Turf Equipment Management Consulting 2017 – What Have I Learned?

Turf Equipment Management Consulting 2017 – What Have I Learned?

2016 was a great year for Turf Equipment Management Consulting. I picked up quite a few new clubs many of those by word of mouth from other clients or friends. When I got into doing consulting it started from requests that friends of mine had of coming out and either helping for a tournament or they had a new guy that they wanted trained.  So when I got started I was kind of stuck in this mold of ok there have to be other clubs that need training for their techs or maybe just want to have another set of eyes on things to help justify changes to their facility. Truthfully though I had no idea what the different opportunities to help clubs could be but I wanted to get out there and see. In the beginning things were fairly slow I would have a few inquiries here and there but not many that really panned out. As I started going to more clubs I noticed there was some hesitancy from Superintendents because they didn’t know how the Equipment Managers would take it having someone else come in and put eyes on their operations. I would say for most this has been the deterrent. What they didn’t realize is that my first priority in any consulting trip is to be a tool to help not a hammer to lay down why certain things are not being done. My job is to help make sure the things needed at the club are noted and in many situations that we can improve the operation from a communication stand point, tools needed to do the job stand point, and make sure that the Equipment Manager and/or Superintendent can be successful with what they have. All of these involve creating long term relationships with both the Superintendent and Equipment Manager. Giving them an outlet or someone to call if they have a question. I am not a one and done consultant that says ok this trip is over pay me and then I will come out again. I have had those and seen those and it doesn’t provide much value. I get called on throughout the year to help with and issue or help answer a question. Maybe the EM needs help with putting his budget together or wants to ask about my thoughts on certain equipment. The point is everyone needs someone to go to and this year I have seen that evolve. Once there is comfort that your not there to get them fired but to help it makes all the difference in the world. Not something I really thought about when I started but is a reality.

The other thing I have started for 2017  is providing an unbiased equipment evaluation and helping with Capital Equipment purchases, something that I am not aware exists. Turf Equipment is the most expensive capital expense a golf course has and making sure you are purchasing the right equipment w/ the right options at the right price is important for the overall health of a club. I have done many equipment purchases over the years and have a data driven approach to replacing that equipment vs just looking at something and deciding that it needs to be replaced (emotional decision). Also talking with a club on whether something should be leased or purchased defined by data can help make the right decision on many purchases as well. So in order to help also add more value to my customers I have created agreements with Jacobsen, Toro and John Deere moving forward to not only help clients with getting the best price when purchasing new equipment but also helping negotiate the add-ons like warranty, training, service, loaners, and numerous other things that help create value on an equipment deal. I believe having a relationship with all 3 manufacturers is important so as a consultant you can remain neutral and allow the customer to select the equipment that works best for their operation but also allow for competition between the 3 for the business. This year in 2017 having added this service to my portfolio in addition to evaluating current fleets I already have a full plate with 3 clubs utilizing this service. I think it certainly helps when you have someone helping you with the process that knows what the pricing on equipment should be but yet can also guide you in the right direction to make sure you are purchasing the right equipment for the job.

I am looking forward to a busy 2017 and would like to thank all of my past and current customers for an unbelievable year. Looking forward to working with all of you more this year.

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