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By Brian Birch and Ellen Kobach
Grounds Management Article Use Policy
Snow and ice management is often difficult and dangerous, and contractors have more than just one property to maintain each time a storm hits. Because of these issues, it is important for managers to communicate clearly with the contractor regarding the customer's needs and performance expectations.
Contractors who know the business will have a specific communication plan in place to keep customers informed and up to date when these events occur. These plans often include phone calls, onsite visits and updates, e-mails, and even updates on the company's website. Minimally, contractors must keep managers informed about when crews will serve the property, as well as changes or issues that arise.
A prepared service provider also should have a written process in place for responding to any winter storm. They have prepared equipment and scheduled routes, and a dispatcher coordinates all equipment to needed areas. When evaluating potential contractors, managers need to ask if the company has a plan to respond to an event.
The most important step grounds managers can take when deciding which snow and ice contractor to hire is to find answers to important questions about the different aspects of snow removal, including:
A professional and reputable snow contractor will be able to answer these questions. Communication is key when finalizing a contract, so managers must make sure they are hiring the right snow and ice professional.
— Ellen Kobach & Brian Birch
Ellen Kobach is certification and communications coordinator with the Snow & Ice Management Association. Brian Birch is the organization's assistant executive director.
Snow and Ice: Does the Contractor Have Insurance?
Outsourcing Snow and Ice Removal: Contracts and Recordkeeping
Snow and Ice Removal: How to Price Services
Snow and Ice: Managers Need to Communicate with Contractors