Attachments give landscaper an edge.
As a landscape maintenance company operating in the greater Phoenix area, NatureScape gets a leg up on the competition by outperforming them.
Serving anywhere from 12 to 15 housing communities, the six-year old company goes beyond everyday maintenance by offering upgrades in the form of erosion control and granite replenishment, while also planting trees and shrubs to enhance the landscape.
“Relationships matter in this business, but performance talks,” owner Brian Smith says. “Maintenance-wise, we have to be better than everyone else. In addition to maintenance, we offer all of these construction-type services that no other maintenance company in our niche does. So we get the opportunity to do all of these extra jobs with little to no resistance.”
With 25 employees and as many as 15 residential communities to maintain, annual revenue is in the $2.5- to $3 million range.
NatureScape was looking for a machine that could do “a little bit of everything” when Mark Snow, a sales representative for Empire Cat, provided his recommendation.
“Mark came to our office and really sold us on which piece of equipment was the best one for us, and showed us all of the different options as far as attachments,” Smith notes. “We looked at multiple pieces of equipment, and Cat® machines seemed to have the better attachments, plus it’s a better piece of equipment. It came highly recommended from people I respect in the industry.”
NatureScape bought a 216B Series 3 Skid Steer Loader with a bucket, trencher and auger with several bits.
“The 216B helps us do a little bit of everything,” Smith says. “We can load and carry granite with it, drill holes, plant trees and shrubs, and perform dozing, trenching and land forming work for erosion control. It can do everything, and we’re extremely happy.”
On a recent job in the Mountain Ranch residential area, NatureScape performed erosion control work, while also planting trees and shrubs. With 1,000 tons of granite that needed to be laid down at a time, as well as 200 trees, the company was able to do the work quicker thanks to the attachments.
“The equipment is a huge help,” explains general manager John Anshutz, who brought his construction expertise to the company three years ago. “Prior to buying the 216B, we were renting it. We were spending probably four times in rentals what our monthly payment is to buy this piece of equipment, so that also has given us a huge competitive advantage in pricing jobs.”
With his construction expertise, Anshutz knows what it takes to do a particular job as it bids against other landscape maintenance companies.
“So we are able to bid lower prices and provide our clients with better quality because we know what it takes to efficiently handle a wide range of jobs,” he says.
Within three years, the company expects to more than double revenues as it adds construction services and new residential site preparation to its portfolio.
NatureScape has proven to be a leader in an industry of followers, says Josh Hendricks, president of Omega Management Services.
“They have resurrected our projects through a combination of efficiency, smart management, great diligence, and pride,” Hendricks says. “Couple that with their approach to using natural organics rather than chemical-based products, and providing weekly reports that update the condition of all of our properties.
“With NatureScape, our properties are visually enhanced, making them far more desirable to those to whom we market our products, and all the while creating additional value for our communities’ residents,” Hendricks reports.
Equipment maintenance is handled by NatureScape’s operators, who follow the detailed checklist found in the Cat Owning and Operating Manual.
“It tells you what to do at a given service interval for each individual component, so it makes it really easy to understand what the maintenance process is on the equipment,” Anshutz says.
NatureScape purchased the skid steer loader through Cat Financial.
“We were renting three to four times a month, and it didn’t make any sense to continue renting, because with the Cat Financial program and Mark’s assistance we were able to finance a piece of equipment and own it, long-term, and save money,” Smith says.
“The Caterpillar financing was easy. Mark handled a lot of it,” Smith adds. “The Empire team as a whole has been phenomenal, and we are extremely happy. You can bet when we need another piece of equipment, it will be a Caterpillar machine.”