Eric Hagberg, an employee at Del Conte's Landscaping Inc. and a graduate of BYU-I class of 2008, was our speaker in seminar today. He spent a lot of time talking about the profitability of a company, especially during a recession. He first talked about sales growth and the importance of marketing. Because of the recession, a lot of company's funds had to be cut back but marketing was something that they invested more in. He also made the point the profitability and sales growth are different. He said you can sell a lot a still lose money if your overhead is to high, you have job delays, or if you make too many mistakes. They always have to be paying attention to costs and sales.
In relation to being a profitable company, they have to make sure their employees are being as productive as possible. It helps when employees take ownership. They know that they profit more when they're involved in the team. The company is also constantly finding ways to do things better. They're always examining and adjusting their processes and investing in new technology.
They also stay on top of what's important to their target market. The staff is certified in different programs and is offered continued education to stay on top of the game. They are a certified green company which is huge to the region that they service. It's interesting to know that Del Conte has a branch of the company called "Vision Recycling". This company is a landscape waste recycling service. They take waste from ripping up old landscapes and turn it into compost to use in later landscapes.
It's also interesting to note the quality of their irrigation department. Del Conte is one of few companies that has what they call a "Water Manager", who we were also able to hear from. He talked about how the irrigation industry really hasn't been hurt by the economy. In fact, it's grown because people realize that irrigation is costing money and they are "paying people to lower their water bill." It seems that irrigation/water management really would be a good field to go into.
Our aim for the Department of Horticulture at Brigham Young University-Idaho is to nurture understanding of both the art and science of Horticulture. Students learn experimentally in the classroom, laboratory, greenhouse, and ten acre Thomas E. Ricks demonstration garden as they pursue an Associates or Bachelors Degree. Using the medium of plants, students develop habits of hard work, enlightened minds, and healthy living that assist in gainful employment opportunitues.