The construction and homebuilding industry has not recovered much since the Great Recession, with housing starts at around 15 to 20 percent of what they were in 2006.
It affects the landscaping industry, too, since there are no new landscapes to create, said David Frank, CEO of David J. Frank Landscape Contracting Inc. in Germantown.
David J. Frank recently acquired Lied’s Nursery Co. Inc. in Sussex, combining 120 years of experience, extensive client lists and similar values into a stronger company.
“The acquisition made sense to us because our combined databases allow us…to expand,” Frank said. “It worked because we’re very similar companies, we have very similar philosophies.”
Both Frank and Lied’s CEO Tom Lied focus on customer service and have experience in the financial management side of a landscaping business, Frank said. Those factors can be overlooked in landscaping.
“We’re picking up a lot of work this year, for instance, that’s been left half finished by other contractors,” Frank said. “I think the fact that we are very well established, and have very good guarantees does set us apart.”
While DJF focuses mostly on commercial landscaping for LEED certification, Lied’s is primarily a residential landscaper, so the businesses will fit well together, Lied said.
In the transition, Lied’s will liquidate its properties and equipment, which were in foreclosure proceedings, and combine resources with DJF. About 30 of Lied’s 50 employees have been added to the new company.
Tom Lied will serve as president of a new division within the company, Lied’s Frank Residential Landscape.
Both Lied and Frank recognize each other’s strengths, and are combining those to make a stronger singular company, Lied said.
“It is very rare for two units of power to decide to join rather than to continue competing and go their own way,” he said. “We came to a position where we needed to either do some things that moved us extraordinarily competitively into the marketplace or to join with someone who thought similar to ours so that instead of competing with them we could join with them.”