Snow Management Strategies For Retail Chain Managers
During major snow events, retail stores and shopping centers become extremely important resources for survival. Pharmacy chains, such as Walgreens and CVS, must be accessible to consumers in need of important prescription medication. Urgent care centers are the only option for people who become sick or injured. While many consumers do their best to prepare for storms, people still need access to grocery store anchored centers to buy essential staples like food, water, and fuel. These three reasons, alone, highlight why keeping retail properties accessible during snow events is crucially important.
Property managers overseeing hundreds of retail store locations face even greater challenges during major snow storms. When a blizzard hits, they need to know they have services in place for locations spread across cities, states, and entire regions of the country. Here are 3 tips for keeping essential retail stores open and accessible during snow storms and blizzards.
Leverage Inclement Weather Technology
Property managers are not weathermen, let alone trained meteorologists. This is why they need to take the guessing game out of tracking a winter storm or blizzard. It is not their responsibility to tell snow removal contractors, or any contractor providing storm-related services, what to do.
Today, commercial snow removal contractors use inclement weather tracking technology to increase efficiency. Understanding how a storm is moving helps guide pre-treatment of parking surfaces and sidewalks. It also helps them know when to deploy crews to begin treating surfaces, and when to begin plowing.
Budget For Pre-Storm Treatment
Pre-treating commercial parking lots, sidewalks, and access roads is a crucial step in keeping neighborhood centers and retail stores accessible during major snow storms. Treating parking lots prevents snow and ice from bonding with pavement. At the beginning of a storm, most snowfall melts on contact with the treated surface. When snow begins to accumulate, it is easier to push and clear. As a result, parking areas, and retail stores themselves, become accessible to employees and consumers more quickly.
Property managers should always budget for pre-treatment at important retail stores and centers. While it can be expensive, it truly helps ensure properties are accessible and open more quickly. Not only does this serve the local community, it also meets the needs of the large corporate chains who do not want to see locations closed due to inclement weather. These are two reasons why the added costs of pre-treatment are worth the investment.
One key concern with pre-treatment always comes down to resources. There are finite amounts of pre-treatment materials, like rock salt and deicing agents, available. Property managers overseeing hundreds of locations should always choose a snow removal company that can inventory and store large amounts of salt and other deicing products. This guarantees pre-treatment at critical retail stores when it is most important.
Secure A Multi-Location Snow Removal Vendor
During a blizzard, retail chain managers need a reliable, single-point-of-contact snow management vendor. Managing a network of vendors, especially during a snow storm, becomes a logistics nightmare. It is impossible for one property manager to know what is happening at 100 pharmacies across 3 states if a different snow removal contractor is responsible for each location. (These same logistical concerns also highlight why inclement weather tracking technology is important to quickly reopening essential retail stores during snow events.)
Hiring a different vendor for a single location, or even a few locations, significantly raises the likelihood a key location is missed or underserved. As a result, essential retail stores such as pharmacies, urgent care centers, and grocery stores become inaccessible to employees and consumers alike.
Rather than dealing with a network of contractors, multi-location property managers should solicit snow removal bids from regional contractors. In many ways, these snow removal contractors specialize in winter storm logistics. Their expertise is deploying crews to hundreds of locations, as dictated by the weather, completing the necessary work and reporting back to the property manager. This is why chain store managers should always engage snow removal contractors that specialize in multi-location services.
Understand Who Is Removing The Snow
No regional snow provider self-performs work across multiple states. It is not logistically feasible or practical to have employees ready to go for grocery stores or pharmacies spread across the Midwest. Most regional snow removal contractors use subcontractors, or vendor partners, to actually remove the snow.
During a snow event, “snow removal contractors” pop up all over the place. These are typically single operators who are sometimes underinsured, unlicensed, and unreliable. Using these types of contractors to perform the work can be a risky proposition for snow removal contractors. What happens if a single operator gets stuck? How does that property get cleared?
Keeping retail stores open during a blizzard is all about reliability. Does your snow removal contractor have a reliable vendor partner network to perform the work? Are they properly insured? Do they have access to high quality equipment and pre-treatment supplies? Choosing the right snow removal company is all about the quality of their vendor partners. That is why a property manager should always ask these questions during the purchasing process.
Hiring Snow Removal Contractors For Retail Chain Stores
Hiring the right snow removal contractor can help ensure essential retail stores remain open and accessible during major snow events. Property managers should look for vendors that use inclement weather tracking technology, inventory rock salt and deicing products, and have a reliable network of vendor partners to perform the work across the region.
Property managers can use BidSource to have our team find a commercial snow removal contractor ready to assist with your needs this winter. Share your snow removal needs using the form below and our team will be in touch with a qualified contractor!