FACE-TO-FACE: Denver Contractor Faces Audit

The first stop of JP Horizons' 2010 Face-to-Face Tour landed at Swingle Landscape in Denver.

For most people, the word “audit” evokes feelings similar to what you might feel while making an important sales presentation in your boxer shorts and 1978 worn-down Led Zeppelin T-shirt. It can be uncomfortable to be recognized for who we truly are.

Now imagine allowing 25 companies from around the country to tour your facility, evaluate your processes, and audit your business to help you gauge how sustainable your organization may be moving into the future. On the first stop of this year’s JP Horizons Face-to-Face tour, Swingle Lawn, Tree & Landscape Care opened their doors to this type of honest evaluation. As owners and leaders from around the country gathered in Denver, the Swingle team described the strengths, weaknesses and best practices of six key areas of their business: Fleet, Operations, Administration, Finance, Owners Perspective and Sales.

After a full day of touring, asking great questions and sharing ideas, the Face-to-Face participants had the opportunity to sit down and perform an audit of Swingle. Since contributing to a more sustainable planet is unrealistic without the support of a sustainable business, participants scored Swingle on all 3 Ps: People, Profit and Planet.

Each audit form was unique because participants not only gave a score on a scale of one through five, they also established the criteria they felt was important to score in each area. A few key ideas emerged that can be seen below. Swingle averaged a 4.5 on people, 3.9 on profits and 3.7 on planet. If you took an honest look at your business, how would you stack up?


Tenure of employees is high

Great communication across departments

There is a company-wide commitment to training


Scorekeeping is used to build company-wide awareness of the numbers

There is a company-wide awareness of waste in processes

Safety is a first priority


Recycling programs are in place

There is an ever-diminishing reliance on paper

Employees are able to educate clients on tactics for pursuing sustainability

If you take a real honest look at your own business, you will see that Swingle’s scores are impressive. They continue to be a great company because of their commitment to Working Smarter. Their team recognizes the importance of seeking small wins and remains open to finding a better way. Are you ready for a Face-to-Face experience? If you don’t like being seen in those boxer shorts, go out and find some better looking boxer shorts.