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In the field

Irrigation

Why Bill Gallagher spends his days beside his employees and customers.

Lindsey Getz | June 16, 2011

Bill Gallagher, president of Summer Rain Sprinkler Systems, isn’t the type of boss that you’ll find behind the desk every day. He likes being in the field. And even after growing his Connecticut-headquartered business past the $10 million sales mark, he says he still wants to be out with his guys.

In fact, Gallagher says it’s rare for him to be in the office for more than an hour or two each day. He's usually meeting with existing clients, helping supervise crews and making sales calls. Here are three reasons why working in the field works for him:

Responsibility. Gallagher says he always remembers that, in the end, he’s the one responsible for what his employees are doing. “I have really great people and I trust them, but I’m still the one ultimately responsible,” he says. “So I’m always still involved. I don’t turn my guys lose and turn a blind eye. But being involved is helpful for them, too. They want direction and to know we’re on the same page. Their idea of an efficient design might be different than mine, so we work together.”

Discussion. Being in the field and working with his crew helps Gallagher keep the lines of discussion open. “It’s important to talk and share the wealth, as far as what’s being done and why,” he says. “We can really learn from each other that way. Maybe we can zone that one corner a little differently or discuss a certain type of plant material that may need different irrigation. This is an industry where things are always coming up out in the field and it helps to be there to talk about it.”

Service. Gallagher says that being out in the field has made a big difference to his clients. They like seeing the boss out and about, and he says they equate that to dedication. “Without a doubt, it’s something that the customer notices,” says Gallagher. “They know I’m a hands-on business owner and they like that. I think it’s a big part of the reason that so much of our good reputation comes from word of mouth and referrals.”

 

This is one of three stories that appeared in Lawn & Landscape’s Water Works e-newsletter. To continue reading about Bill Gallagher and Summer Rain Sprinkler Systems:

A reliable force: Bill Gallagher says that building his $10 million business upward has come down to having a good base of quality employees.

Natural fit: Lighting can nicely complement irrigation services.
 

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