Lawn Care Stories of Success
The Power of Partnership
Scott Garcia never expected to find himself in the green industry. He doesn’t have a turf or horticulture degree, and he spent the early part of his career working for an automotive chemical company. But for the past 16 years, Garcia has learned the ins and outs of the lawn care industry, in sales and operations roles and, since 2011, has been the owner of Spring-Green Lawn Care in Raleigh, N.C.
Like most successful business owners, Garcia is the first to admit that surrounding himself with industry experts and forming strong partnerships with his suppliers has helped him get where he is today.
“Support is probably the biggest thing for me,” Garcia explains. “For someone like me who didn’t go to school to become an LCO (lawn care operator), having a lot of resources around me that I trust is so important.”
Building lasting connections
Spring-Green Lawn Care, a $1 million company serving 95 percent residential clientele, provides 70 percent fertilization and weed control services and 30 percent other services, including disease control, pest control, aeration and overseeding. One of Garcia’s most valuable industry relationships is with his lawn care chemical supplier, Bayer. Clay Breazeale, his Bayer area sales manager, and John Wendorf, customer marketing manager for the Bayer Lawn and Ornamental segments, help Garcia make the most of this partnership. His Bayer representatives have been with him since the beginning, Garcia says, and are always accessible when he needs support or advice.
“When I purchased the company, the Bayer representative was the first to reach out to me, and he was in town just a few weeks later,” Garcia recalls. “Having a good relationship with Bayer allows me to focus on other things and gives me the confidence that I’m sending my technicians out with products that work. This means we have fewer callbacks during the year.”
Finding the best products
“Scott relies on us for solution-oriented results and performance he can count on to improve his business,” Breazeale says. “On the landscape side, company owners don’t have the opportunity to look at all of their properties every day, so they rely on us to provide solutions, products and support that allow them to know when they leave a location it will have the best possible results until they return for their next round.”
Wendorf agrees. “My job is to make it as easy and pleasant as possible for customers like Scott to do business with Bayer,” he says.
Garcia has four main Bayer products in his lineup — Specticle® FLO, Celsius® WG, Armada® 50 WDG and Topchoice®. When Garcia purchased another Spring-Green franchise in a more southern region of North Carolina, his crews began dealing with more warm-season turf. For Garcia, Specticle “changed the game” by providing better weed control for warm-season grasses during the dormant season. Armada is Garcia’s go-to product for combatting brown patch and other diseases, and Topchoice is his preferred product for treating fire ants.
Celsius is what Garcia’s technicians turn to for postemergent weed control. “It’s the postemergence herbicide that every one of my guys keeps in his truck,” he says. “We know we can use it across the board to control 80 percent of the weeds we see on a daily basis.”
Partnering with Bayer means Garcia never has to look far for solutions to the challenges he and his team at Spring-Green encounter.
“It’s nice to know you can get a lot of information from one place,” Garcia says of Bayer. “In addition to information, nine times out of 10 they will also have a product to help you solve a problem and improve your business from a service standpoint.”
Science for success. Scott Garcia (left) works with Bayer’s Customer Marketing Manager John Wendorf at a Spring-Green client property near Raleigh. Garcia calls on Bayer when he needs help finding the right solutions to keep his clients happy.
Sharing industry knowledge
For LCOs looking to strengthen their industry partnerships, Breazeale and Wendorf both suggest talking to other company owners for insight on how their partnerships work and the benefits they get from them. From networking and educational events, to early order and rewards programs, large manufacturers like Bayer have numerous resources to offer LCOs, they add.
“We don’t just have a product in a bottle – we have a team behind it to give the customer the most successful experience with that product,” Wendorf says. “It’s important that they not only buy this great Bayer product, but that they have all the information and knowledge of how to use it successfully.”
“The team at Bayer is truly looking out for our best interest,” Garcia adds. “At the end of the day, that is huge.”
|“Communication is the most important thing. All LCOs should find a company like I’ve found with Bayer that I can reach at any time.”
Scott Garcia, Spring-Green Lawn Care