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Milwaukee, Wis. — To determine the best time to start the snow removal planning for the 2016-2017 season, the Snow & Ice Management Association (SIMA) recently released its new Procuring Snow Services Timeline. The timeline is available for free at www.sima.org/timeline.
SIMA is the North American organization representing snow management professionals.
The timeline was created after SIMA received feedback from facilities managers and snow contractors at the SIMA 2015 Think Tank meeting.
"SIMA's goal with this timeline is to create common ground between those that purchase snow services and those that provide such critical services," said Martin B. Tirado, CEO, SIMA.
To create the timeline, SIMA underwent a review process that tapped into 18 stakeholder reviewers. These reviewers represented the full spectrum of those related to snow management services including snow contractors, facility managers, deicing material suppliers, and equipment suppliers.
Further, SIMA made sure that one-third of these stakeholders possessed a facilities management background. The organization reviewed more than 75 comments and recommendations from the stakeholders, and circulated a final draft among reviewers before creating the timeline.
"Facility and property managers can use the timeline to communicate to all internal and external parties the best practices for ensuring quality response to RFPs," Tirado said. "The timeline also includes the steps a snow service provider uses before the winter starts including estimating equipment, labor, and deicing needs."
The timeline depicts the two sides of the procurement process: the service buyers or facility/property managers, and the service providers or the snow management professionals.
For services buyers, the timeline depicts best practices for Request For Proposals, contract negotiations, contract award timing, and contracted service start/end timing. It establishes a 52-week view of the snow procurement cycle and breaks it down seasonally so that it can be adjusted in accordance with the geographic area. The timeline's risk meter highlights the pros and associated risks tied to the timing of contract award dates.
Service providers can use the timeline to communicate their challenges to customers, as well as to help them establish a vision for snow management that aligns it with other less "seasonal" services that all need to be managed, reviewed, and purchased within any given year.