• Gravely® Landscapes and Beautifies Harbor House Domestic Abuse Shelter as part of NALP Day of Service

    National grassroots event organizes thousands in landscaping industry for day of volunteering

    In celebration of Earth Day, Gravely® took part in the National Association of Landscape Professionals' (NALP) Day of Service Event.

    Ariens Company employees, in partnership with Vande Hey Landscaping, worked to improve the curb appeal of the Harbor House in Appleton, Wis. During the event, volunteers from both companies volunteered by spreading mulch, planting trees and flowers and pulling weeds. More than $6,500 in materials and labor was donated.

    NALP's Day of Service event is a grassroots event that gives professionals in the landscape industry an opportunity to plan, organize, and carry-out volunteer service projects that benefit their communities. In 2014, approximately 89 projects were completed in 24 states, and more than 2,200 volunteers participated. Over $400,000 in time and services was donated to local communities.

    "This project was very important to us as members of the green industry, and we were excited to be able to celebrate Earth Day while helping out a great local organization, Harbor House Domestic Abuse Services," said Ariens Company Director of Gravely Brand Bill Engler. "Beautifying the area and the community is important for the neighborhood as well as the people that live here."

    For more information, and to see a map of other NALP Day of Service projects that took place across the country, visit: https://www.planetdayofservice.org/. Videos and photos from last year's event can be found on Flickr and YouTube.

    Established in 1984 as a program of the Outagamie County Department of Human Services, Harbor House Domestic Abuse Programs began as a grassroots organization offering a safe shelter and basic crisis services to women and children hurt by domestic abuse. Today, the Harbor House is an integrated and supportive community, surrounding women and children with a comprehensive range of program options.

    The building is perched alongside a long road, making it the perfect subject for a landscaping renovation. Employees from the Ariens Company re-landscaped three areas along the building's façade over a span of six hours.

    Ariens Company Featured in New Book about Management

    Book released April 10, 2015 by McGraw-Hill Education

    One wouldn't expect hospital executives to learn much from a snowblower factory, but Ariens Company, based in Brillion, Wisconsin, is no ordinary snowblower factory. Production at the plant is so well controlled that Dr. John Toussaint, then CEO of nearby ThedaCare, used the Ariens line as a model for patient care. This story is featured in Jacob Stoller's new book, The Lean CEO, which documents the work of 28 CEOs who radically changed their companies using Lean principles.

    The hallmarks of great organizations – empowered employees, dedication to customers, a strong collaborative culture, a learning workplace – are old news.  The question is, how do we get there?

    Jacob Stoller's new book The Lean CEO, available as of April 10, 2015 from McGraw-Hill Education, answers this through narratives from twenty-eight extraordinary CEOs who threw out the conventional rulebook and remade their organizations using Lean principles. One is Dan Ariens, Chairman & CEO of Ariens Company, who tells how he steered his company from the brink of extinction to become a leader in North American manufacturing.

    Ariens joins a cast of CEOs from a wide variety of organizations, including global manufacturers Ingersoll-Rand and Barry-Wehmiller, healthcare icons Thedacare and Virginia Mason, the states of Connecticut and Washington, historical icons such as Wiremold, and many more. 

    "When I give talks about our Lean journey," says Ariens in the book, "I tell people that the biggest thing is that we have built a culture around here where we trust each other."

    Stoller provides the contextual background as the CEOs explain with unusual candor how they galvanized their entire organizations around delivering excellence to customers. The result is a fast-paced read providing practical advice on topics such as:

    • Leading and empowering people.
    • Building transparency and trust.
    • Tuning into the customer experience.
    • Aligning strategic direction with day-to-day operations.
    • Instilling a corporate-wide culture that promotes safety and quality.
    • Creating a learning organization.

    The book is being praised as one that gives the reader rare insight into what it means to truly lead an organization. The Lean CEO presents management and leadership from the vantage point of leaders like Dan Ariens who have walked the talk. Their message is one that no manager can afford to miss.

    "Few books get into the hearts and minds of successful CEOs like Stoller's does," says Karen Martin, President, The Karen Martin Group, and co-author, Value Stream Mapping. "Read this and learn what leading from the top truly means."

    "Finally in this book we learn the lesson so often missed," says Jeffrey K Liker, Professor, University of Michigan and author of The Toyota Way. "Lean is a total enterprise approach to adaptation and prosperity that must be understood and owned by the CEO."

    Jacob Stoller, author of The Lean CEO, is a writer and speaker who connects experts and outsiders in fields such as Lean management, information technology, accounting, and engineering.  Jacob can be reached at 416-203-0200, or jacob@stollerstrategies.com .

    Dan Ariens Receives 2015 National STEM Education Partner of the Year Award

    Ariens Company Chairman and CEO, Dan Ariens, received the 2015 National STEM Education Partner of the Year Award from the Wisconsin Technology and Engineering Education Association (WTEA) and the International Technology and Engineering Education Association (ITEEA). The award was presented during the ITEEA annual convention held in Milwaukee, Wis.

    "I'm especially proud of this award because it is about partnership," says Ariens. "My advocacy for STEM education is a direct result of the enthusiasm generated at Brillion High School by Technology Education Teacher Steve Meyer and his students." 

    The award recognizes "exceptional commitment to education and the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education," according to WTEA.

     "For my part, I will continue to be an advocate within the business community for these kinds of partnerships and the very real, viable, and lasting benefits they provide," says Ariens.

    Ariens Company Awarded New Government Contracts - Government Purchasers Gain Direct Access to Equipment

    Ariens Company has received awards for several new state government and cooperate government purchasing contracts recently. The contracts cover Ariens® equipment for snow removal and grounds care, and Gravely® mowing products and utility vehicles. Purchasing agents can view the products or schedule a demo through a national network of Ariens and Gravely dealers located via the brand websites.

    The new contracts, which were awarded in either late 2014 or early 2015, include:

    • Arkansas Statewide Contract
    • Georgia Statewide Contract
    • Kansas Statewide Contract
    • Massachusetts Statewide Contract
    • Tennessee Statewide Contract
    • BuyBoard National Purchasing Cooperative Contract

    BuyBoard is a national purchasing cooperative formed between the National School Boards Association and several state school boards associations.

    • HGAC Buy National Purchasing Cooperative

    HGAC is a national purchasing cooperative formed between local and regional government entities nationwide.

    Ariens Company has also been awarded a 5-year extension on its current GSA (Government Services Administration) contract (Number: GS-21F-0080V).

    "Our focus on understanding the private sector is paying off," says David Ramirez, Manager Government Sales for Ariens Company. "We're finding great reception to our equipment. The versatility and durability of our products is appealing to purchasing agents who want to maximize their budgets."

    The company also holds state purchasing contracts in Florida, Mississippi, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Washington. All contracts for both Ariens and Gravely-branded equipment are listed under the term "Ariens Company" when searching the purchasing databases.

    Gravely® Sponsors PLANET Student Career Days - Event Provides Insight into Green Industry Jobs

    Gravely® is supporting 2015 Student Career Days as a Silver Sponsor for the ninth consecutive year. The annual competition and networking event for students enrolled in green industry programs from colleges and universities across the country is organized by PLANET, the Professional Landscape Network. More than 850 students are expected to participate in this year's event which will be held at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C. from March 12 to 15.

    "Student Career days provides a fantastic environment for mentoring and an exchange of ideas between students and green industry professionals, said Ariens Company Director of Commercial Sales Bill Engler. "The event is intense and fast-paced, leaving you feeling energized about the future of the business. We're happy to have the opportunity to get to know the next generation that will be leading our industry."

    Students will compete in more than 20 different events that include tree climbing, paver/hardscape installation, wood construction, plant identification, sales presentation, exterior/interior design, irrigation troubleshooting, personnel management, and small engine repair.

    Gravely will sponsor the truck and trailer event, as well as the sales event.  In the truck and trailer event, a team of students are given the opportunity to load a Gravely mower on a trailer and then drive an obstacle with the loaded vehicle. For the sales event, students must sell a landscape design project to clients. Both events provide a simulation of what it might be like to work in the green industry.