BERLIN — “Quality, not quantity” is the principle that guides PGMS, Inc. (Professional Grounds Maintenance Service) and owner Bob Novelli.
Founded in 1978, PGMS began on the western shore of Maryland, moving its main office across the bay to Berlin in 1990. During its life, PGMS has held a wide variety of commercial and residential clients, including Atlantic General Hospital, Hallowell Corp, Giant Food Store Realty Department and Hewlett Packard Corp.
The majority of customers have always been residential, though, and Novelli said that it is because his company is so flexible that he and his team are able to service anything from a major hospital to a cottage on a half-acre.
“I can customize my programs to suit the customer’s needs,” he said. “I don’t need to make a quota. I don’t have to answer to a higher entity or a corporate entity. Who I have to answer to are my customers and make sure they’re satisfied.”
That independence from a franchise brand is one of the most important things in running his business, explained Novelli. Without being shackled by quotas or corporate policies, Novelli said that PGMS is able to handle huge projects with a small staff and easily transition between commercial clients and residential property owners.
“We’re small in size and can get more done,” he said. “We’re more productive with less guys.”
On the other end of the spectrum, Novelli stressed that PGMS is not an amateur operation. While he said that some such operations produce great work, too many are “mow and go” and make up for low prices by not being properly licensed, insured or experienced. Too often, amateur grounds work requires a touch up immediately after and lacks “an eye for curb appeal,” which Novelli stated is a major goal with PGMS.
“I take care of these places as if they were my own,” he said.
For businesses especially, landscaping can be a valuable investment, contended Novelli, with “curb appeal” being a significant factor in attracting customers. In most cases, he argued, people will flock to the business with the more professional and appealing aesthetics.
That all feeds into the PGMS motto: “We Pride Ourselves in Quality, not Quantity,” which Novelli has used since 1978.
No corners are cut, he claimed, and PGMS is fully insured and trained in everything it does. With lawn care, all blades are sharpened at the beginning of each week during the season, care is taken to never over-mulch, soil samples can be collected to determine the exact state and treatment path for a lawn and irrigation efforts are carefully timed for the maximum effect.
Likewise, Novelli said he takes pride in his company’s ability to perform any kind of landscaping or lawn care on either a yearly or per a specific service contract.
While much of what PGMS does can be taught in a class, Novelli brings a special level of experience to the company. Prior to its founding, Novelli worked in the “green industry” as golf course superintendent at Annapolis Roads Country Club, the Chartwell Country Club and finally the Century XXI Club where Novelli served as both superintendent and head of construction.
All of that experience does not go to waste behind a desk, either, according to Novelli, who is out in the field working with his team on a daily basis.
“We’re owner-operated,” said Novelli. “I am there. I just don’t own it and send the guys out. I work with them every day.”
For more information and to inquire about early contract discounts, contact PGMS at 443-365-5195.