Springtime has long been associated with change in New England. Besides the changing of the clocks and the obvious changes that begin to take place in nature around us, it also tends to be a time when discerning property owners and managers tend to at least consider a change in landscape contractors. Coincidentally, it is often a time when the most skilled landscapers consider changing companies depending upon whether or not they feel they are getting the best return for the expertise and talent that they bring to work every day. Ironically, both the buyers of the service and the front line providers of the service are confronted with the same question although from quite different perspectives. How do they know that they have teamed with the most competent and forward thinking landscape company; a company that is able to train and retain the best crews and managers? A company that both appreciates and rewards those professionals that put the time in to be the best they can be. How can they be sure? In a word, training.
In a business climate where failed businesses outnumber successful businesses by more than 3 to 1, Greenscape Inc. has been fortunate enough to not only survive but to improve and evolve for three decades. Many of our long-term clients, partners and employees attribute this success to our insistence on maintaining our core values. Since our inception in 1987, our focus has been towards providing exceptional service in a consistently dependable manner. First generation, Family owned and operated, our beginnings were rooted in the local South Shore communities of Massachusetts as a landscape construction firm. Quickly realizing the need for professional, quality commercial landscape firms and understanding the symmetries of the distinctively different services, we entered into the commercial marketplace and added commercial grounds maintenance to our repertoire. In just a short time, we came to recognize the return on this strategic shift. We were now poised for the growth that is experienced by only a relative few in this industry.
When negotiating a landscape development contract with an owner one key topic is the project schedule. The expense of not delivering the project on schedule can be staggering and the damage to a relationship can be irreparable. The deeper into the schedule the project gets, the slimmer the margin of error and the fewer the options to recover days. This reality of construction is never more apparent than when trying to complete a project with Landscape development, specifically plantings and lawns in New England. Below are five helpful best practices to help you avoid getting caught with an incomplete project:
The procurement of a quality commercial snow contractor starts many months prior to the potential threat of any storm. Snow has the ability to impact your business, clients, residents and the general public like nothing else, and you want to partner with a qualified, prepared, trained snow removal expert. Waiting to secure a vendor exposes your organization to risk and liability.
The concept of vegetated roofs for their aesthetic value and their function can be traced back to ancient times. In recent decades we began to see the insurgence of vegetated roofs sweep through some of the more architecturally progressive US cities. With this movement, the function of these unique architectual elements began to evolve.
The modern day vegetated roofs, now commonly refered to as Green Roofs were frequently being enhanced with landscape elements that were better suited for social gathering.
One of the most difficult challenges in managing a landscape as a property manager, is trying to predict the unpredictable. How do you manage and budget with so many variables that can impact a landscape budget from season to season? From insects and disease to harsh winters, drought and floods, you have seen it all. How do you manage it, and still stay within your your budget?
When & how can you leverage the expertise of your trusted advisors
The scale and complexity of any project will usually dictate the percentage of budget to be spent (or squandered) on any phase of that project. A great example of this is the Landscape Development phase. A highly complicated, high profile and liberally budgeted Landscape Development project most often warrants a high level of investment from planning through implementation. These projects should be reserved for the paid specialty consultants from start to finish. A Registered Landscape Architect is the most common specialist for these projects.
For most developers and general contractors this represents only a portion of their projects. There are many landscape projects that require no special permits and therefore no special licensing. So how then do we avoid the added and sometimes unnecessary expense of paid consultants at every step of the process? The Trusted Advisor.
We all know that budgets not spent have a funny way of disappearing from future property management operating budgets. “Use it or lose it” they say. Now the question is how best to use that available money so you can maximize its impact not so much today, but in the long-term interest of your property or long-term reductions to your operating budgets. The basic assumption here is that your snow budgets and your landscape budgets are closely related, if not combined.
If you have had the benefit of a seasoned and professional landscape contractor, some of these options have likely been reviewed with you at some point. So where do you look to find landscape maintenance investment opportunities? I suggest that you start with either that list of deferred maintenance items or that five year capital planning list (that I know you all have). Here are some ideas: