October 26, 2011

To: Maintenance Customers

Re: Choosing a Gardener

Hello maintenance customers:

It seems to me that the performance criteria for landscape gardeners is usually vague and ill defined.

Given adequate management, and adequate work ethic, the real difference between a good job and a poor job is the amount of hours spent working on the site.

When choosing a gardener, the owner should verify the number of man hours promised to the site, not simply the price. In this manner, the owner is comparing prices with the same criteria.  If a gardener wants to increase his profit margin, he will decrease the job hours on the site, if there is not a guaranteed number of hours.

I say, do not create a contract where the gardener needs to cheat the job in order to increase the profit.

March 31, 2011

To: Maintenance Customers

Re: Site Improvement Suggestions

Recently, I instructed my gardening supervisors to give each maintenance job at least 2 “Site Improvement Suggestions” per month. This is an attempt to constantly upgrade our garden sites. These suggestions will mostly concern replanting areas and upgrading or extending irrigation. When we implement this work (upon customer approval), the customer pays the material supplier directly, or pays Plowboy our material cost, and sometimes pays for extra labor (bigger jobs).

The on-site gardener performs these projects, as part of the base contract. We do not have a profit incentive here, since the work is done “at cost”. As usual, normal gardening, repairs, and maintenance are all included in the base contract price.

Our upgrade suggestions are only suggestions, and you don’t have to do any of them. Some of these suggestions have no cost attached to them, and simply require you to agree to a project being done.

Thank you,

Doug Wasson