How ISO Certified Snow Removal Services Save You Money

Sneller Snow Removal Fleet ISO 9000

As snow season nears, so does the threat of slip and falls lawsuits and bad PR that Michigan businesses would love to avoid. In fact, thousands of people will die each year from injuries received while falling on snow and ice according to the CDC. But working with an ISO certified snow removal company can limit your liability, protect you from legal action and save you money overall.

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Reduce Lawsuit Risks

Hiring a snow removal company with ISO 9001/SN9001 certification means you have the assurance of a using rigorously tested contractor for your snow plowing, ice management and snow removal. To get certified, companies must have carefully documented processes and procedures for managing and validating a company’s snow removal plan. This dramatically reduces your need to worry about slip and falls on your property.  

Should a slip or fall occur, an ISO 9001/SN9001 certified company will have the documentation in place to help successfully build a solid defense against any lawsuit. This not only helps to protect your company, but it tends to discourage lawsuits from being filed all together. This saves your company time, money and bad publicity!

Through the Accredited Snow Contractors Association (ASCA), a set of written snow and ice management Industry Standards were created that later were accredited by The American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Following these protocols ensures a company has professionals committed to quality management, strong communications policies in place and an ongoing review  system for continued improvement.

Why do we know so much about accredited snow removal?

Sneller Snow Systems takes accreditations and certifications very seriously. In fact, we were the first snow removal company in Michigan and the 12th snow company in the world to receive ISO 9001 and SN 9001 Certification for snow and ice management! Since 1984, Sneller Snow Systems has been working hard, year-round to provide reliable commercial snow removal to businesses in the Grand Rapids and Lansing Michigan areas.

In Michigan, during harsh winter weather, Sneller Snow Systems provides peace of mind by reducing your risk from the effects of winter weather, and keeping your business safe and open.

If you are looking for the best snow removal services in Grand Rapids or Lansing, MI, please contact us online or call 616-868-4900 to discuss your exact needs.

Why Snow Removal Industry Standards Were Created

Sneller Snow Systems: ISO 9001 / SN 9001 Certificate

It’s no secret that lawsuits can surround the snow removal industry. This is the pivotal reason industry standards have been carefully researched and set into motion for the very best snow removal companies. Standardized procedures and training help reduce accidents, lawsuits, and they also give clients faith that they are hiring the best snow and ice management company.

Slip and Fall Lawsuits

According to the Accredited Snow Contractors Association (ASCA) in 2011, $500 million in insurance premiums were paid by snow and ice management companies nationwide. In that same year, the insurance industry paid out $1 BILLION in claims for those companies. Many of those claims were from slip and fall lawsuit settlements related to snow and ice management.

Just like the “Hot Coffee” McDonald’s lawsuit, many slip and fall lawsuits are considered frivolous claims. However, the insurance industry had little power to fight back and would usually wrap up these lawsuits with small settlements. Individually, $15,000 – $20,000 settlements make financial sense for the insurance carrier, however added together the sum total is a huge problem for snow and ice management companies and clients nationwide.

Originally ASCA created the first set of written snow and ice management Industry Standards. Then in January 2014, The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) — a private non-profit organization that oversees the development of voluntary consensus standards for products, services, processes, systems, and personnel — accredited these standards under ISO 9001 / SN 9001 certification.

Benefits to Hiring a ISO 9001 / SN 9001 Snow Removal Company

ISO 9001 / SN 9001 companies have:

  • Documented processes and procedures and can prove them
  • A quality policy, manual, and control their documents and records (vital in a slip-and-fall claim)
  • A management team committed to the quality management system
  • Effective communication policies in place
  • A process in place to review the quality management system on an on-going basis
  • A process in place to manage resources, service quality, and measure results.
  • An ongoing plan to continually improve
  • ANSI/ASCA Industry Standards

Hiring an ISO 9001 / SN 9001 certified snow removal company provides you the assurance that they have the processes and procedures in place to get the job done. And in the event of a slip and fall lawsuit, they will have the proper documentation in place to validate what happened on your property at a specific date and time. Sneller had it’s snow removal systems ISO certified in 2015, becoming the first Michigan snow removal company to receive certification. If you are looking for the best snow removal services in Grand Rapids or Lansing, MI please contact us.

Grand Rapids Snow Removal – Checklist for Hiring the Best Grand Rapids Snow Plow Company

Grand Rapids Snow Removal - Sneller Snow Systems, Ada, MI

Michigan winters can leave business owners scrambling to get rid of snow and keep their doors open for customers. Although it might seem simple to hire the guy next door with the snow plow, or crank up the old snowblower and take care of things yourself, Grand Rapids snow removal usually requires the attention of a professional. Snow and ice that is not removed and treated properly can cause devastating slip and fall injuries that could kill or injure someone, cost your Michigan business a lot of money and damage your reputation. So if you are in Grand Rapids or Lansing MI, contact Sneller to see how we’re different from other snow removal contractors. But if you’re somewhere else, here’s a checklist for hiring the best Grand Rapids snow plow company that should be helpful:

1. Check Insurance, Accreditation, Certification, and References

The best snow plow companies will be fully licensed and insured, and affiliated with reputable associations like the Snow and Ice Management Association (SIMA) or the Accredited Snow Contractors Association (ASCA). Check the Better Business Bureau for an A+ rating, and choose a company with outstanding certifications, such as the ISO 9001 certification. References from previous customers are a great way to gauge a snow professional’s performance as well. Previous customers can fill you in on quality of work, response time, communication and dependability.

2. Know Their Policies, Plans, and Procedures

You should fully understand a snow removal company’s policies, plans, and procedures for a variety of different situations that will affect your business. Walk through your property with your snow professional, and be sure to address each area that will require snow removal or ice control – ask exactly how the procedures will be completed and know the time frames involved. Ask about emergency response plans – a great snow removal company will have specific response plans in place for every potential snow emergency where snow piles up quickly and ice creates dangerous situations if not managed proactively.

3. Ask About Their Communication Methods, Timing, and Frequency

Excellent communication is essential when looking for the best snow removal company. It is important that the snow plow contractor can answer any questions you have regarding their services, and explain details in a professional and knowledgeable manner. Prompt attention to your concerns is imperative. A company that leaves you hanging for days when you have questions is likely unreliable. If they can’t even return a phone call to answer a question, how on earth can you trust them to show up during a storm?

The second aspect of communication is how they handle communication before, during and after a snow or ice event. Make sure you know when and how frequently they communicate with customers.

4. Learn Their Approach to Safety and Risk Management

Your snow removal professionals need to follow all current safety regulations and have the proper plans and equipment necessary to prevent potential snow and ice injuries. Snow and ice injuries can rack up thousands of dollars in medical bills and are a major cause of lawsuits, which adds up to a bad reputation for your business.

5. Understand All Services Included and The Final Cost

The first step to obtaining a reliable, accurate estimate is to assess all your needs. A good snow removal professional can help you decide which areas require work, and what services will be necessary to keep your property safe. Be sure to ask about the costs of any additional services such as deicing or zero tolerance ice control, and special circumstances such as incredibly deep snow or storms that last more than a day. Be leery of low estimates that seem too good to be true – they probably are. Unusually low estimates might indicate inadequate snow removal, a lack of experience or proper equipment, or a lack of proper insurance.

 

Proper snow removal is crucial for the safety of the customers and employees on your property. Ice and snow cause dangerous conditions that require the services of a professional. If your business is in the Grand Rapids or Lansing, Michigan areas, please contact us at Sneller Snow Systems to learn more about our ISO 9001 certified services.

6 Questions To Ask A Michigan Commercial Snow Contractor Before You Hire Them

Sneller Snow Systems, Michigan - Box Plow

If you own a business in Michigan, you know how much heavy snow can affect it. Customers not having access to your parking lot or feeling unsafe entering it can really cut into your revenue during the winter months, not to mention being a safety risk to both customers and employees. Choosing the best Michigan commercial snow contractor is vital. You need a reliable snow removal company you can trust. Here’s a list of questions you should really ask a Michigan snow plow company before you hire them.

1. Do you have a documented system of policies and procedures?

Most contractors don’t spend much time with documentation. However, by investing in snow systems 24/7/365, a dedicated snow removal company is best equipped to handle ANY size snow or ice event. The cream of the crop snow and ice management contractors are ISO 9001 / SN 9001 certified. This just means they have been rigorously tested and evaluated by a third party and meet the quality management standards that work in conjunction with the existing ISO 9001 standard. Learn more about ISO 9001 certification for snow contractors here.

2. How do you ensure I will get the snow and ice management I need?

If for any reason you’re not satisfied, how will your concerns be addressed? Is the company organized enough to implement effective solutions in the busyness of the winter season? We always recommend signing a formal contract for your snow removal services to be sure you know all your services, options and rights. A verbal agreement such as “we’ll make sure your parking lot is clear,” while nice to hear, is not binding and should never be accepted as a guarantee of future work or quality. Get specifics, and always get it in writing. You may need more than snow plowing – you make need large piles of snow relocated to avoid visibility hazards and you may need a snow removal company that includes proactive ice management. This just means that deicing begins before the storm hits for the best results.

3. What is your emergency response plan for a heavy snow storm?

Regardless of the type of business you’re running – as in, open 24/7 or open only during strict business hours – it’s often a good idea to ask about the response time of any business you hire to keep the entry and exit ways clear. It is also important to note that with some Michigan snow removal companies, you may not be first on “the list.” Make sure that the company you hire isn’t going to take too long to service your property regardless to how many clients they have. Make sure they have an emergency response plan and the equipment needed to service you in a timely manner.

4. Can you provide a variety of references?

Talking with others who have used a snow removal contractor’s services before is a great way to help determine whether or not you would be comfortable trusting them with managing snow and ice removal for your business. It’s generally best to get a range of responses, rather than simply listening to the first two or three people on the list of references. This will help you get a more accurate picture of the way the company handles its business and whether or not you want to work with them long-term.

5. Are you licensed, certified, insured, BBB accredited, etc.?

While this may seem like a common sense question, many people neglect to confirm their snow contractor’s business details before hiring them, especially if they’ve heard of the company before, or if the price is too tempting to pass up. Occasionally, this oversight can have disastrous results. Taking time to make sure that the contractor has any and all required insurance and licensing will go a long way toward ensuring that you’re happy with the finished job and safe from lawsuits.

6. What is The Cost/How is Cost Calculated?

Pricing for snow removal doesn’t always come from a well developed pricing system, which can leave your contractor, and therefore you and your customers, in a tough situation if a mistake is made. Make sure you understand costing so there are no surprises down the road. Ask and understand how the price was determined. And as with any contractor, be weary of low estimates. The old adage, “you get what you pay for,” certainly applies to professional snow removal too!

Of course, there are many additional common and useful questions that it would be a good idea to ask of a snow contractor before hiring them, but these 6 questions should help you get a much clearer image of a snow removal contractor before you hire them.

If you have other questions about commercial snow contractors in the Grand Rapids or Lansing, MI area, don’t hesitate to contact us at Sneller Snow Systems.

Sneller Snow Systems in Michigan has received ISO 9001 / SN 9001 certification!

ISO 9001 Certificate - Sneller Snow Systems

Sneller Snow Systems has gone through the rigorous process of becoming ISO 9001 / SN 9001 certified. A third-party audit company has gone through all of our systems, policies, and procedures to ensure that our business management system meets the ISO 9001 and snow industry standards.

What is ISO 9001 / SN 9001 certificiation and how does it benefit you?

SN 9001 is a newly created quality management system standard specific to professional snow contractors, and works in conjunction with the existing ISO 9001 standard. Businesses earn and maintain certification through a series of independent, third-party audits. These audits confirm the implementation of processes and procedures that adhere to the business and quality management standards for the professional snow and ice management industry.

Why is this important to you?

There are more than 30,000 slip and falls related to snow and ice each year.  Of those, 35% of the claims are outright dismissed because the contractor can build a solid defense.  Of the 65% of claims that are settled or lost, most of the time they are settled or lost due to a lack of proper documentation. One of the ways our clients benefit from this is that by managing our business in accordance with  ISO 9001 and SN 9001 standards, it ensures that we have and maintain the necessary documentation to build a solid defense from a slip and fall claim.  This adds yet another layer of risk management that our clients benefit from.

Your contractor may “do a good job”, but do they have and maintain the necessary documentation to help protect you?  Will your defense simply be to say “they probably did a good job that day because they normally do…” ?  That has proven to fail as a defense in court!  You need proper documentation!

Another way our clients benefit from our ISO 9001 certification is that we have a very well organized plan of how to give you a great experience, and we are held accountable to abide by that plan by a series of 3rd party audits. We are devoted to continual improvement, which means when something doesn’t go as well as it should, we focus is on how to fix it, and then evaluate the fix to make sure it is an effective solution. This continual cycle of improvement pays off big for our team, our clients, and our vendors.

As a property owner or manager, don’t you want a contractor on your property that has 3rd party verification that:

  • They have the processes to ensure the job done right,
  • Those processes are constantly evaluated for improvement,
  • Is annually audited by a third party to ensure they are meeting your expectations, and
  • They maintain the necessary documentation to build the best defense in a slip and fall case?

Hire Sneller Snow Systems, and let us put your mind at ease! Contact us today!