Monday, July 28, 2014

Fiduciary Management

As the golf course superintendent, I am often asked questions regarding our fiduciary management practices.  More often than not, the most common question is; "How can we save money?"  With today's economy, that's a question that we take very  seriously and one that we ask ourselves continuously.  We spend our departments budget as if the money were our own. 
Chemicals and fertilizers make up a large part of our budget and it's a place where we can stretch the dollar.  By bidding out our purchases and requiring vendors to guarantee pricing for a season in exchange for our business, we have been able to save the club many thousands of dollars each year.  Believe it or not but many clubs do not do this.  Another way we spend wisely is by participating in silent auctions through our professional organizations.  This year alone we saved over $4000 by bidding on a group of products that we ultimately won.
We purchase many other types of products such as irrigation supplies, electronics, uniforms, equipment parts, etc.  By regularly doing computer searches and using services such as ebay, we continually get products for far under normal retail.  We purchased a large amount of used sprinkler heads this winter and reconditioned them with new parts for pennies on the dollar compared to new heads.  This one purchase has relieved some of the shortfalls of regular irrigation maintenance costs and has allowed us to spend more money on higher priority items.
Another way we spend wisely is through purchasing equipment.  While we all like new, many times a used piece of equipment will do the job just as well and help relieve the pressures of capital purchases.  There are many places that we can search for used equipment such as online forums and professional organizations. An example of this happened recently when a 20 year old utility vehicle had a catastrophic break down which rendered it useless.  Instead of purchasing a new vehicle, we purchased a used one in excellent condition for one third the cost of a new one and this vehicle will do everything we need it to do for many years to come. is one place we look for quality used equipment.
While our operating budget is considerably lower than competing area clubs, we are able to close some of that gap by spending smartly and operating more efficiently.  We take very seriously our fiduciary responsibilities and will continue to in the ongoing effort to provide one of the best conditioned golf courses on the mountain.