as company grows, does quality fall?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by fga, Aug 10, 2005.

  1. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,449

    i always debate year after year... (especially after reading any posts about JustMowIt :) ) going big really fast.
    just wondering if anyone has lost quality of their service when they got bigger. i used to be able to remember customers names, even details they'd tell me casually. now, (and i'm not a big company) i know alot of people by house number and address. its just too much sometimes when your juggling other issues. i'm on evry account now working, i'd need foreman and a crew. so quality of the actual weekly service may diminish.
    is it possible to be a big company and still keep the personal service up and quality of the work? or am i seeimg big business all wrong...and it doesn't matter when you hit a certain point, cuz the volume of customers are are so large, that an individual customer isn't as significant, and its part of being big.
  2. Premo Services

    Premo Services LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,516

    I would never let the quality of my work go down, I have an employee and just have to make sure that all the work is done the way it always was.
    I don't know about the volume of customers like some have, but I believe you could not be at all jobs so the quality might go down. Mabey a good crewq leader might help though.
  3. J Hisch

    J Hisch LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 952

    It is all about the people you choose to work for you. How you invest in them, and what they see you do. I have found out that money means nothing to the right person, they will do the same job making 7.50 or making 15.00 it is just how they are. I feel quality can be maintained, but it takes training and a sense of pride on the part of the worker. This is my method of recuritment. I go places and when people wait on me, or help me, I pay attention to how they are working for their current boss. Say the paint guy at Home depot or something. He seems really helpful, knowledgeable, neat appearance, takes pride in his service and work. I may ask him if he ever thought about a career change. I never use the word Job. Someone looking for a job just wont fit in. Nine month work 12 month pay. I am very lucky.
  4. PROCUT1

    PROCUT1 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from TN
    Messages: 4,891

    Good post....... Inevietably no matter what anyone says Quality does go down the bigger you get. Your job as the manager is to try to minimize that but all of the jobs will never be as good as if you were on them.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    As a solo you will always care more and do a better job than anybody you hire, so yes, I believe that it will go down but you can control it somewhat. It takes the right people and the time to train them to your ways and the money to pay for them to do it and to train them.
    You have to ask yourself if that is what you want, stay a solo and produce what you believe is perfect work or grow and work thru the problems. It all becomes a numbers game and if you have the dollars to grow past the learning stage. I think the biggest problem is that the type of person you need is the type that will do their own thing.
  6. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,905

    However, for me at least, and the style of work I do ( mow&go, no landscaping, no shrubs & stuff on regular route ) I just don't see a problem with quality.. I mean I obviously wouldn't hire folks that will rape a customer's lawn, but I believe with a short training period, an employee can match my personal level of quality and production.

    If you have a written method of how you intend for the work to be done, and then you or your foreman/manager train your employee's in this manner, I don't see quality being a problem..

    Periodic audits of your employee's performance, ( via customer polls, or on site inspections immedieately after the crew has left ) will certainly let your employee's know you intend quality/ performance to meet certain standards.. Or they'll be looking for a new job..
  7. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    If you think about it, Quality can actually improve with size.

    More and better trained people can do a job faster and more efficiently than a solo person. I am continually asking my employees of ways to do their work better, in less time, and most importantly...with less effort.

    That's why they pay me the big bucks I'm told. :D
  8. MTR

    MTR LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,280

    It is very tough down here in Florida cause we have like ubiquitous LCO running around with their trailer looking for lawn to cut. I have secured so many accounts dropping out from large local LCO who have too many crews and too many Z, and most of time their employees are very ignorant and low-trained on equipment causing damages ranging from tearing turf, pipe broken, caps chopped off, sprinkler head sheared, and worst of all, their Z banged into customers' house and ac unit, you name it, and they don't care cause they can send someone to fix the problems and go. That is why, quailty is so important to smaller LCO, we do quality and take time to make sure things are right. You have to do what is suitable and profitable for big so much money but keep loosing accounts at bottom, high employee turnover like $9 for a guy riding Z, etc, or small but tight on work and quality with easy budget and accounts and keep name.

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