For instance, the company uses fertilizers that are custom-blended with zero filler, which helps reduce packaging, product and shipping by 25%, while also helping improve fuel economy by nearly 10%. To help with turn-by-turn driving directions, all technicians have had handheld GPS units for the past few years. And they drive vans with fold-up ramps, since pulling trailers can lead to increased fuel usage and difficulty finding parking.
The company's vans are something the entire staff takes great pride in. "We all got together one day and brainstormed about what the ideal service vehicle would be like," Reindl tells. "We decided the tank would be 2' high, 5'4" feet wide (the full width of the van) and 4' deep. We stack all our fertilizer bags on that tank, so everything is waist height when loading fertilizer into the sprayer's hopper.
"The main tank holds 250 gallons of water," Reindl continues, "so we can treat 500,000 square feet per day. We then have a separate tank for the concentrated chemical. Research tells us that, when you mix chemicals with water, the effectiveness of the herbicide will be broken down if not used that same day. Having the water and chemicals in separate tanks allows us to mix the two only when we fill up the sprayer, so it's fresh when applied."
Reindl says he searched and searched for a tank like this, but to no avail. Fortunately, he's right next door to a fabricator who was able to build something to fit his needs. "We told him what we wanted, he drew up some drawings, and there you have it," Reindl says.
Oasis Turf & Tree utilizes ride-on sprayers (the Z-Spray from LT Rich). For tree and shrub treatments, Reindl had LT Rich custom build a sprayer. "We got rid of the hopper for the fertilizer and added a 300-foot hose reel." For its aeration services, the company also uses ride-on product from LT Rich, along with a couple Ryan walk-behind aerators for select applications where a ride-on isn't feasible. "We used to run a lot of tow-behind aerators until we got out of the mowing business and liquidated all our mowers," Reindl adds.
Another thing Oasis Turf & Tree used to do a lot was physically measure properties. That's changed too, thanks to an online service called Go iLawn (goilawn.com). "Go iLawn takes high-resolution aerial photos and superimposes property lines," Reindl explains. "So we can measure properties online, which saves us the hassle of driving out to a property to take measurements on site. It's very accurate."
Reindl recently hired someone to spearhead this effort. The employee will work 4 to 9 p.m., coinciding with the time sales reps are typically out cold calling. If one of the reps needs a measurement to present an estimate to a customer, he'll call the office to get it instantly. To stay busy in between calls from the reps, the employee will work to assemble a database of property measurements--focusing on homes in the company's target market of $300,000 and up. "Our goal is to be able to respond to a prospective customer with a price in five or 10 minutes," Reindl explains.
Master of one
That type of responsiveness does a great deal to improve the overall customer experience. So does quality work. "We have the best-looking lawns, and it's not by accident," Reindl says. "We have the best products, equipment and people."
Helping Reindl manage his fast-growing company is Lou Weisman. "Lou had been a sales rep for us," Reindl tells. "We promoted him to sales manager, and he's done a tremendous job. His numbers are up more than 20% compared to our previous sales manager."
Reindl is just as quick to credit Jeff "Coop" Cooper. A long-time technician for Oasis Turf & Tree, Coop recently stepped up to the position operations manager. "Coop is in charge of managing the technicians, but also trains our entire staff in customer service, safety ... everything," Reindl points out. "He's also a PLANET CTP-CSL (certified turfgrass professional, cool season lawns)."
Reindl is a CTP-CSL as well. It makes perfect sense--since his specialty is high-end residential lawn care. Choosing to bow out of the maintenance arena and focus on this niche has proved to be the right decision. "I'd rather not be a jack of all trades," Reindl says. "I want to be a master of one."