Insights from Industry CEOs on The New Big Green Podcast Discussion - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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Insights from Industry CEOs on The New Big Green Podcast Discussion

NALP has recently launched The Big Green Podcast. NALP CEO Britt Wood chats with landscape industry CEOs about how they are handling the coronavirus and its impact on their business.

In the first episode of the podcast, Wood spoke with Rosco Klausing, with the Klausing Group based in Lexington, Kentucky, and in the second podcast he talked to Andrew Ziehler with Ziehler Lawn and Tree Care, based in Centerville, Ohio. Below are some of the key takeaways from these discussions.

Lessons Learned

Klausing says he’s learned that you can’t simply shut down completely, but you need to create a plan immediately for the worst possible situation. Ziehler agrees that you must spend time communicating with your leadership team to create plans for various scenarios. He says it is a constant cycle of research and trying to keep up with the situation, so flexibility has been key. Klausing says that through this time he has seen dedicated, committed and loyal people stepping up, allowing him to focus on retaining everyone.

Meanwhile Ziehler says he’s seen just how well his leadership team works together and communicates. He says that communicating with the team via short videos and emails has been easier than expected.

Flexibility is Key

Wood also discussed with the CEOs about how the current situation has impacted their decision making. Ziehler says it has revealed that they’re pretty good at making decisions in challenging situations, but they want to get even better at it.

Ziehler says because each choice impacts team members, it’s important to not let emotions cloud your judgment and to look at the decision from multiple perspectives. He says it’s important to be conscious about taking a moment to step back and consider the situation before making a final call.

Klausing says they’re learning to make decisions much faster and it has changed how they will make decisions in the future. He also adds he has realized that more people can work remotely and semi-remotely than he previously believed and sees this as an opportunity for more flexibility in the future.

They are also learning how to maintain their company culture even when everyone can’t be physically together.

Client Relationships

On Klausing’s side, his company works mostly with commercial facility managers and property managers, and says their relationships are remaining strong.

Ziehler’s customers are mostly residential and he says they’ve received a number of calls with customers asking them when they can come. He believes this is due to people being home and seeing their yards all day, but he says customers are excited they are open and still working. 

Advice for Others

As for what advice they’d give to fellow members, Klausing says it’s important to put safety and public health first and to not ignore the guidance provide by elected officials and the CDC.

He also encourages others to reforecast their budgets.

Ziehler stresses that you cannot overcommunicate with your team members during this time and you should also talk to your vendors early on, rather than at the last second. 

He says that in a crisis it’s better to look at things from a smaller perspective and plan on a daily, weekly and monthly basis because things are changing so rapidly.

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the senior content manager for NALP.