'This document is the most comprehensive shared vision of how snow and ice should be procured in commercial and retail settings...'
By Brian Birch
In the fall of 2016, SIMA worked with the Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association (PRSM) on a shared event called the Snow Industry Think Tank. We brought facilities/property managers and snow contractors together to discuss shared challenges related to successful procurement and delivery of snow and ice management services.
From that diverse meeting, our next big best practices project was born - Purchasing Snow & Ice Management: Quality RFP Creation and Best Practices.
This project was a mammoth undertaking. It started with the results we gleaned from the Think Tank, where our core audience helped identify the RFP process as a critical component that drives the relationship between buyer and service provider. Both parties also identified what is most important related to service verification/documentation, critical site criteria and more.
From there, we created a rough draft of an RFP guideline. At this stage, we could have published it based off the preliminary Think Tank results; but we took it a step further and completed a thorough review and validation using a diverse set of industry experts and stakeholders.
Over the next several months, 18 stakeholders representing buyers, service providers, subject matter experts and suppliers (insurance, equipment, etc.) reviewed the guideline and submitted over 100 comments and insights. SIMA, led by our snow expert Phill Sexton, CSP, reviewed each comment, and we started the revision process.
In July, SIMA gave the stakeholders a last look and finalized the guideline, which addresses site assessment, service verification, contractual liability, communication and more.
This document is the most comprehensive shared vision of how snow and ice should be procured in commercial and retail settings, and contains appendixes that should serve as standardized best practices for service verification and general site assessment. SIMA will provide this guide to the facility management industry, and we encourage all industry professionals to review it in depth.
Best practices principles
SIMA governs its best practices with the following principles:
- Open Access: Guides are available to all industry stakeholders at no cost, regardless of whether they are members of SIMA.
- Education: SIMA spearheads educational partnerships and communication programs to help all parties adopt best practices.
- Comprehensive: Best practices documents are reviewed by a large group of industry stakeholders representing multiple areas of expertise.
- Quality Control & Transparency: The best practices documents are living documents, and suggestions, recommendations or concerns can be submitted online at www.sima.org.