The inaugural Lawn Solutions Australia conference at the Novotel in Brighton Beach, Sydney, was a historic event that brought together the best turf farmers in the country under one roof.
The Lawn Solutions Australia (LSA) group is made up of growers of Sir Walter soft-leaf buffalo.
For a business to be approved to be a part of LSA, they need to meet a very stringent set of criteria, so they are eligible to use the ‘gold standard’ of quality across the range of turf they sell.
Lawn Solutions Australia Business Manager, Simon Adermann, says the new group wants to make it easier for individual homeowners to make the right lawn choice by having turf varieties and brands under the one LSA banner.
“For example, there are currently 30 or more branded varieties of couch on the Australian market, with more being introduced every year,” he says.
“From now on, homeowners only have to remember one brand – Nullarbor Couch.
“When they go to their local LSA grower and ask for Nullarbor Couch, they can be assured they’re getting the best-performing couch variety for their region.
“Your local Lawn Solutions Australia grower will also be a ‘one-stop’ solution for all your lawn care needs, supplying everything from premium soil underlay to fertilisers and a wide range of lawn care services.”
The one day conference was jam packed full of different speakers and panel discussions that covered a variety of topics, from what the aims of LSA are, how to improve your business and what this new structure means for Sir Walter Buffalo.
The day began with MC Jason Hodges, of Better Homes and Gardens fame welcoming the 41 members of LSA to the event.
Jason was a lively and entertaining host for the day and his passion for what LSA is trying to achieve was evident every time he spoke.
Brent Redman from LSA also welcomed everyone to the event and detailed what we could expect from the day- being a lot of content but also some very interesting speakers.
Gavin Rogers from LSA then took to the stage to fill us in on the LSA Game Plan, including where they have come from in the last 12 months, to what the future will hold as this organisation takes the industry by storm. He emphasized the fact the Sir Walter is still a number one priority for LSA.
The keynote speaker of the day, John Lees, is a business consultant who helps to train people in sales and marketing. A well known conference speaker, John managed to not only provide examples of how to make your business more profitable, but also told us how to ensure our business is adhering to servicing a value gap.
After John had kept us all entertained for an hour and a half, a morning tea break was scheduled where delegates could walk around the trade exhibition and catch up with other turf producers.
Back in the conference room, Jason returned to the stage, highlighting what Sir Walter meant to him as a landscaping professional. He also professed that if you “do what you say and say what you do” your business should be recession proof.
LSA’s Simon Adermann and Gavin Rogers and Heritage Seed’s Matt Merrick then formed to a panel to expand on what had been covered in the morning session. As well as showing some informative videos about the various new turf varieties in the LSA range, the 10-year warranty that LSA guarantees was also discussed.
Matt talked about the RTF fescue that is part of the LSA range, while Gavin focused on the Zoysia.
The panel also touched on the Turfguy, an LSA initiative that should be comparable to someone like Jim from Jim’s Mowing. The Turfguy will be the face of LSA in customers’ local areas and should be able to cover all bases from quoting, right through to laying turf and product sales and consultancy. They will even deliver product to the customers’ door!
A break for lunch and then on to an advertising and marketing panel with Gavin Rogers, Andrew McLean, Alastair Noble, Cath Irvine and Simon Adermann. They outlined the financial breakdown of LSA’s media profile in the upcoming year encompassing a television and radio ad campaign, as well as an online campaign including on turfmate’s website and in the weekly newsletter.
John Lees was then back on the stage talking about the concept of “from farm to finish” outlining what it takes to successfully maintain relationships with customers and have a healthy business.
Just to keep the plentiful supply of food coming, we took a break for afternoon tea and had a final look around the trade show, before the last session of the day.
Bringing everyone updates from LSA in the last 12 months were Nigel Ruck, Simon Adermann and Jill Berry. They touched on a variety of topics, including the new products that LSA offer such as professional fertiliser and trace elements, seed repairers and lots more.
After the final messages from Brent Redman, John Lees and Jason Hodges, the formal proceedings of the day wound up.
Everyone had an hour break before meeting back for happy hour and the LSA Awards of Excellence Dinner.
- Largest Sir Walter % Retail Sales Increase in Western Australia – Lawn Doctor
- Largest Sir Walter % Retail Sales Increase in Sydney Under 15 Ha – Cobbitty Lawn Turf
- Largest Sir Walter % Retail Sales Increase in Sydney Over 15 Ha – Greener Lawn Supplies
- Largest Sir Walter % Retail Sales Increase in Regional NSW Under 5 Ha – Turf The Lot
- Largest Sir Walter % Retail Sales Increase in Regional NSW Over 5 Ha – Agturf Supplies
- Largest Sir Walter % Retail Sales Increase in Queensland Under 10 Ha – Bay Turf
- Largest Sir Walter % Retail Sales Increase in Queensland Over 10 Ha – Australian Lawn Concepts
- Largest Sir Walter % Retail Sales Increase in Victoria – Coolabah Turf
- Largest Sir Walter % Retail Sales Increase in Regional Australia Under 5 Ha – The Turf Farm, SA
- Largest Sir Walter % Retail Sales Increase in Regional Australia Over 5 Ha Top End Turf, NT
- Largest Sir Walter % Retailer In Australia – Jimboomba Turf Group
- Lawn Solutions Australia Special Recognition For Commitment – Cher Greenhill, Greenhills Turf Farm, WA
- Lawn Solutions Australia Special Recognition For Commitment – Brad Chandler, Venus Landscaping, Vic
- Lawn Solutions Australia Special Recognition For Commitment – Steve Cole, Lilydale Instant Lawn, Vic
- Employee Of The Year – Administrative Staff – Shelley Hawkey, StrathAyr, Vic
- Employee Of The Year – Sales Staff – Marcus Rogers, Turfco Australia, NSW
- Employee Of The Year – Outdoor Staff – Anthony Snow, Lilydale Instant Lawn, Vic