The Future’s Looking Green in South Florida

Impact Landscaping and Irrigation

Impact Landscaping and Irrigation provides a range of landscaping, irrigation, and maintenance services in Jupiter and Fort Pierce, Florida. Impact provides a complete solution from design/build services to long-term maintenance. The difference is reliability and customer service.
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Typically, the company works with residential developers on major projects. The developer will bring in Impact at the very beginning to work with the landscape architects during the design phase. This allows Impact to collaborate with the design team, to bring early expertise into the project, and to provide best possible value to the client. As the project is built out, the company performs all landscaping duties, frequently taking on the ongoing maintenance.

Roots in landscaping
The company was founded by landscaping expert Joe Floyd, Sr. The Floyd family has roots in the landscaping industry that go back to the early 1920s, when Joe Sr. ventured into the field while still at high school. He studied Ornamental Horticulture in the School of Agriculture at the University of Florida and spent more than two decades working with a Florida landscaping company, gaining field experience and expertise.

In 2008, together with a team of fellow landscaping professionals, he founded Impact Landscaping and Irrigation.

With over a decade in the business, Impact now employs nearly 400 people and is growing rapidly: twenty-seven percent in 2018, expectations of close to that in 2019, and is in the process of bringing in 35 new workers to staff an upcoming project. Working with major developers has created many large ongoing maintenance opportunities, significantly spurring the company’s growth.

Managing growth
Impact is headquartered in Jupiter on the South Florida coast and has a second location in Fort Pierce, one hour’s drive away. Nevertheless, because of the size of its projects, the company often stores equipment and material on site. “Many of the developers we work with let us keep stuff on their job site,” says Joe Floyd, Sr. “If they get a big project of say 800 to 1,000 acres they’ll pick a corner they’re not going to use for a couple of years and let us set up a yard.”

That the company is hired onto projects this large simply confirms the reputation it has developed for reliability and high quality workmanship. Impact has earned the confidence and trust of major developers throughout the region.

Service in a day
Customer service is central to the company. It demonstrates this with unswerving commitment to a quick response. “We have a policy that if we get a work order, we’ll have an answer within 24 hours on how to rectify the problem,” says Floyd, uncompromisingly. No matter how challenging the problem, Impact sets itself to providing a solution, together with a plan for its implementation, within those few short hours every time. “We bend over backwards to take care of our customers and they realize that,” Floyd says.

This is a particularly valuable commitment for a landscaping company to make because the landscaping mostly takes place so near the project’s conclusion. Usually, there’s very limited time from the moment Impact begins actively working on a project to when the developer brings in the client to walk the property.

If some aspect of the project holds up the landscaping team, it can cause substantial scheduling issues for a developer. If a driveway is not paved or a roof not completed, the landscaping will be delayed and the developer will be stuck, waiting on the landscaper to update them with expected completion times. Impact dedicates itself to conveying that information very quickly to ensure that the developer has maximum warning to adjust the schedule.

Thriving in Florida
Beside scheduling advantages, Impact also brings enormous expertise to the subject of ornamental horticulture. “Because I’ve been doing maintenance for so long, I get to see how things grow. We tend to change things on landscape plans so that they get better plants that are easier to maintain and look better for longer and we’ve gotten really good at that,” Floyd says. The developers with whom Impact works have learned to trust its expertise in this area. They share landscape plans with the company well before sending them for municipal approval so that Impact’s experts can provide prior guidance as to what plants are suitable, and what should be changed.

Selecting Florida-proof shrubs, trees, hedges, and so on requires a unique expertise. Water conservation initiatives in the region have made the careful selection of plants that thrive on limited watering absolutely crucial. The region also uses voluntary and incentive-based initiatives to reduce water usage particularly in landscaping, which consumes substantial amounts. Having the right plant material enables homeowners especially to maintain a beautiful yard while contributing to the drive for conservation as well as taking advantage of the incentives.

Impact is contributing to green initiatives beyond water conservation as well. “We’re rapidly becoming a company that does not use Roundup and we’re moving toward organics,” says Floyd. Roundup is the world’s leading glyphosate-based herbicide and is commonly used in lawn care and landscaping. Impact is rapidly shifting toward safer, more sustainable herbicide solutions. “Within the next month or so we’ll be a Roundup-free company,” he says.

Not only plants, but people
One of the company’s most significant challenges is finding quality labor. Impact is growing rapidly, and finding the employees to staff large scale projects has been a limiting factor. Fortunately, the company has been able to weather this problem better than some competitors because of its employee-focused culture. “We tend to find workers because we have a good working environment. We get a lot of people who come to us saying they’ve heard good things and that they’d like to work for us,” says Floyd. “I’ve got a lot of good employees and we make sure they can take care of their families. That’s worked really well for me, and our company has grown because of it. We’re all a big family.”

As a result of Impact’s approach, the company has become a leader in its region. Abacoa, a suburb in Palm Beach County, Florida, is split into seventeen neighborhoods and contains thousands of homes and millions of square feet of commercial space. Impact did most of the landscaping and continues to do most of the community’s maintenance. And Abacoa is just one of many who’ve entrusted the beauty of their development’s landscape to Impact.

As technology continues to advance in the landscaping space, Impact is ready to adapt. Innovations like autonomous, driverless, GPS-enabled equipment may soon become a necessity for successful landscaping operations, and Impact understands the need to advance its operation and actually lead these changes. The company is committed to providing best possible value to customers and sees technological innovations as a primary driver of increasing value going forward.

For the community
Playing a part in the community is very important to the company. Impact provided volunteer landscaping services to CAPA House, a home for children operated by the Child Abuse Prevention Association. The company repaired basketball courts, irrigated and landscaped the property, and more. It has provided volunteer services for Families First, and a number of other women and children’s organizations. Through the Built To Honor program, Impact provided services in the development of a home for a wounded veteran and his family. “I’m sixty years old and my fiancée and I just adopted five- and three-year-old boys,” says Floyd. Impact’s leadership is committed to giving back.

After more than a decade in business, Impact has become a leader in the south Florida landscaping sector. And the company is well positioned to continue on its current trajectory. By maintaining its focus on providing complete solutions and staying at the forefront as the industry evolves, Impact is ready for long term growth. “My main accomplishment is that we continue to grow, that we have a lot of good employees, and that we treat each other with respect and care,” says Floyd.

Building the Next Generation

As thousands of experienced workers retire across North America every day, it is small wonder many industries are concerned about the future. It has been a decade since the oldest members of the baby boom generation started leaving their jobs, removing from the workplace decades of experience and skills that are tough to replace. The situation is so dire that, when younger workers are not available or knowledgeable enough to take over, retired staffers are often called back to work on a part-time basis.

November 19, 2019, 4:51 AM EST

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