SIMA Blog

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As the Snow & Ice Management Association grows, our need for talented staff grows with it. We are pleased to welcome Kerri Joseph into the SIMA fold, where her wealth of knowledge and experience will help us improve our support to a key constituency: our supplier members. Kerri has a diverse background in sales and development, with over 20 years of experience in the association, hotel and tourism industries. Her core focus will be to lead sales efforts for exhibit space, sponsorship, and print and digital advertising. Get to know Kerri: What are you most excited about in your new role at SIMA? Kerri : I am so excited to meet people! I have heard ...
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Snow Business is seeking new contributors for 2020! If you have snow and ice industry specific knowledge (or know someone who does), peer-driven content is needed in the following areas: Liability & Risk Management / Business Law Leadership Small Business Ownership Ice Management Field Operations Sales Finance Insurance You'll have the support of the editorial team and the Editorial Advisory Committee to help guide and support you. With 6 issues, you can contribute as much as or as little as you like. SIMA thrives on building relationships and connections in the industry — this is a great way to give back and help strengthen the industry. Let ...
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As the industry grows, there is more and more education focused on it. This is exciting, and we here at SIMA are looking forward to the Landscapes 2019 Show in Louisville, KY this month. NALP is really putting their best foot forward with a new Snow & Ice Specialty Summit at their show this year, and we are a proud supporter of this event. Here is a quick breakdown of the sessions attendees of this event will be able to see, you can register as well here : Note: all snow and ice specialty summit sessions are at the Omni Louisville Hotel Standards And Best Practices In Snow And Ice Martin Tirado, CEO, SIMA & Mike Mason, CSP, ...
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In the fall and the spring, the Snow & Ice Management Association has rolled out a scholarship for anyone in the industry to take advantage of. Anyone looking to earn either the Advanced Snow Manager (ASM) or the Certified Snow Professional (CSP) credentials can enter for a chance to be selected. Historically this has been sponsored by a major industry supplier (like Boss Snow Plows) and administered by SIMA staff. Submissions are kept completely confidential and are selected based on key metrics, sincerity and thoughtfulness of submissions. It is staff’s responsibility to comb through submissions with the help of an unbiased advisory group to ...
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One of my favorite things about the snow and ice management industry is the willingness by its members to share their successes and challenges. It’s one of the reasons the SIMA Symposium’s education is so powerful — it’s delivered by the people who’ve found success in a difficult industry and want to help others do the same.  Whether I’m asking someone to write a story for Snow Business or to give hours of their time to prepare a session for the show, rarely have I been turned down. Maybe it’s my charm and power of persuasion (ha!), but I like to think that people say yes because they want to give back to the industry, knowing that sharing their knowledge ...
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Our industry is maturing at a rapid pace, and we want to ensure that individuals in the marketplace are educated to best practices and have a high level of competency. Nowhere is this more needed than in anti-icing and use of liquids for snow/bond prevention. This is why SIMA is launching the Fundamentals of Anti-icing and Liquids personal certificate course this Fall. Everyone agrees this is a growing need in our industry, but training people on the science and operations is difficult. Historically, most of the knowledge has been locked away in various studies related to highways and roads. This will all end as SIMA launches the first truly comprehensive ...
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If you attended the opening keynote at the Snow & Ice Symposium in Grand Rapids, MI, you saw the video we recently produced: 3 Tips for Buying Snow Management Services . The insights in the video deal directly with contract award date recommendations, better definitions of Level of Service and Scope of Work, and the importance of accepting shared liability between contractors and facilities. The video is one of several SIMA resources designed to educate facilities managers and owners to foster positive communication and relationships with snow and ice management professionals. New standard is coming Another tool in progress is to create a written ...
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During the Snow & Ice Symposium in Grand Rapids in June, SIMA put on its first Field Operations Workshop. We built this event based on three things our members have told us: We don’t have time to train our teams for winter operations, especially when we’re still doing summer landscaping We can’t afford the time or expense to take our teams out of the field to bring them to the Symposium We don’t see a lot of good training for this demographic in the snow and ice industry So with an “If you build it they will come” mentality, we crafted a program to help our members overcome those obstacles. Give us 1 day we said, ...
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Staying engaged with SIMA is a great way to get ahead in snow. Here are 10 quick things you can use this summer to do just that, for no additional cost other than maybe, um, joining… 1. Share RFP Best Practices with clients and potential customers using resources at www.sima.org/RFP 2. Find industry-specific suppliers at our Supplier Directory 3. Watch the on-demand webinar Salt Purchasing and Inventory Management (*Members-only) 4. Get the Best Practices Checklist and start checking off stuff! 5. Find potential subcontractors with our Snow Contractor Directory   6. Get the Advanced Contract Clauses from SIMA to help protect ...
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This past week in Grand Rapids, SIMA had a blast meeting old friends and finding new ones. Overall, the week was amazing and positive, but I found out some pretty shocking news as well; the snow industry lost a great warrior for our cause this past May with the passing of Rick Winnestaffer, CSP. I knew Rick and worked with him in several capacities at SIMA over the past 15 years. If you knew Rick at all, you knew he was a force to be reckoned with. He wasn’t a big guy, but his personality was 10 feet tall and if you wanted to go up against him, you put your big boy/girl pants on to do it. He was a savvy businessman who served 2 full terms as a SIMA Board ...
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We Are In This Together

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A wise former SIMA board member once said at a meeting “we are not just plowing snow for a customer, we are in a business to business partnership”. Well stated and even more relevant in today’s business climate where forming mutually beneficial partnerships is a key to success. As professional service companies and entrepreneurs, profit margins are what keeps the plows running and employees happy. However, a true win-win is when you have a relationship with the property and facility you are providing services for that allows for trust, transparency and a mutually agreed upon set of objectives and principles. This is one of the reasons SIMA created the ...
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I often hear people say they don’t invest in snow and ice training like they do in landscaping or other services. I get it, nothing is worse than investing in an employee who then leaves three months later. But I believe that the cost of not educating people with proven training and testing built with best practices is higher than not investing in your best. SIMA, supported by BOSS Snowplow, wants to help lighten the load by awarding scholarships to four talented people who want to continue to build their career in snow by earning the Advanced Snow Manager (ASM) or Certified Snow Professional (CSP) designation. Our hope is this scholarship, as well as a special ...
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During last year’s Snow & Ice Symposium, SIMA piloted Role-based Roundtables that brought together people in similar positions to learn and network. The four roles were CEO-CEO, Operations, Sales, and Billing/Admin. Two master facilitators per room guided participants through a discussion and a series of questions for about an hour. Overall, it went well, but we got lots of feedback on ways we could improve, including: The title was boring and not descriptive enough Attendees wanted more time to allow people to discuss deep topics Desire for more time for individuals to connect with others who do the same work Allow time for relationship building, ...
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Okay so this is something new, and it’s pretty awesome. Our new Director of Education and Content, Cheryl Higley, did a bit of a ‘listening tour’ early this fall with key SIMA members and volunteers. She wanted to dig into the needs of our membership and how we can shape educational programming to fit those needs. Many things came out of her review, and foremost on her list was a desire for access to more and better operator-focused training built on best practices. Our members are looking for boots-on-the-ground training that helps cut the learning curve for employees who are newer to snow and ice. In response, our education team has created a one-day ...
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Throughout this snow season, those impacted by the weather have shared images and safety tips to keep America and Canada “moving” during winter. One thing I haven’t seen addressed lurks beneath the snow and rears its head each time we get the automated call announcing school is closed. It’s our kids! NOOOOOOOOOOO! To see the look of devilish delight on their faces when they hear the words “snow day” is cool (or maybe terrifying). What kid doesn’t love snow days? Sleeping in, playing in the snow or just playing Xbox all day (c’mon, admit it). The SIMA team has had a long week, from our Milwaukee HQ to our Ohio staff, snow days are slowly dragging us under ...
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As part of being an ANSI-Accredited Certificate Issuer - Accreditation #1170 for the four Advanced Snow Management certificates, SIMA works with a Stakeholder Advisory Group to hold us accountable and ensure our ASM training is relevant and impactful. Now I'll admit it...this is not the most glamorous volunteer opportunity in the world. Mainly, this group is responsible for: Serving as the oversight group and governing body for the four certificate programs in the Advanced Snow Management program. Providing broad program management, including content reviews, evaluation reviews and recommendations, exam question review, complaint responses, and other ...
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I’m from a little town called Green River, Wyoming, where it gets downright cold in the winter. I grew up freezing my butt off each morning waiting for the bus, and vividly recall when our bus plowed into a neighborhood yard (crushing an old wagon wheel that was the central feature of their landscaping) due to an icy road. So folks who live in Green River become immune to snow and ice. My parents still live in Green River, in the same home I grew up in. This month, my sweet and funny mom Lynn slipped on bonded ice/snow as she got out of her car after church, shattering her ankle and fracturing her tibia. Her injury has been painful and hard on her and my father, ...
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We are kicking of 2019 with a bang over here, with a new focus on supporting local and regional events in our industry!  SIMA is proud to announce that we are a sponsor of the Great Lakes Trade Expo, a green/white industry event occuring January 28-30, 2019 in Lansing, MI. This event is produced by the Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association, and they have been amazing to work with...we are also looking to support several other MNLA events in Michigan in 2019... All event info is available at  https://glte.or
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As we gear up for the 2019 snow season, SIMA is once again seeking volunteers for our various committees. Our volunteers ROCK, but I think many forget that volunteering is not just a one-way street. Here are some simple things that volunteering at SIMA can help you with: Leverage SIMA : As a volunteer, if you engage with us you will learn more about the things we provide to our members, and you'll be able to fully leverage your own company's investment in SIMA membership. Peer Relationships : Some of the longest-lasting relationships I have seen created through SIMA come when like-minded peers work together. They get to know each other and become comfortable ...
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SIMA’s newest employee, Chris Dix, Manager, Membership Development, is an experienced customer service management professional with a focus on connecting customers to key benefits and services. His previous experience working for a major Human Resources firm and in the solar energy sector will provide superior customer service for SIMA members. In his role, Chris will have a dual focus on membership satisfaction and on growing the overall membership base. Long term he will also focus on helping members purchase CSP and ASM training via the SIMA Group Discounts program, and he will play a key role in membership strategy and benefits. Finally, Chris will serve ...
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