There Has Been No Shortage Of Inflation
We have all experienced price increases since the end of last year. The global phenomenon caused by shortages around the world has lead businesses, no longer able to absorb costs, to review their own pricing. As an industry leader in Snow & Ice Management services we consider it part of our mission to understand the impact on our own industry and provide you with some insight on some of the changes you might see.
Fuel is currently the most expensive it has ever been in US history, more than double from this time last year, and is projected to continue to rise throughout next year. The price of salt is also rising due to fuel costs of the boats coming across the ocean and because of a higher demand which can be explained by there generally being an increasingly larger use of salt each year, and counties and organizations are ordering higher volumes in preparation of shortages, which they experienced last winter. Professional equipment is also becoming more expensive and more difficult to obtain. For instance, we just recently received snow blowers we had planned on using during last snow season. That is also why we ordered this coming season’s snow pushers back in January. Furthermore, highly trained professionals (either in-house or through our Service Partners, have become a hot commodity. It has become challenging to retain as well as hire new employees. Industry trained professionals are in high demand and there are fewer and fewer of them each year. We pay a high premium to keep our highly skilled employees to continue providing the quality service our clients are accustomed to.
More than ever, preparedness is key to being ahead of the game and to run a smooth and consistent operation throughout the season(s). Each year we encourage and educate businesses on the importance of planning early for the next snow season to select the right vendor and secure prices, equipment, and workers, without the worry of vendor failure and/or not being able to be serviced during snow events.
We believe customers, suppliers, and businesses need to work together to get through this “adjustment period”. We want to make sure we are providing value and our service level expectations are being met.
We identify three levers that businesses should consider in today’s environment:
- Raising prices
- Finding ways to be more efficient
- Offer another level of the same service/product: tier down a level
Additionally, communication is very important, so everyone affected is heard and we can come to the most effective mutual agreement for all parties. It is clear and well known that costs across the board are rising and most who understand business fundamentals will understand that adjustments need to happen as soon as possible to keep service consistent.