After a long period of pandemic uncertainty, it seems we’re on our way to recovery. Society has a difficult road ahead, and we’ll be defining new normals for years to come, but economic recovery signs indicate we have reason to be optimistic.
As communities across the world have been forced to live and work from home, families have been investing their travel and entertainment budgets into new landscapes. At Plants Creative, we are tremendously grateful to have a healthy backlog of work and excited to continue enriching lives through creating beautiful outdoor spaces. In talking with other landscape company owners across the country, and having the privilege to serve on our national board, the financial health of the green industry is stronger than ever and many companies have more opportunities than they can get to.
But along with our optimism, I wanted to share some challenges that, while non-specific to the green industry, are impacting every aspect of our business: a shortage of key resources. I share these in the spirit of transparency:
- Labor shortages. As mentioned above, the landscape industry is struggling to hire enough people — qualified people — to meet the demand of opportunity. We continue to invest significantly in technology to support our growth, but the reality is that much of the work we do still relies on people. Skilled people to deliver great quality and service.
- Material shortages. Plant material, natural stone, lumber, landscape lighting, pine straw, modular wall blocks and pavers are all in more limited supply than ever. One-week delivery timeframes have increased to greater than a month, longer on some material. We're expanding our product knowledge while also being selective on what we use in landscape designs. Shortages are due to several factors, but the biggest one seems to be the lack of people available to do the work, to meet increased production and delivery demand.
- Vehicle shortages. Planning for growth this year, we ordered four trucks in late winter that we’re still waiting to receive. As of the middle of May, we’re slated to receive two of those trucks for our maintenance division. They'll be put on the road as quickly as we receive them!
So, what does all of this mean?
It means that we’ve had to limit the number of appointments that our design team can take on. We believe in nurturing relationships — a big part of that comes from a thoughtful process, maintaining a high standard of work and an unwillingness to compromise or cut corners. Designing and building a new landscape is something that doesn’t happen often, and we want to make the experience the best it can be for those who have chosen Plants Creative. We’re sorry if we’ve had to say no to any of your referrals.
To deliver on our promise of exceptional service, we temporarily paused new maintenance appointments until we receive our new trucks. In the meantime, we are asking those who want to work with us to join the waitlist.
WE’RE HIRING. We’ve added some great people to our construction and maintenance teams this spring, but we’re still growing, and always looking for people who are willing to work hard and who desire to be a part of a special team of landscape professionals.
Thank you for your continued confidence in Plants Creative. Rest assured, we’re working hard every day to continue delivering an exceptional experience for our customers. We appreciate you!