We’ll be the first to admit it: T. Lake is not the biggest guy on the block. We’re a local company with local roots and local values. We like it that way.
But, that doesn’t mean we can’t play nice with the giants.
In a recent post, we discussed 5 compelling reasons for commercial real estate developers to feel comfortable working with T.Lake. But not all developers play in the same ballpark. When you start talking the biggest of the big, you’ve got to up the ante.
Very large, national and international contracting companies have unique concerns as well as a more corporate approach to doing business that doesn’t always mesh with the way small business operates. Does T. Lake have what it takes to work successfully with them?
As a matter of fact, we do.
At T. Lake, we’re quite comfortable rolling up our sleeves and working out with the major leaguers. And over the years, we’ve developed systems and procedures that let us take our place on the big players’ teams at a moment’s notice.
T. Lake has:
A Procedure For Everything
Few landscape companies have written standard operating procedures (SOP’s) for practically every task and event that may occur. We do.
We do it for our own good and in order to better serve our customers. But it also comes in handy when we work with large general contracting companies. Because each of them has their own variation on procedure, when we work with them we flex what we normally do to adopt the GC’s processes. If it’s someone new to us, we take the time to research how they operate and what makes them tick before we give them a bid, because we want to be as seamless a partner as we can be.
A quick example (and one we hope we never have to use) is our auto accident procedure. In the event of an accident—whether it’s a fender bender in the parking lot or a highway pileup—our team members are trained to fill out a form we have on file that’s similar to what the law enforcement guys use. As soon as possible after the event, we expect them to log what happened, note the weather and other conditions, what direction the vehicle(s) were heading, who was in the vehicle, any injuries, etc. We also have a step-by-step procedure to follow, including whom to notify and in what order, when to call 911 vs. the hospital, and other important points.
We have similar written SOP’s for cleaning the restroom, cleaning up at the end of the day, and virtually all other work or event tasks an employee might be faced with, including task sequence, safety checks, and specific equipment for each.
We also expect our employees to routinely document many of these tasks. Documentation helps us achieve greater efficiency over time, as well as avoiding and/or mitigating security and liability issues.
Does that create a lot of forms? Yes, it does. We’re not afraid to fill out forms. And we find that it stands us in good stead when we work with the big contracting firms. Our employees don’t bat an eyelash when they’re asked to do it. They know the drill, and it makes everything go smoothly.
Systems In Place
Having documented procedures in place is necessary to being a good partner to a large contracting company, but by itself is not sufficient. They are worth no more than the paper they are printed on unless and until you have systems in place to ensure that your employees actually follow them.
As you can guess, we’re on top of this, too. We are students of LEAN and have overarching mechanisms and failsafes in place to ensure that we follow procedures to a tee. For instance, our managers have routines they follow to ensure that the field people do what they’re supposed to do; our accounting people adhere to systems that make sure everyone else in the company follows proper billing procedure. These checks and balances ensure that it all works smoothly and seamlessly. It’s a win-win-win for our company and employees, our partners, and our customers.
We worked directly with our insurer to develop an airtight safety plan. It is highly documented and follows nationally accepted best practices designed to keep people from getting hurt, and to help avoid unnecessary claims or litigation for our clients as well as ourselves.
This is not our first rodeo, as they say. We’ve been here since 1990 and have partnered with some of the largest general contractors in the nation on a number of the largest industrial warehouse and distribution projects, as well as manufacturing and industrial buildings, in the state of Georgia. We understand the culture of big contracting businesses. For instance:
- We’re happy to work through their paperwork and electronic systems
- We understand how to properly load pay requests and comply with the formats they use
- We support ACH so it’s easy to pay us
- Our insurance company is familiar with providing bonding and proper certificates of insurance, and additional umbrella coverages
- Our field and managerial employees understand how to act and perform on a site and cooperate with others as a unified team
- We clean up after ourselves
- We understand the importance of PPE, so they won’t have to yell at our guys to put on their hard hats or lace their work boots
- We are well staffed to provide the turn-key approach for virtually any landscaping service, from design-build to horticultural needs to ongoing maintenance
- We understand the importance of ROI on each and every job
The bottom line is, if you are a large general contracting company...
We Make Your Job Easier.
Make it easy for yourself: work with somebody you don’t have to babysit. We thrive on efficiency and accountability, and are ready, willing and able to partner with companies who demand them. If you are looking for a reliable landscape subcontractor in the state of Georgia or surrounding areas who is well prepared to hit it out of the ballpark when working with even the largest developers, reach out to us online or pick up the phone and call us at 478-750-7733. We look forward to hearing from you.