There are a number of components that contribute to the interior plant technician’s ability to create beautiful, healthy plants for the client. Good business sense dictates that the technician do so as cost-effectively as possible. Obviously, water is a key contributor to the plant’s health. How the technician transports and distributes the water will greatly influence the plant’s health, the employee’s performance and labor costs associated with the account.
Satisfied customers have healthy, beautiful plants. Getting it right for each plant means observing and analyzing the following factors in consideration of each species’ water requirements: time of year, light availability and temperature. Careful observation over a protracted period of time is vital. Take notes, refer to them regularly and review them over time to determine environmental challenges.
Once the technician knows how to determine the plant’s watering needs, application of the water will greatly influence the cost/profit ratio.
Making it easy
A necessary tool to the successful technician is a mobile watering unit. A portable self-pressurized water machine has many labor and cost reduction benefits. The right type of machine will reduce the time it takes to water, prevent technician liability, eliminate water damage and help ensure against over- or under-watering. When the manual hauling of water is eliminated you know your technicians are putting their energy into providing a quality service, not just sweating it out.
Some accounts do not require more than a cup of water here or there each week because the plants are centrally located and are growing in 6 to 10” pots, but are quite a distance from the water source. With a mobile watering unit, the technician can bring the water source close to the area and fill a small watering can from the machine and take it to the plant. This saves on long trips back and forth to the tap, which wastes a technician’s time and effort.
Other accounts have lots of 8 to 17” plants throughout a building. The best watering machines can be moved wherever needed to reach every plant because they are light, easy to maneuver and narrow.
Many accounts are installed with sub-irrigation systems. A well-designed mobile unit is a great asset on these accounts. Using the flexible wand available with some machines, water can be injected at maximum speed, filling the reservoirs of these wonderful devices with ease. Having the force behind the water when it’s injected pushes out the air and eliminates the need to wait or to “burp” the irrigation system.
In today’s interiorscape world, competition is fierce. Business owners must be more efficient today than yesterday to keep their place in the field. Lighter weight watering machines mean improved safety for technicians and a reduction in a company’s liability to work related injury. A good watering unit is a terrific training tool. If your equipment is state-of-the-art (fast, safe and easy to use), a good technician will develop valuable skills in the course of their employment that sets standards for the other technicians who follow. When realistic and standardized timeframes can be set, a tangible measure of performance becomes available. It will also aid in analyzing the profitability of accounts.
For the interiorscape business looking for ways to increase efficiency and profits – portable, self-pressurized watering units are an excellent solution. They provide a way to reduce workers’ injuries and labor time, improve account service and standardize cost on the account. Best of all, with the standardized performance provided by this tool, the customer can count on thriving, beautiful plants.