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View Full Version : How are you cutting costs??


B. Phagan
07-01-2003, 11:56 AM
Good day to you all................

I am looking for ideas to share with the industry on ways to save and/or make money.........what are you doing to accomplish this?

Maybe using a specific piece of equipment that saves time and labor, using equipment in a unique way, procedures you've implemented to assist you, information gathering tools you use or any practice you've employed to save and/or make money.

Think this would be an interesting thread............so throw out those great ideas you are using..........

SprinklerGuy
07-01-2003, 05:09 PM
may or may not be what you are looking for:

Changed payroll cycle to every other week...saves money on payroll costs plus an added benefit of cash flow improvement.

changed accountant from Monthly to quarterly...saves about 1000 per year

Started purchasing the parts that I can direct from manufacturer or wholesaler.....in bulk....saves huge if you have the money

Moved my corporate office to Colorado......saves HUGE on gas for me, the owner, due to the fact that I don't have to drive around Metro Phoenix daily burning gas.....my gas bill went down 2500 per year.....of course my long distance bill went up 1200 per year!

Stopped eating lunch out......200 per month

all these cost cuts were done out of necessity...in order that I could hire an office manager....frees me up big time.

AztlanLC
07-02-2003, 11:19 PM
I have change to doubles (blades) since 3 years ago and have seen my profit up.

B. Phagan
07-03-2003, 09:08 AM
Please elucidate for edification...............not clear on the two blades thing...........

Rob T
07-03-2003, 11:21 AM
Record Keeping...

Been implementing a Database to track all aspects of biz. Has helped me to see the biz clearer, show where profit is coming from, show where loss of profit is going to, etc.

Also enter completed job data on a daily basis rather then at the end of the month. Helps eliminate unbilled / incorrectly entered jobs.

Went to bi-weekly payroll a few years ago. Has helped as SprinklerGuy said.

dmk395
07-04-2003, 09:47 AM
Switched from walkbehind mowers to Wright Standers

LawnLad
07-04-2003, 11:15 AM
Investment in the business has helped us to overcome our labor shortage. I figure I've made more money than I would have been able to even if I had more guys. More guys = more managment and possible problems.

Five years ago I bought the dingo... best spot laborer I've ever had.

Bought a sod cutter - we don't use it all the time, but we use it more now that we have it rather than just renting it for the larger jobs. Now we can do quick little installs in no time flat.

Bought a LESCO 50 gallon spray tank to do weed and fungicide apps. Have been using granular fungicde which is more expensive to apply. We've been back pack spraying our lawns which took forever. A spray tank gives us better results much faster. This has reduced the crew time each week required to spray and has allowed them to pick up more bed maintenance.

Bought a Ryan slit seeder. Now we can do quick overseeding jobs that we would not have done before or would not have been as effective.

Went from a 52" Great Dane Surfer to the Exmark riding mower with bagging attachment. Now clean ups are much faster and the lawns look better. The guys arent' as tired and are more productive. They also have more time to do more add on billable work.

Hire subcontractors to do work that is not within the core business. We hire out our tree work, sprinkler work, masonry, electric, plumbing, and some carpentary. If we tried to do these trades it would slow us down. Hire it out, mark it up slightly, and focus on what we do best where we'll make the most money and move onto the next job. Gives us greater capabilities without having to be invested in the trade.

Bought a 10 cu ft wheel barrel with the double wheels for mulch. We dont' spread much of it, but the 10 cf is better than the 6 cf ones. Sped up our production time saving us money on the job.

When we turned over our trucks this past year, we went from straight 8' snow plow blades to 9' 2" V blades, increased our effieciency by at least 40%.

Equipment is a sunk cost. It costs to buy it and let it sit, we do try to use it. But I'm not affraid to buy a piece of equipment to speed up a portion of the productionto increase revenue per guy or improve the job we're on to make it look better. Buying the sod cutter means the guys aren't on their hands and knees with a spade now stripping out 50 sq ft of sod to expand a bed. They can do it in three minutes and aren't tired after the job.

We are considering the following for future investment:
Bed edger (we have Turfco now... considering better one)
Integrated data base for manaing customer informaiton and production data
Bulk salt in the winter instead of bagged salt

Hope there a couple of suggestions you could use. Invest in the business wisely. I have a reason I buy each piece of equipment. Not just because I think it would be nice but because I think I'll make more money with it.

Reasons to invest could be:
Reduce employee fatigue - making them more productive/happy
Increase production - fit more work into the day
Improve quality - increases customer retention

tiedeman
07-04-2003, 07:50 PM
reduced loading time
elminated double copying invoices, which saved on paper and ink cartridges
elminated the acceptance of credit cards...just wasn't worth it in the long run.

dougmartin2003
08-05-2003, 01:21 AM
i switched from a truck with a 350v8 to a van with a 4.3 v6 save about $35.00 a week

dougmartin2003
08-05-2003, 01:22 AM
on gas

KenH
08-05-2003, 08:05 AM
I second the eating out plan. Those dollars really addup.

Bought a Bed Edger....saves labor hours.

Keep my equipment well maintained to save on downtime.

Grassmechanic
08-05-2003, 09:55 AM
Originally posted by B. Phagan
Please elucidate for edification...............not clear on the two blades thing........... might take him awhile to figure out what you're asking:D

B. Phagan
08-05-2003, 11:07 AM
Gentlemen,

Thank you for replying and giving info on how you are saving money. I am in the process of putting all this great knowledge into my 3rd Quarter MoneyTree Newsletter and will be e-mailing to all who I have their address.

Thanks again.

DanaMac
03-03-2004, 11:06 AM
I remembered this topic from last year and wanted to bring it back. I've made a few changes to save me money.

Shopped around for liability insurance and biz truck insurance. With the new company my liabilty goes up about $120 for the year, but my truck insurance goes DOWN by $1000. Didn't realize I was getting raped on that.

Qwest phone company sent me notices for money saving plans. On the home line I will be saving $30-$50 a month by changing plan and going to their long distance instead of AT&T. Business plan I will be saving $24 a month.

I am trying to gain as many email addresses as possible. We are a sprinkler company and send out letters 2-3 times a year. I can save on postage by emailing my newsletter to them or even email invoices. When you send out to 700 people the postage adds up.

Switched health insurance to a medical savings plan - saves me $100 a month

And I'm trying to pay off the credit cards and stop paying the interest and late fees.

I also bought a client list last year that ended up with me paying out $3000 by years end. That was for one year only. No more paying on that.

I should be a rich SOB this year!!!

netgear
05-04-2004, 09:12 PM
Hello i have a Toro Dingo 320d for sale. it has the following attachments: Soil Renovator( cultivator) , Auger Power Head, Bare Trencher w/ bar less chain, Standard Bucket, and trailor w/ accessories. It only has 600 hours of use. i will sell everything for only $11,000. Located in Somerset NJ capitalgroup@spininternet.com
Thank You
Spencer Craig

GreenQuest Lawn
05-04-2004, 09:48 PM
With the price of gas hitting $1.98, starting tomorrow, I will take half the spark plugs out of my equipment to run on 1/2 the cyclinders.;) :p

DJL
05-04-2004, 09:55 PM
I saved money by spending less. I made more by charging more.


About the Dingo...

What year?
Are you the original owner?
Do you have maintenance records, including receipts?
Do you have any pics?
Honestly, what kind of shape is it in?
Does it work?
What's the reason for selling?
Are you willing to sell only the dingo and some/few of the attachments?

haynestotallawns
05-04-2004, 11:18 PM
alright I gotta ask some of you bigger guys in the biz a question. You say you buy more equipment to reduce the fatigue on your employees and at the same time the equipment will reduce the time it takes to do a job, there by allowing you more time to add more work to a day, more work more profit I understand completely. Does this (adding more work in a day from the new machines) not in return bring about added fatigue to your workers because instead of doing say 1 large job in a day you are now able to do 2? I guess what I'm saying is this, employees are going to be just as tired so why not just say the equipment is meant to improve prodution (which it is) and yes it does make jobs easier for employees but now they are doing more in a quicker fashion than before. Their fatigue factor isn't going to change. From my stand point when I upgrade my equipment I become faster and can take on more of a work load and when I take on more of a work load I'm having to work harder to keep up. I'm still as fatigued now with the better equipment than I was when I had crap when I first started. Sorry to ramble on, and this isnt meant as a flame to anyone it's been a long day and it's just getting started for me.

scott's turf
05-05-2004, 04:10 PM
Originally posted by haynestotallawns
alright I gotta ask some of you bigger guys in the biz a question. You say you buy more equipment to reduce the fatigue on your employees and at the same time the equipment will reduce the time it takes to do a job, there by allowing you more time to add more work to a day, more work more profit I understand completely. Does this (adding more work in a day from the new machines) not in return bring about added fatigue to your workers because instead of doing say 1 large job in a day you are now able to do 2? I guess what I'm saying is this, employees are going to be just as tired so why not just say the equipment is meant to improve prodution (which it is) and yes it does make jobs easier for employees but now they are doing more in a quicker fashion than before. Their fatigue factor isn't going to change. From my stand point when I upgrade my equipment I become faster and can take on more of a work load and when I take on more of a work load I'm having to work harder to keep up. I'm still as fatigued now with the better equipment than I was when I had crap when I first started. Sorry to ramble on, and this isnt meant as a flame to anyone it's been a long day and it's just getting started for me.

Would you be more tired at the end of the day if you mowed all day on a 21" mower or 52" Z? If you walked or rode on a sulky? If you shoveled snow or used a snow blower?

I believe you can improve production and reduce employee fatigue at the same time.

Trevors Lawn Care
05-07-2004, 08:28 PM
scott...
Very well put.