7 Things to Consider when Contracting a Commercial Plumber for your Business

7 Things to Consider when Contracting a Commercial Plumber for your Business

7 Things to Consider when Contracting a Commercial Plumber for your Business.

The plumbing system in a commercial building is much more complex than a residential plumbing system and often a forgotten part of the business. The plumbing system is taken for granted until something starts leaking or stops running. Any business, large or small, must remain open and run efficiently in order to be successful and profitable. A sudden failure in the plumbing system could stop any business in its’ tracks.

The following are some things to consider when it comes to hiring a commercial plumber to work in your building. You don’t want to make costly mistakes when it comes to your commercial plumbing. You want to make sure the plumber you are hiring is licensed and insured, as well as knowledgeable and experienced in the commercial aspects of plumbing. Hiring a licensed plumber with commercial plumbing experience isn’t as simple as it should be, and there are several things that you don’t want to go wrong during the process. In order to ensure that your commercial plumbing needs are met and the best possible services rendered, you’ll have to shop around before making your decision.

Here are 7 things you need to consider before securing the services of a commercial plumber:

1. Is the plumber licensed, experienced and insured?

Licensed plumbers will be more likely to have the knowledge necessary to ensure any work you have done follows all plumbing and building codes; liability insurance will protect both parties in the unlikely event of a costly mistake. Both are critical when it comes to hiring a commercial plumbing contractor. Remember, a commercial plumber should be experienced with plumbing repairs and maintenance for businesses of all types. Think of the many types of businesses that rely on plumbers. Everything from a gas station to a restaurant to a manufacturing plant needs working plumbing so the commercial plumber you hire should have experience fixing the plumbing in your specific type of business.

2. Does the plumbing company charge for estimates?

Before the plumber comes out to your business, make sure you know whether you’ll be charged for the inspection. It depends on the plumbing company whether or not this fee will be assessed. Sometimes these fees are called “trip charges”. That’s just the cost for the plumber to stop by and assess your problem before any real work begins.

3. Are rates hourly or does the plumber charge a flat rate fee?

In order to avoid unnecessary overages, check to make sure the number the plumber quotes you is either all-inclusive of the labor and parts necessary or if you will be charged by the hour. You don’t want to get nickel-and-dimed by the company for unknown charges. It pays to know exactly what they’re charging you for and how they’re levying those charges.

4. How long has the plumbing company been in business?

Commercial plumbers that have been around for a while will be more likely to have favorable reviews from the community. In addition, an older, better established company is more likely to have experienced plumbers with proven track records for good quality work. Established companies are also more likely to provide 24-hour emergency service. Remember, your business may be at a standstill until the plumber can fix the problem.

5. Can the plumber provide references of other customers?

It is always good to try to obtain references from the plumber from customers they have previously done work for. These references can be contacted and can provide valuable information about the plumber. This will build confidence in your decision on who you hire for your plumbing work.

6. Does the plumbing company sub-contract their work?

Some companies will sub-contract their work to other plumbers or independent contractors. This is not always the case, but it is something that should be asked when hiring a plumbing company. You want to be sure the plumber doing your work is a qualified employee of the company you are hiring.

7. What is the warranty policy?

It’s important for plumbers to guarantee their labor when they are rendering services to your business. Be sure to learn what the protocol is for claiming a warranty before you sign on the dotted line. Most often the plumbing fixtures are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, but you should be concerned about how long the plumber will guarantee his personal work (labor).

If your commercial plumber has checked off all 7 things to consider when hiring a commericial plumber, you are in good shape to finish the project!

Contact Us

To learn more about plumbing 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:

 sales@ferrandinoandson.com

Landscaping Capital Project Delivers Brand Improvement and Long-Term Savings

Landscaping Capital Project Delivers Brand Improvement and Long-Term Savings

Project Theme

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.

Executive Summary

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:

  1. Scope, price and execute more than 300 sites as a pilot for their remaining portfolio
  2. Complete all of the projects in less than 6 months from scope to completion
  3. Properly navigate municipality mandates and restrictions

Project Challenges

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.

Summary

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: sales@ferrandinoandson.com

Top 3 Ways to Keep a Green Lawn

Top 3 Ways to Keep a Green Lawn

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!

Contact Us

To learn more about landscape 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:

 sales@ferrandinoandson.com

5 Property Maintenance Tips Everyone Should Follow

5 Property Maintenance Tips Everyone Should Follow

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.

Contact Us

To learn more about facilities 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:

sales@ferrandinoandson.com.

Start Irrigation Out Right

Start Irrigation Out Right

Start Irrigation Out Right

If April showers bring May flowers, what follows May flowers? If you’re in elementary school, the answer is Pilgrims. For the rest of us, the answer is a little less witty. As the cooler, rainy days of early Spring fade away, we are faced with the longer, hotter and more drought prone days of summer. While this may mean a day at the pool for some of us, it’s the most stressful time of the year for your sites’ landscaping. To overcome these hot dry days and to help lawns and plants stay healthy, and to maintain your brand image, underground irrigation systems offer a strong solution.

If Spring has sprung where you are, it’s time to get ahead of the what’s next and get those irrigation systems started! Here are some things to consider when activating irrigation after a long winter:

1. Timing:

While below freezing temperatures will wreak havoc on irrigation systems that are active, the reality is that they can be activated far in advance of when they are needed. Starting your system early in the Spring allows you to choose when to run the system and ensures that the system is ready when you’ll need it.

2. Be Prepared:

What could possibly go wrong with an irrigation system that has been winterized and hasn’t operated since fall? Unfortunately, a lot! To have the most efficient process in place when starting irrigation systems, it’s best to have an established NTE value set with your contractor. This allows for smaller, less costly repairs to be made on the spot; saving time and money in the long run.

3. What Should Be Done:

Here’s what you should expect as part of the activation process: the entire system should be run, adjustments to the heads completed and times on the controller set based on the current needs. When larger issues are found, cost estimates on repairs should be provided immediately. When your contractor leaves the site, the irrigation system should either be completely operational or you should have a full report outlining any issues; with cost estimates included, so you can make the necessary repairs.

4. Next Steps:

Once your systems are started, it’s not over. To ensure proper operation and efficient use of water as a resource, an ongoing monitoring program should be in place. Monthly wet tests to check for needed repairs and adjustments to system run times will help to maximize the systems’ effectiveness and deliver a responsible use of water.

As the seasons unfold the need for irrigation will follow. The first step is to activate the irrigation system, and the points outlined above will help to get things off to a good start.

Contact Us

To learn more about irrigation 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:

 sales@ferrandinoandson.com