When it comes to making your business smarter, sometimes it pays to talk to your dad.
For Kingston Turf Farms, a multi-generational turf grower in West Kingstown, the company’s ownership represents the latest generation of innovative thinkers. Brock Bouchard owns the business along with his father, Brian, stepbrother Peter Lambert, and General Manager Mike Clausen. Together, they have invested in cutting-edge technology and equipment that helps the turf farm operate at peak efficiency to provide customers with the freshest turf possible.
“We pride ourselves on going above and beyond in customer service and product quality,” said Brock Bouchard. “Technology is just one of the ways we help to deliver the best experience possible to turf buyers.”
A combination of investments in heavy-duty harvesting machinery, employees, vehicles, and technology products has helped give Kingston Turf Farms a competitive edge and emerge as one the foremost leaders of turf products in New England.
Taking a Cutting-Edge Approach to Harvesting
The company has made big strides in recent years to stand apart from its competitors. That drive is seen most clearly in Bouchard’s father, Brian, who never stops looking for new ways to reinvent the wheel. This includes inventing the four-foot big roll harvester. Bouchard notes that Kingston Turf later sold many machines throughout the world, giving other sod farms the ability to harvest four-foot wide “big rolls.”
This machine also cut down on labor, by giving customers the option of laying four-foot wide rolls with a tractor or forklift. The bigger sod roll allows customers to cover a much larger area in less time. The Turfco sod harvester is still in use today, and is just one example of the role advanced machinery plays in the company’s success.
One of the more noticeable (and expensive) pieces of equipment is the Trebro Manufacturing TSR harvester, the first of its kind in the country. Like the big roll harvester, the TSR introduces new levels of agility and speed while consuming fewer resources and producing pallets of sod with pinpoint accuracy and ready for customer delivery.
“We recognize up front it’s an expense, but equipment like this more than pays for itself by eliminating guesswork and working more efficiently,” said Bouchard. “In fact, even our irrigation machinery features automated technology and uses photovoltaic cells to control computers that can turn the watering apparatus on or off without human intervention.”
Investments that Pay Dividends for Customers
Other investments are less glamourous but just as important. The company owns all its own trucks and employs its own drivers, a significant advantage for customers. By not having to stack its turf pallets on a truck with multiple delivery stops, Kingston Turf Farms can ensure customers are getting their turf as soon as possible after harvesting. With deliveries going as far away as New Jersey or to remote locations like Martha’s Vineyard, not having to wonder if a truck driver is going to delay reaching the turf’s ultimate destination is a game-changer for both the company and its customers.
This is why it should come as no surprise that Kingston Turf Farms utilizes an entire suite of technology from Cox Business and is a member of the 2019 class of Cox Business “Smart Businesses.” High-speed internet, Cox Business Voice, Cox Video, and Cox Business Security are all employed at the company’s offices in West Kingstown. Even video plays a vital role in daily operations, as monitoring changing weather conditions is essential for predicting when turf can be harvested and delivered in as limited of a window as possible.
“When I get on the phone with a customer, I can tell them directly what they need and what they don’t – and oftentimes, the type of turf they thought they needed won’t work on their property,” said Bouchard. “Connectivity is invaluable, but building relationships with our customers is even more important.”
While Cox Business Security keeps an eye on the company’s pricey equipment and high-speed internet ensures real-time connectivity to customer accounts, Bouchard notes that sometimes the most traditional technology is the one that makes the biggest difference.
On behalf of Kingston Turf Farm, Cox Business is making a donation of $1,000 to the University of Rhode Island’s Richard C. Skogley Scholarship Endowment for students in the turfgrass management program.
To find out how Cox Business can help your business visit: http://www.CoxBusiness.com