Timeline Offers Guidance For Contracting Snow Management Services
To determine the best time to start the snow removal planning for the 2016-2017 season, the Snow & Ice Management Association (SIMA) has released its new Procuring Snow Services Timeline. SIMA is the North American organization representing snow management professionals. The timeline is available at www.sima.org/timeline to anyone at no cost.
To ensure that property and facility managers have adequate time to secure a contract with a reliable snow management professional, SIMA has created a new timeline for buying snow services. The new 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, CAE, CEO of 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. More than 75 comments and recommendations from the stakeholders were reviewed by SIMA, and a final draft was circulated among reviewers before the timeline was created.
"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," said Tirado. "The timeline also includes the steps a snow service provider uses before the winter starts including estimating equipment, labor and deicing needs."
Using a visual format--similar to an info graphic--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.
"This timeline is the first step to ensure that snow and ice management is perceived as one of the essential, critical services and that we are not taken for granted or thought of as a seasonal add-on service," said Tirado. "Our members know that being a snow management professional requires delivering quality, efficient services while maintaining top professional standards and this timeline helps us communicate that to our stakeholders."
SIMA believes that by improving the quality and efficiency of snow management services the association also will improve public safety, the economy and the environment.