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Lawn & Landscape | March 5, 2013

Letters

I just read the “7 things distributors wish you knew” (January 2013 issue) and I feel compelled to counter.

Here are 3 things we contractors want distributors to know:

1. Don’t mess with the natural order of free enterprise and capitalism. Putting your sales people out encouraging every contractor to get in to a green industry segment in order to sell their product lines fragments the industry forever. It creates weak, low volume clients for you. The potential for decent profit in the market is removed for us, confusion is created for the consumer and credit risks created for you.  

2. Don’t tell a contractor how much money can be made in a market segment, without making sure they have sound job costing skills, overhead recovery methods and profit in mind. The historical scenario has been every new person cutting prices by 10-20 percent.  

3. Don’t teach or suggest pricing that use old and wrong multiplication factors x materials, or irrelevant price per unit of irrelevant measure.

Instead, bring in a bidding and estimating consultant to do a workshop for new clients, and require it for clients that are a problem pay.

You will forever elevate an industry in sore need of a lift. 

Harold Fox, owner, Town PrideLawn Service



Research

It’s all about quality
When asked why they fired a maintenance contractor, 85% of homeowners said they were dissatisfied with the quality of work, while 69% said they were dissatisfied with the timeliness of the work. Only 38% said they felt they were being taken advantage of, while 31% found a less expensive contractor. At the bottom of those four results – 27% saying they decided to do the work themselves. Get more data on why you were fired from Lawn & Landscape’s Grow The Market study sponsored by Syngenta on pg. 104.


Death and trees
According to the Tree Care Industry Association, tree safety within the industry has remained steady compared to last year. In calendar year 2012, there were 84 fatal and 44 non-fatal occupational injuries reported in the media and/or brought to TCIA’s attention by Google reports, OSHA investigations or reports from colleagues in the industry. In 2011, the association reported 86 fatal and 65 non-fatal accidents. The average age of the deceased was 43 and the average age of the serious accident victim was 38.

As far as civilian safety, there were 25 fatalities and 22 injuries reported in the media and/or brought to TCIA’s attention by Google reports, OSHA investigations or reports from colleagues in the industry. The average age of the deceased was 61 and the average age of the serious accident victim was 58.

You can visit bit.ly/treesafety for a more detailed safety breakdown.

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