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View Full Version : Chalk Up One For The Good Guys!


MMLawn
07-08-2006, 11:58 AM
Well, dude and dudettes mark up another victory for the "good guys"......us privately owned LCO's vs. the Huge Corp LCO's

We started a huge commercial property yesterday. It is a 5 year deal, full lawn and landscape maintenance. The property is huge, in a primo location and is owned by a very large publicly traded (NYSE) corporation. I don't want to name it really just yet, but a couple other LCO's here locally that I know and talk with regularly know what it is and that I got it. It is such a great visible property with such name recognition that I promise you every LCO in the area would salivate at the chance to get it. That is not intended as boast any way at all, only to show the type property it is. I was contacted by their property manager on May 1st and told that they were very unhappy with the quality of work they were receiving from their current LCO and said that "anybody can cut grass, but we are looking for more than that" and would I email them a bid and photos of our commercial work on larger high volume commercial sites. Of course I did. I had to then fly to Chicago to negotiate the final contact with their corp attys (I would have looked up my buddy Bill-6'7 330 and let him buy me a steak, but it was only a day trip, so he lucked out). Of course my main concern was the details of them dumping the current LCO...the why, so we didn't have the same problem. They told me who the LCO was and why they were ending their relationship. After seeing before and after pics they had of what they had ask of the company (time and time again, and documented) and what they were getting, I could clearly see why they were not happy. Not, horrible work, but certainly not great work either....kinda just going threw the motions kinda work which I think is typical for the bigger companies, but the company was paying for great work and not asking for anything that wasn't in the scope of the contract. Anyway we negotiated a contract that was very fair to us both. One of the things that they suggested and I really liked was that we are allowed to have professional signs made (at our expense of course) and posted at each of the sites main entrances that have our company logo and phone number and that we maintain the grounds. I think that is always a great form of advertisement for any company.

Now, the company that was doing this acct is one of the largest LCO's in the country and has offices nearly nationwide and employees thousands of people. Now this is and will continue to be a labor intensive job, not a PITA at all, only intense and that is find cause I knew that going into it. I know that a lot of the guys on here don't have the manpower and resources that I have been blessed to have, to bid and take on such an acct, but it sure does make you feel good not only as a business owner but also a fellow privately owned LCO working everyday to beat out a living going up against the "big boys" and winning!

ProStreetCamaro
07-08-2006, 12:10 PM
Brickman was the other LCO that got dumped right?







































































































































YaY I win a prize!

CutInEdge Lawn Care
07-08-2006, 12:13 PM
Congratulations Mike!!

GPDesign1
07-08-2006, 12:13 PM
Congrats Mike!

I'm starting to understand how David slew Goliath... Goliath was probably tied up in a do-nothin' meeting when he shoulda been taking care of bidness...

Smack! Upside of the ol beener! :hammerhead:

Good job!

gp

MMLawn
07-08-2006, 12:13 PM
Brickman is tiny, compared to this company.

MMLawn
07-08-2006, 12:16 PM
Congrats Mike!

I'm starting to understand how David slew Goliath... Goliath was probably tied up in a do-nothin' meeting when he shoulda been taking care of bidness...

Smack! Upside of the ol beener! :hammerhead:

Good job!

gp


Right on Gary! And exactly what I told them in our meeting. With the current company they got a NAME Brand and a Supervisor with a District Manager probably based out of Atlanta.....with my company they got ME and for me it wasn't just "business" it is my entire livelyhood! I think they liked that.

mulcahy mowing
07-08-2006, 12:27 PM
Good for you! Glad to hear that, you deserve it your guys do nice work.:usflag:

Splicer
07-08-2006, 12:39 PM
Wanna share your pics you impressed them with???

Congratulations!!! One day maybe...one day...

mowerman90
07-08-2006, 01:20 PM
Way to go, congrats :clapping:

Up North
07-08-2006, 01:24 PM
Right on Gary! And exactly what I told them in our meeting. With the current company they got a NAME Brand and a Supervisor with a District Manager probably based out of Atlanta.....with my company they got ME and for me it wasn't just "business" it is my entire livelyhood! I think they liked that.

Yep, I bet they did. Congrats Mike and show us some results once you get settled in there and get things looking good. Way to go man.

Buck

Idealtim
07-08-2006, 01:30 PM
Movin up, movin up!

all ferris
07-08-2006, 03:59 PM
MM
If you ever come around my neck of the woods (St. Louis) I will buy you a couple cold cocktails of your choice and give you some of the best cow meat you've ever had.......on second thought maybe since you are doing so well you should buy.

Good for you and I hope everything works out (I'm sure it will). The mom and pop shops aren't gone yet!!!!

nmez21
07-08-2006, 04:15 PM
Great job and congrats! can't wait to see some pics! :usflag:
:drooling: :drooling: :drooling:

LLandscaping
07-08-2006, 04:29 PM
Congratulations. The larger company just don't strive to provide quality and dependability.

lawnspecialties
07-08-2006, 04:34 PM
Good job, Mike. I would imagine this outfit's name starts with a T. If that's the case, even better job!:)

chuck bow
07-08-2006, 05:34 PM
glad you local guys have won one , went by a big national grocery chain store today( meirers) and saw a group of out the area people mowing and doing maintenance , everyone in the group plus foreman was hispanic . A local company used to maintain this property and it looked so good now it looks like horrible workmanship, bet the locals got beat on price, it just pisses me off to see a group of hispanics coming in and prob lowballing toget the work, This used to be our country but not anymore pretty soon we are going to be a minority in our own country. I may get bashed on this but its what i see and how i feel feel , and after seeing that i may not shopthere again .

stumper1620
07-08-2006, 06:07 PM
glad you local guys have won one , went by a big national grocery chain store today( meirers) and saw a group of out the area people mowing and doing maintenance , everyone in the group plus foreman was hispanic . A local company used to maintain this property and it looked so good now it looks like horrible workmanship, bet the locals got beat on price, it just pisses me off to see a group of hispanics coming in and prob lowballing toget the work, This used to be our country but not anymore pretty soon we are going to be a minority in our own country. I may get bashed on this but its what i see and how i feel feel , and after seeing that i may not shopthere again .
Meijers is not a national chain, It is a 5 or 6 state chain based out of Grand Rapids Mi. any low rent can get their lawn care or plowing, the have a online auction of the bidding to the lowest bidder. go ahead and request a bid pack, they give you a special web site to get your specs and bidding starts on the date they specify and goes until nobody can afford to go any lower.
What a Joke! The winning bids are so low I would quit before I turned a key.

Tony Clifton
07-08-2006, 07:39 PM
glad you local guys have won one , went by a big national grocery chain store today( meirers) and saw a group of out the area people mowing and doing maintenance , everyone in the group plus foreman was hispanic . A local company used to maintain this property and it looked so good now it looks like horrible workmanship, bet the locals got beat on price, it just pisses me off to see a group of hispanics coming in and prob lowballing toget the work, This used to be our country but not anymore pretty soon we are going to be a minority in our own country. I may get bashed on this but its what i see and how i feel feel , and after seeing that i may not shopthere again .
Do you think it is the hispanics that bid the property, or did your pee sized brain ever think that maybe these guys maybe are employees of a company owned be "Americans" that bid the job.

Oxmow
07-08-2006, 08:50 PM
Starts with a T? I'll say it TRUEGREEN, DIVISION OF SERVICEMASTER!!!

Do i get the prize?

I have taken a number of jobs from them myself. Nothing that big but smaller properties that get lost in the "big guy" shuffle it seems.

Got a friend that used to work for them as an estimator and quit. Seems he would work on a proposal and his supervisor, if he new the yes man at the company being bid, would close and get the commission on the deal.

Well I too have had my share of seeing their far reaching arms from companies going to a "national" service contract. Most only to return after a year or two of their service.

Surf'n'Turf
07-08-2006, 09:50 PM
You sure you're one of the 'good guys?'...or did you send Paulie Walnuts in there to strongarm the management? j/k....sounds like a winner for you!

deereman
07-08-2006, 10:03 PM
MM I am not for sure what you run for equipment other than a few Z-Traks. What else do you have for bullets? I am awaiting your response.

RedWingsDet
07-08-2006, 10:07 PM
Meijers is not a national chain, It is a 5 or 6 state chain based out of Grand Rapids Mi. any low rent can get their lawn care or plowing, the have a online auction of the bidding to the lowest bidder. go ahead and request a bid pack, they give you a special web site to get your specs and bidding starts on the date they specify and goes until nobody can afford to go any lower.
What a Joke! The winning bids are so low I would quit before I turned a key.

Ditto.... I have to Meijer accounts and im getting screwed on the one account, however on the other account im making real good money so it ends up making up for it when the both are added up and divided among the hours spent.

However I was not the lowest bidder, the lowest bidder was like $165 when the store is like 35 acres. I got that one (not at 165) and another store but I make out pretty well, however I will never cut another meijers store for a while.

Anyway back on topic, thats sweet about the new account Mike

chuck bow
07-08-2006, 11:29 PM
Pea size brain huh Tony i guess that iam not smart enough to know that it was a hispanic company because on the trailer half of the signage was spelled out in spanish and not american very very few american words on the trailer ......... maybe you havent lost any accounts to these kind of people but i have and it sure pisses me off

Tony Clifton
07-08-2006, 11:39 PM
If you are losing accounts to these people maybe you should try shifting your focus to a different market segment. Don't target or even bother selling to customers who you think will change to one of those kinds of companies just because they are less expensive. Focus on selling to higher end customers who are willing to pay for your services and would not even want one of those kinds of companies on their property. There is plenty of work out there for everyone, dont waste your time on customers who are interested in the lowest price.

Tony Clifton
07-08-2006, 11:43 PM
Hey Mike, just a quick appology for getting off topic, congrats on the new account.

Freddy_Kruger
07-08-2006, 11:50 PM
MMLawn, when you make your "professionally made signs" to adverstise on your new job (congrats btw) don't use you sig as a slogan.


"We do a real crappy job, BUT we charge a lot for it!"

AAELI
07-09-2006, 12:40 AM
Congrats MMLawn. It is good to hear postive results from people taking pride in their labor.

All the best on this new job. You said 5 years on the contract, is that with option years or the term of your initial contract? Either way it is great to hear of your success.

No national chains willing to come out here. Only sizeable jobs are the military base contracts. We did them for 10 years before taking a breather.

Palmer'sLS
07-09-2006, 12:50 AM
mike, i know that you are a first class business man, and that you have no time for a small lco like myself....but i'd just like to see some pics of these big accounts you do...congrats on the big 'tract:clapping:

kootoomootoo
07-09-2006, 12:57 AM
Hard to imagine Trugreen Landcare losing an account.

Assuming it was TGL and that we ignore the typical 50%+ cancellation rate at a typical lawn care branch as a basis for my statement..........and if it was TGL NC ......sux chit brian.

sildoc
07-09-2006, 02:06 AM
Thats good. Always good to see a local guy get a nice Account. Nothing against corporate America as we all strive to have a business that big, however in corporations the local touch and pride lacks.
I guess we are lucky as we have no corporations around here that do landscape maintenance. There are several large companies that hve 30-50 employees but they are home grown like us all.

K.Carothers
07-09-2006, 02:44 AM
mike, i know that you are a first class business man, and that you have no time for a small lco like myself....but i'd just like to see some pics of these big accounts you do...congrats on the big 'tract:clapping:


Don't hold your breath.

Illusion is everything.


kc

Palmer'sLS
07-09-2006, 03:23 AM
Don't hold your breath.

Illusion is everything.


kc


i have faith in him:laugh:

K.Carothers
07-09-2006, 04:21 AM
i have faith in him:laugh:


Lets wait and see...


kc

K.Carothers
07-12-2006, 12:30 AM
mike, i know that you are a first class business man, and that you have no time for a small lco like myself....but i'd just like to see some pics of these big accounts you do...congrats on the big 'tract:clapping:


Still waiting...:sleeping: :sleeping: :sleeping: :sleeping: :sleeping:


put up or .......................


kc

Wil22
07-12-2006, 12:46 AM
Congratulations Mike, job well done.:clapping:

grass-scapes
07-12-2006, 10:02 PM
Well, I know the property he is referring to, and it wasn't done badly by the other lco. It wasn't perfect, but how many of us are when it comes to our work. Mike has a lot of large, govt accounts and has the crews to get it all done. This new property is VERY high profile, and very spread out. There are not many of you guys who would even attempt to bid on this project.

I wish him luck on this property.....Maybe I will get some of his table scraps....LOL

dvmcmrhp52
07-12-2006, 10:22 PM
Still waiting...:sleeping: :sleeping: :sleeping: :sleeping: :sleeping:


put up or .......................


kc



And you'll probably continue waiting my friend.
To those who have made it there is no need to prove it.
Keep trying though.........

dvmcmrhp52
07-12-2006, 10:44 PM
Good for you Mike, I guess the steaks are on YOU this weekend.............
I'll be out friday!:usflag:

MMLawn
07-12-2006, 10:52 PM
Dave buddy, you come (anytime) and I WILL buy....Ruth's Chris is just up the street... :waving:

MMLawn
07-12-2006, 10:53 PM
Well, I know the property he is referring to, and it wasn't done badly by the other lco. It wasn't perfect, but how many of us are when it comes to our work. Mike has a lot of large, govt accounts and has the crews to get it all done. This new property is VERY high profile, and very spread out. There are not many of you guys who would even attempt to bid on this project.

I wish him luck on this property.....Maybe I will get some of his table scraps....LOL


J- I've got more than some scraps for ya..... :waving:

Did you find a new trailer for your cab-over btw?

garth1967
07-13-2006, 12:27 AM
congrats on the contract .its great to read a good story like that .well done mate

grass-scapes
07-13-2006, 07:44 AM
J- I've got more than some scraps for ya..... :waving:

Did you find a new trailer for your cab-over btw?

Not yet. Im looking, but anything that will suit my needs has to be ordered. Everyone seems to be backed up in their production.

I DID get a price for a rebuilt tranny for the Ford, though. Reman ford tranny = 2695.00 installed and a rebuilt Jasper for 2895.00

one day down time with the truck and the jasper has a better warranty.

3-5 days if I have the existing tranny rebuilt with a 12 month warranty.
No exact price could be given, just 1600 to 2500 is the range.

Brendan Smith
07-13-2006, 10:08 AM
i'm very glad for you :clapping: :clapping: :clapping:

hope everything goes well and you continue to grow:weightlifter:

it is nice to see david beat goliath.

WJW Lawn
07-13-2006, 12:05 PM
CONGRATS MIKE!!! Thats ALWAYS a great story to read!

J&R Landscaping
07-13-2006, 01:52 PM
Congrats Mike!! Can't wait to see some pictures.

dvmcmrhp52
07-13-2006, 06:10 PM
Not yet. Im looking, but anything that will suit my needs has to be ordered. Everyone seems to be backed up in their production.

I DID get a price for a rebuilt tranny for the Ford, though. Reman ford tranny = 2695.00 installed and a rebuilt Jasper for 2895.00

one day down time with the truck and the jasper has a better warranty.

3-5 days if I have the existing tranny rebuilt with a 12 month warranty.
No exact price could be given, just 1600 to 2500 is the range.



I've had two Jasper engines put in vehicles in the past and it has worked out well.

MMLawn
07-13-2006, 06:14 PM
Not yet. Im looking, but anything that will suit my needs has to be ordered. Everyone seems to be backed up in their production.

I DID get a price for a rebuilt tranny for the Ford, though. Reman ford tranny = 2695.00 installed and a rebuilt Jasper for 2895.00

one day down time with the truck and the jasper has a better warranty.

3-5 days if I have the existing tranny rebuilt with a 12 month warranty.
No exact price could be given, just 1600 to 2500 is the range.

Hey J- HOLD ON. One of the local VP's for Jasper is one of our residential clients and has been for years.....I'm calling him right now to see if I can get you a better deal/price.....I'll call your cell.

NNJLandman
07-13-2006, 07:26 PM
Congrats on the new account, must be really great to finally get that big account/break in your career that we all wait for one day.

Jeff

Thirdpete
07-13-2006, 09:15 PM
i dont think he waited for it, seems like one of those things you pursue.

MMLawn
07-13-2006, 09:45 PM
Don't hold your breath.

Illusion is everything.


kc


Well....normally I ignore "taunts" or at least try :sleeping: (unless they are physical threats :laugh: ) and as DVM said I don't have to prove squat to anybody, believe me or don't believe me..I don't care..doesn't pay any of my bills or add or subtract from my business either way. But this morning around 11AM we got what I thought was a funny call at the office and for whatever reason it made me think of your taunts.

SO, I called the foreman of my main travel crew and ask him to snap a couple pics of them and what they were working on today and email them from his phone to the office. They were in Raleigh, Durham and Research Triangle Park today. Now it isn't this new contract because we serviced it already this week. But it is a few little accts that total about 30 acres and the crew that does them. Now before you say...set-up.....the reason I called this foreman is because he is the only foreman that has a camera phone. See, I give my crews cells, but I am a cheap azz so I buy them the cheapest phone I can. This foreman is my best so when I upgraded my phone I gave him mine.

4 man crew (of course the 4th one-foreman is taking the pic)......

their equipment

F350 Dually
8.5x28' Enclosed
3-JD 60' 757's
1-36" Hydro WB
1-48" Hydro WB
4-Trimmers
2-edgers
3-BP Blowers
3-BP Sprayers
various other crapola

MMLawn
07-13-2006, 09:46 PM
another angle......

MMLawn
07-13-2006, 09:48 PM
this is a little 5 acre property we do in Research Triangle Park, NC owned by IBM......you know the computer giant

MMLawn
07-13-2006, 09:51 PM
this one is we do is "attached" to IBM's prop in Research Triangle and is about 11 acres and is owned by a Canadian Electronics company......

MMLawn
07-13-2006, 09:54 PM
this one, 14 acres and also in the Park is part of Nortel....you know the communications giant...

then after these they had a little 5 acre Civil War Historic property to do so they had a full day.....

grass-scapes
07-13-2006, 11:43 PM
Mike, I thought you were the only one who wore those ugly orange shirts.....LOL.

At least visibility isn't an issue. :usflag:

MMLawn
07-13-2006, 11:45 PM
oh...man...dissing our company tees....... :laugh:

DLCS
07-14-2006, 12:09 AM
Cool pics. I'll assume that is your new enclosed trailer that you posted about awhile back? How's it working out for your guys?

J&R Landscaping
07-14-2006, 08:11 PM
Looks Good!