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Learning from big businesses

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by TTS, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. TTS

    TTS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 615

    Just thought I would start a discussion here in regards to learning from the large businesses of the world and see what people have tried, what worked, what didn't work and maybe prompt someone to go on a mission improving their business model.

    My company is very new and I'm working solo for now with a less than full schedule but I'm putting systems in place now for growth so when the time comes the transition is less painful.

    That said the 2 major business models I'm using are the lean manufacturing system (pioneered by Toyota) but McDonalds is another major player using the lean system. A brief overview for those who are unfamiliar with the process it revolves around removing "waste" defined as any expenditure of resources for any goal other than the creation of value for the end customer. Every property I service I look at wasted steps, do I have to go to the truck multiple times, make multiple laps around the property to pick up debris etc.

    I believe it's plantscape solutions who harps on enclosed trailer organization to increase efficiency. An interesting challenge is to draw a map of the property and highlight your path as you move about the property and see how many times you go past the same area and what waste is in there. Having this information can help you organize your trailer or other layout to increase efficiency.

    I am fortunate to work full time for a $700 million+/year company that uses the lean system in an uncommon industry (healthcare) so I see the product every day. It's truly amazing to me on a large scale how much more efficient this process can make a company.

    So how about you, what systems do you use? What business models are you seeking to follow? I'm not looking for I want to be like Pro turf when I grow up or ETW, I know they are both very successful large companies and I'm sure they have excellent systems in place to create that success and I would love to hear from those guys about their systems but what specifically are you targeting?
  2. caseysmowing

    caseysmowing LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,117

    I also work for a company that is huge on being lean and organized. They try to copy Toyota as much as possible but I don't think it always the best way. I always time myself on each lawn to get average times and which ways are the fastest. You can save a lot of time if you map out your path you take on trimming like you were talking about. Downside of being as efficient as possible is buying new equipment when you are just starting out. So it's impossible to be lean and as efficient as possible. Biggest changes for me this year and into winter is get my cabover box up and running so I can have all my stuff with me all the time and eliminate unloading stuff all the time. Next is a cabover dump with a leaf loader setup that doesn't have to be removed when dumping. Spending lots of money upfront but will pay off in the long run.
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  3. TTS

    TTS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 615

    Just to add depth to the conversation I find McDonald's to be one of the most interesting and exciting companies research. They have created a system that allows high school dropouts around the world to create very similar consistent results. After reading many threads here regarding problems with employees I can't help but wonder how many here could benefit from implementing similar systems.

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