Took a big hit on winterizing

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by DanaMac, Sep 24, 2006.

  1. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    My biggest customer is a landscape company that we have worked with for about 6-7 years now. We take care of the majority of their service calls, even some of their warranty work, blow outs, plumbing stub outs, a few lighting jobs, and some other misc. things. A week after buying the compressor he called saying he hired a service guy that will be doing his blow outs this year. The guy isn't necessarily a sprinkler technician, but he has owned his own lawn/landscape company recently. He was hired more as an all around service/misc. person - replace warranty trees/shrubs, install small 1/2 man landscapes instead of thinning out the 2 other crews or turning work away, drop of mulch/dirt/supplies to the crews, and so on. They want this guy to do the blow outs so it can generate a little income to justify hiring him now going into the slow/winter season.

    Last year we did 75 blow outs for him so this is a big hit for me. We did almost 600 last year. I'm not mad or angry, a little disappointed in the timing. And I totally understand why they hired this guy, and I knew it would eventually happen. But once again, the timing caught me off guard.

    Now here is the difficult part for me. He still wants us to do the start ups and the majority of spring repairs while this new guy is doing other things. Well if I'm turning work away again like this year, or losing work because we are 2-3 weeks out, yet servicing his customers which I won't blow out in the fall, will it be in my best interests to still do his repairs. If I turn away/lose work that I can blow out in the fall, I'm not sure if I can justify making his work a priority like I have in the past. I'll sit down with him this winter and explain the same thing, but I hate to turn his work away. He's a great guy, they do great work, pays promptly, never complains about the price, basically it's been a perfect working relationship. Of course I've discounted my prices some for him because of the volume, but I won't be able to do that as much without having his blow out work.

    I'm really not trying to complain, just bringing up another job situation challenge. Now I need to figure out how to bring in another 75 blowouts to match that, plus I got rid of 2 rental management companies that had 30-40 blow outs, which honestly I'm glad to get rid of.
     
  2. stumper1620

    stumper1620 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,889

    If this was me, there is no way I would do spring work for this guy. If he waited until after you bought your Equipment to let you know they were hiring a guy, i wouldn't give him the time of day.
    Face this fact, no one hires on a whim, he knew he was gonna hire, but waited to be sure he had the guy before letting you know, to be sure his azz was covered.
    Screw him, he set you up.
     
  3. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    As with anything weigh the plus/minus factors of associating with this guy in the spring but not the winter. With as good a working relationship you've had with him in the past he should understand when you've made your final decision and have your sit-down.
     
  4. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    Damn, you sound like a bitter spring-time version of me. No he did not set me up. This guy just kind of fell in his lap. He really doesn't want to hire him now due to shutting down for the winter soon, but doesn't want to jeopordize losing him come spring time. More than likely I will still be doing work for him, but I will let him know he customers are not going to be as high a priority.
     
  5. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    If he is anything like some of the landscapers we work with, despite cutting back on the blowouts he still provides you with a good chunk of change right? I mean, we do 50k worth of work every year for one single landscaper...

    I wouldn't burn any bridges, I bet you could get them back next year if you work him.
     
  6. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    No I would never burn bridges with him. And maybe it won't work with the other guy, and I'l have all these back next year. and yes I get a huge chunk of change from him besides blowouts.
     
  7. stumper1620

    stumper1620 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,889

    If he wants to maintain a relationship with you for the spring work, he should let you have some of those blowouts. knowing you just got the compressor with his work in mind, I still say he is wrong in the way he is handling this.
     
  8. stumper1620

    stumper1620 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,889

    What if the guy uses him for the fall and dumps him in the spring, this would really screw him over.
    If you continue on with him, I would let him know any freeze damage do to improper blow outs is going to cost him.
     
  9. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    That would have to be a given. Since Dana didn't do the winterization there would be no written or implied warranty that he would have to honor. Now, if he works a deal with the guy and only charges X$ on spring start-up damage then surely the other guy will have to pick up the balance in order to keep his customers happy and make it worthwhile for Dana to do the spring work.
     
  10. cush

    cush LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 352

    75 should be easy to make up. If you need some help pm me for some info.
     

Share This Page