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View Full Version : Trugreen Bidding Ridiculously Low


lawnkid
03-18-2009, 02:04 AM
As a sign of the times be advised. I am on the brink of losing a large high-end landmark property to TruGreen LandCare because their company is in bad shape, they really want the account I service and are super desperate for work. When I saw the proposal myself I had to laugh but at the same point my blood starting boiling. I won't talk exact numbers but let's just say I bid against them for a sum greater than 30k in spring 2008 and got the contract for the whole nine yards(cutting, fert. treatments, bed-edging, mulch, tree trimming, irrigation maint. etc.). Last week, unknown to me because they already do lawn care for this customer at other locations, they bid one quarter of what they did last year and claim they will provide better service and more frequently. I can't even compete with that. This is a multi-acre property and after I did the math they can't be cutting for any more than $65 per cut and mulch will be installed for $12 per yard. This is also after I have gained several customers and compliments from this account has been in numerous publications for it's beauty and precise maintenance. So I just wanted to vent for all of my frustration and do not wish this happens to any of you. All of this is happening because a particular public office needs to shave it's budget 20% and do not care that they will be sacrificing quality because of it.

jtslawncare
03-18-2009, 03:07 AM
Hate to hear that man... Alot of companies are in bad shape right now... There's a landscaping company starting to mow this year and are mowing lawns for half price or less of what some of the other LCO's are doing them for.

Why don't you go talk to them and see how's it go from there..Possibly lower the price a little bit not like Trugreen's bidding it and see what goes on from there...

Lawn Pawn
03-18-2009, 09:08 AM
From what I have been told by former TG employee.... the way they manage accounts, and the inefficient way they run their crews is one of the nails in their coffin.

It seems they are signing their own death certificate by cutting prices even more. You hear a lotta stuff... but how much is true?

Frue
03-18-2009, 09:13 AM
As a sign of the times be advised. I am on the brink of losing a large high-end landmark property to TruGreen LandCare because their company is in bad shape, they really want the account I service and are super desperate for work. When I saw the proposal myself I had to laugh but at the same point my blood starting boiling. I won't talk exact numbers but let's just say I bid against them for a sum greater than 30k in spring 2008 and got the contract for the whole nine yards(cutting, fert. treatments, bed-edging, mulch, tree trimming, irrigation maint. etc.). Last week, unknown to me because they already do lawn care for this customer at other locations, they bid one quarter of what they did last year and claim they will provide better service and more frequently. I can't even compete with that. This is a multi-acre property and after I did the math they can't be cutting for any more than $65 per cut and mulch will be installed for $12 per yard. This is also after I have gained several customers and compliments from this account has been in numerous publications for it's beauty and precise maintenance. So I just wanted to vent for all of my frustration and do not wish this happens to any of you. All of this is happening because a particular public office needs to shave it's budget 20% and do not care that they will be sacrificing quality because of it.

You have to understand this is when truchem really starts to take off. You should buy stock in them because they will clean house this year. They have buying power and can add or decrease product very easily. I would go to the property manager and talk with him. Your best defense is comunication.

I hate to say this but lower your price. Do things like instead of putting on 1lb per tho go 3/4 slow release. If you think that I cant do that then realize truchem will. How do you think they can do a lawn for 20 bucks when everyone else is at 45. Pull back on your maintenance, skim coat the mulch. I know these ideas sound rough but this is what your comp is going to do! Keep the account at all cost!

ed2hess
03-18-2009, 09:37 AM
Frue is right you know whether you can match them since you know your exact mow/trim times on the property. In those TG contracts a lot of items are billable and not included in the monthly amount so ask if you can see the contract to match.

bohiaa
03-18-2009, 10:02 AM
Seems there BAd Businessmen at the wheel. these days.

I cant see how you could cut your price that much when your already in trouble and survive.
Stick to your guns

kaferhaus
03-18-2009, 10:08 AM
Frue is right you know whether you can match them since you know your exact mow/trim times on the property. In those TG contracts a lot of items are billable and not included in the monthly amount so ask if you can see the contract to match.


Been there and done that and you are right. Many times the property manager doesn't correctly read the contract. They see the monthly biling price and think that's it. On many occaisions over the years I've had to read it for them and point out that it's apples and oranges (the bids). One is full service with all costs explained up front and the other is "ala carte" with only the weekly service even priced! Hedge trimming, fert, pest and weed control mulch etc are all time and materials OR the pricing is so vague that no one can figure it out.

ProTouch Groundscapes
03-18-2009, 10:34 AM
I have been having customers ask if i would match trugreens prices for fert programs and i tell them that all my previous customers who had trugreen, use me now, or another fert company b/c of how bad trugreen has messed up their lawns. I have lost income b/c of not being able to mow at times b/c the lawn wasnt responding to the barely there fert treatments.

dishboy
03-18-2009, 10:53 AM
It's called Corporate Warfare. Operate in one region at a loss to put the competition out of business while sustaining profitability in another region. I watched Albertsons run a locally owned Grocery store out of business by operating in the red for two years. Once the business folded high grocery prices returned.

Perfect Image TLM
03-18-2009, 11:21 AM
Trugreen mows grass?

Runner
03-18-2009, 12:11 PM
...if that's what you want to call it...

Lawn Pawn
03-18-2009, 01:44 PM
Trugreen mows grass?

And does snow.

Trenchblade
03-18-2009, 05:15 PM
They just tried to do the same thing to us, but the property manager didn't go for it, mainly because she knows she is in for problems when they bid so low to try to get the job, then cant follow through with good work with such a low budget. Brickman is even worse, thats there favorite little game. they did that to us last year with a big property and we just got the call to come back to work over there because they were not spending enough time out there and it was looking like dodo.

topsites
03-18-2009, 05:42 PM
Seems there BAd Businessmen at the wheel. these days.

I cant see how you could cut your price that much when your already in trouble and survive.
Stick to your guns

Yeah...
There ain't but so many ways to cut the cake.
So it's probably a little more to the story than that...

But I won't be getting to the bottom of it, because I flat out don't care,
Trugreen is not my company, what they do is their choice and not my problem.

xtreem3d
03-18-2009, 07:44 PM
last year i had 2 guys work part time for me that had worked for tru-green chem lawn as applicators. they told me that at different times the supervisor would tell them they were going to do " the water thing" meaning they were spraying watered down chemicals or just plain water...easy to bid cheap when you do that. there can't be any other explanantion for such cheap prices..imo
steve

Taneli
03-18-2009, 07:50 PM
I worked for TruGreen Landcare 2 summers ago for an internship and learnt a whole lot. When the mulch the only spread at most a 1/2 inch if your lucky a 1inch layer of mulch even if it is a new bed. The other key for mulch is they buy in bulk like multiple tractor trailer loads at a time. The manager told me they pay 8 bucks a yard for mulch and it is quality mulch. Flowers they buy in bulk aswell and get those dirt cheap aswell. It all about quantity for them. I dont think we did a mulch job that was less than 150 yards.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
03-18-2009, 08:47 PM
I have never heard of TruGreen Landcare. I hope they don't start up around here any time soon.

Pietro
03-18-2009, 08:50 PM
Hey, when theyre asking Obama for a bailout then you know theyre in trouble.

ProTouch Groundscapes
03-19-2009, 12:36 AM
you just had to make this thread, ive only had to deal with trugreen chemlawn, and just today i saw a trugreen landcare pickup at a shopping center, prolly trying to get bid specs.

openbook
03-19-2009, 01:03 AM
Yup I heard that's the name of the game with public properties. My branch manager told me they always pick the lowest bidder. Congrats to you for getting the property published recognition, you must do A quality work.

Marcos
03-19-2009, 01:13 AM
You have to understand this is when truchem really starts to take off. You should buy stock in them because they will clean house this year. They have buying power and can add or decrease product very easily. I would go to the property manager and talk with him. Your best defense is comunication.

I hate to say this but lower your price. Do things like instead of putting on 1lb per tho go 3/4 slow release. If you think that I cant do that then realize truchem will. How do you think they can do a lawn for 20 bucks when everyone else is at 45. Pull back on your maintenance, skim coat the mulch. I know these ideas sound rough but this is what your comp is going to do! Keep the account at all cost!

Damn!
Should've known I'd hit the wrong button sooner or later! I'm in the wrong forum! :laugh::rolleyes:

lawnkid
03-19-2009, 03:19 AM
I have a meeting with all of the parties involved in signing the contract Friday morning so we shall see how things go. I have revisited my original bid and have sacrificed some of my profit margins in areas to shave a couple thousand off the top but I still get the feeling that I have no chance. We are by no means a big hitter in our area but we do quality work on some very high end properties and it seems like the commerical market is tanking but my residentials are still willing to have well manicured properties. We are currently adjusting our business plan and will plan for more of what's to come. Best of luck to everyone this season and despite these downfalls let's all keep our heads up :)