A Broader Perspective

Columns - editor’s note

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August 19, 2020

Winter 2019-20 presented the industry with several nearly insurmountable challenges. Not only did our industry face another disappointing winter that brought unseasonable temperatures and less than average workable events, but the world struggled with the challenge of a global pandemic.

But the news from last winter isn’t all bad. Due to a combination of diverse client and contract portfolios, combined with a greater sense of operational efficiency, this year’s Top 100 List (see page 24) reflects not only many of the perennial names that appear, but some new ones, as well. Likewise, the threshold to earn a spot on this year’s Top 100 list was essentially $1 million in winter revenue, save for a pair of companies that just missed the mark by a few dollars, along with a number of other firms who were within striking range of this year’s list if winter had graced their markets with a few additional decent events.

While we went about generating the 2020 Top 100 List as we have done in year’s past, this year we reported our list a little differently. Based on community feedback, many contractors expressed a desire to be part of this year’s list. However, a significant number – citing the operational and financial challenges of Winter 2019-20 – were hesitant to have their revenue figures printed for the general public to see.

For the record, we did not take this lightly. Every year the Top 100 list seems to cause some sort of controversy. In the past, some have cried foul that their market competitors were over- or under-reporting winter revenue. Or, some contractors balked that higher ranking companies simply manage contracts and service providers while other contractors tend the majority of their accounts with their own employees and equipment.

After much internal deliberation, it was decided that -- in order to strike a balance between list integrity and the wishes of the contractor community – we would forgo printing the submitted revenue figures along with the ranking and instead go with a bracketed system. This system places companies within a revenue bracket broken down in a logical ranking fashion. While this bracket system respects contractor wishes, it also should be of no surprise as to who finished in the top 50 and those who ranked below.

I must remind everyone this list is purely voluntary, and the vast majority of professional snow and ice companies are privately held. Therefore, while some notable players may be absent, this list does reflect many of the best and brightest business minds in the snow and ice industry. These 100 companies are on this list for a reason because they’ve not only persevered and overcome the challenges set before them last winter, but they’re committed to business excellence for the long-term. They are the benchmarks those contractors working to one day see their names on a future Top 100 list aspire to emulate.

Unfortunately, Winter 2020-21 will continue to challenge our industry in both new and old ways. Take the necessary measures today to be a better and stronger company to overcome the obstacles before you and secure a position for your name on 2021’s Top 100 List.