Outsourcing Snow and Ice Removal: Contracts and Recordkeeping
Hiring a dependable contractor who has insurance to cover losses and can prove it is the first step for managers outsourcing snow and ice removal operations. Equally important issues managers must consider regarding risk management include contracts and recordkeeping:
Contracts. A reputable contractor will sign a contract that clearly defines the desired level of service. A contract should spell out the level of service provided, the pricing, and payment terms. These items help both the contractor and the property manager define their relationship in concise terms.
Managers who sign a contract must make sure to understand all the specific items in the document. Doing so will help answer questions before the winter weather hits, and it will create a better communication and billing process down the road. Contracts should:
- use clear, concise language that neither party can interpret in multiple ways
- address all aspects of the expected level of service in detail, including service time limit, contractor access, customer obligations, and trigger depth
- include all pricing and payment terms, including additional services
- be understood by both parties and customized to fit the needs of both the grounds manager and service provider.
Recordkeeping. Successful and low-risk providers will keep meticulous records regarding their snow-removal services, including work logs and photos. Hiring a contractor that keeps accurate and detailed records allows managers to ensure the contractor performs the work up to agreed-upon standards, and it offers proof of the way the contractor manages snow and ice around facilities.