planning commercial sites year after year is no groundhog’s day
There’s nothing repetitive about returning to a customer’s commercial site each year—renewed business is a sign of trust Perficut takes seriously. Production Managers like David Harvey, located in the Omaha branch, make sure to look at every opportunity with fresh eyes. “Some people thrive on being able to do the exact same thing every day, and that’s fine, but the nature of our industry and our environment is ever changing,” David says. “We’re always looking for that one potential thing to improve. No landscape is perfect. It’s always growing, always changing.”
ADJUST, TEST, ADJUST
“We like to use the phrase, ‘adjust, test, adjust,’” David says. “A big part of what we do is look for the next thing to improve. Don’t get me wrong: Our properties look good. There’s just always something to improve.” And David is talking about everything, from the overall communication with the client, to the small details of each individual site. When his teams turn their professional eyes to a site they’ve serviced many times before, they turn it into a game. “We like to play, one of these things is not like the other,” David says. “We’re looking for that one little spot out there where the turf doesn’t look like the rest—and maybe that’s a nutritional need or a hydration need.” There’s always a way to evaluate a commercial site and ask questions: Is there a different way to direct the mower so the grass stripes line up with a customer’s approach? Are the shrub masses in the right place to emphasize an architectural feature? After a snow or ice event, is the site clean and safe edge to edge? “We want to make the property look better than it did before we got there,” he says.
“We handle every client as if we want to turn them into a lifelong client,” David says. “From the smallest to the largest, retention of clients is always the highest priority we have.” The best way to make that happen is through open dialogue and thorough communication. Whether it’s during the initial bidding process, to being awarded the contract, to the early months of service, to the ensuing seasons and years, “regardless, we want to have regular conversations with our clients,” he says. “They’re the driving force of what’s happening on their property.”
Returning week after week, month after month, season after season gives Team Perficut invaluable knowledge that is always shared with a larger group. “It’s not just me, it’s the guys on the mowers or in a bucket truck trimming trees,” David says. “It’s definitely a team approach.” Everyone is sharing information and resources. “We sit down with the crews, from the site supervisors to the people actively running the equipment, and ask ‘What are your thoughts on the site, and how can we make it better?’”
Routine, frequent communication with the client establishes rapport. It also means Team Perficut can present new opportunities. For example, during the course of mowing, a service provider can assess the health of the tree canopy. If they see a problem on the horizon, David and the team will let the client know about what’s to come and offer solutions. “We might say, ‘Your tree canopy is reaching the end of its life, why don’t we start growing new trees to replace them as we remove them,’” David says. “Or ‘The aging irrigation system you have is costing money and wasting resources, and here’s a more sustainable system.’”
Creating that long-term relationship is ultimately creating a partnership. “We’re here to be stewards of the properties we’re entrusted with,” David says. “So that means doing it in the best way we can economically and environmentally.”