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Houston Landscapes Case Study

Houston Landscapes is landscape construction company with a reputation for high-quality work. Jeremy Miller became a partner in 2004 and bought out his business partner to become the sole owner five years later. Jeremy did an outstanding job of building Houston’s reputation and client list in the Vancouver marketplace.

Benchmarking

Revenues had grown quickly, but so had the challenges associated with growth. With two small children at home, and a staff of 39, Jeremy was finding himself stretched too thin to see change initiatives in the estimating and project management systems through to completion. Why wasn’t profit growing at the same rate as the revenue?  How would he be able to hand off some of his massive workload without destroying the hard won reputation by having things fall through the cracks? Jeremy’s goals included: 

  • Increasing profit (EBITDA).
  • Building a proficient & efficient management team.
  • Being recognized as the number one landscape contractor in Vancouver.
  • Being able to take holidays without having to worry about the business while he was away.

Implementation

  • Facilitated a new annual strategic planning process that included his entire management team, creating buy-in for new initiatives and common goals.
  • Built a company-wide process flowchart that clarified activities and accountability for all staff and set the stage for the documentation of key processes and procedures.
  • Implemented key contractor best practices that set clear priorities and expectations for project managers and foreman, clarified methodologies for managing the staff, and allowed for the tracking of progress against those expectations.
  • Shored up the cash flow forecasting system to manage the cyclical nature of the business.

Results – One Year Later

  • Profit margins have almost quadrupled and the company’s cash position has improved significantly.
  • Projects are routinely coming in on, or under, budget.
  • More robust systems and processes have improved the teamwork between office and field staff.
  • Jeremy has begun to delegate duties to other members of his management team, freeing up his time for higher value activities.
  • Houston’s profile (and revenue) continues to grow in the Vancouver marketplace.

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