Quality control of multiple garden landscape installation teams

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums GENERAL DISCUSSION Quality control of multiple garden landscape installation teams

Viewing 11 posts - 16 through 26 (of 26 total)
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  • #157420
    Craig de Necker
    Participant

    Hi Ernst,

    Thank you for your reply.

    I guess it’s difficult to turn clients away, so instead one grows the business in order to be able to serve more and more clients… teething problems! One has to find the right staff and forge ahead!

    Setting the tomorrow standard and slowing down is great advice.

    #157419
    Craig Anthony
    Participant

    Honestly Craig I’m still trying to get more balance into my life. Sometimes I find myself feeling guilty because I’m not working during times that I should be resting or having fun. The crazy thing is that I know that I’m not as efficient nor is the quality of my work any better with the extra hours. It amazes me when I grind on a design problem for hours into the night, just to go to sleep and wake up with the solution on my rested mind.

     

    I realize as a fellow workaholic that you’re not going to go from working 80 plus hours a week to 40, but start off slow. Maybe you should reward yourself and take next Sunday off. You’ve earned it.

     

    Thanks for starting this discussion; you’ve made me take a look at my own bad habits.

    #157418
    Jayaprakash Reddy
    Participant

    Hi. I am sure you know pretty well that landscaping, regardless of style or size, succeeds if it is designed and delivered not just with passion but also cared for thereon. Instead of expecting the TEAM LEADER ONLY  to OWN UP the post-creation responsibility, I would seek a passionate volunteer from the project and reward the person for his/her adoption of the project for maintenance.

    I know from experience that relationships built up on maintenance are more durable than mere ideation and creation.  To start with, create a bill-board tree in your office and award Golden Leaf each time to the most passionate maintenance person who OWNS UP projects with heart and soul; Silver Leaf to the next best and an ” iron” leaf to the person who fails keep things clean and green. Best of luck to you and your clients. JP (jayaprakash Reddy, CEO, JPR Projects, Hyd, India. ceo@jprprojects.com

     

    #157417
    Jayaprakash Reddy
    Participant

    Hi. I am sure you know pretty well that landscaping, regardless of style or size, succeeds if it is designed and delivered not just with passion but also cared for thereon. Instead of expecting the TEAM LEADER ONLY  to OWN UP the post-creation responsibility, I would seek a passionate volunteer from the project and reward the person for his/her adoption of the project for maintenance.

    I know from experience that relationships built up on maintenance are more durable than mere ideation and creation.  To start with, create a bill-board tree in your office and award Golden Leaf each time to the most passionate maintenance person who OWNS UP projects with heart and soul; Silver Leaf to the next best and an ” iron” leaf to the person who fails keep things clean and green. Best of luck to you and your clients. JP (jayaprakash Reddy, CEO, JPR Projects, Hyd, India. ceo@jprprojects.com

    #157416
    Craig Anthony
    Participant

    I agree that performing landscape maintenance along with design and installation is a great way to stay engaged with clients and to extend more control over projects, but don’t think the leaf thing would go over very well here in the States. Unless the accumulation of golden leaves relates to some tangible reward like cash or a vacation package, you’d be better off handing out cookies or smiley faces. I can hear the crews now, “We bust our tails in the hot sun all day for a leaf on a board. That’s not going to pay for my kid’s education.” As for the iron leaf collectors, perhaps it would be better to deal with them on a one on one basis. If bringing their short comings to their attention and providing them with additional training doesn’t’ improve their performance, I say it’s time for them to find a new career.

     

    But, I think Craig was talking about quality control during installation/construction.

    #157415
    Candace Mastel
    Participant

    Hi again Craig,

    The company I used to work for had three to four landscape install crews working on different projects similar to your company. Of course, they were all working within a 50 mile radius of each other. So, a bit easier on the coordination, etc. We also had a four person horticulture crew, which I was in charge of. Our crew did everything from bed design and planting to tree trimming, pruning, annuals, etc. Basically a maintenance crew. Our crew often remediated problems or warranty items associated with the install crews and acted as a “follow up” team that targeted issues before they blew up into huge problems with large warranty price tags. We also were able to keep clients happy by paying attention to them after the install and maintain a line of communication with the owner/general manager

     

    You might want to consider adding a float crew that does this and offers maintenance service as a intermediary between your install crews and the overall long term viability of the landscape. In addition, some others who posted here suggested hiring an assistant that can tag team with you and cover you so you can take a day off and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

     

    Also, I took a look at your website. I was surprised to see it was very cutesy and kind of “busy” graphically. Your company’s work however is amazing. I would suggest a rework of your website to reflect the professionalism of your installs and how well they are photographed.

    #157414
    Craig Anthony
    Participant

    Yeah I was expecting to see pink flamingos and painted concrete gnomes in a kitschy garden setting when I clicked on his portfolio. The website definitely didn’t live up to the quality of his built work. But, that’s an easy fix.

    #157413
    Jayaprakash Reddy
    Participant

    Hi Craig. Preceding the leaf suggestion you will find the reward recommendation which could be hard cash, a membership in a club or a brief occupation-related overseas junket that aspirants could select from the reward basket. But the leaf should still be there in the office hitting everybody in the face as a constant reminder of Pavlov doctrine of reward and punishment .

    While on the subject, the leaf thing, or several variants of it, are working very well over the years in the very United States. Dont we see them around in Fresh Values, in nearly all fast food brand joints, and airlines too? In a manner of speaking, I have seen the concept working wonders in the establishment and maintenance of a grand Hindu temple in Chicago. Having said that let me add that what will ensure anticipated results is the thing called a Good Boss.  How quality and result-sensitive he or she is will go quite a way in accomplishing stated goals. JP

    #157412
    Craig Anthony
    Participant

    Jayaprakash,

     

    I have to admit that I might perhaps give laborers/workers a little more credit than I should when it comes to their ability to see through the standard motivational gimmickry that we principals and managers inflict on them. The guys on crew know if you’re giving them a $2,500 bonus that you probably already made an additional $75,000 off of their sweat. So money and gifts aren’t always the biggest motivators.

     

    Maybe it’s time for business owners to start realizing that we get more mileage from our help if we treat them like men and women that deserve respect. Lets stop bs-ing them and manipulating them to line our pockets. I like to be straight with people if a person is doing a good job, I like to look that person in the eye, shake their hand and tell them just how good a job they’re doing. Assure them if they continue the good work that they will be compensated monetarily and then keep your word. On the other hand, I don’t believe in keeping iron or lead leaf employees around for too long. Everyone in a company has a job to do and everyone should be expected to be above average and striving for excellence. Treat people like professionals and you stand a better chance of them performing like professionals.

     

    I think that overall most employees hate all the pep rallies, gold stars and rah-rah crap and look at it as just plain cheesy. And the tough economic times we’ve gone through here has made the workforce even more cynical. Just because your employees are smiling and clapping for your motivational events doesn’t mean they’re not laughing at you at the pub during happy hour. I hate to tell you, but your salivating canines are just playing the game.

    #157411
    Jayaprakash Reddy
    Participant

    Craig. I understand your perspective. We all have our models of business and the good thing is, people, including my own employees who I recognise as associates, do have choices and are free to elect their best option. JP

    #157410
    Craig Anthony
    Participant

    Ok, I’ll settle for that. I enjoyed the conversation JP—Thanks for being a good sport.

Viewing 11 posts - 16 through 26 (of 26 total)
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