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JBird
03-11-2005, 10:55 PM
Maybe I am venting here. I have spent the last several weeks talking and selling my customer service and companies workmanship to the Grounds Maintenance Manager at the new Delivery Hub for the east coast headquarters of a MAJOR shipping firm. The site is 105 acres. There is so much trim work it's pathetic and large open areas as far as you can see. Not one guardrail is located so you can get anything but a 30 inch push mower behind it and light poles, hydrants, truck slave stations, curbs and wow everything everywhere. Oh yea, I almost forgot the 15 ft. security chain link fence that runs the entire property. I figured three guys two days and that's busting hump. Some of my competitors blew me out of the water. US LAWNS and TRUE GREEN (turf dye) both bid 25,000 and 27,000 per year in that order....HOW? Based on 29 - 32 cuttings my labor and fuel is more than that, H*LL my foreman would have made half that from that job alone. Let alone W.C., Unemployment and a million in liability insurance. Some one some where please clue me in. I thought I had a handle on bidding but maybe I need to go back to school. Lord knows I just took a trip to the wood shed. :mad: :gunsfirin :confused: :o

procut
03-11-2005, 11:10 PM
Wow, not sure what to tell you. I guess those guys arn't making much.

newleaflandscape
03-11-2005, 11:25 PM
Not sure about maryland but here in michigan those two companies are very very effecient. They have the best equipment and get things done fast and with good quality. Which is why I dont do lawn mowing. No way to compete between them who do quality work for a reasonable price and the guys mowing for beer money that just get it done cheap. I wouldnt say one bad thing about them though. They have worked to get where they are and have done alot of research on how to run a large company and make money at it. Kudos to those guys, but ya it sucks for anyone who is trying to compete

dvmcmrhp52
03-11-2005, 11:26 PM
Why try to compete with those companies?
They are strictly volume and work on economies of scale. It is impossible for a small business to compete with their pricing and why would you want to?
Now quality.........that's a different matter.

They'll be using a mexican workforce at a low dollar wage and quality is not a question.

You didn't get sent to the woodshed, you just can't compete with the walmarts of lawnworld.

By the way, not everybody shops at walmart...............Good thing too!

ed2hess
03-11-2005, 11:32 PM
You got to keep in mind the extra stuff is where the money is made(i.e. irrigation repair, new landscape, fertilizing, weed control, etc. etc.). You said there is 105 acres but there surely can't be much more than 200K of grass correct?

promower
03-11-2005, 11:37 PM
I would say a 105 acre property would include a little more than 200K of grass :dizzy:

DiscoveryLawn
03-11-2005, 11:46 PM
I'm just curious. What was the actual square footage of turf area?

David

captken
03-12-2005, 12:07 AM
Not sure about maryland but here in michigan those two companies are very very effecient. They have the best equipment and get things done fast and with good quality. Which is why I dont do lawn mowing. No way to compete between them who do quality work for a reasonable price and the guys mowing for beer money that just get it done cheap. I wouldnt say one bad thing about them though. They have worked to get where they are and have done alot of research on how to run a large company and make money at it. Kudos to those guys, but ya it sucks for anyone who is trying to compete

Some of us have the best equipment and get things done fast and with good quality. I do quality work for a reasonable price and I am not one of those quote guys mowing for beer money that just get it done cheap unquote...are you stereotyping us here? We work had to get where we are and have done a lot of research on how to run a company and make money at it...Kudos to us guys...and screw you! Maybe you were a low ball outfit working for beer money and beer screwed your mind up. Go on back to the landscape forum.
kenneth leak...

mottster
03-12-2005, 12:32 AM
We have a company in our area that is going around low balling all the contracts trying to squeeze us middle-sized companies out of the larger accounts that you need to really jump in size. This company will go into a property and tell them that they will beat their lowest bid by 10%. Time after time they keep picking up properties. Now this company did 8 million last year and they're still growing rapidly. But how can they be beating everything by 10%? They must lose tens if now hundreds of thousands of dollars of profit by doing this. Best solution we can come up with? The company is backed by many many many very wealthy people that have no problem dishing out thousands of dollars every year to let this company do business the way they do. Sucks for us guys that are getting close to 1 million in sales + but what can you do? Some of us are thinking about starting a union to try to regulate prices in the area. But we, at my LCO are beginning to look towards our own investors to help the loss of these properties. We lost 2 this year to this company, but we also gained 3 to replace those. But still, we can't grow very easily like this. Frustrating, yes it is. But its what you have to deal with when you play with the big dogs. Just remember....if these companies prices are too low for you ot match you have to sell the customer on your quality, customer service, and straight out brown-nosing ability. Eat or be Eaten.

dvmcmrhp52
03-12-2005, 12:35 AM
We have a company in our area that is going around low balling all the contracts trying to squeeze us middle-sized companies out of the larger accounts that you need to really jump in size. This company will go into a property and tell them that they will beat their lowest bid by 10%. Time after time they keep picking up properties. Now this company did 8 million last year and they're still growing rapidly. But how can they be beating everything by 10%? They must lose tens if now hundreds of thousands of dollars of profit by doing this. Best solution we can come up with? The company is backed by many many many very wealthy people that have no problem dishing out thousands of dollars every year to let this company do business the way they do. Sucks for us guys that are getting close to 1 million in sales + but what can you do? Some of us are thinking about starting a union to try to regulate prices in the area. But we, at my LCO are beginning to look towards our own investors to help the loss of these properties. We lost 2 this year to this company, but we also gained 3 to replace those. But still, we can't grow very easily like this. Frustrating, yes it is. But its what you have to deal with when you play with the big dogs. Just remember....if these companies prices are too low for you ot match you have to sell the customer on your quality, customer service, and straight out brown-nosing ability. Eat or be Eaten.



They are simply gaining market share by undercutting others.
Once they own the market guess what happens to pricing?

mtdman
03-12-2005, 12:42 AM
They are simply gaining market share by undercutting others.
Once they own the market guess what happens to pricing?

Yeah, but that's a dirty cycle because someone new will come in and underbid them once they start upping prices. Which is why I stay outta the big job competition and focus on making money else ways.

dvmcmrhp52
03-12-2005, 12:47 AM
Yeah, but that's a dirty cycle because someone new will come in and underbid them once they start upping prices. Which is why I stay outta the big job competition and focus on making money else ways.




True to an extent.
When I say pricing will increase it will not be above the local market rate it will probably still be very competitive due to the economy of scale.
They'll just have very little real competition.
Brickman does a good bit near us, I'm not interested in their work, their not interested in ours.

Lawnworks
03-12-2005, 12:49 AM
This company will go into a property and tell them that they will beat their lowest bid by 10%. Time after time they keep picking up properties. Now this company did 8 million last year and they're still growing rapidly. But how can they be beating everything by 10%? They must lose tens if now hundreds of thousands of dollars of profit by doing this. .

Sounds like a good strategy if you need volume. Underbid by 10%. I think it could work for a company not an individual.

Sucks for us guys that are getting close to 1 million in sales + but what can you do?.

I take it you work for a company is close to making 1 mil a year since you are 18.

Some of us are thinking about starting a union to try to regulate prices in the area. But we, at my LCO are beginning to look towards our own investors to help the loss of these properties..

A union?? What in gods name are you talking about? It is competition... find a niche, and don't vote democrat.

bayfish
03-12-2005, 12:56 AM
Jbird...Your first mistake was trying to sell them on quality and workmanship. LOL!
If this transportation company is anything like the one I worked for for 24 yrs., could be the same one for all I know, They won't care about that as much as they do price. They may have one area near a customer entrance that they may care about, but that's about it. It's hard for me to believe that they would want that much turf area cut 29-32 times. If this is a distribution center or hub, they probably have what, 5-6 acres under roof, another 20-30 acres paved lot or more. Is there a retention pond or run off area? How big is that?
How much turf area is the customer actually going to see? You were there, not me, but my guess is that this place is along an interstate and not in a city limit, so they have some restriction on grounds appearance but not much. The county is not requiring a whole lot from them, they're just pleased to have them there. The company that gets the contract will do most of the trim with roundup and the vast acreage of grass will be cut once or twice a month probably with a bushhog. But what the customer sees will be well maintained.

Brianj
03-12-2005, 12:58 AM
Maybe I am venting here. I have spent the last several weeks talking and selling my customer service and companies workmanship to the Grounds Maintenance Manager at the new Delivery Hub for the east coast headquarters of a MAJOR shipping firm. The site is 105 acres. There is so much trim work it's pathetic and large open areas as far as you can see. Not one guardrail is located so you can get anything but a 30 inch push mower behind it and light poles, hydrants, truck slave stations, curbs and wow everything everywhere. Oh yea, I almost forgot the 15 ft. security chain link fence that runs the entire property. I figured three guys two days and that's busting hump. Some of my competitors blew me out of the water. US LAWNS and TRUE GREEN (turf dye) both bid 25,000 and 27,000 per year in that order....HOW? Based on 29 - 32 cuttings my labor and fuel is more than that, H*LL my foreman would have made half that from that job alone. Let alone W.C., Unemployment and a million in liability insurance. Some one some where please clue me in. I thought I had a handle on bidding but maybe I need to go back to school. Lord knows I just took a trip to the wood shed. :mad: :gunsfirin :confused: :o
i have seen some of us lawns work in my area and they suck.. i told the manager of the bank where i bank and us lawns does it that if i let my properties look like this id get fired.. he said he knew that but that they were cheap..

bayfish
03-12-2005, 01:02 AM
Unions don't set prices, they set wages. What your talking about is price fixing, and that's illegal.

Soupy
03-12-2005, 02:14 AM
Unions don't set prices, they set wages. What your talking about is price fixing, and that's illegal.

Price fixing is done all over the world everyday. You are correct though, there is a law that says it is illegal.

Additionally, setting a price to be charged only within a certain area in order to get rid of competition or to create a monopoly is generally illegal under most state laws.

mtdman
03-12-2005, 02:40 AM
i have seen some of us lawns work in my area and they suck.. i told the manager of the bank where i bank and us lawns does it that if i let my properties look like this id get fired.. he said he knew that but that they were cheap..


And that, right there, sums up the entire mentality behind commerical mowing. The cheapest lco wins, screw quality, screw service. If they meet or beat their budget for lawn care, they are happy. I don't wanna work that way.

old dog
03-12-2005, 03:14 AM
They are simply gaining market share by undercutting others.
Once they own the market guess what happens to pricing?
Waste Management has been doing the same thing for years in their industry.
Lowe's,Home Depot ,and Wal-mart in their markets.Keep looking for a way to
find the weak spot,it is what competition(like steroids in baseball) means.
There is an operator in my area who bid a large public park area for mowing
at $9.00 per acre.If I know he is bidding,I don't even waste my time!

newleaflandscape
03-12-2005, 11:02 AM
orig post by captken Some of us have the best equipment and get things done fast and with good quality. I do quality work for a reasonable price and I am not one of those quote guys mowing for beer money that just get it done cheap unquote...are you stereotyping us here? We work had to get where we are and have done a lot of research on how to run a company and make money at it...Kudos to us guys...and screw you! Maybe you were a low ball outfit working for beer money and beer screwed your mind up. Go on back to the landscape forum

Captken

Not tryint to sterotype lawnmowers in any sense. I am just stating that lawnmowing is getting to be a rough industry to compete in with these type of companies. They do quality work around here at a low price and I can respect that. No harm intended

JBird
03-12-2005, 03:04 PM
the skinny on the acreage.... 105 acres total, 3 water management ponds, 4 acres, 6 acres and 9 acres rough cut every 4-6 weeks, April thru Nov.
60 acres of finish grass including the crown of the ponds and one pass around the inside top, (outa site outa mind I guess) and yes I said weekly the place has frontage on three sides. Building and Parking areas consist of approx. 25 acres. Highway on the backside, front entrance road on two sides including a little over 1/3rd a mile of center islands. My bid for the two year contract was a lot higher per year. The only spraying they'd allow was the walkpath under the fence not to exceed 12 inches, That's 6 on each side.
I just don't see how they can be at $25,000 a year. They have to buy fuel just like me, pay insurance, buy new equipment, grease,belts, spindles, tires, truck fuel