Most segments of the paving and pavement maintenance industry face low-ball pricing from fly-by-night contractors who not only don't really know what it costs them to do a job but also don't do a very good job to begin with. Fighting contractors who approach business that way can be difficult and usually relies on developing relationships, educating the customer, spending money on marketing, guaranteeing quality work, and often providing additional services to the customer - basically anything you can do to differentiate your company from the competition and specifically from the fly-by-night competition.
There's nothing wrong with any of that - those are the things good businesses do anyway - and the North American Power Sweeping Association (NAPSA) has begun recognizing that with its NAPSA Certified Sweeping Company (CSC) program. Thus far, more than 30 member companies have taken advantage of the process and become certified, so kudos to NAPSA and congratulations to the contractors who have successfully completed the certification steps. Certification is open to all NAPSA members, regardless of size, who either generate more than 50% of sales from sweeping or generate at least $500,000 annually from sweeping. Once either of those criteria is met, the contractor goes through an evaluation process that covers various aspects of running a business including safety programs, employee practices, business practices, vehicle practices, and industry education. CSC applicants also must sign NAPSA's Code of Ethics, which covers the client, employees, and safety.
Certification is certainly not the only way to combat fly-by-night operations, but NAPSA is really on to something here. And eventually, if everything works as planned, property managers and public agencies will look for the CSC logo almost as a seal of approval, indicating a well-run, reliable business that does quality work on time.
"The ultimate hope is if you hire a NAPSA-certified sweeper you know you are getting the very best sweeper in your area," says NAPSA President Dale McCaskill, Southco Sweeping and Maintenance.
We couldn't have said it better ourselves.