July 14, 2023
Justin KoleA recent online survey of Landscape Ontario members (and some non-members) provided your Landscape Ontario membership services team with some valuable information that will help us to help you get the most for your membership dollars.

About 250 members completed the Landscape Ontario Industry Operating Stats Survey this spring. To read about the data collected, see the article on page 18 of this issue.

Expanding benefit offerings and more promotion of current ones

Considering the industry’s higher than expected demand for smaller vehicles and cargo vans, we will need to make it more clear through promotions and newsletters that there are current discounts available with our current providers on smaller vehicles and cargo vans. Overall, this is a positive sign that many companies are finding out that more work can be accomplished with smaller or more efficient vehicles.

Promote fuel cost savings

Given the average number of vehicles and weekly refuelling frequency, more promotion of the various fuel discounts available could potentially save even more members approximately $500-600 per year on fuel, making membership more cost-effective than originally anticipated for many of them.

Insurance provider evaluation

With a lack of membership uptake in LO supported insurance programs, we need to provide more opportunities for members to interact with and get quotes from the current provider, HortProtect, as their offerings have been optimized for industry members.

Encourage electric equipment adoption

Regarding the use of electric equipment, an interesting finding was that the higher cost of batteries was not one of the top three reasons for the lack of adoption. This indicates that cost is not a barrier, but rather the lower overall productivity of these devices is what is causing hesitation.

LO and CNLA currently have partnerships with Echo and Wacker Neuson that offer electric equipment in many categories. LO and CNLA will continue negotiating deals and opportunities with such providers in hopes of facilitating this transition.

Embracing technology

The survey responses also indicated a low usage of helpful software and technologies, such as 3D modelling and drones in projects and proposals. With customers having more and more access to comparison shopping/quotes, and with the cost of most projects rising, clients are expecting to essentially see what their money will be getting them before they agree to any contract. Companies that do not provide these insights via the new technologies available may be missing out on potential clients.

Investigating companies that provide these software and hardware solutions and related training sessions could enable industry professionals to enhance their operations, improve project efficiency, and meet customer expectations. Similarly, exploring partnerships with computer accessory companies could help reduce on-site damages and worry about using these devices in the field.

Fostering training initiatives

Encouraging companies to take advantage of LO training sessions and expanding the range of courses available can enhance industry professionalism and skill sets.

Strengthening marketing efforts

Emphasizing the importance of marketing, advertising, and a social media presence to industry members could help them reach a wider audience — particularly newcomers to an area where landscaping companies may work predominantly by word-of-mouth.
With new neighbourhoods and cultures coming into the province, referrals could become less and less effective, as more clients look to online reviews and search engines to conduct cross company comparisons. Companies with no online presence might find themselves missing potential clients.

By leveraging these proposals and addressing the identified challenges, we hope Landscape Ontario can help facilitate a future of sustainable growth, improved efficiency, and increased customer satisfaction in the industry for years to come.
Justin Kole
LO Member Engagement Specialist