Case Study: Landscaping Quality Control Through a Managed Program

Case Study: Landscaping Quality Control Through a Managed Program



Landscaping Quality Control Through a Managed Program

When you are responsible for overseeing a landscape portfolio across a large geography or even across the entire country, you want to prioritize several things. First, you want to maximize your resources by finding ways to consolidate your services. Second, you want to confirm the project’s level of quality and accountability with your service partner.

A straightforward solution for the above is finding a national landscape partner who can execute the work and deliver quality control to ensure consistent delivery across your portfolio.

In this case study, we examine a client’s request in identifying why some of their recently bedded perennials were short-lived across their multiple properties and how we implemented a long-term solution to sustain their landscape.



A client recently hired local crews to add perennials to accent their portfolio across multiple states. However, after a few short weeks, their newly installed plants were dying at a high rate.

Concerned about the product’s loss and the dollars spent on their properties, the client reached out to our representatives.

We immediately set up multiple walkthroughs across 145 properties with our Territory Managers over one-week to figure out the situation and quickly identified and marked the problem’s cause in detail.

The client had settled on plants that could not handle the dry soil conditions at their properties and pointed out that some of their irrigation components were outdated and did not respond, causing insufficient watering that the previous company overlooked.

We presented a pricing strategy that met within the client’s budget. However, they were most disappointed in the local crews’ lack of accountability, who could have identified these risks before securing the client’s approval to plant them.

When you lack a third-party quality control process, you lack the accountability to raise red flags regarding the project’s approach


We executed a large-scale project to replace the original plants with a more drought-tolerant option that matched their soil conditions and repaired the faulty irrigation systems to maintain proper watering and drainage.

We installed a long-term solution, which involved several steps to ensure quality control audits for any future landscaping and out-of-scope services (according to the specifications listed in the client’s contract):

  • Perform inspections of the properties

  • Provide current photos

  • Provide detailed reports of any issues

  • Provide resolution to the deficiencies

  • Final validation of service completion


By quickly taking action, we were able to save the client on their overall landscaping project compared to another competitor by an additional 22% on their out-of-scope services.


Project Competitor Savings

Saved an additional 22% versus the competitor

Streamlined Quality Control

Quality Control Standards at 100%

Project Completion Timeline

Scaled 145 properties within one week

Quality control audits are crucial to ensure that the work performed or proposed meets your Brand’s standards.

These quality control audits need to include physical walks of the locations, photographic archives of any deficiencies, detailed report outlying conditions, and possible next steps.

By connecting with a national partner, your portfolio goes through a vigorous process that guarantees the proper communication, callouts, concerns, reviews, and issues that matter to your Brand’s aesthetics.



An Analytic Model of How Vendor Performance Impacts Your Portfolio

An Analytic Model of How Vendor Performance Impacts Your Portfolio



An Analytic Model of How Vendor Performance Impacts Your Portfolio

Managing your suppliers’ capabilities to meet the extensive demands of large multi-site portfolios is a task that requires strategic planning and monitoring.

Case in point, if a current national partner is not meeting the specific details of the scope of work or there appears to be an inconsistent level of service, the right move should be to reexamine your associated vendors and your approach to how you want the work executed.

Ultimately, the entire program’s success rests in the hands of those who are setting the program guidelines and ensuring the right vendor partners are delivering to expectation.



A multi-site client in the Senior Living industry with more than 500 properties had an on-going maintenance issue relating to their irrigation systems.

After 3-years in their current contract, they still lacked visibility into which properties had irrigation systems and which systems were operational. The client also wanted to streamline their spending to increase a more focused fiscal strategy for their entire portfolio.

When re-assessing your portfolio, the best advice is to engage with vendor partners who have the experience and resources to deliver a complete service solution. Taking this approach provides a more exact path to a long-term solution for your entire landscape program. 


When we first were approached, our preparation for evaluating the client’s situation involved setting up pre-RFP meetings with the Ferrandino & Son Landscape Team.

We outlined a more strategic approach to managing their irrigation system, including a more comprehensive site audit process.

Also, we developed a custom budget that outlined both capital repairs and on-going maintenance and included a more transparent reporting process that emphasized a higher cadence around each system’s status. 


Based on our preliminary strategic outline, the client awarded their entire portfolio for routine landscape services and irrigation management. 

Within 60 days of service startup, we identified 93% of the properties had irrigation systems, but only 68% were fully operational. 

We then provided a maintenance strategy that allowed the client to budget out the maintenance costs over the first season resulting in 92% of their properties being fully functional. 

The remaining properties required more extensive capital improvements. Thus we incorporated that workload into their more considerable capital landscape improvements as part of an overall remodel program.



Identified 73.12% of problematic systems within 60 days of service implementation


Streamlined maintenance budget resulting in 92% of property functionality


Condensed outlining repairs into an overall remodel program

The results finalized an improved Brand image through a healthier landscape objective.

Our program helped revamp the client’s confidence to reaffirm the correct quality of services they were paying for and supported a reduced total capital expenditure for their irrigation.

Due to an improved process of maintaining their systems by executing minor real-time repairs, the client re-assessed their portfolio with ease and strengthened their Brand’s appeal for years to come. 



Landscape Irrigation Case Study – an Exemplary Approach on Being a Winner of Your Irrigation Management

Landscape Irrigation Case Study – an Exemplary Approach on Being a Winner of Your Irrigation Management


Winning at Irrigation Management Just Became Easier


The average irrigation system will disperse about a half-inch of precipitation or 14,000 gallons of water per watering, so it is important to have an irrigation management plan in place to prevent overuse while still providing adequate watering to your landscaping assets.

We recommended having a rain sensor installed to signal the irrigation system to pause watering during or after a rain event. Pausing your system can save you thousands of gallons of unwarranted water usage throughout a landscaping season.

In addition, rain sensors that utilize evapotranspiration can reduce water usage levels by adjusting watering times based on temperature, humidity, and ground moisture levels.



A client was having an issue with improper landscape water coverage. While inspecting their irrigation system, we found that the operating pressure was 63%, while their PSI was above 60.

The high PSI level was causing the irrigation heads to mist, creating insufficient water coverage. The client was also running their system longer to provide adequate watering to their landscaping due to the mist evaporating before reaching the landscaping.

The client also experienced trouble with faulty irrigation systems throughout their 200 sites, with each system having its own set of unique issues. Some of the problems included outdated or broken irrigation controllers, backflow components, irrigation heads, valves, and piping.

The client’s case presented a significant number of costly projects that needed to be handled by a national irrigation management company rather than managing each project on a site-by-site basis through local contractors with varying levels of experience, resources, and qualifications.


To solve the client’s problem, we installed pressure regulators to verify each irrigation system per zone was operating at its optimal pressure. Then, by rigorously testing each unit, we confirmed functionality until all zones were working correctly.

We then replaced any broken or inefficient heads and parts as part of our diagnostic check. Lastly, our specialists replaced any broken PVC piping with black polyethylene piping, a more durable and flexible material that can withstand chemical and environmental stress while being resistant to cracks. 

In addition to the repairs made on this system, we also leveraged our irrigation technicians and resources throughout the country to quickly set up a project plan to update all 200-sites with new controllers.


Since the repairs (and based on their historical spending analysis versus current trends), the client realized immediate and long-term savings.

By utilizing a national partner’s services, the client reduced their water usage by 20% for their irrigation and landscaping needs.

They also saved over $400,000  through upgrading their faulty controllers and outdated parts, which created better water efficiency and reduced reactive costs over the course of 20-years.



Saved over 20% of water usage


The client saved over $400,000 via new upgrades


Reduced costs over 20 years

By connecting with a partner with specialized resources throughout your company’s footprint, you can extend your irrigation systems’ life span for years to come.  

Landscaping plays a critical role in your business brand, and irrigation issues could cost you hundreds – or even thousands – in unexpected costs per property if not identified and repaired quickly.

Trust your system maintenance to a leading national irrigation management company to start providing value and savings for your facilities today!



Ferrandino & Son Landscape – Capital Projects Case Study

Ferrandino & Son Landscape – Capital Projects Case Study



Growing and Leveraging your Landscape Capital Budgets

Are you familiar with that saying, “Money doesn’t grow on trees?” Unfortunately, for the most part, that saying is primarily true. However, what if there was a way to generate measurable savings through your landscape projects? The IBIS World November 2018 Landscaping Services Industry Report shows that the landscape services industry boasts an annual revenue of $93-billion and represents about 513,305 businesses. Based on these general statistics, there actually might be some truth to money growing from your trees, shrubs, and hedges. Learn the ins-and-outs of our landscape programs to reduce your future maintenance spend through strategic capital planning. You’ll be shocked at how a simple project plan can reduce your ongoing landscaping maintenance costs with the right capital improvements.

Our program SMEs are your closest allies in terms of stretching the capacity of your landscaping projects.



Overall, landscaping is a growing multi-billion-dollar industry, impacting commercial sectors heavily in attracting business gains. Whether it’s a regional improvement for 75 sites or a multi-year initiative across 8,000 sites, the first kick-off into getting your ROI would be to partner with a national Subject Matter Expert (SME). SMEs will develop and breakdown your landscape project goals, layout multiple solutions for your portfolio, and cross-assess other important exterior areas while keeping your time management and capital budget in-check. Our program SMEs are your closest allies in terms of stretching the capacity of your projects. Think of them as the landscape whisperer where every dollar invested will deliver real returns into your ongoing maintenance budget.

Our program experts assisted clients in saving more than $4,000-worth of irrigation work at a single property by designing a more water-resistant landscape for their new store while reducing their overall Capital Landscape Budget by almost $20,000.


One of the critical components that can’t be emphasized enough during your capital project, is the permit approval process. The speed at which approvals are made is a daunting feat. For instance, if you ask your landscaping partner in March to assess a property for a refresh, and wait until September to have it approved, you’re likely back at square one – as the property will not only need to be reassessed, but any permitting completed will need to start over. Don’t be the bottleneck to your success! Our program experts assisted clients in saving more than $4,000-worth of irrigation work at a single property by designing a more water-resistant landscape for their new store while reducing their overall Capital Landscape Budget by almost $20,000.


For many commercial businesses, your foot traffic is consistent and loyal. But your business can always attract more based on where your businesses are located. Location matters, and so does the locations’ appeal. So, how does this all fit in with your landscape projects and your net results? You see, the client is the one who picks the locations for their capital projects, and they’re also the ones who’ll set the budget. It should be noted that budgets are likely to be set through prior experiences of previous costs from other sites within the client’s portfolio. If you’re not sure of your portfolio’s track record, our trusted national landscape partners should be able to provide you with the information needed to structure a budget that can stretch across an array of portfolio sites.



SMEs assess over 8,000+ sites on average


Our program experts assisted clients in saving more than $4,000 on a single property


Reduce maintenance costs by millions

Everyone has a budget. We know that. You also have an end-goal you want to achieve. You need to have them aligned before you start. If you’re working with a local landscaper or a company only in the landscape space, you may be limited on what you can do. However, a company with a bigger footprint can handle capital refreshes for exterior and even interior projects. If possible, try to align a complete refresh of all your assets. Remember, the point is to deliver a greater bang for your dollar, as the sum of all the parts is much greater than if completed individually.



National Hotel Chain Implements Landscape Audit Program

National Hotel Chain Implements Landscape Audit Program

Project Theme

A national hotel chain was 6 months into a landscape contract that included 4 regional suppliers and 3 national suppliers. Initial feedback on services were inconsistent. Their own Hotel Managers were providing mixed reviews of how the program was going and the self-audits the suppliers were providing painted a picture of above average results.

With Operational Leadership pushing for improvement and Facilities needing some mechanism to capture and measure the results, the suggestion was pitched to approach an outside audit firm who could provide an independent analysis of their program.

Ferrandino & Son was approached for two reasons. First, they were familiar with the scope of work as they had participated in the RFP. While not awarded any of the portfolio during the bid because of their inability to meet the pricing goals, Ferrandino & Son was well-respected within the brand due to their approach during the RFP process.

Second, Ferrandino & Son has one of the largest field presences in the commercial landscape industry so their ability to provide “boots on the ground” across the entire hotel chains portfolio was something that could be leveraged.

The hope was that by initiating site audits through Ferrandino & Son, the national hotel chain could ensure the services they were paying for were getting completed and if there were performance issues, they could be identified quickly so as not to negatively impact the entire landscape program.

Project Challenges

The national hotel chain felt they had 4 challenges they needed to overcome to make an independent audit successful.

1. They needed an audit partner who had coverage across their entire portfolio, which at the time included properties in 41 states.

2. They required a digital survey tool that could capture inspections in real-time and offered some level of dashboard reporting where they could drill down into regions, districts, and ultimately to the property level.

3. They needed the ability to cross-reference the properties to their vendor assignments so that a custom scorecard could be built for each supplier partner.

4. Due to the current issues they were experiencing, they needed a partner who could ramp up quickly, so they didn’t lose the buy-in of their operational teams.

Ferrandino & Son’s Solutions

Ferrandino & Son implemented a 4 step process to ramp up and roll-out the program.

1. They customized the audit survey to the client’s scope of work, incorporating specific weighted values for those items deemed most critical to their stakeholders.

2. They conducted site walks in each of their 4 regions, bench-marking expectations and perceptions on existing properties to leverage the coaching and training that would occur with their Territory Managers when the audits began.

3. They built out a dashboard reporting system that would showcase the data in multiple formats, including by site, district, state, region, and even by supplier.

4. They helped build out the communication plan to the properties and suppliers in advance. This made people aware of the audits occurring, how the information would be shared, and what the goals were. The primary goal being to ensure a consistent, quality service across the entire hotel chain.


Over the first 6 months of the audit program, Ferrandino & Son performed 1,624 inspections, which amounted to a quarterly inspection for each property. The results were impactful.

1. Performance across the board was not as poor as the perception was at the time Ferrandino & Son was initiated.

2. The audit highlighted a discrepancy between the scope and what the hotels believed they should be receiving – something easily corrected through coaching and improved communication.

3. The audits highlighted a gap in chemicals being applied to scope and the full weekly services being performed.

4. While most suppliers graded well overall, one national supplier and one regional supplier did not score well and were moved into a probationary period with specific action plans developed to try to coach them up.

Lessons Learned

For the client, it called out their need to have improved program management on all service programs and how critical real data can be to help manage and make decisions in real-time. For Ferrandino & Son, it was a chance to tweak their own audit process, incorporating some new attributes that they can leverage in their future programs.

Fundamentally, the goals as outlined at inception were achieved and an even more strategic, long-term audit plan was designed. Ferrandino & Son was awarded the work for the term of the existing landscape contract and look forward to expanding their audit program into other service programs with this client.

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:

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.


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: