As a modern, forward-thinking landscape business, Plants Creative understands the importance of tapping into technology and rich data to scale its business. To plant the seeds for a robust future, the Scottdale, Georgia, company first rebranded itself a few years ago, and then upgraded its operations with landscaping business management software.
The Plants Creative team weeded through various landscaping software options on the market, and ultimately chose Aspire in February 2019.
“When we were looking for a program that was going to work for us, it needed to be scalable, and it needed to have some pretty hard-and-fast processes and procedures, and some good structure on the back end,” says Plants Creative Ultimate Experience Manager Hope Smith. “Aspire really fits the bill big-time for us.”
Hope says Aspire offered an all-in-one, fully functional solution to help Plants Creative scale the same way other multimillion-dollar companies use Aspire to manage thousands of landscaping accounts and operate multiple branches.
“That was huge. It was easy to recognize how we were going to be able to manage growth within Aspire, which was really important for us,” says Hope. “Having that structure on the back end was a huge piece of the puzzle for us, a gap we needed to fill, and Aspire gave us the tools to do that.”
With more streamlined processes and better efficiency, the Plants Creative team works more productively with what Hope refers to as “safety nets,” or automated triggers inside the software to help guide team members if they’re new to certain jobs or have been recently promoted. And thanks to the scaling enabled by Aspire’s processes, Plants Creative recently added a second branch in the Blue Ridge Mountains to its operations.
With such demonstrated success, we asked Hope to share her experience with Aspire and explain how the Georgia landscaping company uses the software to streamline, scale, and grow.
Rebranding sets the stage for tech-friendly Plants Creative
Before signing on with Aspire more than three years ago, Plants Creative refreshed its brand identity as a clean and modern residential landscaping company that uses state-of-the-art tech like robotic mowers and provides advanced design-build and irrigation solutions.
The 17-year-old landscaping company updated its website, changed brand colors, revamped logos, ordered new truck wraps, and issued new team uniforms for its 48-person crew to create a more noticeable, recognizable brand. The goal, Hope says, was to maintain consistency online and in-person.
“That whole rebranding process was definitely a learning opportunity,” Hope says. “We discovered there were things that we knew innately, but had never really put into words or contextualized. Just taking a pause and saying, ‘Okay, what are we looking for in a customer? What story are we trying to tell with our brand?’”
Hope focuses mostly on customer marketing, but also helps employees through the onboarding process, and works with the owners to determine job roles and responsibilities as well as conduct employee surveys for job growth.
“It's definitely been a journey, and it's something we've been building on and continue to build on, year after year,” Hope says. “But overall, it's one of the things that we, as a team and as a company, do really well.”
Aspire takes Plants Creative to the next level
Before Aspire, the Plants Creative team did everything manually, gathering receipts for a job, entering the information into a spreadsheet, and guesstimating how much inventory the technician used on the job. The company also maintained multiple software services for estimating and invoicing, handling work orders, or scheduling maintenance services.
“It was definitely not ideal running through multiple systems, and we realized this is not sustainable. We definitely can't do this when we have like 10 branches and are trying to manage all of this,” Hope says.
Integrating everything into the Aspire business management platform simply helped to automate the process and ease everyone’s workload.
“It helps the teams stay more on top of things, because they don't have to sit in the office for three hours one day and go through 20 jillion receipts,” Hope says.
The company also found other benefits through Aspire, such as:
- Integrating The Weather Medic, a customizable weather analysis tool, helps Plants Creative grow its irrigation services division.
- Customer portals allow customers to leave feedback or make requests for additional services, especially those with regular maintenance needs.
- Proposal-building kits allow the team to make consistent and professional sales presentations to customers.
- Customers can approve proposals and estimates electronically, offering better convenience.
- Customers can sign off electronically for additional maintenance services right on the job site.
- Reporting and list-building features help the team streamline operations and keep cost allocations in line.
“On the operation or production side of things, it's really made it so our team knows what they need to do and they feel empowered to do it,” Hope says. “There are so many safety nets. You can look at a list and say, ‘Oh, I forgot to complete that work ticket,’ or ‘I forgot to receive that receipt.’
“With all of these things in place, they make it really hard to screw up, basically,” she adds.
The bottom line? Aspire helps landscaping companies increase efficiency so they can grow responsibly.
“If you’re looking to scale your business and really hone your operational efficiencies, then Aspire's the right answer,” Hope advises. “That's essentially what drew us to Aspire, and that's really where we have found the most value.”