Russ Jundt, owner and founder of Conserva Irrigation headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, says that for the longest time he would get a work vehicle to double as his personal vehicle. But he realized that often created the propensity for him to say, “I’ll just do it myself” when it came to job tasks. As a result, he found himself often running around from job to job in a company vehicle until one day he just said “enough.”
“I recognized that I couldn’t be in the field any longer — that it wasn’t the right way to grow my business,” Jundt says. “So, I literally drove myself to the dealership and got a vehicle — one that couldn’t haul a trailer or one I didn’t want to throw my muddy boots in. I needed to force myself to do that.” Today, Jundt drives an Acura RDX, but says it’s his service vehicles that really shine. A lot of thought was put into them and they are a critical tool that help Conserva technicians across all 32 territories in which the company operates (Conserva is built around a franchise business model).
We are all about systems here; it’s no different with our vehicles. One system we have in place is color coding each van. Everything in the purple van, for instance, is painted purple. The idea is that if more than one vehicle shows up on any given jobsite and tools get mixed up, there’s no question which ones go back in the purple van.
We have something called the Conserva Pak to ensure the vehicles are always equipped properly. The Conserva Pak, which is proprietary and we build in-house, houses all the parts and tools that our techs need to get the job done. Everything has a place that is strategically thought out. So, the parts that get used the most are in the very front of the drawer so that the tech doesn’t even have to open it all the way. The parts that are used less often are in the back. Every truck is identical so that even if a different tech pops in the truck, they know exactly where everything is. It’s incredibly efficient this way.
The most expensive part of irrigation work is getting the tech to the job. That’s why we have systems in place to ensure the crews don’t wind up at a job and realize they don’t have the right parts or tools. That inefficiency is not only costing us, but it also looks unfavorable to the homeowner.
Everything on our vehicles, both inside and out, is intentional. That even includes our wrap. You know instantly when you look at this wrap what we do and how to reach us.
We also have an image of a man — who we’ve named Carson — on our van. That’s an image that we purchased after we surveyed customers and they voted for that wrap idea. There are a lot of things about Carson that appeal to people — he has silver hair, which some people associate with wisdom. He is clean-cut and has a pen, looking like he’s ready to listen. It’s become a bit of a “culture thing” at the office that we all like to snap photos with Carson. We need to figure out who he is. I’m thinking of running a contest to “find Carson.” I need a real photo with this guy.
The Conserva Pak — Our proprietary toolbox.
Samsung 2.0 Tablet — Everyone is equipped with a 10-inch tablet for communication and even that starts their time clock. They “punch in and out” on the tablet.
Chargers — In this age of communication, you’re dead in the water if your phone or tablet dies.
Lunch — We encourage our technicians to pack their own lunches and resist the temptation to eat junk on the road.
Water — Because we work in the field, our techs all have gallon jugs of water. On hot days, we’ll have coolers of Gatorade and bottled water in the office when they stop through.
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