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View Full Version : A Scott's truck just showed up in my town?????


Five Diamond Lawns
02-15-2005, 10:58 AM
I noticed a Scott's fertilizer truck in my town yesterday ;) Didn't even know they had a residential spray fertilizer operation. Nice looking truck.
We have 3 companies in this are offering liquid fertilizer plus. One good and 2 so so. It will be interesting to see how they fit in. Scott's has such a good name with do-it-yourself homeowners.
Anyone have their operation in your area???? How are they????

mtdman
02-15-2005, 11:36 AM
I noticed a Scott's fertilizer truck in my town yesterday ;) Didn't even know they had a residential spray fertilizer operation. Nice looking truck.
We have 3 companies in this are offering liquid fertilizer plus. One good and 2 so so. It will be interesting to see how they fit in. Scott's has such a good name with do-it-yourself homeowners.
Anyone have their operation in your area???? How are they????

Scotts showed up here a few years ago. I am not sure how well they are doing, but I don't see a whole lot of them around here.

packerbacker
02-15-2005, 11:37 AM
They have been around here for a couple years also. None of my customers use them. We have one major company around here and its NOT TG or Scotts.

jt5019
02-15-2005, 11:58 AM
I have noticed TG and scotts around here a lot.True Green more than scotts.True green even has a snow plowing operation here now :rolleyes:

traman
02-15-2005, 12:04 PM
they are all over here ,5 of my customers had them, none of them now,we have bad bug problems here mole crickits ,cinch bugs ,grubs they can eat a lawn up in a week ,scotts just seemed to make things worse, all my customers
now use local or independent people who seem to be well on top of things

Tony Clifton
02-15-2005, 01:47 PM
Scotts has both franchise and corporate locations. The lawn care division is something that they started about 3 years ago, and is growing incredibly fast. The corporate owned offices are in the larger markets, they are also aquiring other lawn care companies as needed to help them grow. I think they will be a very large player in the next few years, especially with the name recognition. There is a Scotts franchise where I am, they ae small, 1-3 trucks, and seem to do decent work. They are nt very aggressive and I have no problem with them.

Jason Rose
02-15-2005, 02:24 PM
We have a Scotts van running around here as well. I have one customer that uses them. they are getting a little better each year it seems. It's all in who is running the local franchise. Tony is corect about them not being very agressive, I never really see and advertising other than a yellowpages ad I think, but they have the homeowner name recognition and that's their foot in the door. I can't count the number of customers that refer to what I apply as "turf builder" "halts" "summerizer" or "winterizer" All terms originated by the Scotts corp. I even looked into using Scotts professional products a few years ago, before the Scotts lawncare franchize so i could advertise that I use scotts products. Funny thing is, that Scotts lawn care does not use Scotts fertilizer, mostly Lesco as far as I know.

One turn off I had with them was with the one customer I have, last year, early summer the first time it really was getting dry. He had not been running his irrigation enough and had a number of clogged heads. Lawn was developing dry spots that were turning brown and also my tires were leaving tracks thru those spots. He called Scotts and they came out and treated for brown patch. which was crazy as it was late may I believe and there was no brown patch anywhere to my knowledge plus it was DROUGHT STRESS, nothing to do with high humidity and warm night temps. Ones it rained a couple times it greened back up, after that we worked over the sprinkler system and go it back working properly.

Oh, on a side note, I have noticed those cute green lawn signs from Chem Lawn popping up around town here. Humm, barelly the middle of febuary, a good month early at least for any preemergent around here...

yamadooski
02-15-2005, 03:14 PM
they are all over here ,5 of my customers had them, none of them now,we have bad bug problems here mole crickits ,cinch bugs ,grubs they can eat a lawn up in a week ,scotts just seemed to make things worse, all my customers
now use local or independent people who seem to be well on top of things

Ahh thats funny have them all over the place and everytime I see a sticker in the yard at my customers I run and tell them they will ruin yard and you might consider switching. Ive seen to many yards go down hill after they take over.
TG has mowing service here too. They do just as a crappy job as they do fertilizing.

MassLawnMan
02-15-2005, 03:49 PM
Scott's is gaining strength up here. Working for TG until recently, I would see there specialists and have a conversation. Scotts bought out TG's largest competitor in Mass., and it is starting to resemble the number machine that TG is. Their specialists told me that they do use lesco products often too. The difference between them and TG seems to be that their specialists are trained well, and the sales tactics are far less aggressive. You would think with the brand name's reputation with homeowners and a little marketing, they may give TG a run for their money.

tiedeman
02-15-2005, 04:09 PM
I have only noticed Scotts once here. They take care of a fast food restuarant...and that is all that I know of.

TruGreen has the market around here pretty much wrapped up big time, even though I hate them.

nitrotim
02-15-2005, 04:41 PM
I noticed a Scott's fertilizer truck in my town yesterday ;) Didn't even know they had a residential spray fertilizer operation. Nice looking truck.
We have 3 companies in this are offering liquid fertilizer plus. One good and 2 so so. It will be interesting to see how they fit in. Scott's has such a good name with do-it-yourself homeowners.
Anyone have their operation in your area???? How are they????



Thats funny. the other day I pulled up infront of my mothers house and there was a scott's van out front. When I got out of my truck the guy got out and started to come towards me. I told him that the owners already had a premium service of course. HE asked who and I said ME. SEE YA :waving:

launboy
02-15-2005, 06:11 PM
Scotts is in northwest indiana, noticed them last spring for the first time.They had vans know they have 3/4 ton gmc's. They don't mow, yet, so they don't bother me.

slow release
02-15-2005, 06:36 PM
As you may have guessed I wirk for Scotts Lawn Service. Our office is franchise owned. We are essentially a small, local business with a great name that everyone recognizes. We do not agressively market customers, have great retention rates and are on the higher end of the pricing scale in our market. All of our employees are extensively trained in both turf and customer managment. That being said, I can't speak for the entire company, only the guys I manage!

Envy Lawn Service
02-15-2005, 07:02 PM
Well, Scotts has been marketing the crap out of me, trying to get me to join up with them. I've never pursued it farther than reading their letters and throwing them in the trash. I've thought a time or two that maybe I was ignoring a good opportunity. But I dunno because I dunno how their system works and no one else I've talked to has ever even been contacted by them.

This leaves me to wonder a lot of things about Scotts.

slow release
02-15-2005, 07:16 PM
:confused: What do you mean by "marketing me", trying to provide service for your customers or trying to buy your accounts?

DUSTYCEDAR
02-15-2005, 07:26 PM
they bought out a company in my area and bit off more then they could chew they lost a lot of acc
i see the trucks but never see them doing anything?

RedWingsDet
02-15-2005, 07:56 PM
scotts and trugreen are the 2 biggest and the both suck ding dong. both because they rape the customer, and two because they do a horrible job, which I can understand because if someone paid me minimum wage to put fert down I would do a half-a$$ job too ;) But I bet scotts in your area succeeds just because they've been around for a while and they have the revenue to do mass advertising and customers trust them more then joe-shmo who does a better job.

I have this theroy, this business of lawns, landscaping, and plowing, it is more of who you know, not what you know.

Dont get me wrong though, the "what you know" gets you far, but the guy who has hookups already will go further.

slow release
02-15-2005, 08:11 PM
I have been with Scotts since day one when the doors opened in 2000. I used to work for a small company that was sold to TruGreen. I left after 1 year cuz they cut out all the good things we used to do. When I went to work for Scotts we had zero customers. We have been building slow and steady due to great service/grteat results

Wolfie's L&L
02-15-2005, 09:22 PM
I have noticed TG and scotts around here a lot.True Green more than scotts.True green even has a snow plowing operation here now :rolleyes:

Yea--True White :p Good one, eh?

Jason

ed2hess
02-15-2005, 10:05 PM
As you may have guessed I wirk for Scotts Lawn Service. Our office is franchise owned. We are essentially a small, local business with a great name that everyone recognizes. We do not agressively market customers, have great retention rates and are on the higher end of the pricing scale in our market. All of our employees are extensively trained in both turf and customer managment. That being said, I can't speak for the entire company, only the guys I manage!
I requested an estimate to get an idea of their prices. Over the next two years I got at least 20 mailing trying to followup. They mass mail our area at least twice a year. Scotts had a very high percentage of the fertilizing business in our area. But, a local large pest control company starting fertilizing etc. and doing lawn maintenance. They are taking the Scott customers away big time!! The pest control company does it all including the irrigation...if the grass don't look good you know who to call. And they do it all for $150 per month...normal mowing is $80.

slow release
02-15-2005, 10:33 PM
ed2hess, Texas is not in MY service area. As I said we are a franchise and do not follow any corprate models or systems. Operations are run however we choose. I am familiar with how TG/CL runs things and left because of it. If things were the same where I am now, do you think I would still be here?

LLCO
02-15-2005, 10:59 PM
Scotts is a pretty neat organization. I had an opportunity research Scotts last year and the fert. department. 1) Scotts does not have any plans as of yet to mow; 2) in 2003 they had substantial problems integrating the 60+ acquisitions they made; 3) They readily recognize that 50% of the fert market is done by independent and very well serviced. Their target is TG; 4) They see 80% retention in all markets and are looking to drive this higher; 5) Scotts will do very few acquisitions in 2005 and have slowed new franchises; 6) I think that they do not squirt. I think that they use spreaders with granular; 7) They use normal channels for gaining customers (Mail, telemarketing, etc); They are looking to reach 10% market share in the fert market. If you get a chance, read what the CEO has to say about the market. It is enlightening. Ornamental and perimeter pest are the areas that they will look to expand.

Customer service is the primary goal of this company and they can walk the walk. This is all in my honest opinion.

rkk95
02-15-2005, 11:11 PM
It was a really nice day today around Pittsburgh, so I went out and knocked on a few doors. I got six new customers, and three of them had Scotts. They bought out at least two large locally owned companies in my area, and I couldn't be happier, they have very poor service. I can only speak from my area and from what I see and hear from their former customers.

Jozgators
02-15-2005, 11:19 PM
Saw a Scotts truck at a neighborer house then couple days later received a flyer from them saying "You'll be seeing us around in your neighborhood." Call for a free lawn evaluation.

NattyLawn
02-15-2005, 11:24 PM
I worked for the Scotts in Pottstown, PA...Granular fert, draggin the hose for weed control...They acquired 2 rather large LCO's to get 90% of their customers...Turnover rate among employees was atrocious, service calls were poorly handled, if at all...I didn't receive commissions, customer retention bonus taken away, and OT was paid at 10% of your weekly rate (ie: 500 a week, 5 dollars an hour for OT. I was told that's lawn care industry standard). Glad to hear others have found good experiences from working there...

Envy Lawn Service
02-19-2005, 01:22 AM
:confused: What do you mean by "marketing me", trying to provide service for your customers or trying to buy your accounts?

Marketing me personally. Basically they have sent me stuff trying to get me to join up and come aboard with them, as a franchise owner. I can't remember rather or not they ever put anything in any of the sucessive letters suggesting interest in possibly buying me out.

Honestly, what intrigued me most about it all is WHY they seemed to have singled me out among my competitors. I didn't know rather to be flattered or offended? I wondered how they aquired information about me? Rather they had resources or if someone referred me?

Anyways, I checked things out a bit further since reading this thread. It appears to me that they have good resources for gaining information on the friendly neighborhood LCO and good prospecting methods for putting their offers in the hands of already successful LCO's who have the means to 'buy in' to their program.

The burning question on fire in my mind is what in the world is in it for me?

promower
02-19-2005, 01:55 AM
Scotts is a good company. They are high price but they do good work. I met up with one of the owners last year, he was fertilizing a lawn that I was giving a mowing estimate to. We got to talking exchanged cards and now he refers all his mowing calls to me, and I refer my application calls to him. It's nice knowing I can refer my customers to someone who will do a good job and I never have to worry about him trying to take maintenance work from me. It works great and has generated a lot of new accounts. Anyone who doesnt do apps should talk to the owner and network with them and exchange work. With their name recognition they get a lot of calls, many of them for services they dont offer which is pretty much everything besides apps.

Envy Lawn Service
02-19-2005, 02:28 AM
Promower,

Beware, there is no service they do not offer now. They just might not be ready to offer full service in your immediate area yet. You should go to their site and enter your zip code and a few ajoining ones to see what you find out. You may well be giving them an invitiation to push you out of business.

What if Scotts came out and offered a one stop shop for all their needs at every one of the accounts you have referred them to? Many of them would feel perfectly comfortable signing up with them for everything else and one bill, especially since they already do a good job for them on the applications. Could you survive loosing them all?

Be Careful.....

promower
02-19-2005, 03:43 AM
I can see where you are coming from. That is a possibility to, I have talked with the guy several times throughout the year, he's a nice guy but I dont know him well enough to say he wouldnt do that. He actually asked me if I was hiring because he had a nephew that wanted to get into mowing for a summer job while he goes to college. My instincts tell me he's ok and I'm usually good at knowing what kind of person I'm dealing with. He's older too says his body cant handle the more physical labor. Guess if he did pull something like that I would be getting my apps. license real quick.

slow release
02-19-2005, 09:40 AM
Scotts has been in the fertilizer business for 150 years. I don't think you need to worry about them entering the mow/maintain market. Personally, in my area I have several Landscape Contractors I trade accounts with. I refer them for mowing, they refer my for fert. This is a great way to add on customers fairly quickly as sometimes a lnadscaper will call me with 10-15 accounts at a time.This site is all about networking, go outside and do it face to face with somebody! payup

coastallandscapesolutions
02-19-2005, 09:50 AM
They have shown up here too only they are also doing mowing.

Tony Clifton
02-19-2005, 10:00 AM
Envy, not to burst your bubble or anything but they send information to lots of landscape contractors trying to get them to becomce a franchisee. I was getting the material a few years ago until someone in my area but a franchise. If I were some of you guys I would buy the franchise up before someone else does. It would be a great opportunity.

mo-fleet
02-19-2005, 10:21 AM
I started noticing Scott's around here a year or two ago. You can't miss that colorful van. They do one of my customers lawns and compaired to the other big (Green) company, They do a pretty good job. Speaking of the other company, they just did some kind of application on a neighbors yard the other day. I did'nt see them, I just saw their little flag in the yard. What would they be putting down this early already?

out4now
02-19-2005, 11:06 AM
Haven't seen any Scotts trucks here yet, a few TG trucks but they have been declining lately. I wonder if the guys that you are seeing mowing are just adding this service on themselves to their franchises rather than it being a company motivated thing.

gvpa20
02-22-2005, 08:21 PM
Saw a Scotts truck at a neighborer house then couple days later received a flyer from them saying "You'll be seeing us around in your neighborhood." Call for a free lawn evaluation.

yea, that branch of Scotts is located in Ocala I used to be the Branch Manager. Now I run my own Lawn treatment business and would love to gain some more customers in Clermont so if you just mow maybe we can get together for lunch. Call me. :D

Ron Holcomb
BioGreen, Inc.
352-427-4067