The New Normal

The world has become a scary and challenging place lately. Deemed “Essential” by the Dept. of Homeland Security, as well as most City and State governments, landscape and tree services are still running full-speed in most communities. With that, the support services for us also have to keep our supply chains stocked and readily available. But how are Hawaii businesses adjusting to keep their employees and clients as safe as possible? Here are some examples to look at.


Landscape Maintenance Service


During the course of normal maintenance work, the staff is usually far from public. When loading, unloading, or traveling to jobsites, the crews do have to come in closer contact.

Daily morning huddle requires face masks and no contact with each other
Washable fabric masks are mandatory at those times. 

New disinfecting procedures for vehicles, tools, fuel lockers and any high-touch surface are done daily or more.

Simplot Hawaii

Landscape and Agricultural Supplies 

Demand is as busy as ever. Stay-at Home orders have encouraged homeowners to do more back yard projects and potting soils and other garden supplies are in high demand.

“Safety is always a concern for Simplot so they are providing masks to all employees on a volunteer basis,” states manager Travis Araki.

 Simplot built a plexiglass receiving station to separate staff from will call customers

All will call has pickups have to be ordered in advance. Deliveries are not allowed to have signatures or customer contact anymore. And the concern doesn’t end at work. Araki has been educating their staff to be safe on or off work. Messages are shared like keeping hands and surfaces clean, not touching your face, how masks prevent spread. They even encourage employees to plan their personal shopping trips to limit exposure.


Arbor Consulting Service

Steve Nimz contemplating his next move

Steve Nimz still maintains his 70 hour work week, driving the island and inspecting for tree hazards or overseeing arbor projects. Nimz and his staff have added fabric masks to their standard PPE garb, and maintain social distancing when speaking with clients.

To avoid confusion, he has labeled his vehicles, “Essential Services”. Says Nimz, “Association Security Guards, and even Military Base Guards are confused on who is allowed to continue activities. If they do question me, I have the supporting letters to back up my signage.”

Always looking on the bright side of things Steve adds, “ Who knows, maybe I can even get free parking at parking lots!”

Steve Nimz’s new company logo 

Pacific Pipe Company

Irrigation and Waterworks Supply

Pacific Pipe Maui Customer still picking up supplies at Pacific Pipe Maui

 We have had projects temporarily shut down and new projects being delayed. This has had an impact on overall business volume.” Reports General Manager, Shaun Yoshizawa. They are applying for the recent CARES act funding for help.

Yet even facing financial hardship, their biggest concern is safety for staff and customers. “We are utilizing our current technologies such as Apple’s Facetime, and WebEx to visually connect and communicate with our customers. You don’t get the exact same interaction, but I think it sufficient and keeps both parties safe. For our will call and retail business, we implemented a drive in/ drive through type of service. Transactions are handled by phone, email, and text as much as possible.”

Disinfection by the hour!

 The guidelines on PPE and cleaning are being rewritten by CDC and OSHA as new information on the spread comes to light. “We are disinfecting surfaces every hour and taking precautions of to limit physical customer interaction. As suggested by the CDC, we are requesting our employees utilize some type of face mask.”


Landscape Equipment Supply and Repair

Hayman’s new door signage Tai and Ryan practice social distancing at the
Hayman parts department

  1. Hayman Co. has been serving Hawai`i for more than 35 years and has grown to be one of the leading commercial turf-maintenance equipment suppliers in the state. They serve all the islands and support customers with continuing technical services and parts supplies. Customers include golf courses, landscapers, government agencies (parks, athletic fields and facilities), resorts and hotels, farmers, home-owner associations, cemeteries, hospitals, security firms, shopping centers and many others.

“Most of our customers are effectively considered essential services”. Accordingly, B. Hayman Co. will continue to be open for business, assures president, Al Kakazu. “To assist customers in this time of need, we are offering a 15% discount on preventive maintenance parts and free delivery to all Oahu locations. Freight to neighbor islands are also complimentary for orders of $500 or more.”

Kakazu offers his prospective of encouragement in this time of uncertainty. “The business and health environment continue to change rapidly. By working together, we will overcome this contagion sooner rather than later and return to normal lives stronger than ever”.

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About the author  ⁄ Garrett Webb

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