A surge in snow removal RFPs is a common phenomenon during this time. The peak bidding season for estimating snow removal jobs is tough to handle, given site measurements are a bottleneck and take a lot of time. But that’s just the beginning. The rush to send out the proposal promptly often leads to guesstimating the site area, which means you might over or underbid for jobs.
Creating impressive proposals is a time-consuming process. You always want to be the first bid out. And for good reason. 60% of the time, the first quote that reaches your customer becomes the winning bid. Besides, you want to bid on all the available opportunities. But, when estimators and account managers are flooded with requests, there’s another problem of finding the right RFPs to bid on. Last, you don’t want to miss out on those large multi-site jobs.
As you would have guessed, being able to do snow takeoffs efficiently is the key to building a promising pipeline of prospects. But manual snow takeoffs take up precious time that could otherwise be spent in prospecting and networking. It is impossible to show up to the site with an accurate sitemap in your hand the first time around.
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5 problems with the current process of estimating snow removal jobs
Snow removal companies face the daunting task of measuring numerous sites, including both single-site properties and multi-site portfolios. This not only consumes a significant amount of time but also puts a strain on their financial resources.
Time and personnel being devoted to manual takeoffs is a waste of precious resources for the snow and ice management industry, which is already reeling from a quality labor shortage.
Here are some key problems:
- High cost of estimating snow removal jobs
- Slow sales cycle and lost bid opportunities
- Time, cost, and effort-intensive field visits
- Safety issues due to lack of planning
In the case of multi-site portfolios, snow removal companies often resort to guesstimating or extrapolating data for a portion of the properties due to time and cost constraints. This means relying on manual software for only 20%-25% of the total project size and averaging out the estimates for the remaining 80% of properties.
Consequently, this approach frequently leads to underbidding or overbidding, as the estimates may not precisely reflect the specific requirements of each site.
Cost of estimating snow removal jobs
With strict deadlines and intense competition among bidders, accurate estimation is crucial. Snow removal companies often have dedicated teams solely focused on estimation, which adds to the overall cost of the process.
Unfortunately, this leaves estimators and account managers with little time for revising estimates, identifying site deficits for potential upselling opportunities, and building stronger connections with prospects and customers.
Slow sales cycle and lost bid opportunities
Manual takeoffs require estimators and account managers to spend hours drawing polygons and measuring quantities manually. This time-consuming process slows down the sales cycle, delaying the submission of bids and potentially losing valuable opportunities to competitors.
Human efforts are, after all, human. Hence, prone to errors. And manual takeoffs are no exception. Inaccurate measurements can lead to flaws in estimating snow removal jobs, resulting in overbidding or underbidding that may impact project profitability.
Not to forget that manual takeoffs limit scalability, as they require significant time and resources to handle increasing project volumes.
Time, cost, and effort-intensive field visits
Field visits bring their own set of challenges and inaccuracies when it comes to estimating snow removal jobs. These visits incur additional expenses such as fuel, land surveys, labor, vehicle maintenance, risk, inclement weather, surveying, and administrative costs, further driving up the overall estimation costs. What makes matters worse is that the estimator often has no guarantee that the property they are visiting will even result in a bid.
Coordinating site visits for multiple properties becomes increasingly challenging, especially during the peak bidding season when time and resources are limited. During site visits, it is crucial to capture every detail accurately to meet the project’s operational needs and fulfill the client’s expectations.
However, the process can become chaotic and disorganized without a unified platform to store and review site conditions and sitemaps.
Safety issues due to lack of planning
Snow removal jobs present unique challenges and potential hazards that require careful planning and precautionary measures. Besides, avoiding common mistakes snow removal companies make, documenting site conditions, and relying on ops maps can do wonders. Let’s pinpoint some challenges first.
Snow-covered surfaces hide dangers like uneven terrain, obstacles, and potholes. These easily lead to slip and fall injuries for pedestrians and snow removal crew
Snow and ice create slippery slopes and hazardous walking areas.
Slippery sidewalks surfaces created after snowstorms
Equipment and Vehicle Safety
Snow removal often involves the use of heavy equipment and vehicles, such as plows, loaders, and trucks. Potential obstacles or obstructions that could impede safe equipment operation or compromise vehicle maneuverability
Snow removal ops teams need to anticipate and address weather-related risks. Tapping into historical weather data and investigating site conditions help identify areas prone to drifting snow, potential ice dams, or compromised visibility due to snowfall.
4 Benefits of Using Automated Takeoff Software To Measure Snow Properties with Attentive.ai
Using an automated tool to measure properties for snow removal estimates like Attentive.ai, offers a range of benefits for estimators and empowers your account managers and BDs to do more. Let’s dive in.
- A quick, three-step automated takeoff process
- Queue sites & voila- it’s done!
- Leverage the Attentive OnSite App for capturing & conveying site information
- Effectively handling large multi-site portfolios with automated takeoffs
A quick, three-step automated takeoff process for estimating snow removal jobs
Attentive.ai answers all your snow removal takeoff woes during the peak season. Our software does instant snow takeoffs for you on the latest high-resolution images so that you don’t have to. Switching to automated snow takeoffs will not only speed up your sales process but also make your estimates tighter and highly accurate.
Set up accurate real-time takeoffs in a matter of seconds in just 3-clicks for large and small snow management portfolios.
Automated takeoffs save time and money – you avoid overheads, and estimates incur fewer losses with accurate sourcing of equipment and materials. Being able to identify the service required—snow plowing, blowing, or de-icing—helps you quantify the equipment required better. And this is one feature that will prove very handy on the platform, making your prospects see the value you offer.
With proposals featuring HD interactive sitemaps that clearly depict the property features and areas that need work, you can stand out from the crowd. Especially during peak season when each contractor is swamped with quotes that look alike. Your attention to detail and professionalism will be conveyed through the proposals.
Queue sites & voila- it’s done!
With Attentive.ai’s snow removal property measuring tool, you can queue up to 10 properties in a single go and forget about them for the day. Return the next morning for 10 highly accurate snow takeoffs.
If you have a large multi-site portfolio when estimating snow removal jobs that have, let’s say, 1000 sites, you can send over the list of addresses in Excel format, and the software will deliver the measurements to you along with HD sitemaps in a few days’ time.
The takeoffs are done on high-resolution aerial imagery that is updated every three months. The takeoffs are as detailed as they can get – allowing you to label all hardscape features for snow removal – accessible from multiple devices. See the image below for more details.
What you get with automated takeoffs
Your Ops team can benefit a great deal from the sitemaps too. You can build snow service diagrams on these sitemaps with arrows and icons for your crew to follow.
Leverage the Attentive OnSite app for capturing & conveying site information when estimating snow removal jobs
While our ops maps allow for depicting the push plan on the map and better identifying possible hazards and obstacles on the site, we have another solution for your on-ground crew.
The Attentive OnSite App can help business owners, BDs, account managers, and operations managers take notes while inspecting a snow site. You can also upload real-time pictures on the app. And let us tell you how that helps, especially your snow removal crew:
- Documenting site conditions enables early identification and communication of hazards, allowing the crew to take precautions and adjust their approach accordingly.
- By proactively addressing weather-related risks, accidents can be minimized, ensuring crew safety.
- Documenting site conditions allows you to identify potential obstructions that might impact equipment and vehicle maneuverability. This allows operators to navigate with caution, reducing the risk of collisions, damage, or injury.
- Documenting specific slippery areas helps develop targeted strategies, such as using de-icing materials or enhancing traction, to mitigate the risk of slip-and-fall accidents.
Effectively handling large multi-site portfolios with Attentive.ai automated takeoffs
The bidding season brings with it the opportunity to secure large multi-site contracts, which is incredibly lucrative. These contracts often encompass a vast number of sites, ranging anywhere from 1000 to 4000 locations.
Estimators and account managers are faced with the daunting task of estimating snow removal jobs’ costs and timelines for each site within these massive projects. Guesstimating and extrapolating based on limited information become a common practice, adding another layer of complexity to an already challenging process.
With Attentive.ai, this problem goes *poof*. Here’s how.
All you need to do is send us your addresses in Excel format for measurements. And you’ll receive results in 3-4 days. But that’s not it! You get detailed takeoffs with HD sitemaps accessible from multiple devices when estimating snow removal jobs. Our takeoff software also equips you with comprehensive takeoff reports that ensure that you know the sites better than your client AND your competitors.
Our takeoff access sharing feature also enables you to collaborate with team members or contractors by sharing share uneditable sitemaps/ takeoffs.
With us, you don’t have to guesstimate 75% of your properties based on the measured 25%. You can measure 100% of sites, create detailed and accurate quotes, couple them with impressive sitemaps, and win bids easily.
Comparison with Other Takeoff Software (e.g., Go iLawn and Google Earth)
Google Earth and Go iLawn have been providing digital takeoffs for estimating snow removal jobs for long now. But Attentive.ai has changed the way takeoffs are done for the entire outdoor services industry by completely automating the process.
With Google Earth and Go iLawn, you rely on your estimators and account managers to ONLY do the takeoffs. Manually drawing polygons on dated aerial images of sites is seldom accurate and is very time-consuming. Moreover, multi-site RFPs again entail a lot of manual effort.
With Attentive.ai, you can do away with all these issues and make your bids better, quicker, and win-worthy. With a faster turnaround time on each bid, you’ll be spending more time on tasks that matter, like selling more!
Here’s how you would set up a snow property measurement on Attentive.ai software in just under a minute:
Switch to instant snow takeoffs with Attentive.ai
Attentive.ai has helped Beary Landscaping, Merit, East Coast Facilities (and more), and 350+ outdoor services businesses reduce the time spent on manual takeoffs by 95%.
Let’s see what Bill Hope from Beary Landscaping has to say about switching to AutoMeasure.
Sign up with Attentive.ai and experience the benefits firsthand. Your first two sites are on us! Get detailed takeoff reports and leverage HD interactive sitemaps with all relevant property features when estimating snow removal jobs.
Q: What are the benefits of using takeoff software for estimating snow removal jobs?
Using automated takeoff software for estimating snow removal jobs offers several advantages, including:
- Increased accuracy: Attentive.ai’s takeoff software guarantees 98+% accuracy in measurements, minimizing errors in estimations.
- Latest imagery: Our takeoff software ensures that your measurements are built on the latest, most up-to-date aerial imagery.
- Time savings: AMs and estimators save over 95% of their time with automated site measurements, allowing for quicker, more accurate, and more efficient estimations.
- Enhanced productivity: Takeoff software automates manual tasks, enabling estimators and AMs to focus on refining estimates, prospecting new leads, meeting customers, and identifying upselling opportunities.
Q: Is takeoff software user-friendly for measuring snow removal properties?
Yes, Attentive.ai’s instant snow takeoff software is designed to be user-friendly and intuitive. Since the process is only 3 steps- enter the property address, b) confirm the lot boundary, and c) approve takeoff, it simplifies the measurement process.
Q: Can takeoff software be used for estimating snow properties of any size, including large multisite portfolios?
Yes, Attentive.ai’s snow takeoff software can measure properties of various sizes, ranging from small residential driveways to large commercial parking lots, multi-site portfolios, or extensive road networks.