Q: How do you leverage the Landscape Industry Certified designation in your branding/marketing efforts?
A: The way my company markets certification is by using compelling comparisons that can help you rock the certification message to your customers.
Certification is one of those items in your toolbox that can really propel your company to the next level and beyond. Once certification was achieved, we marketed it throughout all of our advertising and company info. We would specifically use phrases like:
- You would not go to court without a certified lawyer.
- You would not send your kids to a school without certified teachers there.
- You would not go into surgery without a board certified surgeon.
Why would you trust one of your most expensive investments like your home to anyone other than a certified landscaper?
We continually emphasize this critical message to our customers. And, we share how we market our certification with colleagues at every opportunity. We’re proud of our certification, and this distinction gives us a competitive advantage and a higher professional profile. Marketing the certification message is an essential part of our business plan and permeates throughout our company communications.
Truly, what good is earning a credential if you don’t promote it with a clear-cut message that everyone can understand and relate to? Let the media, customers and colleagues know that you and your staff are certified, and tell them why it’s important to hire certified professionals.
Richard Arlington, Rich Arlington & Associates
Q. I am looking for an electronic way to track equipment repairs and expenses, and to have a history for the life of the equipment. Does anyone have knowledge of a software program or a formulated excel sheet that can meet this purpose?
A: I recently met with the owners of a company that had recently purchased, but had not implemented, a software tracking system, MowerMeter. This system schedules preventive maintenance and tracks all repair costs with YTD numbers and is available to all managers at any time.
This information gives all managers a full picture of the technical costs of operating and maintaining their fleet of vehicle and equipment. The system also provides the cost of operating individual vehicles or a single piece of equipment. This information is helpful, especially as equipment ages or become costly to maintain or repair.
As the company uses the software to its fullest it will be able to easily schedule maintenance, track repairs, and schedule replacement of equipment and vehicles at the most efficient and least costly time. The company is planning to schedule replacing equipment at predetermined time periods before costly repairs reduce its profits. Productivity will increase as new equipment replaces older, less efficient equipment.
Shop labor expenses can be better evaluated, controlled and reduced by using this software tracking system.
Using the system will help this company increase business without increasing cost.
Rick Cuddihe, Lafayette Property Maintenance
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