When you’re running a landscape business, you have plenty to manage. And as your company grows and your revenue goals increase, so does the volume of information you’re trying to monitor.
At first, a spreadsheet may have been all you needed to manage your business. Over time, you may have added on new software solutions like a CRM to manage your expanding client base or a mobile app to schedule your growing number of crews. Perhaps you started using different solutions to purchase and track your materials or implemented a new estimating and takeoff software to bid on jobs. Or maybe you use these solutions but still keep your budget and your job costing information in an Excel spreadsheet.
As time goes on, you might be realizing that having a variety of software solutions to run different areas of your business is having a detrimental effect on your operations.
Using disconnected solutions can make you and your team members work harder than necessary. You may find you’re gathering data from so many different sources that you feel like you’re at the mercy of a Frankensystem of software patched together with ineffective integrations—or worse, software that isn’t integrating or communicating at all. This has serious negative effects on the productivity of your staff and the growth of your business.
Here are a few signs that you’re ready to scrap your Frankensystem:
You can’t tell if your data is accurate or not
If your software solutions don’t communicate, you may have to enter labor and materials information manually into spreadsheets or into your accounting software to report your financials or monitor how your jobs are performing against estimates. And if you’re tracking information that isn’t automatically updating, you have to ensure that you’re updating information like labor costs and plant materials on a regular basis. If there’s an error in entering this information, you’re not sure if your data is accurate.
Without a single source of accurate information, you’re left with data that you’re not sure you can trust, and your account managers might create bids that aren’t based on true data and aren’t profitable for your business.
You’re wasting time gathering data for reporting
When your business data is scattered across several different systems, your financials can take a lot longer to pull together. When you’re cross-referencing data in different places, month-end reporting can take days or weeks. At that point, if you didn’t meet your profit goals, it will be too late to make decisions to get you back on track.
Your staff members are fed up with having to learn multiple platforms
As the saying goes, good help is hard to find. It takes time and effort to recruit, hire, and train your employees. Once you’ve done so, you want to make sure you’re developing them to work as efficiently as possible—for their own success and the success of your business.
Having to train your account managers, production managers, and operations staff on a software Frankensystem of disconnected solutions can be confusing, time-consuming, and more costly in the long run, since they’re taking more time to complete their work.
And it’s not only about recruiting and hiring: Retention is also a concern. Giving your people the best tools and resources to do their jobs well is important when you’re trying to hire and keep employees.
You’re missing out on sales opportunities
If it’s not easy to capture potential job opportunities and create an estimate, you’re losing time and money. A Frankensystem could be costing you jobs by not allowing your production leads to catalog opportunities while crews are on-site or by requiring your account managers to reference several sources to get information needed to assemble an estimate. Looking at the larger picture, the inability to provide professional and accurate estimates quickly could be limiting your ability to grow your relationship with your clients by preventing you from becoming a trusted resource for improving their landscapes.
You’re ready to scale
If you’re serious about growth, an integrated business management software like Aspire provides you the visibility you need to know if you’re meeting your profit goals. It also helps your people accomplish more in the same amount of time by streamlining their work processes like estimating, purchasing, and accounts receivable. The ability to manage your clients, crews, expenses, and invoicing using one platform allows you to drive revenue, sell and produce more with your existing labor, and make the decisions that grow your business.