For the past few years we’ve asked our CEO Mike Rorie to share his predictions for the New Year for the green and white industries. We plan to share Mike’s predictions for 2015 later this month, but we thought it would be interesting to put a twist on this tradition and hear from other industry leaders as well. So each week during December we will feature the 2015 green and white industry predictions from a different industry leader.
This week’s 2015 industry predictions come from John Allin, snow and ice management extraordinaire. John shares his thoughts about what is in store for snow contractors, how they can use the challenges they’re facing this season to help them prepare for the 2015-2016 season and much more.
Go iTalk: What do you think will be the biggest positive for the white industry in 2015?
John Allin: The ISO program, by far and away, will have the greatest impact on the snow industry. With the Written Snow Industry Standards becoming a reality in 2014 – having an independent third party do evaluations of snow contractors’ ability to adhere to these standards will be the beginning of a “movement” within this previously fragmented industry towards true professionalism. Affordable insurance costs for those who adhere to the standards will follow on the heels of more and more companies achieving ISO SN-9001 certification.
Go iTalk: What do you think are the biggest challenges for the white industry in 2015?
John Allin: The salt shortages of the 2014-15 winter season won’t alleviate itself for at least a couple of years. Snow contractors will find they really do need to protect themselves as pricing for deicing products fluctuate widely over the course of the next couple of winter seasons. Stabilization of salt costs likely won’t occur for at least two more winters – and contractors who try to absorb such fluctuating costs will find themselves challenged to turn a viable profit. Fiscal disaster could be right around the corner for those who do not find a way to pass these added costs to customers and clients.
Go iTalk: What impact do you think technology and/or the Internet will have on the white industry in 2015?
John Allin: As technology continues to advance and the boundaries of information sharing continue to be pushed outward – the uninformed will be left behind if they don’t accept that technology solutions are here and must be embraced if they are to “compete”, let alone survive.
Go iTalk: What is your growth prediction for the white industry in 2015?
John Allin: The snow industry is ripe for some corrections – inasmuch as the unsophisticated snow contractor will need to embrace the advancements brought to them or suffer from being “left behind”. Soon they won’t be able to compete as they lose sight of how to become better businesspeople using efficiencies that are available. The need for risk management services will continue to grow. The challenge will be – can individual company sophistication keep pace with the need for services.
Go iTalk: Any other 2015 predictions or comments?
John Allin: The snow industry is poised for exponential growth in terms of technological solutions to ongoing issues faced every day. Are WE up for the pace sophisticated snow contractors will set?
John Allin is a full time consultant to the snow industry. He has spent 40+ years working the “white” business. He has published two books on managing snow and ice, and regularly speaks about the snow industry at industry events all over North America. You can reach him at [email protected].