Snow Extra Capacity


By Phil Harwood

Proven strategies for creating extra capacity during snow events

Reliability is one of the most important aspects of a snow and ice management operation. And the only way to be reliable is to have extra capacity to be able to fill the gaps when things don’t go as planned because things don’t always go as planned. But how does one create extra capacity during a labor shortage? There are four proven strategies to create extra capacity during snow events. 

The most obvious strategy is to have dedicated resources assigned as backup equipment and personnel. The problem with this strategy is that it is unrealistic for most companies. However, it’s still worth mentioning because in certain situations it may apply. And for those companies it would be smart to identify the available backup resources and add them into the snow planning mix. For example, let’s say you have in your company a person who is uninvolved in snow operations normally and drives a company truck. You may not want to pull them in for every event because they have other responsibilities; however, this person could be a legitimate backup. So we should not take this option off the table.

The next strategy is to reduce cycle time. Cycle time is the amount of time it takes to complete one full round of services for all of your properties. If you can reduce your cycle time by assigning less work to each person, it will naturally take pressure off the need for backup resources.

The next strategy is to identify “A” versus “B” areas of each property. The A areas need to be done first because they are the priority areas. The B areas need to be done eventually but typically there is not as much urgency. If you can take all of the B areas out of your cycle time, which is the goal, you can drastically reduce your cycle time and create much more backup capacity.

The next strategy is to limit the amount of work assigned to managers. In many companies, managers are given a full route. When this happens they are not available at all to help out when something goes wrong. My recommendation is to limit the amount of work assigned to a manager to no more than two hours and preferably with jobs that do not have a super early start time. This gives the manager extra flexibility during a snow event.

If this blog post has inspired you to start working on your snow event management operations, I invite you to enroll in our new course titled Snow Event Management, delivered by yours truly. This course will promote opportunities for you and your team to engage in some great discussions about things like extra capacity and backup resources. 

Now go forth. 

Tags: Reliable , Extra Capacity , Snow Events ,