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Aspire and accountability among highlights of The Grow Group’s Fall Tour

November 3, 2020 -  By
25 lawn care and landscape professionals got an inside look at Grunder Landscaping Co. during its Fall Field Trip. (Photo: The Grow Group)

Twenty-five landscape professionals got an inside look at Grunder Landscaping Co. during The Grow Group’s Fall Field Trip. (Photo: The Grow Group)

“What’s your ideal client?” Marty Grunder asked attendees toward the start of The Grow Group’s Fall Field Trip, held at Grunder Landscaping Co. in Dayton, Ohio, last week.

Grunder told the 25 landscape professionals that identifying GLC’s ideal client helps shape so much of what GLC does. Grunder was proud to show off his employees during the two-day event and his employees, in turn, would relish in promoting Grunder Landscaping Co. 

“Let your people talk about what you do,” he said. “It’s fun for them.” 

Grunder said he stresses Grunder Landscaping Co.’s mission to his company’s employees ad nauseam. 

“One of the signs you’re on track is when you find your employees making fun of you,” he said, noting employees may roll their eyes at this focus on the mission statement, but there is a reason for doing so. “They’re not just words on a paper. They’re how we operate. This is our owner’s manual.”

Fall Field Trip attendees got a chance to take a close look the organization system in Grunder Landscaping Co.'s shop. (Photo: LM Staff)

Fall Field Trip attendees got a chance to take a close look the organization system in Grunder Landscaping Co.’s shop. (Photo: LM Staff)

It was a little bit of a different feel for the Fall Field Trip. Attendees wore masks at all times and networked while remaining socially distant.

Grunder Landscaping Co. employees shared some of the ins and outs of GLC’s departments during the tour. Grunder challenged the Fall Field Trip attendees to quiz his staff on GLC’s mission during the presentations. When someone asked Dalton Yates, director of design-build for GLC, what his company’s mission statement was, he effortlessly answered: “To enhance the beauty and value of every client’s property while exceeding their expectations every step of the way.” 

Grunder said this focus on the mission statement helps his employees understand how the company is going to get to where it’s going and how they’re going to behave. Vince Torchia, vice president of The Grow Group, echoed this when he led attendees in a session about accountability. 

Torchia illustrated the point by highlighting something he learned from how Field Trip attendees interacted with the pre-event instructions. He said he’s taking something back and will improve on the communication for future attendees. 

“If I’m not getting the results I want, what can I do?” he asked. 

Torchia said leaders either push people up or pull them down. He equates this relationship with employees to an emotional bank account. Interactions either withdraw or add to that emotional bank account. 

“You can’t withdraw without adding to it,” he said. 

Grunder Landscaping Co. has several dashboards that track specific metrics and show the current week's job schedule and next week's job schedule, all run through Aspire Software. (Photo: LM Staff)

Grunder Landscaping Co. has several dashboards that track specific metrics and show the current week’s job schedule and next week’s job schedule, all run through Aspire Software. (Photo: LM Staff)

Grunder introduced GLC’s COO, Seth Pflum, who talked to attendees about GLC’s transition to Aspire Software. 

“Aspire is driving the company,” Grunder said. “We have wrapped ourselves around Aspire, not Aspire customizing (the software) for Grunder Landscaping Co.” 

Pflum said GLC was able to eliminate 33 spreadsheets and reduce redundancies in GLC’s processes and five total overhead positions. 

“The key is to eliminate wasted steps and processes,” Pflum said. “All information is. In there, you just have to change your point of view.” 

Pflum and Grunder said this year and the COVID-19 global pandemic hastened the transition to processes in Aspire and the company took an all-in approach.

“A lot of people weren’t questioning why we were doing things,” Grunder said of the company’s adoption of Aspire.

Pflum and Grunder said having real-time data has helped GLC fine-tune its finances. 

“It’s almost like an X-ray,” Grunder said. “It shows us what we need to adjust to make changes. Good managers make good decisions with good information.”

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