Whether it’s a restaurant chain, a convenience store, a pharmacy or hospitality, the “chain” model has earned the reputation for value, consistency and convenience. While patronizing these multi-site establishments, oftentimes one cannot tell if he or she is in their hometown or at a location in a completely different state. The service, and the aesthetic is consistent no matter the geographical location. It comes as no surprise that the businesses offering this delivery model expect the same quality, value and consistency from their vendors and service providers. A business location can have the best service provider in their region but if that exact same service cannot be scaled to cover multiple regions, then the ability to consistently reproduce their brand becomes increasingly difficult. This challenge grows with each location added, and as the distance from the base grows. In no industry is this fact more evident than in the landscape business. Some of the most forward-thinking, process-driven landscape service providers have been able to capitalize on this fact. In doing so, they have been able to consolidate hundreds of client locations in multiple states into a single contract, a single point of contact, and in many cases, a single invoice.
The successful execution of this service delivery model yields a multiplier effect. A perceptive person will quickly realize that most businesses with multi-site locations, whether they be complimentary or competition, tend to localize in the same neighborhoods within the distinct regions. An efficient landscape branch that is well located and creatively structured to be nimble, can be routed and managed for maximum productivity. Beyond the original target client, the branch often finds itself with excess capacity and conveniently located to pick up work from a multitude of nearby, similarly structured target businesses all within the seamless flow of their daily routes. When this occurs, the landscape service provider and the chain businesses all experience the pinnacle of service, consistency and value. A true win-win. If you are responsible for managing multiple locations and you have not yet explored the consolidation of vendors to add value, improve consistency and quality and to reduce costs, it may be time to investigate this option. The easiest way to find the most qualified landscape service provider is to visit your local chain store and see who is servicing it. If that is not a possibility, please contact Greenscape’s Corporate Headquarters in Raynham, MA and they can connect you with their nearest branch location.
It’s amazing what can happen in a year’s time. In Dave Foreman’s case, a welcomed change came last September when he joined the Greenscape family. As a Business Development Manager, Dave is responsible for curating new opportunities while maintaining existing customers in the Virginia, DC & Maryland area. The combination of the two is extremely exciting as it allows for the ability to develop long-term sustainable relationships. Throughout his time here, he has demonstrated exceptional work ethic and is well respected by both his
co-workers and customers.
Dave’s devotion to the company was evident from the very beginning as he established himself as someone who was willing to jump into various roles when necessary & lead by example. Dave attributes the mindset as being engrained in the Greenscape culture. “That’s how the entire Greenscape team operates. No one is above anyone else here; we are all in this together.” The collective understanding of the common goal is a notable difference to prior employers Dave has experienced. “You don’t feel like a number here, which you do at some other companies in the industry. It’s an uplifting & positive atmosphere, and we truly believe in transparency. That’s one of my favorite things about the company, it’s transparent & your input is valued.”
Dave’s current role has also provided an opportunity to showcase his creative expression through design & enhancement projects. (Beacon Park pictured below). His adaptability, versatility, and positive mindset makes him a tremendous asset. “It’s great because we all work very closely and collaborate quite often- so you may be presenting a bid one day & a few days later hoping in a truck to help plow- it’s all aiming towards the same goal.” While we can’t be certain where you’ll see Dave next, whether it is a job site or committee meeting, he will have his energy & contagious attitude. We are proud to work with folks like Dave who are invested in success in their role, their team, and the Greenscape family.
While we are in the midst of the summer season, the Greenscape teams are already beginning to prepare for the upcoming winter. Greenscape regularly meets with clients to understand their true objectives, and ways to improve our snow service. The conversation of late has largely been centered around the introduction of Salt Brine as an effective tool to use in combatting winter storms. We hope the following information helps to provide valuable insight into the effectiveness and limitations of Salt Brine.
What Is Salt Brine?
Salt Brine is an effective liquid solution for fighting snow and ice on roadways, parking lots and walkway. Salt Brine is made in tanks circulating specific amounts of rock salt and water until the concentration of salt in water reaches a specific percentage. The solution is then pumped into holding tanks in preparation for use. Other elements such as calcium or magnesium may be added to address specific temperature ranges of a storm to increase the effectiveness of the application.
Salt Brine is used to pre-treat surface areas in anticipation of wintry conditions. If applied before a winter storm, Salt Brine will begin working as soon as the first snowflake falls and will help delay the accumulation of snow and ice on the pavement. While granular salt alone lowers the freezing temperature of ice, it must be wet for the chemical reaction to take place and melting to begin. Putting dry salt down means you must wait for pre-melting to begin - Salt brine jumpstarts this process.
When Is Salt Brine Used?
One of the major benefits of Salt Brine is the ability to apply Brine up to 48 hours in advance of a storm. The peace of mind knowing that your property is treated and prepared for an event is substantial. Lots of things can go wrong before a snow storm: forecast changes, equipment breaks down, traffic etc. Knowing that your property has been pretreated is extremely re-assuring when facing these variable factors. Despite the many positives of Salt Brine, there are certain weather conditions in which the application of Brine is not advisable. Contractors should monitor weather forecasts and record pavement temperatures to correctly diagnose the optimum application times.
When Is Salt Brine Not Advisable?
How Is Salt Brine Applied?
Salt Brine is applied in specially designed trucks with holding tanks and spray bars. The spray bars apply several streams of brine onto the roads. Sidewalk units can spray brine from a hand-held wand or powered spray unit. These units allow the applicator to control the amount of material applied based on the conditions present or forecasted.
Is Salt Brine Better For The Environment?
Salt applications to roads and paved areas have a major impact on our environment. Salt naturally migrates into lakes and streams and can have a major impact on your landscape plant material. Salt corrosion is one of the leading causes of road and bridge deterioration in Northern climates. Brine applications to an area use ¼ of the salt that would be applied in a similar application. In addition, because it is directly applied to the surface there is no scatter or bounce into unintended areas.
What Are Some Of The Other Advantages Of Salt Brine?
Why Doesn’t Everyone Use Salt Brine?
The main reason that Salt Brine use has not been widespread is that there is a significant upfront investment in the equipment and training needed. Most customers are paying for De-icing on a per application basis, and there is no incentive to the contractor to make a switch.
Why Do Snow Contractors Over Salt?
Salt Brine is one major component in the all-encompassing snow and ice management services Greenscape provides. With teams prepared 24/7, we are well equipped to handle the unique challenges of winter. We keep abreast of weather conditions and forecasts, so we are prepared well in advance to care for your property in the event of a storm or precipitation. If you are interested in reviewing options for your property this winter, please Click Here!
Here at Greenscape we place an extremely high value on the culture that we foster and core values we possess. We focus heavily on our commitment to our employees, commitment to our clients, and commitment to the organization as a whole. Ensuring our employees have access to training & education is paramount for their upward mobility as well as the growth of the company. We sat down with Greenscape employees from various roles and heard first hand what makes the environment truly feel like a family. Check out the video below to hear their compelling stories!
A MAJOR SNOW SEASON is no excuse for not having
A WINNING CURB APPEAL
As we are approaching what we hope is the end of what has proven to be a difficult winter in terms of snowfall and the adverse affects of that snowfall, my colleagues and I have decided to put ourselves in your shoes. If you are receiving this communication, it is because you are somehow involved in the development of, direct or third party management of, ownership of or simply interested in the grounds surrounding corporate, commercial, industrial, municipal or institutional facilities. We’ve brainstormed and came up with the top five topics that we thought you as owners and managers might be grappling with.
1. Property and grounds
The visible and invisible damage that occurs on your property as a result of snow and ice control. This ranges from broken trees, branches, shrubs and damaged signage to excessive sand, compaction and turf damage caused by snow removal equipment and stockpiled snow.
With snow budgets blown and landscape budgets being stripped, how can we meet the expectations of curb appeal that our clients and tenants demand?
3. Clients, tenants and employees
Morale is low and patience is being tested. Parking spaces are a premium (and not just on city streets). With snow piles mounting, visibility is diminished and the simple trip from their vehicle to the building has become a gauntlet of snowbanks. Now more than ever people simply want the inconveniences to be eliminated.
Normally, we can expect to see signs of transitioning from winter into spring. By mid-March we start to see the familiar signs of spring clean-ups and mulch being applied on our properties. At a time when we most need those signs of spring, the clean up schedules are going to be impacted by lingering snow banks and excessively wet ground.
5. Vendor relations
The true measure of a relationship is measured under stress. Has this snow season revealed strength and depth or capacity and communication deficiencies in your vendors? What levels are acceptable and what are the true costs of such failures and value of successes?
The good news is that none of these challenges are new. Those of us who have been in this business for twenty years or more have seen this cycle several times before and we will surely see it again. With thoughtful planning and prioritization, you can take control of these conditions and drive the outcome that you want. We are all largely in the same boat and those of us that plan properly will be clear winners in the battle for curb appeal and balanced budgets.
For those who may not have the experience, make sure to reach out to your landscape professionals to help you sort through the competing needs. If you don’t have a comfort level with your service provider, Greenscape employs certified experts in most of these areas. We would be happy to sit down with you and help you put together a plan free of charge that you can implement. Click here firstname.lastname@example.org to send us an email, or if you prefer, give us a call at 508-977-9100 and ask for Jon.
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By: Jon Ciffolillo
We’ve all heard the phrase “There’s no time like the present”, and it couldn’t be more relevant when it comes to our blog topic this month: Pruning! While some believe pruning should be performed only during the fall season or after your plants & trees have bloomed- in many cases pruning is a practice that can be employed year-round. Our team here at Greenscape has been meticulously pruning properties and would love to share some tips & insights with you.
What is Pruning & Why?
Pruning is the act of trimming or thinning the branches and foliage that collectively create the form and structure of plants, shrubs, and trees. The intended result is to keep them looking aesthetically appealing as well as strong, healthy and safe. Keep in mind you should not prune more than 1/3 of a tree or shrub at a time. In the most basic and most functional pruning you would begin by removing damaged or dead stems and branches. After you have gotten rid of the dead foliage, next look for any branches that may be rubbing or crossing each other as these will pose a problem in the future, remove the less dominant branch or less aesthetically pleasing. It is important to remove any new growth that has sprouted around the base of the trunk (often referred to as sucker growth) and also along the branches themselves that shoot up vertically, referred to as water sprout. In addition, be mindful of new buds that may impact the look of the tree or shrub come spring time. When training some of our newer staff, we try to keep it simple and stick to the basics;
Tips During the Winter Months
-Great time for reduction pruning to maintain form of tree or shrub
-Pruning on dry and moderate days are the best for the plant
-Remove dead or damaged stems or branches
-Carefully remove overgrown branches or rubbing and crossing branches- increasing airflow and light exposure to the tree.
-Make sure to not remove the strong & healthy branches which hold your plants structure.
-Cut as close to the node as possible and at an angle to maintain the beauty and health of the plant.
-Keep your equipment clean. Disease is often spread by improperly maintaining and cleaning blades. If you are pruning a known diseased or infected tree or shrub you should clean the blades after each cut not to spread.
By employing the correct techniques and the proper, well maintained equipment, your plants will be well on their way to creating healthy & strong limbs, as well as beautiful lush foliage. If you’d like our professionals to take a look at your property please reach out!
When determining your landscape budget there are a multitude of factors to keep in mind. The main goal is to identify those components and employ a strategic approach that will best suit your property and it’s needs. Too often managers use a generic proposal, or an outdated scope of work for multiple properties that have very different needs. A one–size fits all approach is not only inefficient, it can produce lower quality results.
Greenscape aspires to attract and retain the most talented and dedicated employees available in whatever markets we compete. To that end, we have developed internally a very comprehensive employee reward program with which we can both encourage and reward the behaviors that allow us to remain best in class. We like to think that those who interact with Greenscape professionals notice the difference. Beyond our spontaneous rewards for excellence, we maintain monthly, quarterly and annual awards throughout all of our locations. Still, from time to time, one employee rises to the top in exemplary fashion. This employee is recognized both internally and externally with our “Employee Spotlight".
Mother Nature can be unpredictable, especially in New England. For a business whose winter livelihood relies mainly on snow removal, the volatility of the winter months can wreak havoc on business plans and business relationships. How a business deals with this volatility is a pretty good indicator of their expertise and professionalism. There are countless ways to combat and plan ahead for these ever-changing conditions. Whether you have a responsibility to your direct employees or to a third party, having the strategic foresight and simultaneous adaptability will ensure success at your property.
Finally, we can all agree that winter is merely a distant memory. The spring clean ups are wrapping up, curbing and irrigation heads that were damaged from snow plows have been repaired, and we are on to the next phase. Despite the seasonal challenges of New England weather, landscaping crews are finally settling into the regular routine of landscape service. Now is a time of year when it becomes vitally important to be assessing your landscape.
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