Specialty Tree Service Implements SingleOps to Promote Growth and Customer Satisfaction
Specialty Tree Service, located in York, PA, has always been dedicated to providing the best possible service to their customers.
Since 1980, their operation has grown tremendously, expanding into plant health care.
SingleOps has allowed Specialty Tree to streamline their processes in order to further support growth and excellent customer service.
Specialty Tree Service is truly a family company. Located in York, PA and servicing both the Lancaster and York areas, Specialty Tree Service has been dedicated to customer service since the inception of the company. Kyle and Brandon, part owners of the tree care company, have been working there since high school. “Our father started the business in 1980, Brandon was actually born in 1980 and I wasn’t born until ‘83,” Kyle explains. “When we were in high school, Brandon and I would help out in the summertime, dragging brush and learning the ropes, but our father never really knew if he was going to keep the business going, he encouraged us to find our own way in life.”
“He had no real good retirement plan set up…”
Kyle recalls how Specialty Tree Service turned into to the family operated business it is today. Their father never expected them to take over the company, it was something they chose for themselves. Kyle describes Brandon and himself as their dads “retirement plan.” Kyle says, “When we both decided that we wanted to approach our father and basically remind him that he had no real good retirement plan set up, we told him that he might be looking at his retirement right in front of him.”
Since then, Brandon and Kyle have focused on expanding the business, which started out quite small. “My father built a good reputation with a lot of our local people around the area, but it was pretty much a small, one-man-band, for quite some time. In 2004 or ‘05-ish, we both came back full-time and we have really grown the business from where it was since the day we started,” Kyle reminisces on the early days of working full-time at Specialty Tree Service.
The company remained relatively small throughout the early part of the decade, however, in October 2011, a massive snowstorm hit their area. The surrounding towns were devastated by the unexpected snowstorm and many of the tree companies couldn’t keep up with the influx of jobs. Brandon and Kyle saw this as a major opportunity to separate themselves from the local competition.
”We went from three people to 16 now.”
“My brother, my dad, and I split up to start giving estimates. So, we had three estimators on the road, and we were able to put a couple crews together to start doing cleanup. That storm alone caused us to double in size. From there, just working hard for people, word of mouth, we doubled in size again. So basically, from day one until now, we went from three people to 16 now. Most tree companies in the area are still just one crew operations.”
Now, Specialty Tree Service is the largest tree service company in the county and because of this, Brandon and Kyle are always looking for ways to improve their business for their customers. In the past couple of years, they noticed that a lot of customers were asking about disease management for trees. The emerald ash borer, an invasive species of beetle, has been a major threat to the health of trees in the Pennsylvania area and Brandon and Kyle’s customers were very concerned. The brothers were, in a way, inspired by these customers because it was clear that they truly cared about the health of their trees.
When speaking on disease management, Kyle says, “It really wasn’t something that we offered in the past when we were small. A lot of people would ask us about that and we had to turn a lot of that work down. We realized that many of the customers that asked for disease management really cared about their trees and would do anything they could to save them.”
“It looks like a fourth grader wrote the estimate…”
“We realized that the quality of the customer was pretty significant to us,” Kyle explains. “We have a certified arborist on our staff, and he had his pesticide application license in the past so we went through the whole process of getting him relicensed and continue to send him to training to keep that up. We’ve been advertising disease management more in our company and doing that process a little bit more in the past year, and we are certainly seeing some growth from that.”
It’s clear that Brandon and Kyle are always looking for new ways to provide the best experience possible for their customers. “Now, we’ve really been trying to work on our business and look at where we can improve, what things we can implement in order to not just grow and be bigger, but to be more efficient and more profitable in the long run,” Kyle says that one thing they wanted to implement was a new software to help them eliminate the discrepancies they were experiencing with office work.
“All of our estimates were given on carbon copy papers, and so we’d just have all these stacks and stacks of papers in the office,” Kyle reminisces on the old way Specialty Tree Service used to give out estimates. “And in the winter time, your fingers get cold and your pen doesn’t work quite right, and it looks like a fourth grader wrote the estimate instead of it being nice and typed. That was a big start, we wanted to crisp up the way that our estimates looked that we were handing to our customers.”
“We chose SingleOps because it was designed specifically for the green industry. So just from front to back, its a better experience for your customer and your crew.”
Kyle Ritz – Co-owner, Specialty Tree Service
“SingleOps checked all of those boxes, and probably a couple more.”
Specialty Tree Service found SingleOps with a simple Google search. After researching in their own free time, the brothers convened and decided that SingleOps would be the best software to implement in their company. “We chose SingleOps because it was designed specifically for the green industry. Other than the estimates looking nicer and being able to give our customers a better experience, we wanted to be able to eliminate our guys cutting down the wrong tree at a house,” Kyle explains. “We were able to put the aerial pin drops of the properties we were working on, on the SingleOps app. So just from front to back, it’s a better experience for your customers and it’s more dialed-in for your crews when they go out to do the jobs.”
“We wanted to be able to process everything. We like how SingleOps processes everything from start to finish, and it alleviates some of the work on our office manager. SingleOps checked all of those boxes, and probably a couple more,” Kyle speaks on the multiple ways SingleOps has helped their business.
Brandon and Kyle were a little worried about implementing a new software into their business at first, because it could get confusing for guys who aren’t prone to using computers. Brandon speaks on Cam Glaeser, SingleOps’ implementation specialist for their account, “That guy either has the thickest skin of anybody I’ve ever known, or he has a really good way of hiding his frustration, because he’s had some struggles to work with.” Brandon chuckles, “Even though some of the situations have been challenging or stressful for him, he does a great job working for us. Every time we got together with Cam to do something, he kept his cool, he figures out what he can do to help us and get things done.”
“By the end of the year, we’ll have three certified arborists on staff…”
With the expansion into disease management and the implementation of SingleOps, the future looks bright for Specialty Tree Service. In fact, their employees have a big year ahead of them. Brandon says, “We have an employee that is going through the training through ISA, and he just signed up for the certification test last night actually. We’re anticipating having a second one certified very shortly, and a third guy is actually studying to take it right now. So we’re hoping that by the end of this year we’ll have three certified arborists on staff, and hopefully that will encourage some of the other guys to get certified as well.”
The brothers truly care about their tree service and their customers in a way that is exemplary. Brandon closes, “We are trying to offer those types of things to all of our workers that are interested in doing it, to add value to our employees and us as a company.”