If you’re thinking about hiring a commercial landscaping provider, then you should also be thinking about taking the time to visit their shop. While it might seem like an extra step that isn't really necessary, the truth is that you can gather a ton of really valuable information by going to see the place that your landscaping company operates out of.
It’s a great way to peel back the curtain and make sure that the things they’re telling you during the sales process aren’t just lip service.
Landscaping shop visits are actually becoming increasingly common and something that we’re even seeing written into RFPs recently. And we understand why. Commercial landscaping is a large investment, and you deserve to feel that you’ve fully vetted any company that you’re considering investing such a large portion of your property’s budget into.
Here are a few reasons why we think you should consider visiting your landscaper’s shop and what you should look for when you’re there.
1. Visiting Your Landscaper’s Shop Will Reveal How Safely They Operate
A lot of landscaping companies talk about how much they prioritize safety because they know it’s important to you. But how much of that is real and how much is just because they know that’s what clients expect to hear?
How safe will they actually be when they’re operating on your property?
A good way to get a feel for that is with a shop visit. Go and look at how they operate in their own shop. That should be a good reflection of how they’ll take care of you when they’re on your property.
Make sure you take the time to look at the crew areas. How organized are they? Is it easy for everyone to grab their safety gear as they head out for the day?
What does the shop itself look like? Is it mostly neat and organized? Is it clean?
If this is a company that has been talking about how safe they are, but when you go to their shop and see open chemical bags laying around and lots of different liquid or fertilizer spills, this is a way to root out the pretenders from those who actually practice what they preach.
If they’re not keeping their shop—their own home base—in safe and good working order, then how well are they going to treat your property?
2. Visiting the Shop Will Give You a Sense of How Employees are Treated
The team members that make up a landscape company are integral to its success—and you want to hire a company that gets that. You want to hire a landscaping company that takes hiring incredibly seriously but also one that keeps those great team members happy by treating them well.
That’s why it also makes sense to look at the employee areas and consider these questions.
- Do they appear to be treated well?
- Do they have break areas and a comfortable place to sit and have a meeting?
- Do they have uniforms and access to top-notch equipment?
- Does there seem to be an overall positive team culture?
You can get a really good sense of the inner-workings of a company and see how the employees are treated by taking a sneak peek inside their office and shop. After all, you want happy and well-treated crews working on your property - not people who are miserable to come to work everyday because they’re not valued for what they do. Unfortunately, that kind of attitude will be reflected in their performance on your property.
3. You’ll Get a Sense of the Access to Equipment and Vehicles (And How It’s Cared For)
When it comes to making sure that your landscaping services are done on schedule and on time, you want to make sure that the company you’re hiring has enough of the right equipment to get the job done. Equipment and vehicles can sometimes unexpectedly go down—but that shouldn’t grind their operations to a halt. You need to make sure that your landscaping services will still be able to get done, even if it takes using backup equipment.
Lots of companies might boast about having plenty of equipment and vehicles, but a visit to the shop will reveal the truth.
- Is it clear they have extra edgers and blowers so that there is always working equipment available?
- How do they handle repairs? Are they handled in-house by an in-house mechanic or does it appear they need to be sent out?
- Is it clear that equipment and vehicles are well-cared for? Are they getting regular oil changes? Are the tires in good shape on all of the vehicles?
All of these details will help give you a better sense of what kind of access the company has to equipment and how they’re caring for what they have.
In Order to Get the Honest Picture, Make it Unannounced
We think these 3 reasons to visit your landscaper’s shop are all important. But in order to ensure that you truly see the way that your landscaper operates, we also think that these visits should be unannounced. Only then, can you really know that they’re doing things the right way.
A landscaping company that you want to “look into” shouldn’t have days or weeks to be able to clean up to make things look good for your visit.
And don’t be afraid to include these details in your RFP.
We’ve had clients tell us that they’d like a site visit to be part of the process with no more than four hours notice of their arrival. Obviously, you need to give your landscaper at least a few hours so that you can confirm people will be there to meet you. But that shouldn’t mean you give them lots of time to clean up or give you a false impression of how they operate. You deserve to get a chance to make the honest evaluation of their facility that you’re looking for.
At Yellowstone Landscape, We Invite You to Visit Our Shops
At Yellowstone Landscape, we believe you have a right to these kinds of visits. We know that they’ll reveal some of the inner-workings of our company and frankly, we’re proud to show ours off. Trust us, not all our facilities are the Taj Mahal, but we know that our teams take pride in their home base, no matter how big or small their branch.
We believe you deserve a landscaper who takes pride in what they do!
If you were to visit any of our shops across the country, you’d see that everything is well-organized, that there’s a positive energy and strong team culture, and that our equipment is all being worked on by an in-house mechanic, keeping everything up and running at all times. You’d also notice that we have extra equipment at the shop so that if something isn’t being repaired, our crews always have access to backups.
If you were to visit our shop at night, after the crews were back for the day, you’d also notice that we have all of our trucks already lined up and pointed in the same direction, filled with tools and equipment, ready to go out the next morning. The trucks are fueled up at night so that when crews arrive in the morning, they just have to get in the trucks, do their safety checks, and head right out the gate. We do this because we care about being efficient and being on time for our clients.
That’s just a little bit about what you can expect at a visit to a Yellowstone Landscape shop and we welcome you to visit and make your own assessment. It can be a valuable piece of your research as you choose a company to hire as your landscape service provider.
Making Your Commercial Landscaping Hiring Decision
Hopefully, this gave you some reasons why it’s worth considering a shop visit.
We know that hiring a commercial landscaping provider can be a big decision and one that shouldn’t be made lightly. These “field trips” are just another way to validate the claims that your landscaper is making. It may also provide a way to differentiate one company from another when they seem quite similar otherwise.
While we understand that the hiring process can feel daunting and can be a lot of work, we commend you for putting in the effort by doing the research and even taking the time to visit a few landscape company shops as a part of your search. By digging deeper into the companies that you’re considering hiring, you are being a wise consumer and will ultimately make a wise choice.
And that should mean enhanced peace of mind for you!
Instead of having to worry that you didn’t choose the right company, you’ll feel confident that you truly looked into every detail as to how they operate. That will help you separate the companies who are just giving you lip service from the real deal.
Are you ready to hire the best landscape company that follows through on their promises? Request a quote and let us answer any additional questions that you may have.