This specific multi-location retailer was exploring a process for landscape improvements across its portfolio. However, they needed to develop not just a potential scope and a workflow but also a long-term budget plan (10-15 years) to address their entire portfolio.
This would require local knowledge around permitting, local ordinances and pricing. With a portfolio dispersed across the country, the retailer needed somebody who could leverage a national approach while at the same time be willing to develop a program that would eventually include other suppliers in addition to us.
Ferrandino & Son was recently tasked with transforming multiple retail locations’ landscaping back to its “brand” level while confirming to local requirements.
The three goals of the program were defined as:
- Scope, price and execute more than 300 sites as a pilot for their remaining portfolio
- Complete all of the projects in less than 6 months from scope to completion
- Properly navigate municipality mandates and restrictions
The retailer had not had a formal capital landscape program in more than 30 years so the degradation of their assets (turf, plants, irrigation systems, etc.) was significant and widespread. They had no formalized budget and no project plans and needed guidance on how to manage the workflow.
Through the initial workshops, we identified 3 critical steps:
Step #1: Planning: Identify the sites without landscaping plans and create new plans based on the sites that already had plans provided from a third-party vendor.
Step #2: Communication: Communicate with local management, vendors, and municipalities to ensure site maintenance is up to code and local standards.
Step #3: Budget: Reduce cost of maintaining locations moving forward.
Ferrandino & Son’s Solutions
With a short timeline and multiple locations in different territories, it was important for Ferrandino & Son to create a plan that brought all the locations back to brand level while also staying within the budget.
Ferrandino & Son first executed site walks at each property. For each site walk it was necessary to first contact each location to explain the project and potential work. Then, each one of our project managers scheduled their initial site survey walk with the vendor completing the capital work.
It was important that Ferrandino & Son kept budgeting at the forefront of the end goal. Part of the plan to reduce cost moving forward was to reduce ongoing maintenance. This could be accomplished either by installing low-growth plants or removing mulch. This goal required working with local & corporate management.
Additional landscaping suggestions included ground cover or sod and River Rock for drought restricted areas. To complete this project is was necessary to work with each municipality to understand if there are would be any restrictions with the proposed changes.
Once each site survey was complete and local management’s questions have been answered, a proposal was developed and sent to Corporate for approval. Once approved, Ferrandino & Son was able to schedule a time to complete the approved services with a local vendor partner. Ongoing project management included: conducting weekly calls for progress updates, maintaining and updating estimated completion dates and following+ up on any municipality issues.
Ferrandino & Son was able to suggest even further cost and time saving tactics once the proposal was accepted by corporate. Ferrandino & Son suggested the client include locations with similar geographic locations to utilize the same vendor for multiple projects and use the economy of scale for additional pricing discounts.
We were also able to suggest a new communication path which included more lead time to local managers. This suggested a more focused group of stakeholders at the client level to approve the scopes of work, ultimately reducing a significant amount of back and forth correspondence.
Communication was paramount to completing this project on time. There were numerous parties involved that caused many additional phases to be rolled out following this model. Even with some of the initial capital investments that were made to the project, a measurable savings was achieved on routine maintenance within the first landscape season with a complete ROI on spending and increased sales in less than 18 months.
The attention to detail and support Ferrandino & Son displayed resulted in an increase of 80% more projects that were approved the following fiscal year.
Interested in Learning More?
To learn more about property maintenance or comprehensive landscape programs for your multi-site portfolio, give Ferrandino & Son a call at: 866-571-4609 and ask to speak to someone in our Business Development Team. You can also reach us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Top 3 Ways to Keep a Green Lawn
It’s May and everyone is looking for that eye-catching green lawn. Temperatures are moderate, rainfall is abundant, and you could probably cut the lawn twice a week if you really wanted to. This week we are looking at spring turf applications; how they work, and what you should be doing to promote strong stands of green grass and minimal weeds. While there is a world of science behind turf programs, we are breaking it down to the basics that will drive the best results.
Here are the best tips to keep your lawn green all season long:
1. Timing is Everything:
Good weed control starts before the grass is growing. The timing of applying weed control products can be just as important as the application itself. For both cool and warm season grasses the first application almost always involves a pre-emergent weed control. Pre-emergent works by inhibiting the germination of seeds that are dormant in the soil, therefore, timing the application for when soil temperatures are right for seed germination is critical.
2. There's Bad Before the Good:
While pre-emergent weed controls help to limit certain types of weeds; mostly crabgrass, it’s not impactful on broadleaf weeds. “Broadleaf weeds” are what we recognize as Dandelions, Clover, Buttercup and other commons weeds. The best way to treat these types of weeds is to apply a post-emergent herbicide. Post-emergent herbicides work to kill weeds after they have germinated. When trying to achieve a beautiful lawn, you’ll have to wait until the bad weeds come out, so you can feed the lawn to look good!
3. Feed Me:
After a long winter that’s exactly what your lawn is thinking; FEED ME. As grass transitions from a dormant to an active state, lawns need nutrients to stimulate new growth. Early Spring fertilizers that are higher in Nitrogen will fuel vegetative growth, providing those lush green lawns we admire.
While developing and maintaining a strong lawn doesn’t happen overnight, or in any one season, there is never a bad time to start. By treating the lawn with the proper fertilizers in the spring you minimize the competition from weeds. This will give your turf the headstart it needs to excel through the landscape season!
To learn more about landscape maintenance or comprehensive landscape programs for your multi-site portfolio, give Ferrandino & Son a call at:
and ask to speak to someone in our Business Development Team. You can also reach us at:
5 Property Maintenance Tips Everyone Should Follow
Details Matter…For Brand Image
When we look at the anatomy of a landscape season, our focus typically migrates to what we often identify as milestone services. “Has the Spring Clean Up been completed?”, “When are we scheduled for mulch?” or “Has the irrigation system been activated?”. All are common questions we hear from our clients. These are also among the services that are the most closely tracked. While these deliverables are without question critical pieces of any program, the truth of the matter is that the things we often bundle into “routine services” by far represent the bulk of what occurs across the year and what ultimately drive your properties’ exterior brand image.
So, once you’ve checked the box on that last Spring milestone service and the focus shifts to mowing lawns and controlling weeds, take a look at the 5 Property Maintenance Tips Everyone Should Follow. These details are often overlooked, but can make a big impact on how a site represents itself.
Follow These Tips for the Perfect SITE Property:
1. Hard Surface Weeds
The landscaping doesn’t stop at the edge of the parking lot. Few things look worse than weeds growing along curb lines, in parking lot cracks, or against the foundation of a building. Keeping these unwanted plants at bay is easy and relatively cost efficient.
2. Don’t Forget the Grass Edges
A recurring schedule to edge along sidewalks and curb lines can make a world of difference. Grass growth encroaching onto hard surfaces can make a property that is otherwise maintained well look average.
3. And the Other Grass Edges
That’s right! It’s not just keeping grass off the curbs and walks. Using a line trimmer to keep bed lines crisp represents well and can be impactful to the overall aesthetic of a site.
4. Don’t Be a Sucker
Okay, so maybe it’s not about you being a sucker but those random branches that pop up along the trunk of a tree or along its base are called suckers…and they have to go!
5. Out With the Dead
It happens, plants die. Cars hit them, snow piles crush them, foot traffic wears them down. While it may be too late to save a dead or dying plant, it’s never too late to have those eyesores removed from the landscape. While ideally, a replacement would be installed, its generally better to have no plant versus a dead plant.
Now Your Site is Perfect!
Now that you’ve thought about these 5 property maintenance tips everyone should follow, you can leverage this information as the majority of the landscape season is still in front of us. Placing some focus on the details of routine services can make a world of difference and be a real differentiator between you and your competitors.