The landscape industry is well-known for being stubborn to change. However, with the advent of Covid-19 and its new lock down culture, Frank & Grossman is committed to leading the way with how we adapt to and excel during changing times. Throughout our industry, companies are finding ways to operate differently – from implementing creative new customer-service models to completely restructuring their org charts but, it is within the confines of traditional division. What most companies have in common is their division into three main tiers – Operations, Business Development and Marketing, and Administration – and Frank and Grossman is no different. In these rapidly changing times, however, our organizational structure will evolve to adapt. This first blog post seeks to summarize our organizational model, and subsequent posts will illuminate the ways in which each element is changing in order to adapt and thrive.
Our Operators must now change how we define “service” to our clients. Measures that reduce risk to clients also serve to keep our workers safe. Safety has always been “first,” but now sanitization, risk reduction, and protecting client assets take on greater importance than ever before. We stay connected and responsive to new updates from the different California government agencies, CLCA and NALP as these organizations advise our industry with informed advice from healthcare professionals. Our operators cannot merely set new procedures in motion and leave it at that – they must remain vigilant at every site, during every visit. This means thoroughly retraining every single one of Frank & Grossman’s employees on how to view service and safety, from landscape laborers to branch manager, so that every link in our chain is strong.
To my colleagues in Business Development and Marketing – we’re going to have to get creative. Covid-19 has just slowed down the process of easily accessing clients and has made building in-person relationships more difficult. However, it’s still crucial that we’re able to strategize closely with clients in order to find the right balance that results in a lucrative contract as well as supports our clients’ needs and exceeds their expectations. To do this, empathy and patience will play massive roles in the coming months. It’s critical that we educate our clients on our operations team’s new practices, provide knowledge about what we can and cannot do at this time, and continue to foster relationships. In this way, we can reassure clients that this pandemic won’t stop our commitment to them. Our new avenue for all this must be the expanded use of technology. Business developers and marketers who are able to be flexible about the where, when, and how of virtual meetings will have more ability to protect our clients from the exposure of having to go to many sources to get the support they need.
Administrators – it’s time to get comfortable working remotely. The Shelter-in-Place order lets us prove to upper management that it’s possible to be efficient and accurate while scattered away from the office. Done properly, remote administrative work can save the company some overhead while gaining us freedom from certain entrenched distractions (though there’s no denying that working from home can have its own distractions, as well). The short version of this, if your IT is solid and ready to support a remote administrative work force, then this is the time to convert.
Successful companies will see these changing times and evolving platform as an opportunity to adapt and thrive. We believe that each tier of our business can adopt this positive perspective and remain enthusiastic about what we do as we leave the comfortable — but now outdated — rut of traditional landscape contracting.