Let's face it... every landscaper thinks they're a snow management expert, but what does a real snow pro look like? How can you be assured that the team you hire becomes a part of your team?
Here are 8 quick questions to ask yourself and your prospective vendor to gauge their level of expertise and preparedness.
1) What are my snow management needs and expectations?
All too often, snow & ice management companies are just landscapers that have nothing else to do in the winter. Does your current snow and ice control vendor treat their work with the same seriousness they treat their landscaping contracts? Does your current vendor understand your expectations? Did the vendors bidding your work ask the right questions to fully learn your needs? If not, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise during the winter season when you find that the landscaper you hired bit off more snow work than they can chew!
2) Is my vendor properly equipped and staffed to meet my needs? Successful snow & ice management requires the right equipment to be at the right place, at the right time, and staffed by trained professionals. Does your current vendor commit the correct equipment to your property? Have you considered the possibility that a different piece of equipment may lower your overall costs due to increased efficiency? Sometimes a plow truck is adequate, but other times, a larger piece of equipment's higher hourly rate my net you a significant savings due to increased efficiency. Just as important as having the right equipment is having the trained technicians to operate it safely. At Wise Landscaping, we dedicate over 20 hours of classroom time before the season starts educating our team members, with Field Training Technicians coaching green employees once the snow starts flying. Our goal is 100% safety - 100% of the time while providing excellent quality to our clients.
3) Does my vendor have a formal plan to handle different types of snow events? No two snow events are the same. Ohio's winter weather can range from ice accumulations to large snowfalls. Does your current vendor have a game plan for each scenario? Wise Landscaping prepares action plans before the first snow fall to ensure that we are prepared - no matter what Mother Nature throws at us.
4) Does my vendor have a formal communication plan? All too often, snow management companies fall short in both in-house communication and client communication. By leveraging technology, Wise Landscaping seamlessly integrates in the field communication using tablets to route and track equipment while sharing important site details and photos with our technicians. At the end of every service visit, we provide a paperless Site Visit Report emailed directly to you that covers the who, what, when, and where of our services. We aim to be efficient and transparent with our clients.
5) Does my vendor prepare their employees with safety and how-to training? Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Does your current vendor have a formal training program for their employees to make sure they know what to do and how to do it safely? Wise Landscaping invests over 20 hours of pre-season training into every team member, every season, to ensure that our employees are properly equipped with the knowledge required to operate with safety, quality, and efficiency in mind.
6) Does my vendor have site maps to show their employees which areas to service first? A picture is worth a thousand words. If your current snow and ice management vendor doesn't use tablets filled with property information and pictures that can be updated in real time, they are behind the times. At Wise Landscaping, we take our client's input and create custom site images that are available to any of our team members on your property to use in order to ensure we are doing the things you expect. Our site images include priority and secondary plowing areas, fire hydrant locations, sidewalks that require service, and snow pile zones so there is no confusion or unnecessary phone calls to our clients at 3 a.m. when the snow is flying.
7) Does my vendor have adequate insurance coverage? Do they carry worker's comp? Having the correct amount and type of insurance coverage, coupled with a worker's compensation policy, protects YOU from unnecessary liability during the winter season. Wise Landscaping's insurance coverage exceeds industry standards, and we carry up-to-date worker's compensation coverage.
8) Does my vendor have a formal blizzard plan? Last, but certainly not least, you must ensure that your snow & ice management vendor has a formal blizzard plan. During blizzard conditions, service wait times will invariably be much longer than normal, with follow-on work occurring for days after the snowfall ends. Does your current vendor have a written rest and sustainment plan to keep their employees going when the going gets tough, or do they just work their technicians into the ground? Can they minimize wait times by pre-planning and pre-staging equipment? With GPS-tracked equipment, Wise Landscaping knows where every moving piece of the puzzle is located at all times. From our Central Ops Center, we can superimpose live radar over our vehicle locations to see where we can lean out operations and where we need to reinforce our team. That, coupled with providing food and lodging to our team members during large snow events, allows us to get our team fed, rested, and back to work quicker than our competitors without sacrificing safety.
If you're looking for a truly professional snow and ice management company, you owe it to yourself to contact the team at Wise Landscaping today!