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Big companies and quality?

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by mrusk, Jun 1, 2007.

  1. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    My main compeititor is a very big company. 45 guys out in the feild, ton of trucks and equipment, been in business 20 years, proably does 5-8 mil a year atleast. Mostly 50k and up jobs.

    I look at there quality and i am not impressed. The jobs are not bad, and actually better than most jobs i see. However, the quality is not great.

    Do you guys think it is acctually possible to grow to 5 or 10 crews and still do the same quality work as when you had 1 crew?

  2. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,665

    Possible yes, likely no.
  3. Drafto

    Drafto LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 442

    It all depend on the size of your compactor.

    I think that large companies suffer in the quality department at times. But realistically speaking, when you have a large company:

    1. You probably market well
    2. Keep your prices in line by spreading a lot of overhead out over a ton of man hours
    3. People see your trucks everywhere (more marketing)

    A well marketed company with poor quality will prosper compared to a high quality low marketing company. This is JMO and I sure it will be argued on here.

  4. RYNOss

    RYNOss LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    No one will care as much about your business as you do, you can't be on every job all the time. So quality tends to suffer the bigger you get. concentrate on finding the best crew leaders you can. And remember, no one will scrutinize your work more than yourself, so what may seem sub-par to you may look just fine to the customer. Especially on large commercial accounts.
  5. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,601

    i believe the quality will go down the tubes if you have multiple crews working un-supervised.

    And that is why I operate a small company.

    There are so many variables with hardscape construction, that no days are ever the same.
  6. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    LOL Defiently comes down to the size of the compactor. BTW I think i need to buy another compactor to start a 2nd crew.

  7. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,665

    I have 4 compactors and only 2 crews, time to hire a few more guys
  8. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy LawnSite Senior Member
    from nj
    Messages: 601

    It's not the size of the compactor it's the magic it holds.......but seriously we are currently running 2 crews, I can't iamgine running any more than 3 without quality suffering, believe me 2 is plenty of grief. It really depends on your people, is this a career or a job to them ? Do they feel as though they have a stake in the company, meaning do they share your vision of the future? Do they realize how inportant they are to you ? Do you realize how important they are to you ? is an even bigger one. If you can't trust guys to be left alone after being directed you'll never grow to multiple crews. Sometimes guys who step up and take responsibility are the hardest ones to find. And don't forget, unless you really make it worth their while to stay working for you, you're either training future competition or your competitions future employees. It's all about the people! Thats the bottom line, you may never find someone as good as you, you may find someone better if you're lucky. We have started advertising for employees at colleges with degree programs in horticulture and landscape design/construction and have had decent results, more likely to find people looking for a career than those looking for a summer job. Anyway good luck Matt........
  9. greg1

    greg1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 139

    I believe i worked for the company you are talking about. 17 years ago the stock market took a dive and put a lot of people out. They were nice enough to take me in and pay me a dollar more an hour than an illegal alien got. But then again i was only born and raised on a general stock nursery and at the time had only 10 years of nonstop custom residential installation experience.
    Just venting SORRY!
    In answer to your question- Is it possible to maintain the quality of your work when increasing your crews from one to ten, I believe not!
    Unless you can clone yourself 10 times, it aint gonna happen.
    I must say that in general that company was the cutting edge of Landscape installation, maintenance, Nursery production, etc. But being a large company put them in a high overhead situation and as such I have to agree with you that there quality of work is not 100%.
  10. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    Your right on !!!! Most customers only look at the big picture of there landscape. They see big trees and nice flowers. we as contractors see that the plants are not spaced well and tags left on and mulch not supporting the shrubs. Its all about marketing!!

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