Raines Tree Care Adopts SingleOps to Support Growth and Commitment to Excellence
Raines Tree Care has seen an exponential amount of growth since it was established in 2010.
Implementing SingleOps supported business growth by streamlining workflow and operations.
Commitment to employee success along with constant improvements in business logistics have been the secret to Raines Tree Care’s success.
“We sell them on the career, we don’t hire for jobs. I let them know, ‘You have a long-term career here and as you grow with us, we’ll grow with you and always find a position that fits you.” says David Raines, founder and CEO of Raines Tree Care.
David has taken a long-term, strategic approach to building his company, investing heavily in his closely-knit team, which includes three ISA certified arborists, each of whom joined the company with no prior industry experience and were trained by David himself. But to get here, he took a less than conventional path.
“After a local snowstorm with a lot of tree damage, I found myself knocking doors..”
David originally got into the tree care industry through rock climbing. “So in the late ‘90s I landed in Boulder, Colorado for a while, working for a really good tree care company, and became a crew supervisor. I learned a lot about management, especially crew management.” David says.
He also saw how important it was to have employees who are experts in the field; it sets a tree care company apart from your average, inexperienced tree cutters.
“Fast forward to 2001: I quit doing tree work, and started my own career building refined rustic furniture in the northwest Arkansas area. But after a few successful years, the financial crisis hit in 2008.” David recalls.
“Our clients were losing their second homes and they certainly weren’t spending money on furniture. So, after a local snowstorm with a lot of tree damage, I found myself knocking doors and doing storm damage again, just anything I could to scrape a living.” says David. This work reminded him of how much he enjoyed tree care, and he saw a big opportunity in the market for a professional tree care operation.
“We’ve seen an amazing amount of growth”
“So in 2010 I started our company, Raines Tree Care. We’ve seen an amazing amount of growth since then. We currently have three ISA certified arborists, and are the only company in our county that even has certified arborists on staff.”Becoming an ISA certified arborist is no small feat. In order to attain the certification, one must complete 6,240 hours of work in an arboriculture related field.
“Of course, we were doing everything like I learned in the ’90s and we’re doing pen and paper. I’m the owner, managing phone calls, scheduling work, running sales, and I’m the lead climber for many years and doing all of these things and wearing a lot of hats. And lots of files, lots of paper.” says David.
As Raines Tree Care started growing faster, it was getting harder for David to juggle all of these hats. He found himself doing hours of work outside the normal workday and it was getting to be too much for David to handle alone. Along with this, David knew that he wanted his company to start digitizing its operations, but the thought of implementing a new software seemed daunting. David describes himself as “very illiterate” as far as computers go.
“She had zero experience in our industry, but I felt she was a good fit for our role.”
Regardless, David knew that in order for his company to continue growing at this pace, he needed to implement software that could seamlessly integrate into his company. While researching what other companies in the industry used, he received an email from a friend who previously worked for the TCIA.
“She sent an email about SingleOps, and so I looked it up online and contacted Sean.” David recalls. “We’re talking and they’re sending us information and I’m doing the demo and within a month we implemented it,” Around that same time, David decided that he would also need an extra set of hands to help with tasks around the office.
“I hired Lory Gutierrez and she manages our office,” David explained. “She had zero experience in our industry, but I felt she was a good fit for our role.”
“So she was taking a lot of the pressure off me where I would no longer have to answer every call, return every call, and schedule the work. So I hired her, and she and I sat down at my kitchen table and I said, ‘Let’s learn this [SingleOps] together, I don’t know what to do with this,’ but the support was really good that was offered through SingleOps.”
“We’ve found a system where it works.”
SingleOps is a software that can be configured to each business’s unique needs, whether that business is focused on tree care, landscaping, plant healthcare, or other verticals. David’s approach to SingleOps is fairly old school. “I’m writing out our sales the old way, I still take pen and paper and I do shorthand because I don’t handle a tablet well in the field.”
“So I found it’s best for me to take a clipboard with pen and duplicate quote forms and I can write it all up, but everything gets saved, it gets put in the system, and Lory handles form that point on. But we’ve found a system where it works.” SingleOps is designed to blend smoothly into any company’s operations and processes.
You might call Lory David’s saving grace, and her, along with the implementation of SingleOps has aided David in freeing up time to focus on other parts of the business, something that David is extremely grateful for. “Without Lory, this would not work because I would smash the computer. She makes it happen, she knows to get on the phone with SingleOps or send an email and y’all have always been good about responding and helping to troubleshoot those problems.”
“I look for qualities in people and not really their current skill set.”
It is extremely important for David to make sure his team knows that they are appreciated. As David and his company grow, he wants his team to grow and succeed with him as they are the foundation of his business. And David doesn’t take the easy way out when it comes to hiring his employees. In fact, to date he has only hired new team members that have no prior industry experience.
“Our crew leader, Jimmy King, he just celebrated his six-year anniversary with us. I knew him for a few years before, we went to church together, and he was a 20-something young man, tired of doing what he was doing. He had been at McDonald’s for six years, was managing a store but he loved adventure and he told me one day, ‘I’m sick of doing this,’ and I said, ‘Let’s go have lunch.’”
No prior experience, no prior knowledge about arboriculture what-so-ever, and now Jimmy is an ISA certified arborist. David explained, “I look for qualities in people and not really their current skill set.”
“We’re looking at implementing a plant healthcare program which will bring up a lot of numbers, and a lot of opportunities.”
David Raines, Founder and CEO
A family environment and commitment to excellence
That’s what Raines Tree Care is about. That’s what David has worked so hard to establish: meaningful relationships built around a tree care business that’s truly more than just a business, it’s a family. David reinvests more and more into his employees, whether that be building them a new space to hangout after a long day in the field, or working with them hands on to achieve higher levels of distinction (another one of his crew members is planning on getting his ISA arborists certification this summer).
In combination with his incredible team, hiring Lory, and integrating SingleOps into his operation, David has laid the foundation to focus on growth and advancement. In the future, David plans on expanding into other sectors of the green industry, “We’re considering bringing on another person, we’re looking at implementing a plant healthcare program which will bring up a lot of numbers, and a lot of opportunities.”