At Grunder Landscaping Co., we’ve built our unique value proposition around the level of service we provide. This model has worked well for us, but in recent years we've realized that sometimes we prioritized customer service too much. While our clients were thrilled, we created inefficiencies and friction within our team that wasn't worth it.
For example, we had legacy maintenance clients who preferred their maintenance visits to be on a certain day of the week, and because our slogan is Where Service is ALWAYS in Season, we obliged. As a result, our maintenance routes were zig-zagging all over town to service clients on their preferred day of the week, wreaking havoc on our efficiency.
While I still believe in treating our clients well and providing exceptional service as a key differentiator for our team, we had taken it too far. A couple of years ago, we used Aspire's integrated routing tool to redo our maintenance routes and reduced our indirect time by over 35% with just that change alone.
A few clients complained, but most understood once we explained that this change allowed us to be more efficient and keep their prices from increasing as we raised what we were paying our team to match inflation.
My friend Teddy Russell, who will host us on June 6-7 for our annual Field Trip in partnership with NALP, has given me a great perspective on the push and pull within a business. Teddy talks about the need to have positive tension within a company, and having a constant rebalancing between three facets: sales and service, operations, and administration.
His point is that these three facets need to be equally balanced, when any one is taking an unfair share of the team's focus it creates problems in the other two areas. The positive tension between these three areas, of trying to keep them all centered, allows companies to be successful.
This mentality, and keeping that positive tension, has equipped Russell Landscape to scale up and expand into new markets successfully.
In my own company, we allowed sales and service to pull too much weight, and we were creating problems in operations and administration as a result. As you look ahead at your busy Spring, I'll leave you with some questions: Is your company well-balanced? If something is pulling it out of balance, what can you do to right the ship this week?
Happy Easter, I'll talk to you next Sunday!
President & CEO
The Grow Group & Grunder Landscaping Co.