Educational opportunities for contractors

Educational opportunities for contractors

The topics range from brain food to owning and operating costs.

September 10, 2013
GIE+EXPO Show Coverage

Pros at GIE+EXPO have a full menu of educational opportunities. Cooked up specifically for contractors and lawn and landscape professionals, the GIE+EXPO Workshops offer a tantalizing sample of PLANET’s and HNA’s full programs.

Two recently added workshops include breakfast. Each of the eight workshops on Thursday and Friday is $50. Preregistration is required.

Brain Food for Breakfast Workshops – late additions
Thursday, Oct. 24, 7:30 – 9:15 a.m.
Common Problems, Simple Solutions
An under-the-hood look at the office system that propels one of the industry’s most successful companies.
As Mark Bradley was growing TBG Landscape into one of the Top 100 landscape companies in North America, he was forced to find sustainable solutions to a lot of hard problems. Mark will guide landscapers through 10 simple systems that solve problems. Attendees will learn how to set up accounting so it’s useful, builds a plan for profit, calculates the right price for every job, sets up estimates for easy job costing, merges payroll and job costing and even motivates employees to think like owners.

Friday, Oct. 25, 7:30 – 9:15 a.m.
Calculating Your Equipment's Owning-and-Operating Costs
Many contractors don't realize the purchase price of a piece of yellow iron is one of the least expensive components in an owning-and-operating formula. Labor, fuel, maintenance, repairs, taxes and resale value must also be calculated. Contractors will learn the elements of a sound O&O calculation for the skid-steer, compact excavator and backhoe, as well as how to accurately price the work done with these machines by the hour, ton, cubic yard, etc.

Education from Hardscape North America
If you want to focus on hardscape-specific sessions, you will be interested in two hardscape workshops – Adding Hardscape Installation to Your Company’s Success, Thursday, 10 – 11:30 a.m., and Production Management And Crew Motivation On The Hardscape Jobsite, Friday, 10 – 11:30 a.m.

HNA’s full educational program runs Oct. 22-25 and offers classes for distributors, installers and executives as well as eyes-on demonstrations of installation techniques.

The HNA Sessions at the Kentucky Exposition Center on Thursday and Friday will include topics such as Estimating, not “Guess-Timating,” Hardscape Projects; Increasing Crew Efficiency through Goal Setting and Lean Management and Bringing Fire and Entertainment to the Outdoor Room.

If you will be attending the tradeshow and maybe the GIE+EXPO Workshops only, see the registration options at A $25 upgrade to your tradeshow registration or the purchase of a ticket to one of the hardscape workshops will also give you access to the HNA Outdoor Arena and six hours of hardscape installation demonstrations.

Green Industry Conference
PLANET offers the following four GIE+EXPO Workshops that teach business fundamentals:
1. Understanding Your Sales Process: Is it all about YOU or all about the CLIENT? – Thursday, 1:30 – 2:45 p.m.
2. Ten Ways Significant Money Is Slipping Out Your Back Door and You Don’t Even Realize It! – Thursday, 3 – 4:15 p.m.,
3. Why Not You? Five Strategic Actions You Can Take Now to Grow – Friday, 1:30 – 2:45 p.m.,
4. How to Build a Marketing Plan that Grows with Your Lawn Care Business – Friday, 3 – 4:15 p.m.

PLANET’s full educational program, the Green Industry Conference (GIC), provides the opportunity to learn more about industry trends and to increase your knowledge to ensure you are providing the best possible service to customers.

Sessions are offered Thursday and Friday at the Kentucky Expo Center. Topics include: Managing Your Supply Chain, in which attendees will learn to evaluate suppliers, manage inventory, create efficient, cost-saving processes and measure supply chain performance, and Systemize Your Marketing Efforts, in which you will learn to customize your marketing program using website optimization, social media, video testimonials, blogging, sales letters, referral marketing and strategic partners – all depending on your market and your goals.

PGMS School of Grounds Management
“Organic” is the buzzword for the Professional Grounds Management Society’s education this year. PGMS courses will emphasize organic practices with topics such as Organic Pest Control, Sustainable Irrigation Methods through New Technologies and Organic Landscape Management for the Professional, among others.

The 2013 School will kick off on Wednesday, Oct. 23 with a pre-conference field trip to Huber’s Orchard, Winery and Vineyards in Starlight, Ind. At Huber’s, attendees will tour the grounds, vineyards, orchards, fields, the farm market, winery and distillery.

A speaker breakfast on Saturday, Oct. 26 will round out the week. Chris Wiesinger, owner of the Southern Bulb Company, will present Bulbs and Their Companions, 7:30 – 8:30 a.m., followed by Jeff McManus, CGM, director of landscape services, golf and airport operations at the University of Mississippi, who will present Turning Weeders into Leaders!

Whether you are attending education programs or not, here are links to your pre-registration options – GIE+EXPO, PLANET, HNA or PGMS. All give you access to the tradeshow and Outdoor Demonstration Area.