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Large landscape Installs....worried!

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by MLI, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. MLI

    MLI LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 464

    My company is small(200k-300K)we are involved in a large landscape install bid, also the maint contract to go with it. This job will run about 125k, while the maint will be around 70k. Im worried that this job may use more manpower than I have currently...it will also tie up $$$. Ive dealt with these folks in the past(25k)with no problems. I dont want to jeopardize my existing clients while hammering this job out. Any of you run into this situation?!....and what did you do?!? btw there is no subbing with these folks!:dizzy:
  2. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    i see issues...

    problem that i see ( from experience)
    is that the volume of this job is roughly haly your yearly gross....

    it will tie up ALL your manpower and not allow service for existing clients......
    can cuase big problems... I know this from experience....

    also i would try and sub out all the grading.. etc to someone else.
    irrigation... etc should be subbed out....

    i have found that it is cheaper to sub out those things ( especially when i'm really busy..
    i used to think i could do those things for less... but once i figured in ALL my costs for doing the work.... i was loosing money versus subing it out..
  3. LandscapePro

    LandscapePro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138


    O.K. You've dealt with these folks before and they won't allow sub contracting. So this an "all or nothing" type of project. Is this correct?

    Is the installation tied to the maintenance phase of the project?

    What type of project are we talking here? By "what type" I mean office complex, nursing home, hospital, industrial...?

    Exactly what is involved in the install? Irrigation? Final Grading? Sod? Hardscape?

    Are you being asked for a bid to execute the plans as drawn by a Landscape Architect or are you being asked to design the installation?

    I'd be happy to offer advice but in order to do so need a few more details about what's involved.

    Also, what was involved in the (25k) work you did for these people?

    La. Landscape Contractor #2576
  4. MLI

    MLI LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 464

    The maint. contract is seperate deal. As for the project....without giving to many details(other scapers in the area may see this) involves landscaping a very large commercial building. Design...new plantings, walks,patios,mulch,grading,hauling loam,hydroseeding. Last Fall we designed and installed part of the whole scheme...then winter closed in. They were easy to deal with....and paid in full within 30 days.
  5. LandscapePro

    LandscapePro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138


    It sounds like you just need to hire some temporary labor. Use "your guys" to be the brains and direct the grunt work.

    Is there a possibility of breaking the project out into phases? You could work it with a smaller crew that way.

    I'd still push for being able to sub out those portions of the project which may not be things you do on a daily basis.

    I don't quite understand the "jeopardizing existing clients" aspect. That is unless your primary business is a "mow, blow and go" operation. If that is the case, you've got to decide. Which is more important to your company bottom line in this case, the installation side or the maintenance side of the equation.

    Also, if you guys were doing the work and weather shut you down, why the need to "re-bid"? It seems like you'd be able to pick up where you left off. That may be the norm up your way. Down here the weather doesn't usually get in the way like that. We have rain delay quite a bit, but it doesn't shut down the project for an extended period of time.

    La. Landscape Contractor #2576
  6. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    missed the " no subbing out" part
  7. godzilla

    godzilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 400

    Could you get the loam and mulch blown in? While it is subbing... it's not like they are doing anything super important... they are just moving materials.
  8. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    I don't think I understand the problem clearly.You get
    a % of the money up front for materials and labor..hire some help and get it done...They won't know your subbing anything out if you do not tell them and are on the jobsite while the subs do the work.Just tell your subs that hey if anybody asks..you are working for me.As long as you are there working..they will not know.But you will need money up front to pay your subs and you will need to be there overseeing the work.So leave your regular crew on..get $ up front,hire a small crew and your subs..and do it.
  9. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    The biggest problem is that this is such a huge part of your annual revenues. Should this job go south for any reason (e.g. they don't pay or delay payment for a long time - and it happens!!!! It happened to a friend of mine.) then you are going to be hurting BAD!

    My uncle owned one of the largest commercial roofing companies in the state a few years back. All was going great until he completed one huge job and the company he was doing the work for went under and never paid. Consequently, his company went under too. As in - TOTALLY OUT OF BUSINESS and unable to pay everyone they owed. It can get really messy really quick if you aren't careful.

    But I agree with SheShovel (which is a first for me, I think...Hehe) that you should still use subs. Just make the subs wear your company hat or shirts or something. Nobody's going to know they are subs.

    I think the fact that they are dictating to you that you can't use subs is rediculous to begin with. Normal business isn't done that way. But whatever....

    I also agree that the use of temporary laborers is a smart way to handle this type of situation too. But the key to using temps is to make the customer feel like they are just your usual employees. We use day laborers all the time. Sometimes we get jobs that are just too big for us. But I can't hire permanent employees because the job would be over in a few weeks. So we just hire day laborers to do the grunt work while our experienced guys direct them. A lot of stuff in landscape installation doesn't require EVERYONE on the jobsite to be experienced. It just requires one or two guys to be experienced. The rest just do what those guys tell them to do. It's simple.

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