Could'nt we do it cheaper?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bayfish, Dec 2, 2003.

  1. bayfish

    bayfish LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 641

    Made a cold call yesterday at a local fire equipment company. They sit on 20 acres of well maintained property, very few mowing obstacles. I approached the secretary inside about the possiblility of submitting a proposal for the grounds maintenance. She replied that they do it themselves and showed me the mower they use. A Toro 580D and they hired a guy to mow the grass and to be a "gopher" the days that he is not mowing. Also they buy a new mower every 2 years. She proudly said it takes the guy 2 days to mow it now. I said in 2 years or less it will be taking him a week and you'll have to hire a another "gopher".
    Now I'm not sure but these mowers are in the 50K range not to mention the gophers pay and benefits. Why do these companies and municipalities not understand that outsourcing work creates competition and drives prices down. He should be mowing this place in 1/2 day with that mower. We can do it cheaper and still make money because of our efficiency.
  2. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    Budgets. They never want them to go down. What do polaticians (city council) know about a business? NOTHING. There is your awnser.
  3. Turf Technologies

    Turf Technologies LawnSite Senior Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 590

    Are you saying we should work for less then what we allready are? If so , I wont be happy with that!:angry:
  4. bayfish

    bayfish LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 641

    Turf...No. What I'm saying is ...because we specialize in this field, we are better at it, faster, and more efficient and can do it cheaper than they can. I'm not advocating lowballing to get the work.

    Lawnman Scott... Your right when it comes to Government budgets and politics, but private sector companies should know better.

    Question do you get to the person accountable for cost and show them they would save money if you did the work?
  5. Lbilawncare

    Lbilawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,116

    There is a township nearby that has 6 parks to maintain, it takes 6 guys all week just to mow them. Why? Because they purposely only use 3ft of the deck & go as slow as the mower will go. Every break, they ride the mower back to the shop, take their break, then drive it back to the park. These are parks that I could easily mow with a 60" Dixie in around an hour a piece no problem. They get brand new John Deere enclosed cab mowers every year because of the # of hours they put on them. I'm just glad I don't live in that township, they'd be getting an earful from me. Lawnman Scott hit the nail right on the head !
  6. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    sorry, i mistaked fire equipment with fire department. Maybe they are just dumb?
  7. MacLawnCo

    MacLawnCo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,847

    If you are really wanting the account, what i would try to do is get the decision maker to tell you his "budget" for the grounds maintenance. If you cant wiggle the number from him, Id try to work up a suposed cost of his operation (which he may not realize is so high) and do a comparison to your proposal. Maybe include a couple of testimonials along with your proposal. Schedule an appointment with him, and walk him through...maybe tease him on the phone to get an appointment with something like..."Sir, if you will give me 15 mins of your time, i can show you how we can save you over $14,000 this year alone, while increasing the curb apeal of your property." Im sure he would bite on it.
  8. J Hisch

    J Hisch LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 952

    Bayfish, What they dont understand is the affordability of using Professional Lawn Contrators. What I would do is submit the bid anyway, Send it to the attention owner/president. Explain in your letter your recent visit. Then begin to explain the affordability of using your company. Enclose the bid and ask for a return phone call confirming that he recieved the bid. This company is used to bidding, therefore if you ask for a return call they will do it becasue I assure you they ask there potential customers to confirm bids. Once they see the afordability. There resonse will be. I never knew it was so affordable...
  9. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    this is an interesting thread because the city here as well pays TOP dollar for equipment that they really don't need.

    I have actually thought about approaching the local schools to take care of their atheltic fields (after I read the one article in L & L about "Campus Care" program) The problem is that I feel giving the work to outsiders will cause a major uproar in the school district regarding giving the work out and I will have more angry communities, than happy ones. That is my opinion.
  10. bayfish

    bayfish LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 641

    Also...I forgot to mention that the woman I spoke with said they were using a LCO at one time and were paying $3000.00 per month. Only 15 acres is mowed the other 5 is a field. That comes to $50.00 per acre. Seems high for wide area mowing. I know for a fact that no one in this area has a wide area mower so the LCO was using smaller mowers and charging their normal hourly rate. With your suggestions, I'm thinking this account is winable.

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