Tuesday, October 7, 2014

SIMA builds bridges between you and facilities managers

'Fast-forward four years, and I’m very proud of the work that SIMA members and staff have undertaken to further the goals of reaching out to this key group.'

By Laura Ingram, CSP
Our company became involved with SIMA as a member about four years ago. At the time, the Snow & Ice Symposium was coming to our area of North Chicago and we figured we’d check out the association.

We were impressed with our first show. At the time, there was a lot of talk within the association about being more proactive in reaching out to the facility and property management professionals who are responsible for hiring snow service providers. This type of discussion was extremely interesting to me, and I wanted to get more involved.

Fast-forward four years, and I’m very proud of the work that SIMA members and staff have undertaken to further the goals of reaching out to this key group. I wanted to share with you some of our accomplishments so far, with the optimistic viewpoint that even greater things are still to come:

Outreach timeline
  • Spring 2010: SIMA staff and board review a statistical survey of facilities management professionals to better understand the needs/challenges they face related to snow & ice service providers.
  • Summer 2011: SIMA finalizes three high-quality videos focused on sharing information with those who are seeking to hire snow management service providers, and launches the new Hire a Pro section of the SIMA website.
  • Fall 2011: SIMA hires Phill Sexton as an industry liaison as part of his duties as director of education and outreach.
  • Winter 2012: SIMA restructures its committees and creates the official Outreach Committee, whose core purpose is to organize the efforts of the association related to this audience.
  • Summer 2012: The annual Snow Strategies Forum features an entire day focused on the relationship between snow management professionals and facility managers, including a four-person panel of facility management executives.
  • Fall 2012: SIMA Outreach Committee releases the Best Practices Checklist for Snow & Ice Management, a free resource for both facility managers and snow professionals to evaluate a snow organization.
  • Summer 2013: The annual Snow Strategies Forum in Washington, DC, brings contractors and facility management professionals together for facilitated discussion and information sharing.
  • Fall 2013: SIMA Outreach Committee forms the Ambassadors program and announces the industry’s first Ambassadors, charged long term with sharing snow & ice best practices and information to the facility management industry.
  • Summer 2014: SIMA holds the Salt Summit & Think Tank in Detroit, with the Think Tank session focused entirely on creating long-term solutions for challenges that occur in the procurement, contracting and service implementation of snow services. SIMA releases a new full-color marketing brochure called 5 Tips for Hiring Snow Management Services, available in print-ready format for members at no charge.   
Laura Ingram, CSP, is director of operations for Ingram Enterprises Inc. in Lincolnshire, IL. She is chair of the Outreach Committee and a member of the SIMA Board of Directors. Email her at laura@ingramenterprisesinc.com.

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