Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by zlssefi, Aug 15, 2011.


    TJLANDS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,668

    It is important,
    I personally know someone that was screwed by Brinkman in 2010 and 2011, and if you want details contact me thru my website
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  2. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    If you want to PM me that's fine.

    There are two types of contractors/business owners who deal with nationals or any general contractor for that matter.

    Type A- The business owners/operators that take on a contract with all intent of doing the work, but, as they get into the work and rules of the contract, they start to feel like the aren't in control, in which they aren't. Ultimately they have to big of an ego (or whatever) and don't like taking orders, so then the issues arise.

    Type B- The contractor who is used to doing work for any general contractor or national. They take their work order and do the work as stated in their contracts with no real issues. They communicate well with their general contractor and complete the work within the contract guidelines.

    Now, I'm not saying that every National or even General contractor is an angel with all the best intentions, there will always be the bad apples in the bunch. Even with nationals, it could come down to even the area reps who might not have the best intentions or even the best attitude about their job.

    The only reason my post sounds like it's pro-national contracts, that's not necessarily the case. I like most others think that going local, store-by store, and using homegrown contractors to be in charge of sites is the way to go.

    My only intentions are the fact that everyone wants to bash the nationals as a whole and really it's a case-by case basis. Nobody wants to post about the good things that come from working with a national as there are so many strongly negative comments about them that they don't want to get a post-lashing from the opponents of the nationals. I, have no problems putting myself out there by saying, "hey, it can work and work well if the situation is right and fits your business model."

    I also want to add from a corporation standpoint that a national is the best thing for them for many reasons.

    1.) It saves them time, money and resources at a corporate level by not having to deal with the contracts.

    2.) It takes the time and effort out of the store managers hands that he/she can better use their time to make money for the business.

    3.) And finally, it eliminates the relationships between the managers and the contractors that leads to inflated prices for services, thus taking money away from the bottom line.

    Ultimately it's the new modern game. You can either play it, or hate it.

    In my case, my philosophy is " I try to make it hard as possible for anyone to screw me over." And who knows, maybe someday my number will be up and I'll get screwed over by someone or something. It's happened before and I'm sure it will happen again.

  3. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    People complain how illegals are low balling and ruining the business.

    Then it seems the same people that complain about the low balling illegals then go and work for less because they sub out to big national contractors.

    If we didn't sub out these large companies would not be able to operate profitably because it would cost them more to use employees where they have to pay payroll taxes, workmens comp, unemployment insurance, etc.

    As to USM. If I remember right last winter all people were talking about on plowsite how USM was screwing over their subs.


    TJLANDS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,668

    White Gardens,
    You make valid points, cant argue with that.
    My company has done business with 7 different National companies over the years for Snow and/or Landscape Maintenance.
    I have worked for Brinkman. They are ok as long as you do not do Seasonal contracts.(just my opinion) I think Brinkman for one, was forced into "Nationalizing" their company to keep up with the USM models.
    As they fill the areas with their Brown trucks the subs will disappear, that is their goal, if possible.
    For now their pricing is better than most, if not all the others.
    They use many, many subs for snow and not nearly as many for landscape.

    I do agree with you that it looks to be the direction our industry is going,
    although with the Walmart Fiasco, and some other big companies dumping the nationals who knows. I know someone that works for a Bank that went to a National several years ago but is looking to get out for several reasons, one being slip and falls. Even though in their contracts they are not liable, they have had so many that is has become a nuisance and bad for publicity. And in some cases they ARE being dragged into court from some crafty lawyers anyway.
    We will see what happens next...
  5. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    I don't disagree one bit TJ. Good post also.

    One other point I want to add is pricing. Everyone wants to say that the nationals are driving down prices for services, but I've seen plenty of local contractors driving down prices just as bad or worse than some of the nationals.

    It's getting down right ridiculous from a business ethics standpoint on pricing. I'll I'm trying to do is wait out the next 5 years and let those guys fall off the cliff and then try to bring local market prices back up.

  6. supperdude16

    supperdude16 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,162

    Hey everyone just had major payment issue with USM. I figured out the CEOs phone number of Emcor INC which owns "USM" and called him to complain. Anyone else want to complain ? Would be a great help, I told him that they are running an unethical business and you are not going to keep getting away with this.

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