- Résumé – CLS Landscape Management services more than 200 HOAs, along with several area municipalities (which are listed with dates of service)
- Well-maintained trucks and equipment that proudly display company logo
- Staff that is in constant contact with the corporate office via cell phones and pagers – crews can be dispatched quickly when a problem arises
- Well-trained and certified staff – 17 irrigation techs who receive ongoing training and certification in water management, reclaimed water and backflow testing; tree division led by a certified arborist; licensed pesticide applicators
- Green waste – The company recycles 100% of the green waste it generates for re-use on the properties it maintains
Mulching Creates New Revenue Stream
CLS Landscape Management actually started mulching back in 2004. Davis felt that putting all of that green waste into a dump was environmentally wrong, and that “great mulch” was the future of landscaping in southern California. “I never thought it would turn out to be such a marketing advantage,” Davis relates. “I just felt that it was the right thing to do.”
Initially, mulching was a service CLS provided at no charge to the cities and HOAs the company maintained. Once the market saw that CLS was providing high-quality recycled mulch, vendors and even other landscape companies began inquiring. Now CLS sells them some of the mulch it manufactures, creating a brand new revenue stream.
“There is such a focus on the area of green recycled mulch that we believe it will become a bigger and bigger part of what we do in the future,” Davis says.
Getting into the mulching business doesn’t happen overnight. Davis says that a $3 million to $5 million investment in land and equipment is needed in order to mulch correctly and meet all of California’s requirements and guidelines. “But if you have long-term goals, as our company does, that investment will pay off in the long run,” Davis says.
Last year was the first full year CLS Landscape Management actually went into the business of manufacturing and selling mulch. “Our mulch is in high demand due to its quality; we don’t have any animal, palm, trash or grass byproducts in our mulch,” Davis points out. Thus far, word of mouth is all the company has needed to start generating a healthy amount of orders.
“It takes a tremendous amount of knowledge and equipment to even entertain the idea of starting up a mulching business,” Davis says. “I suggest starting out on a small scale, like we did, and learn the pros and cons of producing good mulch before jumping into a retail business.”
Ever since he was a wild-eyed 21-year-old, Kevin Davis understood the merits of taking things slowly and building from the ground up. He’s been a firm believer that growth happens naturally when your people believe in what they are doing and consistently deliver the service customers deserve. Now presiding over a $21 million commercial maintenance company, it’s safe to say that his beliefs are indeed correct.