Backstage pass

Lawn & Landscape, in conjunction with Bill Arman and Ed Laflamme of the Harvest Group, is bringing you behind the scenes at three of the nation's top landscaping companies. The project is sponsored by Verizon Connect and brings you exclusive access to tips of the trade you can apply to your own company.

We started Backstage Pass with Park West Companies, which is almost a $200-million company that operates with nearly 1,600 employees and is based largely out of California (with one location in Nevada). Here are some of the lessons we learned in our time with Park West:


Park West Episode One: Mishaps and major moments

Park West CEO Jim Tracy recalls what went wrong with his first installation in the industry, and talks about a major defining moment for the company.


Park West Episode Two: CEO approach

CEO Jim Tracy joins the group for dinner and discusses how he builds relationships with employees.

Park West Episode Three: Customer experience

A communication mishap and lost job changed the way Park West approaches customer service

Park West Episode Four: Renewals

Joely Mazzotti takes the Harvesters through the company’s proactive approach to renewals and price increases.

Park West Episode Five: All aboard

The company’s onboarding process involves meeting with some executives, and new employees received a 90-day follow-up survey to get feedback on the process.

Park West Episode Six: Tools of the trade

Systems help with fleet and equipment management, and the aesthetics of a truck are a major focus for the company.

Park West Episode Seven: All systems go

From morning dispatch to GPS, Park West has systems in place to keep crews as efficient as possible.

Park West Episode Eight: Walk with a purpose

With an early morning start, Park West has to be productive but also quiet.

Park West Episode Nine: Quality control

Brian Chinnery talks about how Park West grades jobs without putting too much on an account manager’s plate.