BE THERE! BE AWARE!
Your contract tree planters are out in the field, set their own schedules and work on multiple projects at once. Make sure your job is their top priority and you get the best service possible. The best way to do that is to Be There. Be Aware.
Vet Carefully: Hire only experienced contractors who you or someone you know has worked with in the past.
Set Clear Objectives: Clearly outline expectations, timelines, deadlines, priorities and pay. Follow up with the manager who is actually in the field to ensure you’re on the same page.
Schedule Regular Communications: Set regular times that you’ll be checking in and offer multiple ways to get in touch with you at any time.
Ask for Updates: Periodically get updates and check progress against the expectations and timelines set out in the beginning.
Be Respectful: Gain loyalty by treating contractors as you would any valuable member of your team. Integrated contractors are more engaged.
Visit Planting Site: Your presence at the planting site will help ensure that you’re getting the trees that you ordered and that the seedlings are being handled properly, and that they are being planted at the proper spacing. Check the boxes for labels and make sure that seedlings aren’t being left in the open for too long before planting. Check on the tree planters at random times and take quality control plots throughout the tract while the crew is planting.
Remember: It’s a big investment you’re making when you put seedlings in the ground. You’ve got one chance in about 25 years to get it right. A few extra hours of hands-on effort is worth money in the long run!