How to Maximize Your Winter Solutions
As we begin thinking about the ice melt season, we can state one pretty undeniable fact: the ice melt market is still highly unpredictable, and its variables will likely change quickly as winter services are needed. To help you navigate the uncertainty, here are a few ways to maximize your time and effort this ice melt season.
Our first piece of advice is to position yourself with your distribution partner earlier. Whomever you select as your distributor, position with them early to ensure they can set up service for your entire territory before the snow season gets going. If you align with your distributor early in the season or before it starts, there won’t be any adjustments in the middle of multiple feet of snow coming down.
Connect with a distributor that can cover large swaths of geography. Geographically, the more times salt is touched along the supply chain, the more costly it becomes for you. So connect with a distribution service that can serve you in multiple business geographies to keep your costs low.
Buying early can save you headaches. Planning and securing products as soon as possible is key to keeping your business running smoothly through the ice melt season. The sooner, the better for supply. Since the weather is unpredictable, we recommend planning for the worst-case scenario and saving any leftover product for the following winter. Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
Buying earlier rather than later can also help keep you from the possibility of paying higher prices. For example, when the initial supply of winter solutions inventory runs out from distributor warehouses, the new truckloads bought after will most likely come with a slight increase on the bag because they will not buy it at the earlier price of the first purchase. So, there’s a high probability for increases.
Ask questions and challenge information. Make sure you’re asking the distributor you select questions to confirm they will be able to serve you efficiently throughout the season. Ensure you ask and know about your distributor’s product availability, especially for products tied to supply outside of the United States. Also, ask about pricing. Knowing about availability and pricing will allow you to be prepared for anything that pops up.
Find a distributor that understands you provide an emergency service. Distributors that understand the type of service you provide know you can’t wait long periods for products and that you only have a limited amount of time to provide your best service. Competent distributors will ask you to lock in with them early so each of you will have a smoother snow season.
Know the ice melt you are purchasing. Not all ice melt products are created equal, so pay attention to quality. If you’re skeptical of a “good deal” on ice melt, we recommend inspecting the product before you commit to purchasing it.
At Advanced Turf Solutions, we are immersed in the winter solutions industry and understand the unpredictability of salt and salt usage levels. To help you handle the unpredictability more efficiently, we have put a proprietary tracking system for our bulk salt in place and acquired multiple bulk options in numerous service areas. This allows us to be more flexible in how you can take inventory.