Your company is bringing in more money than ever. Revenue keeps increasing year after year, you’ve got the best equipment in the business, and you’ve been able to hire for several new positions over the past few months.
The trouble is, your profits are exactly the same today as they were five years ago—and you’re working twice as hard. What’s going on?
If you’re like a lot of landscape contractors, you’re using multiple disconnected systems (spreadsheets, white boards, payroll software, etc.) to run your company. No matter how sophisticated your approach, if the solutions you rely on don’t integrate to provide true end-to-end functionality, you can never have full visibility into your business operations. And that lack of visibility prevents you from making the kinds of informed decisions that enable profitable growth.
With a fully-integrated business management system, you can centralize everything you do in one convenient location. The software you choose should include a mobile app component that can be used by crews in the field. This is vital because—as you know—one of the areas where you can make the biggest improvement to direct costs is labor.
While there are plenty of mobile apps available to use in coordinating with crews (particularly for scheduling), you’ll get the greatest benefit from using one that connects to your business management software. If it’s not integrated, it could work for some things—but it won’t give you the total visibility that’s so crucial to boosting your bottom line.
How can using landscape business management software with a mobile app component help grow your business? Let’s dive into a few key examples!
The app you choose will probably be used most frequently by crews who need to record data from the field. For example, when individual crew members can clock in and out from the app—and crew leaders can check in and out of job tickets throughout the day— it enables account managers to track job progress in real time.
These instant progress updates can help prevent you from going over production hours and not realizing it until it’s too late. With a fully-integrated system, you can easily compare budgeted and actual hours associated with a project and make course corrections as needed to stay on track.
And with apps that record geo data whenever someone clocks in or out, you don’t have to worry about misreported hours.
Systems that rely on pen and paper may be better than nothing, but they’re ripe with opportunity for errors. Papers are easily misplaced or forgotten. Receipts are often lost or accidentally thrown away. And if you use a disconnected system that requires you to input the same information multiple times, the chances of making a data entry mistake increase.
Technology is also great for preventing miscommunication and enforcing set processes. When crews submit notes from the field through an app, it minimizes confusion based on illegible handwriting—and standardizes the fields that have to be completed. If users can’t submit a form until all of the required fields are filled out, you’re less likely to end up with incomplete information.
The more complete your data, the better business decisions you’ll be able to make.
The more productive your crews are, the more efficiently your business will operate—and the more profit you’ll see.
When account managers receive real-time updates about how a job is going, it lets them adapt quickly to challenges in the field—like weather concerns or scheduling changes—as they arise. Using an app that offers the flexibility for crew members to shift between crews (even on the same day) without impacting their reported hours also reduces back-office headaches and simplifies the payroll process.
A system that offers true end-to-end functionality also helps reduce wasted time—and identify opportunities—by streamlining communication. With the right solution, crews can instantly notify mechanics about broken equipment, report issues encountered in the field, and share suggestions for additional site enhancements with account managers.
Make data-informed decisions
Another major drawback to using disconnected systems is the inability to track long-term trends.
With a fully-integrated business management system, you can collect and report on the data that can make a difference for your business. You won’t have to guess about where your crews are spending their time or why you’re consistently underestimating job costs.
When crews use an app in the field, they provide you with consistent, real-time access to information about how your resources are being used. And with that access, you can identify problems and pivot as needed—before it’s too late.
You don’t have to settle for “good enough”
Many landscaping companies have been surprised to find obstacles they considered simple annoyances were causing them significant profit losses. Disconnected systems aren’t just frustrating. Chasing down receipts and time sheets shouldn't be a way of life. Quarterly reports that come along 10 weeks too late aren’t the answer.
If you think your current system is “good enough,” think again.
The problem of increasing revenue only to see profits remain flat isn’t unique. And while there’s no magic bullet solution, implementing a comprehensive, industry-specific business management system that includes a crew tracking mobile app can make a dramatic difference for your company.
Interested in learning more?
Request a custom demo and ask to see our app, Crew Mobile, in action.