NORTH DEPARTMENTS


Supplier News



The Grounds Guys Celebrates Record Growth Year, Franchise 500 Ranking

The Grounds Guys landscape management franchise announced record franchise growth year in 2012, expanding from 37 franchise locations at the end of 2011 to 94 one year later. The Grounds Guys offers a comprehensive range of grounds care and landscape management services to residential and commercial clients.

Entrepreneur magazine recognized the franchise's fast-track success by naming it to its elite Franchise 500 list for the first time in 2013, ranked at number 299. Each year, the magazine recognizes the top 500 global franchise brands by financial strength and stability, growth rate, and size of the system.

Founded under the name Sunshine Brands in Canada in 1987, The Grounds Guys expanded into the U.S. in 2010 as a subsidiary of The Dwyer Group. In little more than two years, The Grounds Guys has grown its U.S. presence to 34 states. Approximately 70 percent of the new franchises in 2012 are "conversions," rolling business in from an existing landscaping or lawn care business. Throughout 2012, The Grounds Guys received more than 1,300 franchise applications from entrepreneurs across the country.

BASF Creates Specialty Products Department

BASF is merging its distinct businesses to create the BASF Specialty Products Department (SPD).

The primary businesses known as Pest Control Solutions and Professional Turf & Ornamentals (T&O), and secondary businesses including Professional Vegetation Management and Market Business Development, will now collectively be known as SPD.

Each respective market will continue to be served, but BASF will do so as one business unit led by Jan Buberl, BASF's director of specialty products. Key changes related to this reorganization include the business manager roles of PCS and T&O being dissolved and consolidation of the PCS and T&O marketing departments.

Dan Carrothers, formerly PCS business manager, and Brian Lish, formerly T&O business manager, assume the newly created roles of SPD marketing manager and strategic account manager, respectively. Both Carrothers and Lish will report to Buberl.

While the move will save money, Buberl says it's not about cutting costs. "It's about reallocating resources and pouring more money into research and development to better service customers," Buberl said. "We have some very exciting technology in the pipeline."

Buberl said BASF also merged the businesses to stay ahead of the curve. As the T&O and pest control markets move closer together, the merger puts the company in a position to better serve its customers, he added.

In addition to a strategic account sales structure and approach, SPD sales also includes an inside sales force and a traditional field sales approach that is divided into three regions for both key businesses. Three regional sales managers overseeing these territories will

have both T&O and PCS field sales representatives reporting to them, and those sales reps will remain dedicated to the respective markets they serve. Both the inside and field sales teams will be led by Jim Derbyshire, national sales manager, who will also report to Buberl.

With this merger, the PCS business, currently located in St. Louis, will move to Research Triangle Park. The new SPD business structure will be in place by March 31.