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May 2014 Web Extra: Lawn Cure’s SQA program

May 13, 2014 -  By
Patrick Hawkins

Patrick Hawkins

When Patrick Hawkins left corporate America to join his wife’s family’s lawn care company, he brought with him a few tactics from his previous career. (See the May 2014 cover story, “New direction,” for more on Hawkins and others in their second-act careers.)

One of them is a Service Quality Audit (SQA) program, used to ensure technicians in the field are conducting business “exactly the way it’s supposed to be done,” says Hawkins, president and general manager of Lawn Cure of Southern Indiana, based in Sellersburg, Ind.

The basis for this program, which Hawkins developed based on a 20-year career at shipping company DHL Express, is a spreadsheet that outlines what a lawn care technician should do at every single stop. All technicians are audited randomly 10 to 12 times per 10-month season by Hawkins or the company’s service manager.

“It’s a training piece,” Hawkins says. “Everything is documented, but we don’t use the SQA as a means for trying to document someone out of a job. It’s to improve the business.”

After the audit, the technicians are either complimented on a job well done or counseled about what they missed. “We talk about it and move on,” he says. Employees also sign the document.

Additionally, Lawn Cure uses the SQA as a selling point.

“In this day and age, customers are getting pricing from tons of other companies,” Hawkins says. “When you can add that you can have a quality program, the customers seem to really like that there’s a check and balance on the back end.”

Marisa Palmieri

About the Author:

Marisa Palmieri is an experienced Green Industry editor who's won numerous awards for her coverage of the landscape and golf course markets from the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA), the Press Club of Cleveland and the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE). In 2007, ASBPE named her a Young Leader. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism, cum laude, from Ohio University’s Scripps School of Journalism.

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