When We Break Something
If we ever break anything, we repair it immediately. We go out there and do an assessment. I remember a tile that broke. We took all the necessary precautions, but there was a very brittle branch that had snapped. Things do happen, and that’s why we have insurance, and we follow up.
It was only one tile broken. This fellow had a wrought iron table, and had one foot square tiles on top. One of the sixteen tiles had broken, so we bought him a whole box of identical tiles and rebuilt the whole table for him, at our expense.
Those are the kind of things that we do, if we happen to damage something, we will go out there and either we repair it, or we hire somebody to repair it.
For us, breaking something is rare. I’ve been here at Pro Arbor a little over a year, and as Production Manager and Operation Supervisor, I have a zero tolerance policy. I would say within the last year we probably had less than a dozen small repair jobs. We often have 5 or 6 jobs a day. Over the course of a year, the total number of jobs where there is damage we need to repair is about 1/10th of 1%.
There are some companies that actually employ a full-time repairman. I’ve worked for other companies,very well known companies in the metro area here, that actually do have a full-time carpenter/handyman that follow them around. At another company that I worked for previous to coming here as Production Manager, I made enemies with the repair man because, again, I required a zero tolerance policy and I trained my crews to observe that policy. As a result, I basically put that guy out of business. So, I did not make friends with him, and that’s my fault.
ProArbor used to have a repairman. He wasn’t full-time, but he was employed almost a good half day, if not a full day, per week, when I first got here. He was a private contractor that would come in probably one day, or a half day a week, and fix fences or fascia boards, or gutters, down spouts, maybe a broken window pane, something like that. And, those things do happen in our industry.
Now he’s out of a job, because we train rigorously as we do here at ProArbor. We have safety training every Wednesday morning for a full hour. We use an international safety training guide that’s tailored for our industry. Part of my job, out on the job every day, is to maintain those safety standards. Each one of our foremen require it of their crew, and we require it of the foremen.
This separates us from our competitors. I would venture to say that most of the companies our size do not have a Production Manager, or Operational Supervisor, of my caliber in this scenario. They’re just not willing to pay for someone of my aptitude to take the company and steer it in the proper direction when it comes to safety protocol and industry standards. It’s quite an expense, and quite a sacrifice that Pro Arbor has undertaken. Safety and quality are things that we take very seriously. With most other tree companies, it's just about production. We consider the priorities to be safety, quality and production in that order. That’s our mantra.
We take a tremendous amount of pride in the way our company operates. We really do. We’ve had very successful crews as a result of that.
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When We Break Something For us, breaking something is rare. Here is what happens on those rare occasions where something does break.