Chris Sherrington, Lawn Doctor Technical Director by day and sailboat racer by night, says he’s been bleeding green for 17 years.
“I love everything about [the green industry] – the challenges and how difficult it can be and the rewards of seeing something change and turn around and be better. You never know what you’re going to be facing tomorrow. It’s always a challenge.”
According to Chris, there are a lot of parallels between a sailboat race and the inevitable race against Mother Nature – something that lawn care professionals know all-too-well. But Chris says he’s glad to have access to innovative products that make that race a bit easier to win.
“I’m always looking for new products with lower use rates that are easy to mix and handle and are safe not just for the environment and turfgrass, but for the operator as well,” Chris says. “I look for the best products that deliver the highest standards and exceptional turfgrass conditions for our customers … Bayer products have been a close companion along the way.”
And, like Chris, Bayer takes that commitment to innovation seriously.
“I found in having conversations with Chris that he was impressed not only by the breadth of research we do at Bayer, but also the amount of energy and resources that go into bringing a new innovation into the market,” says Jake Doskocil, Ph.D., Manager of the Bayer Research & Education Center in Clayton, N.C.
There’s comfort in that investment, according to Chris, who says that he knows Bayer is going to put in the time, the money and the research to ensure product excellence.
“There’s always been a level of security in knowing that the Bayer name, the Bayer brand and what they stand for, is behind [a product],” Chris says. “It gives confidence to turf professionals that they’re using a quality product that has been tried and tested.”
Laurence Mudge, Manager of the Bayer Green Solutions Team, says that confidence is by design. “Our customers buy our products, but what they’re really buying is product plus a lot of expertise, a lot of backing, product knowledge, best management practices and guidance.” Chris says that kind of support is important. “Bayer has continued to deliver new and innovative products, research and development, solutions guides, rewards and incentives,” he says.
For more than two decades, Bayer and Lawn Doctor have harbored a lot of trust.
“They know, after many years of dealing with different people at Bayer, that we’re there in their best interest,” says Mike Dzurenko, Bayer Lawn and Landscape Key Account Manager. “We put the customer at the center of everything we do.”
And from Chris’s point of view, that’s evident.
“The level of service that I get working with Mike is amazing,” Chris says. “A lot of our franchisees contact Mike… and he does such a great job of working with the Bayer Green Solutions Team to be able to come up with the right answers that they’re looking for. That’s rewarding to me and to Lawn Doctor as a company.”
Chris might say that the secret to winning is anchored in precisely this kind of collaboration and teamwork.
“Sailing with a crew of anywhere from 8 to 15 people, we’re trying to race and time precisely to keep our speed up. There’s a huge teamwork effort there to be able to do that,” Chris says. “Teamwork and precise timing on when to make a decision, on when to move forward, on when to take it to the next level… We all realize that working as a team, we can achieve more than if we just try to get at it alone.”
Being first to the finish line means having the right tools and the right people working together at the right time.
“The green industry is continually changing, whether it’s climate related, industry trends or demand,” Chris says. “You are facing those storms that are coming, and you’re not sure how you’re going to overcome. The flipside is when you see the results of your efforts in preparing for that – from hunkering down, getting through it and seeing the results.”