HindSite Software Releases 2016 Snow Industry Benchmark Report

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Report helps snow removal businesses learn what their peers are doing to succeed.

2016 Snow Industry Benchmark Report

2016 Snow Industry Benchmark Report

This is the fourth year we’ve completed the Snow Industry Benchmark Report. We do it because we want to help snow businesses identify trends that may impact their business.

According to the recently released 2016 Snow Industry Benchmark Report, the 2015-16 snow season showed just how dependent a typical snow business is on the weather. Because nearly 40% of survey respondents experienced a 20+% decrease in snow events, 22% of survey respondents saw snow revenues decline by more than 20% year-over-year.

These findings are reported in the 2016 Snow Industry Benchmark Report recently released by the snow removal software provider, HindSite Software. The report is the culmination of a month-long surveying effort and reflects the challenges and outlook expressed by more than 100 survey respondents who provide snow removal services.

“This is the fourth year we’ve completed the Snow Industry Benchmark Report,” explains HindSite’s Marketing Manager, Chad Reinholz. “We do it because we want to help snow businesses identify trends that may impact their business.”

Despite the decrease in revenue that many contractors experienced, profit margins remained healthy, with 27% of respondents reporting profit margins in excess of 30%. The lack of snow also hasn’t dampened expected business investment. Two-thirds of respondents expect to increase spending on equipment in software in the next year, up 11% from last year’s findings.

Increased litigation is another frustrating trend for many snow businesses. Last year, 81% of respondents didn’t experience any slip and fall claims in the past year. That dropped to 65% this year. Even worse, the number of claims against the typical contractor has increased year-over-year as well.

Among the other key findings:

  • Government regulation is becoming a more pronounced threat to the typical snow business. Last year, just 3% of respondents indicated government regulation was the biggest threat to their business. That’s up to 14% this year.
  • The use of GPS tracking has exploded in the past three years. 50% of respondents use GPS tracking software, nearly double what was reported in 2014. It’s a must for a large business, with 70% of businesses with more than 10 employees using GPS software.
  • Labor shortages are forcing more contractors to hire subcontractors, with 60% of respondents using subcontractors. They’re also using more, with 35% using more than 5 subcontractors during a typical snow event.
  • Though word of mouth is still the primary source of new customers for the typical snow removal business, digital marketing is starting to drive results. 23% of respondents selected either their website, email marketing, social media or their blog as the primary source for new business.
  • Software makes snow businesses more profitable. Contractors who use field service software like HindSite are more than 10% more likely to experience profit margins in excess of 20% than those that don’t.

This year’s report also featured a new section dedicated to stories from four snow removal businesses. Ippolito Snow Services, Edenscape, LCS Landscapes and Belknap Landscapes are profiled in the report.

“The data in the report is great,” explains Reinholz. “But we wanted to introduce a human element to the benchmark report this year. As a result, we’ve created four snow removal contractor spotlights that combines with the data to tell an even better story about the snow industry.”

HindSite recently improved their Snow Event Manager to simplify subcontractor data management. The solution enables subcontractors to use a field app or a dedicated web portal to enter time records, snow depth information and more. In addition to faster invoicing, the solution streamlines subcontractor payment.

The 2016 Snow Industry Benchmark Report is available for free at http://info.hindsitesoftware.com/en-us/2016-snow-industry-benchmark-report.

About HindSite Software
HindSite Software has helped contractors better manage and grow their business with field service software since 2001. Initially designed as irrigation software, HindSite today assists service businesses with scheduling and billing, contact and contract management (e.g. field service CRM), field data collection, and invoicing in QuickBooks® and Sage50. This paperless field service management software has been proven to increase efficiency and organization, meaning greater profit potential with less administrative time.

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Chad Reinholz
@JoeHindSite
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