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The Case for Keeping Chemical Application In-House
August 3, 2012 -
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When considering chemical application, there is always the discussion whether to keep it in-house or to outsource the function. Is there an upside to handling chemical applications in-house? Absolutely. First and foremost, managers are in control of the process, not an outside service provider. Managers can lease or buy the machinery and equipment that best suits the organization's needs.
In-house staff will be able to train on equipment being used at the site and they can make sure to clean and maintain the equipment properly. Also, the application manager or technician will be aware of the codes and regulations and will know the level of expertise of the application staff.
It is rare to find a service provider who can or will respond faster to any emergency or have more ownership over a campus than an in-house department. Another advantage is that managers can more easily determine and adhere to application schedules. And in-house staff can provide almost instantaneous feedback on program successes or equipment failures.
By using in-house staff, managers can more easily determine the kind of chemicals that will be applied, and they have greater flexibility to change to newly developed or more environmentally friendly chemicals without having to amend a contract or issue a change order for increased chemical costs.
Managers also can reduce risk and save money because they can better control chemical dosages, application amounts, and the types of chemicals used on landscapes. It is common now to place just-in-time orders that can eliminate the need for storage room and carrying unnecessary inventory. Also, in-house staffs are familiar with the landscape and know the key features and details of a campus property. They can be better supervised, and they have good reason to do the job properly.
The in-house option works best when the application is small and staff is available, the application is routine and within in-house staff’s scope of capabilities, and an organization has someone on staff who is competently trained to manage or perform the application.