Conserva Irrigation is surviving — and thriving


For Conserva Irrigation, an irrigation firm with franchises across the U.S., the business is not just surviving — it’s thriving, according to Russ Jundt, founder of the company.

“While it’s been an awkward time where we’ve needed to pivot and be more thoughtful and more prepared, with all the different CDC protocols, our sales for Q1 were up 65 percent year over year and it’s not slowing in April,” Jundt says, adding that the company has been declared an essential business in all of the states where it operates.

In addition to wiping off equipment (including customers’ controllers), frequent hand washing and using sanitizer, keeping vans and vehicles limited to a one-person capacity and encouraging social distancing practices, the company has implemented other protocols to keep its clients and employees safe. For example, at some locations, technicians’ temperature is taken and recorded before they’re allowed to work.

“We’re being attentive to people’s needs. We’re asking our customer base if they’re comfortable with our services continuing. We’re also asking the client that if they are quarantined, we’d prefer not to be there and we’d rather reschedule that appointment (to keep our technicians safe),” Jundt says. “We’re also working with our technicians and giving them the option (to come to work) relative to their personal beliefs or personal well-being as some of our technicians are high-risk.”

The company has also escalated the development of a platform where technicians can assemble a digital estimate on-site and email that to the client instantly.

“Normally we would share that information in a paper format side by side with the client or even on an iPad, but now we’re able to share that via email, and they can stay a safe distance away and go through that in the comfort of their home while our technician remains outside,” Jundt says.

While Jundt says no one could have been foreseen a pandemic, Conserva felt somewhat prepared as it had already run through a series of contingency planning exercises late last September with different measures to prepare in the event of a downturn or some sort of economic change.

“We had already started that planning process last September, and then as things started to evolve in mid-to-late February, we understood that we better get some guidelines put in place so we can be ahead of the curve for each of our franchise locations,” Jundt says.

Jundt says he expects Conserva will continue to do well, despite the economic fallout from COVID-19.

“Due to the nature of our business being a need-based business, the fact that our services are a smaller-ticket amount and that we’re a repeatable service, we anticipate that in a downturn, that we would remain robust and remain busy, and we anticipate that this will definitely continue,” he says.

Sarah Webb

Sarah Webb

Sarah Webb is Landscape Management's former managing editor. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University, where she studied journalism and Spanish. Prior to her role at LM, Sarah was an intern for Cleveland Magazine and a writing tutor.

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