Tom Knopsnyder is the vice president of fleet, buildings, and procurement at Green Lawn Fertilizing and Green Pest Solutions in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He has been at the company since 2007 and in the industry since 1988.
He first met Green Lawn Fertilizing and Green Pest Solutions President and Owner Matt Jesson at an event where Knopsnyder was giving a talk. “He approached me afterward and asked me if I wanted to join the best and soon to be fastest growing company to help it grow to $100 million and set new records for a lawn care and pest control company. And I was super excited to join the team,” he said.
In the 16 years since then, they’ve done just that.
“Growing every year at an average of 15% since the company started has been a great thing,” Knopsnyder said. “And some years we’ve been at 20%, some years we’ve been at 25% growth. A lot of that is because of our people, from the managers running the ship every day to the employees being trained correctly.”
With 40,000 customers (at an average of 12,000 square feet each) and 280 employees, Green Lawn Fertilizing is the largest locally owned and operated lawn and tree care company servicing the tri-state region of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.
Green Lawn Fertilizing has been a Steel Green customer since day one. “We had a great relationship with Matt and the team there and just kept that relationship going with those guys versus using anybody else, because the machine is phenomenal.”
Today, Green Lawn Fertilizing has 55 Steel Green machines, most of which are the SG46 model. They also have a couple of the SG36 model. Having a fleet of customized units and a well-trained team has made all the difference: “labor savings, product application, being able to spray in tight corners,” Knopsnyder said.
“We’re using all-liquid now, so being able to use that in tight situations, along with the training that’s available. It’s an easy machine to train people on as long as they’re also willing to be trained. And then, once they are trained on it, it’s a pretty easy machine to work on issues that might happen with it. We can pretty much fix it pretty quick, and we have a full-time mechanic on staff that can pretty much fix any machine.”
Green Lawn Fertilizing’s quality assurance team works closely with Steel Green to customize their machines “from the pump size to the spray tips,” Knopsnyder said. “There’s a lot of back and forth, whether or not it’s emails.”
“We’ve sent people out to their building from our quality assurance team. Tim Sibicky and then my mechanic, Dan Wright, have gone out to their facility to learn best practices so that we completely understand the spray volume to the tip size to how the machine works on hills.”
Knopsnyder credits Ryan Petitti and the rest of Green Lawn Fertilizing’s quality assurance team with integrating the company’s programs and equipment to satisfy customers. “They’ve done a fantastic job on helping reinvent ourselves as far as the liquid applications and service. Our service calls are down year over year almost 100%. It’s crazy. They’ve done a great job of making sure we’re training.”
Complementing the internal efforts at Green Lawn Fertilizing, Steel Green has been a loyal partner over the years. “Responsive, helpful,” Knopsnyder describes. “Honestly, just taking the time to walk through situations with us. If we have an issue, they are easily accessible for us to say, ‘Hey, we need this part.’ Or ‘It’s not pumping the right way.’ Somebody is always available to help us.”
Steel Green’s partnership literally equips Green Lawn Fertilizing to fulfill its mission. “Our mission statement is pretty simple. It’s to be the leader in the lawn and pest industry by providing a superior customer experience,” Knopsnyder said. “I think they help us in doing that because their machine helps us deliver a superior customer experience. With great applications, with teamwork, helping us with better ways to service our customers.”