How are you cutting costs??

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by B. Phagan, Jul 1, 2003.

  1. B. Phagan

    B. Phagan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 95

    Good day to you all................

    I am looking for ideas to share with the industry on ways to save and/or make money.........what are you doing to accomplish this?

    Maybe using a specific piece of equipment that saves time and labor, using equipment in a unique way, procedures you've implemented to assist you, information gathering tools you use or any practice you've employed to save and/or make money.

    Think this would be an interesting throw out those great ideas you are using..........
  2. SprinklerGuy

    SprinklerGuy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    may or may not be what you are looking for:

    Changed payroll cycle to every other week...saves money on payroll costs plus an added benefit of cash flow improvement.

    changed accountant from Monthly to quarterly...saves about 1000 per year

    Started purchasing the parts that I can direct from manufacturer or bulk....saves huge if you have the money

    Moved my corporate office to Colorado......saves HUGE on gas for me, the owner, due to the fact that I don't have to drive around Metro Phoenix daily burning gas bill went down 2500 per year.....of course my long distance bill went up 1200 per year!

    Stopped eating lunch out......200 per month

    all these cost cuts were done out of order that I could hire an office manager....frees me up big time.
  3. AztlanLC

    AztlanLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,051

    I have change to doubles (blades) since 3 years ago and have seen my profit up.
  4. B. Phagan

    B. Phagan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 95

    Please elucidate for edification...............not clear on the two blades thing...........
  5. Rob T

    Rob T LawnSite Member
    Messages: 165

    Record Keeping...

    Been implementing a Database to track all aspects of biz. Has helped me to see the biz clearer, show where profit is coming from, show where loss of profit is going to, etc.

    Also enter completed job data on a daily basis rather then at the end of the month. Helps eliminate unbilled / incorrectly entered jobs.

    Went to bi-weekly payroll a few years ago. Has helped as SprinklerGuy said.
  6. dmk395

    dmk395 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 1,006

    Switched from walkbehind mowers to Wright Standers
  7. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 738

    Investment in the business has helped us to overcome our labor shortage. I figure I've made more money than I would have been able to even if I had more guys. More guys = more managment and possible problems.

    Five years ago I bought the dingo... best spot laborer I've ever had.

    Bought a sod cutter - we don't use it all the time, but we use it more now that we have it rather than just renting it for the larger jobs. Now we can do quick little installs in no time flat.

    Bought a LESCO 50 gallon spray tank to do weed and fungicide apps. Have been using granular fungicde which is more expensive to apply. We've been back pack spraying our lawns which took forever. A spray tank gives us better results much faster. This has reduced the crew time each week required to spray and has allowed them to pick up more bed maintenance.

    Bought a Ryan slit seeder. Now we can do quick overseeding jobs that we would not have done before or would not have been as effective.

    Went from a 52" Great Dane Surfer to the Exmark riding mower with bagging attachment. Now clean ups are much faster and the lawns look better. The guys arent' as tired and are more productive. They also have more time to do more add on billable work.

    Hire subcontractors to do work that is not within the core business. We hire out our tree work, sprinkler work, masonry, electric, plumbing, and some carpentary. If we tried to do these trades it would slow us down. Hire it out, mark it up slightly, and focus on what we do best where we'll make the most money and move onto the next job. Gives us greater capabilities without having to be invested in the trade.

    Bought a 10 cu ft wheel barrel with the double wheels for mulch. We dont' spread much of it, but the 10 cf is better than the 6 cf ones. Sped up our production time saving us money on the job.

    When we turned over our trucks this past year, we went from straight 8' snow plow blades to 9' 2" V blades, increased our effieciency by at least 40%.

    Equipment is a sunk cost. It costs to buy it and let it sit, we do try to use it. But I'm not affraid to buy a piece of equipment to speed up a portion of the productionto increase revenue per guy or improve the job we're on to make it look better. Buying the sod cutter means the guys aren't on their hands and knees with a spade now stripping out 50 sq ft of sod to expand a bed. They can do it in three minutes and aren't tired after the job.

    We are considering the following for future investment:
    Bed edger (we have Turfco now... considering better one)
    Integrated data base for manaing customer informaiton and production data
    Bulk salt in the winter instead of bagged salt

    Hope there a couple of suggestions you could use. Invest in the business wisely. I have a reason I buy each piece of equipment. Not just because I think it would be nice but because I think I'll make more money with it.

    Reasons to invest could be:
    Reduce employee fatigue - making them more productive/happy
    Increase production - fit more work into the day
    Improve quality - increases customer retention
  8. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    reduced loading time
    elminated double copying invoices, which saved on paper and ink cartridges
    elminated the acceptance of credit cards...just wasn't worth it in the long run.
  9. dougmartin2003

    dougmartin2003 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 337

    i switched from a truck with a 350v8 to a van with a 4.3 v6 save about $35.00 a week
  10. dougmartin2003

    dougmartin2003 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 337

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