A TRUE PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN LANDCARE AND MIKE ALBERT FLEET SOLUTIONS
Like any strong relationship, the foundation of the Mike Albert Fleet Solutions-LandCare partnership is mutual trust, confidence, and great communication. Adding to that foundation is a constant encouragement to continually make each other better, which has been the recipe for success since their partnership began in 2013.
In 2012, TruGreen LandCare was still adjusting to a recent buyout by a private equity firm, experiencing slowing growth, and managing operational challenges. It was around this same time that the leadership team realized their operation of nearly 2,000 fleet assets was aging, inefficient and lacked control resulting in high costs, low reliability, and large business disruption. TruGreen LandCare was introduced to Mike Albert Fleet Solutions for a different approach.
- Gain control of fleet and reduce operational expenses
- Right-size and standardize total fleet
- Increase EBITDA with cash flow optimization
- Increase safety and reliability of fleet
- Allow branches to focus on their core business
UNDERSTANDING IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS
To start, Mike Albert’s team took time to build a deep understanding of TruGreen LandCare’s business. This knowledge, combined with their flexibility and expertise, led to forming a peer-to-peer partnership with honesty and respect at the forefront. TruGreen LandCare appreciated this refreshingly unique approach and brought all their cars, trucks, and fleet equipment assets under the fleet consulting management of Mike Albert Fleet Solutions. TruGreen LandCare also partnered with the fleet experts to manage non-core business functions, including signing up for Maintenance Management, AutoTag Title and Registration Renewal, DOT Compliance Services, IRS Personal Mileage Reporting, and Managed Vehicle Remarketing Disposal. TruGreen LandCare leveraged their relationship with Louisville-based vehicle upfitter Manning Equipment to round out the team of experts.
"We value the confidence Mike Albert placed in our business and leadership. The investment and support from the onset of our partnership is noted as one of the key components in our turnaround." Mike Bogan, CEO
DRIVING MEANINGFUL CHANGE
By late 2014, TruGreen LandCare brought on new direction and leadership with key industry veteran hires, including Mike Bogan as CEO. Bogan quickly focused his attention towards building upon the advances made with the help of Mike Albert: operational excellence, gaining control of the fleet, and improving their culture. According to Bogan, “We value the confidence Mike Albert placed in our business and leadership. The investment and support from the onset of our partnership is noted as one of the key components in our turnaround.” A new brand, LandCare, was introduced in 2015 and a distinct new logo and tangerine color scheme was unveiled to the marketplace. In order to drive market awareness and brand distinction, leadership also wanted their fleet assets to reflect this new identity. Undertaking the rebranding of nearly two thousand assets was no small task, but Mike Albert Fleet Solutions was able to leverage their mutual client relationship with Ford Motor Company, who even helped the company design their own unique special Ford paint color!
As part of the standard Mike Albert engagement, Client Development Managers hold regular partnership account reviews to evaluate partnership strengths, weaknesses, and progress versus the plan. For their recent account review, LandCare’s operations team invited Mike Albert Fleet Solutions’ Client Development leadership to join and actively participate in their offsite strategic planning meeting. In joint review of key performance metrics, the businesses scored each other in 10 unique areas. Since 2014, the teams materially improved together in 8 of 10 areas. One example was in the ability to gain control and reduce average maintenance repair expenses by 54% versus the year prior.
Through ownership and leadership changes, LandCare has emerged with a clear vision and focus. Mike Albert Fleet Solutions has been an important partner in the transformation, joining their leadership conference and strategy sessions to help imagine an even better future together. At the forefront of the business’ operational transformation was Vice President of Operations, Rob Barber. As Barber notes,
“We have worked with Mike Albert Fleet Solutions for over four years, and are thrilled with the work carried out so far. As one of the top landscape service companies in North America, we rely heavily on our fleet to service and delight our customers. Mike Albert Fleet Solutions understands the high standards that our company has, and serves us as well as we would serve any of our clients. When it came time to select our fleet partner, we decided that we didn’t need the biggest partner, they just had to be the best.” – Rob Barber, Vice President of Operations
As Mike Albert and LandCare look to the future, their teams’ focus will continue to evolve and change. Now that LandCare has gained control of fleet with a more proactive and managed fleet strategy, they are able to focus on their core business attributes: people, culture, and customers. LandCare is now expanding their focus to the rollout of new management vehicles, new marketing opportunities by utilizing their fleet to expand brand awareness, and having the right tools for the job to best serve their customers.
The power of the LandCare-Mike Albert Fleet Solutions partnership is their teams working together to take on any unanticipated challenges that will arise, just as they always do, together.