Planning. When you talk with snow and ice industry professionals many will tell you the most important part of the job happens well before the season starts. It’s your plan. That plan includes educating and training of your crews. It’s the logistics of equipment and people on each property. It’s the routes each crew will travel from property to property. It’s the little details unique to each property and how you are going to address problem areas. It’s the reporting procedures to ensure each job is completed properly and according to Industry Standards. All of this is done during the preseason so the snow season proceeds smoothly.
Now, with so many unknowns in the world you need to add plenty of new education and ideas to your plans. You must prepare for unconventional circumstances. You need to have a plan, and likely a couple of back up plans as things continue to change. No one knows what the winter is going to look like, but it’s sure to bring challenges.
As the pandemic persists, you need a plan to get your crews to each property. You must strategize a plan for social distancing on properties. I foresee sidewalk crews offering the greatest challenge. For those properties where you have an area for crews to take a break and get warm, you need to look ahead and know how you are going to address this. You need to address the cleaning of equipment, especially the type of equipment used by multiple people. You need to have a plan to sanitize equipment that is stored remotely on the properties you are servicing.
You need a contingency if one or multiple crew members contract the virus midseason and are out of commission during a 14-day quarantine. You must educate your crews on all of these plans and how they impact their individual jobs.
Finally, you need to be able to adjust on a dime to address anything new that will be thrown at us in this ever-changing time.
Planning has always been the most important facet of professional snow and ice management. Now, it will play an even more important role this coming season.