IMPACT OF COVID ON THE LANDSCAPING INDUSTRY
Industries with a high level of exposure to discretionary spending, such as the landscape and gardening sector, were dealt a severe blow by the outbreak of the Coronavirus lockdown; this has compelled the industry to be innovative and develop customised and cost-effective services in order to stay afloat. Many businesses were forced to close shop, dampening demand for commercial gardening and landscaping services as these are not seen as critical needs, but as a luxury.
Andre Ferreira, sales and marketing director for Servest Landscaping, says that the negative impact of the pandemic on the industry has compelled it to adopt more mechanisation to minimise physical interaction and reduce operational costs. “The added benefits of mechanising operations are that they provide our clients with tailored solutions more cost effectively; it also reduces personnel headcount on site,” he adds.
Owing to reduced operation expenditure, Ferreira notes a growing trend in the industry where clients settle for a minimal aesthetic standard.
“Many real estate owners are aware that if your property is not looking good, it reflects badly on your brand. Landscaping is all about what the eye can see. However, we are encouraged by the willingness of our clients to forge partnerships with the industry and work together to develop solutions which will ensure the provision of service and the sustainability of the industry,” he said.
Ferreira highlighted that the pandemic has heralded a new era in the gardening and landscaping industry, where a one-size-fits-all approach is no longer viable.
“We need to be flexible in our approach and service offerings. Clients need flexibility but also require a minimum standard of service, and we need to assist them with cost saving initiatives, at the same time delivering a quality service. Anything is possible if all parties are in this together and build a solution that suits all parties.”
Looking forward, Ferreira says the buoyant property market bodes well for the future of the landscaping industry.
“Despite being regarded as a luxury, landscaping is still a crucial component in facilities management. Clients still require well-manicured gardens, they still need to keep their brand alive and protect their assets. Landscaping is there to enhance the value of their assets and ensure that the environment is protected. Landscaping is still necessary as there are many aspects to it; it is not just a garden service,” Ferreira concludes.