Grant Harrison of Gelderman Landscape Services encouraged attendees to get an early start on planning for winter during one of the final sessions of the show.
There are myriad reasons companies don’t plan for snow, whether it’s clients don’t want to talk snow in August, summer operations take precedence, or after last winter you just want to forget! But there are reasons planning early is essential. It helps companies:
- Attract and keep better customers
- Attract better employees
- Create better relationships with suppliers, and
- In the end, will make you more profitable
He shared his six pillars of winter planning:
- Budgeting and strategic planning gives a clear direct direction for everyone involved in the operation
- Operations is an area most contractors do well, they key is to be organized and detailed
- Health & safety planning helps ensure that everyone goes home in the same condition that they came to work
- Equipment choices should be made that will allow for efficiency, standardization and simplicity.
- Recruiting should be a constant process. Standardize your orientation and on-boarding process and constantly promote a culture where people will want to come to work.
- Customers need to be met with early in the season so that you can clearly define expectations and communicate your plans.
Harrison encouraged companies to get their entire team involved in the planning and explain why it’s necessary to start early. He also suggested documenting the process so it’s easier to plan for next season and to make any changes needed.