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Grow with Grunder: A spring cleanup

May 3, 2021 -  By
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GLC’s trucks are designed to maximize organization. (Photo courtesy of Grunder Landscaping Co.)

GLC’s trucks are designed to maximize organization. (Photo courtesy of Grunder Landscaping Co.)

At Grunder Landscaping Co. (GLC), we take pride in having a place for everything and putting everything in its place. It’s something that people who tour our shop as part of our GLC Field Trips always remark on. Organization expands beyond our physical space. When we talk about organization, we’re also talking about how we have systems in place to facilitate information sharing and keep our teams on the same page. It’s not just because I’m a neat freak. We stay organized because we know it helps our business run smoothly.

We use organization and technology as a tool to help our teams do their jobs, and it becomes critically important each spring as our busy season begins.

What happens when you’re not organized?

I’ve talked before in this column about fear of failure being one of my strongest motivators, and that holds true when we talk about staying organized. If we think through what would happen if we didn’t get and stay organized, the picture is bleak.

A landscaping company’s biggest line-item expense is direct labor. The amount of time that our company would waste looking for the information, tools or materials they need to do their job both at our shop and on the job site would quickly eat away at our margins. Think about how productive a team can be with all the information and details they need clearly spelled out on the electronic work ticket on their tablet.

By staying organized, we create an environment people enjoy working in, keep our turnover low and eliminate waste that could affect our bottom line. Give your people the tools and organization to do their job with the least amount of frustration.

We use infrastructure that keeps us organized.

Our trucks have boxes on them that are painstakingly designed to maximize efficiency. Crews don’t have to load and unload every tool they use regularly in the morning; they are all stored and secured on the truck.

We also use the industry-specific software Aspire to keep our teams organized and make communication between different teams easier. When salespeople are getting the work ticket ready for production, they attach pictures, detailed instructions and any important specifics as if they won’t be available to answer questions. It takes more time upfront but saves time in the long run because crews can do their work independently and efficiently.

We recognize those who support our culture and train those who don’t.

Being organized is part of our culture and always has been. I often get asked how we get our teams to put things back where they go. Truth be told, we don’t have much of an issue with that. Our team understands what’s in it for them: By maintaining our organization systems, their jobs will be easier, too. We motivate them to help us stay organized, reward team members for following the process and give team members extra training when it’s needed.

I’ve always been organized, but as the times have changed, the best way to be organized has changed, too. When I began my business, we handwrote work orders that were filed daily, maintained binders with standard operating procedures in each truck and used a handful of rudimentary software options to do routes and manage customers’ contact information. We’ve evolved, and we now use Aspire as an all-in-one system to keep us on track.

At our next Grunder Landscaping Co. Field Trip, we’ll show attendees how we keep our physical spaces and our teams organized. See it all for yourself June 23-24. To learn more visit here.

Marty Grunder

About the Author:

Marty Grunder is president and CEO of Grunder Landscaping Co. and The Grow Group, based in Dayton, Ohio.

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