2020 and beyond: Advancing the way we help people make good decisions about trees
There’s a common theme running through Local and State Government, WALGA Members, Landscape Architects, Utility Operators, Land & Property Developers and Town Planners… they all regularly look to the Arbor Centre for trusted advice on all thing’s trees and tree related matters. This is something we’re very proud of and do not take for granted.
When I joined the Arbor Centre 16 years ago, it was apparent then that there was a culture of constant investment in people; sharing knowledge and learnings from a broad experience of delivering arboriculture services, often applying science-based decision making and our technical resources across WA. As I write this, we’re entering into our 35th year as a business and in 2020 this culture remains strong, with many of my colleagues joining and remaining as an integral part of the business for years. Rest assured, we keep each other on our toes and the desire to improve and evolve is always present.
Over the last 18 months, we’ve undergone an acceleration in our development as a business. This development is focussed on better serving our WALGA, Commercial and Residential clients, improving and broadening our service offering and building new commercial partnerships.
To do this, we’ve retained our key talent and given them more responsibility. For some, including myself, it has provided a great opportunity to change roles and become more involved in business decision-making. In turn, in order to support these changes, we’ve invested in new cloud technology and systems to streamline and improve the way we manage our end-to-end client experience and internal operations. Our increased cloud-based working has made remotely working - during the COVID19 restrictions – pretty straightforward.
One of the things we do more of now is to self-check the relevance of our offering to the market. This, to us, simply means; are we listening to our clients? Are we innovating and adapting to change quickly? Are we identifying new demands in the market? This type of thinking is encouraged by our leadership team and has directly led to the launch of some new Arbor Centre services.
Over recent months, we’ve introduced a new Infrastructure Protection service called Fortress5; this helps WALGA members and other organisations reduce their year-on-year costs from tree root related damage. Our unique product and service – an integrated tree root barrier solution. – is ‘site specific’ and is backed by a warranty.
Earlier this year, we launched a new Advisory service to meet increasing numbers of inbound enquiries we receive for technical information - as WALGA and Commercial clients seek assistance with their pre-tender planning, pre-development work, pre-design plans, project feasibility studies, project proposal scoping and site-specific issues. Our ArborPAS service meets this need and offers a flexible way to call on our expertise where needed.
We’ve also been further developing our Tree Farm and Tree Nursery operations through in-house expertise and partnerships. This is part of a strategic plan, working alongside Local Government in the planning and supply of grown-to-order high quality tree stock. This is a good example of us listening to clients and making sure we’re relevant. We’re hearing many stories regarding failure of supplied tree stock, which has led to cyclical replacement of like-for-like trees and the associated frustration and high costs of this. By planning and delivering a longer-term higher quality solution, we can again help WALGA Members and Commercial clients actually reduce their long-term tree costs year-on-year.
2020 sees us taking a leadership role in the challenges faced around “Making Higher Density Development & Green Infrastructure Integration Happen”. This is a major topic for Local Government, Town Planners and Developers alike. On Wednesday 14th October 2020, we’re hosting a conference on this at the WACA. This conference aims to tackle - head-on – the integration of urban greening with below ground services and trees into living spaces, where you didn’t think it was possible. State Government Ministers together with some of Australia’s leading experts will be joining forces with us to outline the Disruption and Innovation around this topic. I’d definitely recommend that WALGA Members attend this event.
We’re always on the go! If there’s ever been a time to drive forward with new ideas and improvements, it’s post-COVID19. Entering into a recession period is often the best time to explore new opportunities, new ways of working and cement your client relationships. We’re certainly doing that and making this our ‘business as usual’ state.