Landscape Management Team Tracks Users' Needs at University

By Dave Lubach, Associate Editor  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Michigan State Grounds Management Groups Find Benefits from SharingPt. 2: Landscape Service Departments at Michigan State University Streamline OperationsPt. 3: This PagePt. 4: Sharing Resources Results in Money-Saving Measures for Michigan StatePt. 5: East Lansing, Michigan State Merge Some Grounds Operations to Save Money

The Beaumont Depot’s management team continues to track user history in an effort to improve efficiency.

“As with any new operation, it is challenging to predict growth from an operational level with labor and equipment resources,” Lawver says. “Depending on the day, we may only have a few vehicles that come out for supplies and other days where we load out 1,000 cubic yards of mulch and topsoil combined.

“Our business office staff helped us build project controls and data points on the number of parts being sold daily and in which categories. After tracking this (activity) over the past few years, we are building a history of highs and lows in the flow of supplies. This has allowed us to forecast which supplies we need to stock versus non-stock. In the beginning, we held on to a few more supplies than we needed, which tied up equity and space. As we continue to learn and grow, we’ll better track and forecast supply needs.”

The planning and facilities unit has hired three full-time employees and two seasonal workers to staff Beaumont Depot and assist customers with inventory needs.

“If we don’t have a particular item in stock, then we do our very best to obtain the item and expedite the process,” Lawver said. “In any service business, you are building relationships, whether you’re mowing a lawn, selling food, or providing landscape supplies. So it is critical during our hiring process that we hire staff not only technically skilled, but also experienced with delivering outstanding customer service. The challenge is to learn what your customer needs and determine how to exceed their expectations with every interaction.”

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  posted on 9/17/2014   Article Use Policy

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