The one thing that helps keep my office and in-the-field work on track is the time I put into off-season organization. In the months before winter starts, I sit down and determine what clients we have to re-sign and what contracts are still in place. But as we all know, keeping things on track and keeping your company up and running is more than just contracts.
As you’ve most likely seen in weather reports, winter finally reached snow fighters in the Northeast not long after New Years. And with the surge in events I have found myself, quite literally, all over the place.
The one thing that helps keep my office and in-the-field work on track is the time I put into off-season organization. In the months before winter starts, I sit down and determine what clients we have to re-sign and what contracts are still in place. But as we all know, keeping things on track and keeping your company up and running is more than just contracts. Yes, industry consultants will say success is all about money in and money out, but I’d argue it’s even more essential for you to oversee schedules, maintenance times, fuel supplies and everything else you need to make it from day to day during the winter season.
As a company, we take many measures to make sure we have all our plans in place before the first flakes fall. I can sit here all day and tell you this is what you should do, but each company is different and needs different amounts of preparation. This is the routine we’ve found that works for us. If you don’t have procedures in place, use this as a starting point and adapt it to fit your particular snow removal operation.
As soon as the season ends we start prepping for the next. I have my guys collect all stakes and separate the broken from the good.
All stakes are put into pallets we made which are set up to be loaded with a machine into the back of the truck and unloaded for storage. All our stakes are stored for reuse the following season on our pallet system keeping them off the ground and out of weather.
The next step is to look into our bins to assess our left over materials, such as salt, salt/sand mix and ice melt.
Next we hold a company meeting to discuss the ups and the downs of the entire winter. This allows the equipment operators and site personnel to bring up any issues that need to be addressed. Most of you are like me, we have another season that we have to worry about as winter ends. But as an owner or manager you can’t run everything and this type of meeting allows issues to surface so they can be eliminated next season. It creates a sense of ownership when your employees can bring issues and solutions to the table.
Lastly, over the summer months I’m looking for new contracts and planning my winter months.
Overall planning is a constant thing when it comes to any business, but in our industry – where we deal with the unknown all day, every day – you have to ask yourself what has gone wrong in the past and could it have been prevented with better planning?