Magazine article Landscape & Irrigation

Consultants: Industry's 'Hired Guns'. (Resource Guide)

Magazine article Landscape & Irrigation

Consultants: Industry's 'Hired Guns'. (Resource Guide)

Article excerpt

You can call them trouble-shooters. You can call them the hired guns of the landscape and irrigation industries. But they're formally known as "consultants," and they can help make your business more profitable and efficient in a number of areas. These hired guns are armed with enough technical information to solve your problems. They either know the answers or know how to get the answers.

The trick to efficiently using consultants is to define your objectives before you start, and then work toward those objectives. Do you need an answer to a particular problem? Do you need help implementing a particular program? Or do you need an overall analysis of your operation, like an annual physical check-up?

The advantages of hiring a seasoned consultant are:

1) getting the opinion of impartial professionals;

2) a direct savings in cost of maintenance, personnel training and/or cost of supplies;

3) a reduction in staff errors; and

4) individual attention to your business.

Agronomic consultants are specialists in turf, trees, ornamentals or soil. But -- beyond cooperative extension agents -- they're in short supply. This kind of consultant can tag trees and plants, give you a maintenance schedule, recommend purchases and answer specific technical questions. They can be used a mediators for on-site problems or for fine-tuning turf recommendations. They can train employees, give maintenance and irrigation evaluations, and act as mediator between you and property managers.

Cooperative extension agents are paid by the land-grant college or university in your state. …

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