Controlling Snow Removal Costs
Snow removal costs are on the rise as materials and machinery go up in price. Maintaining a reasonable rate to keep customers happy is a balancing act. One way of finding this balance is to reduce snow removal company expenses.
At Arborgold, we develop software for field-based businesses like plow and landscaping companies. We understand better than most the unique elements that make a successful snow removal business.
Here, we’ll talk about some of the ways you can lower costs for yourself and control costs for your customers.
Accurate Estimating with Land Measurement Technology
Knowing how much land you’re plowing makes it easier to produce accurate quotes for customers. This is an especially important factor in commercial property maintenance. Residential properties have driveways with small differences in length and width. Commercial lots come in all shapes and sizes.
Land measurement technology evaluates equipment and products required to tackle commercial properties. These tools use photos and known measurements to predict:
- Square footage
- Elevation changes
- Linear distances
- Potential obstacles (light poles, drains, speed bumps, etc.)
Land measurement technology works in tandem with business software estimating and scheduling tools to:
- Add material costs
- Assess crew requirements
- Inventory available equipment
- Create recurring estimates and proposals through automation
- Print invoices and contracts at the touch of a button
- Calculate invoices
- Manage a team through the Mobile Crew app
At Arborgold, we customize our estimating tool to work with our other snow removal business software features to keep things running smoothly and seamlessly.
Add Fuel Surcharging
Fuel surcharges protect snow removal companies against fluctuations in fuel costs. Fuel charges change with the market and can fluctuate about $0.10 per week on average in the United States.
When you set a price for snow removal, you factor in fuel as part of your fee. If the cost of fuel for your plow changes from week to week, your set prices may no longer reflect a profitable margin. In other words, the changing fuel prices could eat into your profits.
This is where a fuel surcharge comes in. It creates a buffer to cushion by having the consumer pay for this changing fuel cost as an additional fee tagged onto your original snow removal price list.
Manage Material Inventory in Real-time
Your crew requires certain materials and machinery to get jobs done each day. Without access to those materials, jobs are put on the back burner, customers get angry, and your company loses money. Tracking inventory is a critical part of any snow removal company. It helps monitor costs related to:
Inventory also dictates availability when scheduling appointments and managing your team. Seeing these changes in real-time gives greater control over equipment, staff, and costs related to them.
Arborgold software connects you to inventory in real-time. You can watch fuel levels and see which plows are on job sites, in the shop for repairs, or waiting to be used. Staying prepared is a key component to reducing snow removal company expenses.
Routing and Dispatch
Team management is essential in any field-based business. A unique component of snow clearing companies is sending teams out to perform jobs. There’s no checking on your team by popping your head into the break room or taking a spin around the office.
To track your team’s progress and ensure they’re making it safely and quickly to job sites, dispatch and routing tools are beneficial. At Arborgold, this means using our scheduling and job management tools to:
- Check on available staff
- Schedule team members
- Route job sites
- Manage work orders
- Process invoices
We help your team with optimized routes, including customized start locations. This shortens drive times, minimizes fuel waste, and ensures you have availability for every shift.
Emergency Service Surcharges
Like fuel surcharges, which help reduce overspending during fuel fluctuations, emergency service surcharges protect you from overspending on overtime. Your team has a set schedule with hours related to peak snow removal times.
In the event of an emergency, your team is forced to operate outside of a specified schedule. This is money out of your pocket (unless you have a stipulation in crew contracts to balance this time/cost).
To offset the extra hours and overtime rate of pay, emergency service surcharges are charged to customers. This gets them out of a snow removal crisis with 24/7 protection but at an additional cost.
Bulk Adjust Renewal Rates
Renewal rates need adjusting from time to time. This is a long process, and time is money. Fortunately, bulk adjustments can be made using business software to drag and drop changes or automate the process entirely.
Stay on top of these changes by watching your current services and industry standards. Adjust margins based on service type, not just overall industry cost. Some services to keep an eye on include:
An example of the type of differences you’ll see is in sanding and shoveling. Shoveling won’t see a large jump in cost unless you’re raising employee rates. On the other hand, salt is in high demand and has faced shortages during the recent COVID-19 pandemic, raising prices. As prices in salt rise, your charges should reflect these adjustments.
Arborgold covers you when it comes to bulk adjustment renewal rates, as well as a variety of other procedures, such as:
- Email marketing
- Customer correspondence
- Automated billing and invoicing
- Database marketing options
- Automated renewals
Arborgold puts all the tools you need in one place. Minimizing time waste and maximizing output.
Try Arborgold Software to Learn More
Rising snow removal costs are a mounting problem in North America, both for plow businesses and consumers. Using dedicated business software helps field-based businesses manage the ever-changing landscape and implement strategies for success.
At Arborgold, we track changes in field-based industries so our clients have the tools and data they need to be successful. Reduce snow removal company expenses by controlling costs and keeping a tight rein on budgets, inventory, crew schedules, fuel surcharges, and more.
For everything from invoicing and customer engagement to product inventory and team connectivity, try Arborgold snow removal software.