Even though you may be knowledgeable in snow and ice management practices, there may be situations that you can rely on a certified snow expert, consultant, or advisor to help you or your business for a variety of reasons. Below I will discuss the situations in which it would be beneficial to rely on an expert, and how they can help take your operations to the next level.
Understanding Your Climate
When it comes to the changes in our environment it’s important to know how and why weather changes take place, and what sort of challenges you may face throughout a snow season. There are many ways you can combat these challenges and many professionals who can help you along the way. Not only can you subscribe to weather applications from many sources, but you can also actually identify contracted meteorologists that work with larger companies or entities such as municipalities or school districts. While there’s no single source for this information, you can certainly staff an individual in your snow operations that’s heavily involved in tracking weather changes. Also, you may find it beneficial to station cameras or small weather stations on site that look at variables such as air and ground temperature, wind speeds, humidity, and more. These five you the capabilities of knowing what’s happening on site from a centralized location.
Developing Site Specifications
When you’re hearing different wants from clients, sometimes their requests for a level of service (LOS) don’t meet an industry best practice, or it may put your organization at more risk. Items such as this can include the site requirements of medical facilities, commercial centers, routing and mapping, pricing, or response plans. No matter if you’re new to the industry or you have extensive experience, there may be a need to bring in a certified professional to guide you through obstacles or challenges to provide support and structure in the necessary manner. Experts can not only help guide you in the right direction, but they may be able to identify gaps in your processes or communications which can increase your effectiveness and efficiency which benefits the organization, its employees, the client, and the bottom line.
Training Your Staff
Out of all the benefits a snow expert has to offer, developing and helping to carry out a training program is a tremendous improvement for the organization. While you may have the experience in the snow and ice industry, you may not have the time or staff to develop a training program which can include tasks such as:
- Training videos
- Training manuals and guides
- Hands-on training events
- On-site training sessions
- Operator and technician training
While this may seem like a short list, these are the key areas to focus on in the development of a training program. Aside from being able to assess what type of training should be developed based on your organizational needs, operational structure, and equipment or vehicles used, the correct documentation and record keeping must also be developed to identify who has and hasn’t completed any training.
While there’s certainly sources out there for turn-key options for training videos and assessments, all training programs must incorporate in-person and hands-on training to prepare operators, shovelers, and drivers properly on how to perform the operations in the most safe and efficient manner. Another reason a snow expert may be helpful in the area is that once the program is developed, they can work with the organization on training the trainer and preparing them to take over in the management of the program following the finalization of their services. Many times, organizations can benefit from the development and implementation assistance, and then carry it on afterwards.
This brings up the point that advisors can be beneficial to organizations in that they work to develop long-term solutions and partnerships to always be there to support them along the way.
Developing Policies and Procedures
Another area in which snow experts can greatly help organizations is in reviewing or developing policies and standard operating procedures (SOPs). As experts within the industry, they’re knowledgeable of best practices, standards, and regulations which may impact an organization’s operations or capabilities and can help put this into a structured format. Policies and SOPs are beneficial for many reasons such as:
- Laying a foundation for operational expectations
- Employee acknowledgment of expectations and responsibilities
- Holding personnel accountable
- Keeping the organization compliant with standards
- Providing support for training initiatives and programs
- Reference point for questions on operations
- Helps for insurability reasons and in legal matters
While snow removal operations are very adaptive and can change rapidly, it’s important to review these documents frequently to make amendments as necessary. This is a key element of shaping the reputation and thoroughness of your winter maintenance operation and it is helpful to depend on the experts to advise you along the way. This is another area where it’s beneficial to build long-term relationships with snow experts as they can help to identify necessary changes or additions upon a review cycle with the staff.
As we’ve reviewed, there’s many situations in which a snow expert can benefit your organization, and it can help give you peace of mind that you have the support necessary to carry out your professional services. Just reach out through the Contact tab and a tailored solution can be developed to fit your need.
Read the Bio on Michael Wagner, Owner and Author