’re getting the most out of your investment. This session will take an in-depth look at key considerations that should go into purchasing and asset management, including:
- Budgeting for equipment purchases
- Evaluating total direct and indirect costs (beyond purchase price)
- Calculating the type and number of pieces of equipment to procure based on various metrics
- Deciding whether renting, buying, leasing and new or used is your best option
- Tracking revenue per piece of equipment and why it matters
- Determining when it’s time to sell and reinvest
Targeted audience: CEOs and operations or fleet managers
Thursday, June 27
8:45 - 9:45 a.m.
10 Tips to Regain the Disappearing Art of Communication
Dave Molenda // Positive Polarity
Today, 85% of our success in business is not due to our education, drive or passion, but rather to how well we communicate. We can have the best message, but if not communicated properly, the words will fall on deaf ears. In this fast-paced session, Dave will share 10 things that you can do immediately to improve your communication. To really help the attendee, along the way, we will take a self-test that you can grade yourself and uncover ways to communicate better.
RFPs: How to Navigate Them & Eventually Move Past Them
Jeff Heller, CSP // Innovative Maintenance Solutions
Don’t take a blanket approach to responding to requests for proposals (RFPs). As an experienced snow professional in a competitive market, Jeff has navigated his fair share of RFPs. He will share best practices for managing the process, including how and why to question contract terms (or identify missing ones) that could cause issues during service delivery or in the event of a slip and fall; how to get in front of the correct decision makers; and how to build trust and relationships with your clients that make them loyal to you and the service you provide — and not to the RFP.
Using Processes & Technology to Build Snow Operations Efficiency
Chris Marino, ASM // Xtreme Snow Pros
In an industry where every minute counts, operational efficiency is key. Chris will share how to build processes into your company that will drive efficiency, improve communication and where and when automation and technology can play a role. He will provide examples of how those efficiencies can translate to savings of time, labor and money.
Tales from the Witness Stand: What You Sign and Say Can Cost You in Court
Chris James, CSP // Chris James Landscaping
As a veteran snow and ice professional and expert witness, Chris has seen a lot in the field and in the courtroom. Being prepared in the event of a lawsuit actually starts with the contractual agreement. He’ll share contract terms/conditions that contractors agree to that can prove problematic when they have to defend themselves and can cost them in lawsuits; how to respectfully question contract language; and what you should and shouldn’t say in the event that you end up deposed or on the witness stand.
10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
So You Want to be a Brine Maker?
Rick Kier, CSP // ProScapes
Should we make our own brine? For many it’s a logical step in the liquids implementation process; but it’s a decision that should be made very carefully — and “yes” isn’t always the answer. Rick will share lessons he and his team learned when making the jump into brine making and outline what companies should consider (hidden costs, equipment, materials, labor, storage, etc.) in the decision-making process.
Onboarding for Better Employee Engagement
Amy Tincher // Rocky Fork Company
Hiring qualified snow and ice employees is hard enough, but poor onboarding can make their stay quite short if they don’t feel welcome or sense chaos and disorganization in their new work environment. As an experienced snow and ice industry human resources professional, Amy will share best practices for creating an onboarding program that not only covers the legal and logistics (e.g., employee handbooks, training, uniforms xand employee expectations, etc.) but also reflects your company culture and that it is relatable to your employees and the work we do in snow and ice.
Service Verification: Looking Beyond Proof of Service
David Lammers & Paul Lammers // Garden Grove Landscaping
It’s no secret that snow and ice management companies need to document services performed to get paid and to protect themselves in the event of a slip and fall. But the importance of service verification extends far beyond. David and Paul will share how snow companies can use service verification processes and technology not only as a protection but also as an asset.
Be a Better Risk: How to Make Insurance Companies Love You
Don Mahoney, CSP // East End Snow & Ice Management
Obtaining and retaining insurance in snow and ice isn’t always easy or affordable. Don’s company is based in New York — a highly litigious state — so he and his managers have implemented programs and processes to show their insurer that East End is worth the risk. Learn key areas of operations that directly impact your ability to buy insurance and metrics to measure to ensure that you protect your insurance ratings and affordability.
Friday, June 28
8:30 - 9:30 a.m.
Salt Supply & Procurement Panel
Moderator: Phill Sexton, WIT Advisers; Panelists: Tony Johnson, CEO of Midwest Salt; Nate Clemmer, CEO of SynaTek Solutions; Jim Gregor, CSP, Vice President Sales and Operations of Sullivan Industries; and Carl Bolm, CSP, owner of BSR Services and SIMA Board Chair
A panel of executives from the salt supply and snow and ice management industry will discuss the current business climate and how a proactive approach to salt purchasing and the use of operational best practices can help private snow contractors find firmer footing in the salt supply chain. Attendees will learn strategies for salt procurement, salt application efficiency and explore alternatives.
Structuring Your Company for Maximum Productivity
Danny Kerr, Breakthrough Academy
Creating an aligned and defined organizational structure is a key component of running a profitable and scalable snow and ice management business. Having your staff operating with clear roles, goals and deliverables is the foundation for productivity and success. Attendees will leave the session with tools and templates that will allow them to create a clear organizational structure for the company, examples for creating job descriptions, and processes to hold accountability to goals through the layers of their organization.
Selling to Millennials: Boost Leads, Sales and Satisfaction
Ryan Jenkins // Ryan Jenkins Inc.
Sales techniques of the past won’t work with Millennials, who buy differently than previous generations. Mobile technology, constant connectivity, and the social web have forever changed their buying expectations. As more Millennials step into decision-making roles, it becomes critical to learn how to effectively connect and sell to this emerging demographic. Ryan, an expert in generational dynamics, brings cutting-edge insights into how Millennials have flipped the sales script and how to exceed their buying expectations to win new business and secure lasting loyalty.
Sidewalks: Work Smarter not Harder
Ian Oelschlegel // Suburban Snow Plow
Making the decision to reduce the reliance on sidewalk shovelers in favor of equipment and trained operators should be a thoughtful one that takes into consideration equipment costs, storage, transportation and other logistics. In this session, Ian will outline the approach his company takes to evaluate when it makes sense to let the machines do the work.
Create a Training Program without Breaking the Bank
Joshua Gamez // East Coast Facilities
When safety is a part of your culture, it delivers positive results. But how do you build or reinforce the culture? Where does it start? How can you do so without breaking the bank? This session will take you through the essential steps of developing and maintaining a culture of safety.