Maintenance pointers

Andy Doesburg offers three tips for adding the service.

September 22, 2011
Kristen Hampshire

Considering adding a maintenance division to your design/build firm? Andy Doesburg, who heads up the department at Thornton Landscape in Cincinnati, shares some of his lessons learned in the trenches.

Cross-train the crews. Thornton Landscape brought on new field labor to manage mowing, but the company relied on its landscape crews to pick up spring services, such as mulching and pruning. “Cross-training is a good way to keep everyone busy,” he says of maximizing valuable man-hours.

Expect a different pace. A focus on efficiency is critical when operating a maintenance division because jobs are short-term compared to longer-term design/build endeavors. “With maintenance, you must deliver everything quickly while still delivering quality,” Doesburg says.

Know the politics. Especially when working with homeowners associations (HOAs), remember who’s signing the contract. That’s not always easy because a housing development with a hundred clients can mean a hundred different opinions. 

This story is one of three that appeared in Lawn & Landscape’s Business Builder e-newsletter. To continue reading about Thornton Landscape:

Moving into maintenance: Thornton Landscape celebrates 50 years in business and shares how the firm has evolved to meet market demands.
 
Giving back to the green industry: How to get involved and reap the benefits of associations. 
 

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