2021 State of the Industry Report Ups & Downs

The industry experienced a more favorable winter, yet on the eve of the new snow season many of the financial and logistical challenges remain. This year's report sort out the trends and highlights the obstacles ahead so you can keep your ops on a path to success.

Without a doubt, it has been a year of ongoing ups and downs.

For example, the industry finally experiences a decent and productive winter and the prospects look favorable for this weather trend to continue in Winter 2021-22. However, many pros continue to struggle with meeting their staff needs to properly service their winter contracts. A projected active winter will put wear and tear on snow equipment, yet a global supply chain crisis has put a strain on the supply of new trucks and heavy equipment, as well as the parts that keep them running. Heading into the next winter, contractors seem to have an ample supply of rock salt, but aggressive cold and precipitation could easily begin to strain supplies.

Then there’s COVID 19. We now have a vaccine, yet the pandemic continues to plague the global society, often exasperating a whole host of logistic and business challenges that trickle down to impact the professional snow and ice industry.

Then again, many of these scenarios will be for not if the winter weather never manifests itself with any consistency over the next few months.

And the ups and downs go on.

Here are some of the highlights from this year’s report. According to this year's research data, more than a third of snow contractor respondents (35%) derive more than half of their total annual revenue from snow and ice management activities. Compared to the previous winter, more than two thirds of respondents (68%) reported having a better year financially than the previous winter.

Despite hiring and retention challenges, the average snow professional employs as many as 45 full- and part-time workers and between 18-20 subcontractors to manage an average of 66 winter accounts that could include as many as 100 residential, commercial and government/municipal properties.

And more contractors than than in previous years anticipate investing back into their companies and workforces over the next three to five years to help fuel additional growth and market expansion.

Be sure to keep an eye out for additional in-depth reporting on the State of the Industry data findings in upcoming editions of Snow Magazine online, The Snow Magazine Podcast, and in the biweekly enewsletter.

CLICK HERE to read the entire 2021 State of the Industry research findings.
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