Created in 1986, GreenThumb has grown to become the UK’s premier lawn care treatment specialist. Operating from more than 210 locations throughout the country, the company has an ever increasing customer base of nearly 350,000 households.
The key to this success is a desire to provide customers with the very best in service, backed by the most advanced lawn care technology from around the world. GreenThumb’s unique pre-scheduled lawn feed and weed service using Nutragreen™ and ‘Advanced No-Scorch Technology’ now lead the UK market.
Growth of GreenThumb’s business over the past 7 years has been driven primarily through franchising and through this organisation GreenThumb carries out more than 5000 lawn treatments a day. But most important of all in growing the company is ensuring that its reputation for quality and service is maintained, as much of new business is won through word-of-mouth recommendations from existing loyal customers.
Early in 2003 GreenThumb decided to consider vehicle tracking as an important tool in monitoring its service delivery to customers and, following an evaluation of the market, it chose the Quartix system for its Internet-based real-time tracking and reporting capabilities. “We were looking for a system which would be flexible enough to handle a large network of franchise operations which can vary from just one vehicle to twenty or more, The Quartix system provided the best fit” comments Michael Raine, GreenThumb’s Franchise Support Manager.
“Using the tracking system we can ensure that appointments are made on time and that jobs aren’t rushed. It’s not a question of ‘Big Brother’, it’s more a matter of trust: we provide our staff with the best in vehicles, training and technology to do the job, and in return we need to know that our standards are being maintained, and that the brand image that we have developed is not being compromised in any way. We also encourage our franchisees to use the system to help their staff manage their time as effectively as possible, which of course can only help them improve their productivity and the success of the organisation as a whole.”
Although it is difficult to put exact figures on the productivity improvements, Michael is convinced that the system has made a real difference. “We have to date installed 70 Quartix systems in our franchise operations, and those franchisees who are using it have noticed a significant improvement in productivity, The system is also effective in regulating private mileage, and we are able to negotiate better insurance premiums through having this effective security device fitted. As our vehicles will often have to be left unattended in areas of high theft and crime this is especially important to us.”
Staff are made fully aware of the presence of the system. “We provide each member of staff with an introductory letter outlining our reasons for using vehicle tracking, together with an explanation of the capabilities and benefits of the system. This has been accepted by both existing and new staff, and the system has been introduced without problem. The system also protects staff from claims that they haven’t arrived at an appointment on time, when the system clearly shows that they have.
“As a company committed to service, we appreciate the support provided by Quartix. It’s not easy to recommend a single system to accommodate the needs of such a wide range of franchisees around the country, but the flexibility of Quartix’s Internet-based system, its reliability and the service backup ensure that we can be totally confident in recommending this system.”