Bellantoni Landscape signed on with Aspire, an all-in-one software solution for landscape companies, at the start of the global pandemic. For Tome Nrecaj, the company’s business systems manager responsible for implementation, the timing turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
First, the subsequent shutdowns allowed Tome to really take his time in setting up the Aspire system correctly for Bellantoni Landscape, a nearly 60-year-old company based in White Plains, New York. Second, Tome wanted to show the Bellantoni owners a cost analysis of how much money they could save by using Aspire’s business management software.
"There is nobody that you can hire who will actually produce what Aspire does," Tome says. “Just think about how long it takes your account and project management team to input all this data in the system, how efficient they are, and how reliable that information is.”
Tome analyzed a year’s worth of data to understand the time, manpower, and knowledge required to track all of the information streams fueling the Westchester County landscape business, compared to how easily those things could be managed by Aspire.
“I think the cost savings was beyond what we spent on Aspire, probably even more than double the cost savings,” Tome says. “Value, value, value. You’ll see that Aspire is really valuable. Aspire will basically eliminate all doubts and help you succeed.”
For Bellantoni Landscape, a family-owned company with nearly 50 employees serving a high volume of high-end residential clients, Aspire helped them transition from a labor-intense, paper-only process to a more streamlined and efficient operation with room to grow.
“I tried to streamline everything we were doing, from billing to being paperless, to changing softwares multiple times, to finally getting to Aspire, and convincing the owner that Aspire was basically the way to go,” Tome says. “We have systems for just about everything now.”
Once Tome discovered the power and functionality of Aspire software, he says, “I was totally sold.”
Moving from paper-only to better efficiency with Aspire
While Tome began his relationship with Bellantoni Landscape as the company’s personal banker, the owners recruited him 16 years ago to work as an office manager and handle the company’s accounting needs. For Tome, a Kosovo native who grew up on a farm, the role evolved into business systems manager–a perfect fit.
“Transitioning to landscaping was like a piece of cake for me,” says Tome.
Tome dug in and systematically began breaking down the operational processes at Bellantoni, from how the phones are answered to scheduling appointments, getting contracts signed, and setting up the specific steps to follow to provide great customer service.
“Before we even meet with a client, we make sure that client is really our client,” Tome explains. “We don't go out on every cold call. We provide our clients with value. We never sell price. We always sell value.”
To modernize the paper-only operation, Tome tried various inventory, accounting, and sales software platforms, only to find them lacking in one area or another. This resulted in tracking information on “a lot of spreadsheets,” but Tome still found it impossible to improve the company’s time management.
“It was just too inefficient. It worked fine, but it was not efficient at all,” Tome says.
Then Bellantoni Landscape discovered the full-service solution of Aspire business management software.
Aspire boosts company’s motto of ‘no garbage in, no garbage out’
Besides allowing Bellantoni Landscape to go 90% paperless, Tome says the software simply lifts a heavy burden from the team's shoulders.
“They can spend their time meeting with clients, selling services, or managing their accounts, instead of being in front of the computer inputting data all the time, which was a pain,” Tome says. “We have a saying here, ‘garbage in, garbage out.’ We make sure that no garbage goes in.”
With powerful software to manage all the data and keep the garbage out, Tome says Bellantoni found Aspire’s customized reporting functionality extremely reliable.
“We fully rely on our data that comes out of Aspire,” Tome says. “And it's been an eye opener in many aspects to our company. The downtime, the non-production hours we see, the overhead non-production. It's been eye opening.”
For instance, when a tech writes down hours instead of tracking them digitally, the operations manager can simply confirm their work hours with the click of a button from their GPS tracking devices, Tome says. And if a project calls for 10 bags of cement and the tech only uses five bags but enters 10, when the inventory is counted and reconciled at the end of the month the system detects the problem and allows them to correct the error.
Here’s a brief rundown of the various Aspire features Tome uses to streamline operations at Bellantoni Landscape:
- Customers receive emails with detailed information for estimates, scheduling, invoices, maintenance contracts, and more.
- Crews use mobile tablets or smartphones in the field to track job progress, materials used, time on the job, etc., for more accurate, real-time reporting.
- Customized reporting tracks closed sales in relation to open estimates, so the sales team knows exactly which customers need follow-up.
- Management scorecards promote friendly competition, which helps to increase average tickets and keeps everyone on their A-game.
- Payroll calculates seamlessly and accurately, as well as job-costing gross margins on every job.
- QuickBooks integration makes accounting a breeze for growing landscape companies.
“The system flows very well throughout, which allows us to basically be on top of everything, without having a paper in front of us to remind us of something,” Tome says of Aspire business management software.
To find out if Aspire is a good fit for your business, schedule a free demo today.