they don't follow IPM rules...

americanlawn

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
midwest
I cancelled my "subscription" to my state's "lawn care association" for several things that I do not agree with. Seems the "officers" of this organization think differently than I do. Just cuz I began my career in the late 1970's/have several "degrees" (6 1/2 years) doesn't mean I know everything, yet I hope I have common sense.
I would like your opinions (thanks in advance). (also see "IPM" below)

1) Annual "automatic renewal" (several reasons for this, duh) >> they just want peoples' money.
2) Improper measurements (due to incorrect online measurements of actual turf).
3) Quoting prices over the phone/email.
4) Not knowing the concerns/needs of customers.
5) Selling MORE applications than recommended by their state "land grant university".
6) Ignoring "difficulty factors" … such as gates, fences, hills, trees, slopes, days of week allowed, etc, etc. (another reason "quoting over the phone" seems weird to me)
7) Offering FREE applications to NEW CUSTOMERS ONLY. sad >> not right for loyal customers.
8) Calling my business & telling me I need to raise our prices. yep! this happened.
9) (what really pisses me off) A Complete lack of "Integrated Pest Management" (IPM). Bottom line >> do the right thing, for the right property, and for the customer.

thoughts?
 

RigglePLC

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Grand Rapids MI
Sometimes associations are influenced by the big companies. Relentless high quality and attention to detail will win out.
Constant attention to IPM--and constant communication of its principles to your customer is extremely important. That and a really top-notch girl to answer your phones.
 
OP
americanlawn

americanlawn

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
midwest
Now I am in "hot water" with one of my suppliers >> biggest donator to the IPLCA (Iowa professional lawn care association). Just cause I "called them out". Specifically the pres of that outfit (IPLCA) who only cares about money. Trust me >> I've known him for 35 years.
 

TPendagast

LawnSite Fanatic
I can’t follow what you’re going on about
“Incorrect measurements due to online” blah blah blah
GIS is how the government gets their measurements for nearly everything now... it’s called an estimate
The difference in sf +/- isn’t enough to through off prices enough to matter on small residential prices and 9 times out of 10 GIS is more accurate on odd shapes with curves in them than the majority of inperson measurements that “guesstimate” on that sort of thing anyway.
I’ve held a license in 9 of 50 states and every test I took had similar math sections that teach you to “guesstimate” the odd shapes by imagining triangles and squares and turning ovals into squares etc.
The result is over estimation of an area... but it’s close enough.
So you’re really splitting hairs with the “my estimates are better than yours” thing.

As far as IPM goes, it’s like the pirates code - they’re more like “guidelines”

You can argue economic thresholds and mechanical or environmental controls all you want.. in the end the customer either wants them sprayed or they don’t.
You educate the customer - they chose if they want an app.
As far as more apps than legally allowed... difficult to prove
I can do two apps, they fire me cuz there’s still pests , they hire you and you do two apps... now there’s four apps...
Are they doing full apps or spot treats?
You can spot treat more often than you can a full blanket app
Technically spot treatments ARE part of IPM.

If you’re allowed 100 gal per acre and a max of twice per season or annum
That’s 200 gal per acre
Selling someone three “apps” could maybe use 50 gals per acre the entire year with door treatments - heck one of those apps could be a scout “whelp I didn’t see any pests so I didn’t spray” previous apps must be working?
That is IPM.

I think you’re getting your panties in a twist over membership dues and looking for a justification.

You don’t need justification, if you don’t want to belong... don’t
I own guns
I don’t belong to the NRA
I travel the roads with motor vehicles
I don’t belong to AAA

I don’t belong to NALP either
I haven’t since it was ALCA.

No justification needed if you don’t want to participate in the politics of the local “water buffalo” chapter of wanna be landscape know it all’s.

I don’t get what you’re saying about your supplier and hot water
You don’t belong to the good ole boys club so they won’t sell you juice?
 

dwc

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
oklahoma
You like IPM but don’t like auto renew contracts? I guess I don’t follow your thinking there. It takes much less chemical to prevent a mess than it will to clean it up later in the season. I can’t properly plan my pre emergent schedule if they are late renewing. If I had to wait for a response from each one of my customers every year I would quit tomorrow. Seriously.
I used to feel the same about using satellite image estimating....What about the gate or the different kind of grass, etc. I don’t have time to go run 20+ estimates a day in the busy season like I used to. Since we went to online estimating, our estimating cost and time have dropped dramatically and I have been very pleased with the results. I don’t think it would work as well if you weren’t familiar with the areas you service, but I usually have a good idea of where the yard is located and if it’s hilly, shady, sunny, etc. The online measurements are dead on for us. I feel they are much more accurate than a wheel or stepping it off. I will say it doesn’t work on every property though. Sometimes there are trees in the way or too new of a neighborhood.
Some companies add apps for spot treating nutsedge or aeration and other services. It doesn’t always mean a blanket spray will be made. We do almost half the treatments of a competitor. Our lawns look better, but the total year costs are usually pretty close to their total. Some customers only see the per app price though so they go with them because it’s a perceived better deal if they get double the visits for the same price. It’s all marketing. I prefer the people who were referred by a friend or neighbor and want me to do their lawn to the ones who call everyone they can find for an estimate anyway.
Giving the good deals to new customers and nothing for existing is a bad way to do business IMO. You have to constantly add new customers though, so I guess it depends on your market. Some companies can only attract people by price only, but I don’t operate that way. I’ve been at this for almost 25 years, so I had enough experience about 20 years ago!
There will always be haters no matter what you do. Many people get jealous when they see someone who is successful. Just do what you do as long as it’s working and if it’s not, then maybe it’s time for a change.
 

Hineline

LawnSite Bronze Member
Some of these points are impossible to accomplish. I measure online and quote over the phone for the most part. I hear out their previous lawn concerns and try to get an idea what problems they have faced in the past. Many times the problems they describe paint a picture of what type of grass they have without me being there. Once I make the application I will call and express my concerns and what expectations they should have. It does sound like you are targeting TrueGreen for their unscrupulous business practices and that's ok in my book.
 
OP
americanlawn

americanlawn

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
midwest
I can’t follow what you’re going on about
“Incorrect measurements due to online” blah blah blah
GIS is how the government gets their measurements for nearly everything now... it’s called an estimate
The difference in sf +/- isn’t enough to through off prices enough to matter on small residential prices and 9 times out of 10 GIS is more accurate on odd shapes with curves in them than the majority of inperson measurements that “guesstimate” on that sort of thing anyway.
I’ve held a license in 9 of 50 states and every test I took had similar math sections that teach you to “guesstimate” the odd shapes by imagining triangles and squares and turning ovals into squares etc.
The result is over estimation of an area... but it’s close enough.
So you’re really splitting hairs with the “my estimates are better than yours” thing.

As far as IPM goes, it’s like the pirates code - they’re more like “guidelines”

You can argue economic thresholds and mechanical or environmental controls all you want.. in the end the customer either wants them sprayed or they don’t.
You educate the customer - they chose if they want an app.
As far as more apps than legally allowed... difficult to prove
I can do two apps, they fire me cuz there’s still pests , they hire you and you do two apps... now there’s four apps...
Are they doing full apps or spot treats?
You can spot treat more often than you can a full blanket app
Technically spot treatments ARE part of IPM.

If you’re allowed 100 gal per acre and a max of twice per season or annum
That’s 200 gal per acre
Selling someone three “apps” could maybe use 50 gals per acre the entire year with door treatments - heck one of those apps could be a scout “whelp I didn’t see any pests so I didn’t spray” previous apps must be working?
That is IPM.

I think you’re getting your panties in a twist over membership dues and looking for a justification.

You don’t need justification, if you don’t want to belong... don’t
I own guns
I don’t belong to the NRA
I travel the roads with motor vehicles
I don’t belong to AAA

I don’t belong to NALP either
I haven’t since it was ALCA.

No justification needed if you don’t want to participate in the politics of the local “water buffalo” chapter of wanna be landscape know it all’s.

I don’t get what you’re saying about your supplier and hot water
You don’t belong to the good ole boys club so they won’t sell you juice?
I can’t follow what you’re going on about
“Incorrect measurements due to online” blah blah blah
GIS is how the government gets their measurements for nearly everything now... it’s called an estimate
The difference in sf +/- isn’t enough to through off prices enough to matter on small residential prices and 9 times out of 10 GIS is more accurate on odd shapes with curves in them than the majority of inperson measurements that “guesstimate” on that sort of thing anyway.
I’ve held a license in 9 of 50 states and every test I took had similar math sections that teach you to “guesstimate” the odd shapes by imagining triangles and squares and turning ovals into squares etc.
The result is over estimation of an area... but it’s close enough.
So you’re really splitting hairs with the “my estimates are better than yours” thing.

As far as IPM goes, it’s like the pirates code - they’re more like “guidelines”

You can argue economic thresholds and mechanical or environmental controls all you want.. in the end the customer either wants them sprayed or they don’t.
You educate the customer - they chose if they want an app.
As far as more apps than legally allowed... difficult to prove
I can do two apps, they fire me cuz there’s still pests , they hire you and you do two apps... now there’s four apps...
Are they doing full apps or spot treats?
You can spot treat more often than you can a full blanket app
Technically spot treatments ARE part of IPM.

If you’re allowed 100 gal per acre and a max of twice per season or annum
That’s 200 gal per acre
Selling someone three “apps” could maybe use 50 gals per acre the entire year with door treatments - heck one of those apps could be a scout “whelp I didn’t see any pests so I didn’t spray” previous apps must be working?
That is IPM.

I think you’re getting your panties in a twist over membership dues and looking for a justification.

You don’t need justification, if you don’t want to belong... don’t
I own guns
I don’t belong to the NRA
I travel the roads with motor vehicles
I don’t belong to AAA

I don’t belong to NALP either
I haven’t since it was ALCA.

No justification needed if you don’t want to participate in the politics of the local “water buffalo” chapter of wanna be landscape know it all’s.

I don’t get what you’re saying about your supplier and hot water
You don’t belong to the good ole boys club so they won’t sell you juice?
Good stuff T >> they still sell to me, cuz money is money. It's just that I made them angry. Looking back, I probably should not have told them how I feel about the organization they support (they are the main supporter). I hope they didn't drive by our place 2 days ago to see a semi with 22 tons of fert from their competition. :)
 

TPendagast

LawnSite Fanatic
Good stuff T >> they still sell to me, cuz money is money. It's just that I made them angry. Looking back, I probably should not have told them how I feel about the organization they support (they are the main supporter). I hope they didn't drive by our place 2 days ago to see a semi with 22 tons of fert from their competition. :)
Eh
Whatever
Yknow
Suppliers shouldn’t be involved in politics or really supporting any
If I’m an arms dealer do I care who buys my guns?
It’s fert n squirt why do I care how much the guy who buys it from me charges? Or who he drinks beer with? Does he pay his bill?
Ok how much do you want.. period
 

zlandman

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Ohio
My first year application but online measurements have worked fine for me. I compared several by following up with a wheel on the ground. No appreciable difference.
Now heavy tree canopy.. that's a different story.
 

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