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Long Island Nursery Thrives With ’Time Is Money’ Creed

Wed June 28, 2006 - Northeast Edition
Matt Matusek

For North Service Nursery, “time is money” is not some hackneyed, meaningless cliche … instead it is its primary business philosophy.

Established in 1988 and in Dix Hills, NY in Long Island’s Suffolk County, it is one of many nurseries in the area, but its customer-service-first approach has allowed co-founders Richard Swierupski and Vincent Volpe to penetrate the competitive New York City market.

The nursery supplies trees, shrubs, flowers, topsoil, mulch and peat moss to landscapers and designers across the New York Metropolitan area.

One unique feature the company offers is a delivery service straight to the landscaper or designers’ job site. Another feature is the set up of the nursery, which is designed with a shopping center concept. North Service Nursery has a fleet of 20 motorized Cushman and Taylor/Dunn flatbed carts, which were originally tailored for commercial applications. These allow landscapers to cruise throughout the company’s 14-acres of greenhouses and nursery stock while waiting for a load of mulch.

“Service is our middle name, so we pride ourselves in making the shopping experience at our nursery as stress-free and easy as possible,” Swierupski said.

Both Swierupski and Volpe recognized when they founded their company that the longer customers spent time shopping, the less time they were out working for their customers. Most nurseries in 1988 kept their tree and shrub stock planted in the ground.

This, however, lengthened shopping time because customers had to transplant the product from the ground to their vehicle. North Service Nursery addressed this problem by becoming one of the first nursery wholesalers to present all its products in a burlap ball of soil, making removal of the stock from the nursery nearly effortless.

On a typical day, a customer picking up bulk material can get what he or she needs in 15 minutes and a customer picking up nursery stock should be finished in approximately half an hour.

Getting customers in and out quickly with their purchases requires flexible equipment, and North Service has come to rely upon its Kramer Allrad 480T and Gehl 480T, both all-wheel steer loaders with extendable booms.

“These two loaders have become critical to our operation,” Swierupski said. “For example, if a high-sided truck as big as a 10-wheel dump comes into our yard, our customized three-yard bucket and Gehl’s extendable boom allows us to load material quickly and effortlessly. If a customer comes in and requires a vanload of material we simply switch to our one-yard bucket and the extendable boom on the Gehl allows us to drop the material right inside of the enclosed van. The flexibility is wonderful.”

Swierupski added that because the loaders are hydrostatic drive, operation is smooth and effortless, which allows his company to load from nearly any angle without losing lift capacity.

“We first saw these machines advertised in Construction Equipment Guide and immediately knew that its unique design was perfect for our application,” said Swierupski. “We have used the machine for several years and recently purchased a second one from Gary Wade at All Island Equipment. Our original machine has given us 4,000 hours of reliable operation with literally no major failures.”

For more information, call 631/643-2605, or visit CEG

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