Steady under the surface

Features - Irrigation

Team members at Stay Green work well behind the scenes to give their customers top-notch work underground.

February 13, 2013

Installing a successful drip irrigation project takes teamwork. Photos courtesy of Netafim

It takes teamwork to make the dream work. That’s a quote that Krissy Hoitt, landscape designer with Stay Green really believes in. And at Stay Green, a landscape and irrigation firm in Santa Clarita, Calif., it’s the team’s ability to have mastered working together that has attributed to so much of their success.

Currently Stay Green is having a lot of success with conversion projects – converting existing jobs to weather-based controllers or upgrading to drip technology to create highly-efficient outcomes. Stay Green has a system of team members working together on drip projects. Hoitt shares an office with Shawn Enright, sustainability/conservation account manager, making it easy for the two to work together on turf conversion projects for existing clientele. “With me on the water side and Krissy on the design side, sharing office space makes it easy for us to go back and forth on a project,” Enright says.

“Account managers come to us with the project – they’re the point of contact for the client – and then we work with the account manager and/or our operation manager who is overseeing the project.”

Recently, Stay Green has been focusing on turf conversion for existing clientele with a switch over to drip irrigation. Coupled with water-efficient, California- friendly plant material, clients are embracing the water savings. But getting their sale is a true team effort that includes all parts working together.

“I’m doing most of the communication with the client,” says Jeff Norquist, operation manager. “But I couldn’t do it without the support coming from the team. Krissy gets me a conceptual rendering and it truly is a picture speaking thousand words.

“Once the client can see the renderings coupled with the formulas as to how much water they’ll be saving, the sale becomes a slam dunk. We install almost every project we propose and I really do attribute that back to working together.”

Hoitt says that what makes the team work is that each individual is allowed to be an expert in their own division. Instead of one person trying to wear multiple hats, the company has really learned to lean on one another for expertise.

Hoitt and Enright’s positions were created within the last year, but the value is already evident. “It takes some of the burden off of account managers who once had to get involved in multiple areas,” Enright says. “That makes them a jack of all trades but a master of none. But with individual team members handling their own area of expertise and working together, it creates an efficient system.”

The group says that various team-building events as well as meetings foster that environment. There are mini operations meetings held once every two weeks, which may seem like a lot, but helps keep everyone on the same page. In addition to those, there are quarterly meetings with the entire company.

“We also have various team-building events where we all go out as a group,” Norquist says. “That has really contributed to building up a team environment where we enjoy working together versus a company where everyone is out for themselves.”

And when you’re all friends, that’s easier to do, Enright says. “The truth is we’re in a profession where you can’t do it all by yourself,” he says.

“You have to work together and if you don’t, it’s ultimately not going to work. At Stay Green, we really do work as a team – from the entry level employee all the way up to top management. We work together and we communicate and that’s what makes us successful.”