Plenty of companies, both small and large, struggle with the admin side of business.
Arborists usually want to be out and among trees and customers, and find the process of compliance and business development difficult, or at best timeconsuming. Searching for work, quoting and chasing up proposals can be difficult too.
There’s a company which specialises in helping arborists and tree-service companies deal with such matters, and right now that company, Enviro Trees, is going through amazing growth.
In the beginning
Based in Sydney’s north, Peter Dubiez had been in the tree industry since 1985 and in 2005 decided a break would do him good. After five years he realised how much he enjoyed working with trees and in the tree industry in general, and in 2010 he and his wife bought a small arbor outfit called Ace Tree Services. It was rebranded to Enviro Frontier, and now in 2023 is Enviro Trees.
In 2011 Peter saw an opportunity. “We were doing storm work, and I thought, ‘Why not give a decent marketing document package at the end. One with before-and-after photos, customer sign off, the names of the staff who attended, the registration of the trucks and chippers…the whole lot’. “It was the first time the insurance industry had actually seen a package like that, with transparency in the work undertaken and the cost. They were really impressed, and they said, “Well mate, no one else is doing it. Is it something you think you could do a bit further afield than in just your local area?”
That was start of the journey which led to Peter speaking to The Australian Arbor Age from Manchester in the UK where he has set up a British branch of the business, Enviro Trees UK, which is already undertaking subsidence tree works – a business already well established in Australia with satellite offices in New Zealand and Spain.
He’s certainly moved outside his local area.
In 2013 Peter began developing software he called Tree Manager.
Enviro Trees was receiving increasing requests for crews to travel to rural and regional areas of the country, placing a strain on the city-based team. Armed with 30 years’ experience and with the help of technology, he set about building a national network of first-class tree partners which could be accessed quickly and reliably through one easyto- use online system: Tree Manager.
“It’s software that allows us to act as a project manager or aggregator for works that go through the pipeline,” explained Peter. “Our initial course was supporting the insurance industry for emergency works. Now our focus is on ‘regular’ maintenance work – housing commissions, public schools, government and council contracts and so forth – and we were able to win a lot more of that work nationally.
“But the beauty of it was we still went back to the local, smaller provider. They really fit under our umbrella, and they still got the work. Tree Manager allowed them to sometimes beat out the bigger providers.
“Our focus has always been, ‘How do we provide the work and the opportunity to the local provider?’ Most of our tree partners average probably only five to seven staff. They’re really mum’n’dad outfits. They’re on the site with their team. Over the years we’ve seen many of our tree partners’ businesses double and triple in size.
It’s simply because we can deliver regularity of revenue, and we help them with compliance and documentation.”
Whether it’s routine pruning, stormdamage assessment, or complete tree removal, Enviro Trees helps arbor businesses get the work done quickly and safely, with accurate pricing and reliable documentation.
The company uses the innovative workflow platform, Tree Manager, to manage the entire process, from allocation through to completion.
It’s fast, reliable, and gives instant access to real-time information – like the scope of works, photographs, and costs – anytime they’re needed.
Owners, builders, government and commercial clients rely on Enviro Trees for clear communication and secure management of their tree works, performed by pre-qualified tree partners. With set-rates and quality data reports, Enviro Trees has become the number one choice for insurers in makesafe and tendered tree works nationally.
On the move
With things going so well at home, a general manager and executive team was put in place in Australia and Peter up-stick to kick off overseas.
“One of our main providers in Australia, a major global loss adjuster, Crawford, recommended we have a look at the UK, just because of the method and what we’d achieved in Australia,” said Peter, his eyes shining, “and look, it’s exciting!
“At 60 I’ve been reminded why I got into the tree industry in 1985. I’m meeting a whole group of different tree operatives, and it’s incredibly revitalising and energetic to get out and see all the tree owners and staff again.
“I’d become a boring old fart who’d been sitting behind a desk in Sydney for too long,” he chuckled. “Now I’m actually out and in amongst ’em, communicating with other arborists, meeting with them, and it’s incredibly refreshing and exciting.”
What does the future hold for Peter and his fast-growing endeavour?
“My focus now is clearly here in the UK, duplicating what we’ve done in Australia, and it’s a different work environment, being the subsidence market which we don’t really have in Australia. It’s a phenomenal group of tree companies over here. They’re far more fixated on training their staff than in Australia. Every staff member here would have four or five tickets. But they only use little six-ton trucks and little sixinch chippers, so it’s completely different to Australia, which has 20-inch chippers and heavy trucks.
“They’re very focussed on staff training here, and that’s something we need to duplicate in Australia.”
“And then we’ll see what happens when I get to 64 (laughs).”
“Look, I’m just grateful for the tree partners,” said the easy-going ex-pat. “They’re the reason we’ve got where we are in Australia.
“The tree partners we’ve had with us, they’ve gone through the pain. Developing technology’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’d rather climb a hollow tree hanging over a glasshouse than go through building and designing the Tree Manager technology again. And it’s changing so rapidly. Those tree partners, and the current and past Enviro Trees staff, are the only reason we’ve been able to succeed the way we have.
“When you create a network and you collaborate, you can actually grow a lot quicker. Our Enviro Trees ecosystem is about a collaborative group leverage as a benefit. It’s a win-win.”
To learn more about Enviro trees, go to envirotrees.au.