Q1. How long have you been in the interior plantscaping industry / your background in a nutshell?
I have been working in the interior plantscaping business now for about 40 years…I started my career as a teenager helping out in my parent’s interior plantscaping business which was Green Fingers in Sydney. At that time Green Fingers had about 100 staff – half or more would have been involved in the growing side of the business, so it was a different model of Interior Plantscaping business then we see today. Green Fingers sold in the late 80s, eventually being bought by Rentokil Initial. I stayed on for about five years and worked for Rentokil, where I did a lot of the plant purchasing and then in 1991 I bought my own business – ABC Indoor Plants, and haven’t looked back…
Q2. What are the main changes you’ve seen in the industry over this time (for better or worse)?
I have seen lots of changes in the last 40 year – not really for worse, I think most of the change has been for the better. People forget that back in the 70s, whilst margins were better, the options for plants and containers were quite limited.
I have seen lots of trends come and go. Plants come in and out of fashion…a lot of the old fashioned plants are now back in vogue! We have also seen fashion change with containers E.g. in the 70s we didn’t have a choice it was just white fibreglass…white is now back in vogue, however there is every colour under the rainbow available as well.
We’ve seen a change in the type of plantscaping for businesses, with a movement towards green buildings going for a star ratings, installing in-built planter boxes instead of free standing plants in pots.
Our service cycles have changed…we used to service weekly but are now able to provide quality service with a longer interval.
The other change that I’ve seen is putting contracts out to tender – that never used to happen. It’s not a positive change as the focus then reverts to price which is not good for anyone. Quality and service are the first victims with this approach.
Overall, I think we are all a lot more client focused these days… There is no way you can sit back and rest on your laurels – you have to stay on your toes to keep on delivering great quality plants and service!
Q3. What are some of your proudest business achievements?
Overall, I am really proud that we have clients & staff that have been with the company for twenty years…The two things go hand in hand. Good service, leads to happy customers and happy staff. It’s a winning combination!
I put our success in this area, down to our approach to clients – we focus absolutely on our customers. Our staff walk into a client’s office with a positive and professional attitude.
Q4. What is your vision for the interior plantscaping industry for the future – where do you see the opportunities emerging?
I think green walls are with us for a while yet and will continue to be a popular trend. I think that we will see more portable green walls for back of house offices (not just reception areas), replacing plants in containers. We will also see the green wall trend morph into different offerings. Perhaps one day we might even revert back to the minimalist trend…but I hope I’m long retired for that one to come back!!
Contact Details: Peter Fiedler, ABC Indoor Gardens Phone: (02) 9979 6849 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org