Wednesday, August 30, 2017

SIMA launches procurement RFP best practices

'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
Download the guidelines at and provide feedback to 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Culture: If you build it, they will come

'Creating the kind of culture that shapes careers starts with a decision to make employees one of the top priorities in your company’s mission.'

The August issue of Snow Business is focused on Culture: If you build it, they will come. And, as an association, SIMA is focused on professionalism and success for organizations of all sizes and for individuals who may be looking at our industry as a possibility for their future. A positive and nurturing company culture can provide the right environment to grow roles typically thought of as temporary or seasonal jobs into careers that can last for years or even a lifetime. 

It’s human nature to feel good about being able to contribute as part of a team that’s working toward a common goal. When people feel like they are an important part of a productive team, loyalty builds; and as a result, they want to stay where they feel that they have a future they can count on. Belonging and the stability that comes from teamwork are important elements to help your organization become a workplace of choice, one that attracts, trains, and retains the talent that’s needed for sustainable success and helps you overcome the constant battle to build or rebuild your team.

Creating the kind of culture that shapes careers starts with a decision to make employees one of the top priorities in your company’s mission. Every owner, every company will take a slightly different path to success but there are some essentials that will help to form the foundation you need to continue to build. The resources you need are at your fingertips, starting with SIMA and Snow Business. We have the experts, professionals and networking opportunities to help you connect with others who have found the way and are willing to share what they’ve learned to help you build it, so they will come.

For more on building culture and a stronger workforce, visit to view the online issue of Snow Business. If you’re ready to take the next step, join us for the Season Opener: Build Your Dream Team in Baltimore on September 19-20. Learn more and register at

Monday, August 14, 2017

FCA US LLC Summer Clearance Time

Good Deals Come to Those Who Know Where to Look – It’s Summer Clearance Time!

Whether it’s for work or otherwise, buyers like to get the best deal possible on their sedans, vans, SUVs and pickup trucks.

Armed with that knowledge, FCA US LLC is careful to keep great offers available for customers, the goal of which, in part, is to reward repeat business and bring first-time buyers into the FCA family.

If you’re a small-business owner, for instance, and one loyal to Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram or FIAT® Brand vehicles, you might be familiar already with On The Job incentives. For those not yet in the know, these allowances help offset the cost of vehicle upfits, custom graphics, service plans and so on for qualifying individuals. Allowances in some cases can reach as high as $1,000 and – best of all – they can be used in conjunction with other offers and deals, further increasing your chances to save.

It’s also important to note that not all incentives are ongoing. Many offers, like those tied to Commercial Truck Season or the Summer Clearance Event (going on now!), are limited to specific times of year, in this case, fall and summer, respectively. Savvy shoppers should therefore make it a point to visit the vehicle brand websites to see the list of current incentives. After all, a simple click is worth it when there is money to be saved!

For your convenience, here are direct links to the “Incentives & Offers” webpages for all five FCA US brands and also to the FCA Fleet website, where you’ll find more information on these great incentives. Happy shopping!
Visit here for more information on the SIMA Savings program $500 vehicle allowance good toward the purchase or lease of select Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep®, Ram and FIAT® Brand Vehicles. Connect with a dealer who understands your business here

Monday, August 7, 2017

Build your snow dream team

SIMA Season Opener: Building Your Snow Dream Team
September 19-20 in Baltimore, MD

By Justin Gamester, CSP
After much discussion and research, SIMA is launching a new Season Opener series that will take place each fall to help the industry kick off the season with passion and purpose. Each event will focus on real-world solutions, high-level peer engagement and expert insight. 

Our first event, focused on talent acquisition and retention, will take place Sept. 19-20 at the Hyatt Regency Inner Harbor Hotel in Baltimore, MDRecruiting and retaining quality seasonal and long-term team members has become the number 1 challenge in our industry. We are confident SIMA’s Season Opener: Building Your Snow Dream Team will deliver tangible takeaways for attendees to start overcoming the talent challenge.

An all-star lineup
To create a dream team, you need all-stars - and we’re excited about our lineup:
  • Mark Eaton, former NBA Utah Jazz All-Star turned team-building expert, will kick off the event. Eaton will share stories and lessons learned through his experiences in team dynamics at the highest levels, and he’ll walk attendees through a facilitated discussion on recruiting methods and techniques being used by some of the most successful companies in our industry. 
  • Industry peers will lead an Employee Growth Round table, sharing experiences, examples and tips for building snow careers within your organization. 
  • Leslie Boomer, a Gallup-Certified strengths coach (and publisher of Snow Business magazine) will provide takeaways on how to develop talent within your organization. As an added bonus, registered attendees will receive a free StrengthsFinder assessment, a highly useful tool used by business leaders across the globe to develop balanced teams.
Lasting impact
The benefits of attending will not end when folks go home. Using information learned at the event, SIMA will develop two best practices guides tied to recruiting and developing careers in snow and ice management. In addition, attendees can attend a follow-up webinar on how to apply StrengthsFinder to identify talent in their organizations and how to nurture those talents for greater success.

Make plans to join us and share your insight by registering today at Bring yourself and key leadership staff! Each additional registration from your company receives a significant discount. If you have questions on the event, contact Brian Birch at 

Justin Gamester, CSP, is president of Piscataqua Landscaping and current SIMA board chair. Contact him at