After implementing a new technology solution, companies typically undergo a mindset shift to adopt new processes and workflows. When faced with these changes, it’s not unusual for people to cling to old methods and become nostalgic for how the way things used to be.
But when you ask David Amigo, president of G&G Landscape Solutions in Charlotte, N.C., if there’s anything he’ll miss about his prior software solution, LMN, he’s crystal clear.
“No,” he answers matter-of-factly before correcting himself. “Well, I miss the price—that’s it.”
G&G Landscape Solutions is a landscape maintenance and construction company with 50 employees. The firm is targeting $9 million in revenue this year, which they attribute to their reputation as a go-to company in the Charlotte residential landscape construction market.
Amigo bought the business in 2017. He had no prior landscape experience but brought his expertise in general contracting and entrepreneurship to this new venture and quickly began joining landscaping business peer groups.
Inspired by the many landscape companies who grew their businesses from a part-time hobby to multimillion-dollar operations, he asked himself, “Why can't we be another chapter in that story?"
To turn the page on the G&G Landscape business, Amigo realized it would take a massive effort.
“The phone system I inherited was two cordless phones from the 90s, and we didn't have a copy machine, let alone a plotter to do plans,” he recalls. The company ran on Sage accounting software, paper, Excel spreadsheets, and Word documents.
“We knew we had a lot of technology to install,” he admits.
Amigo had a trusted IT consultant from his general contracting days who advised him on his business tech stack. Throughout the first few years at G&G, his consultant guided the team through various software solutions.
“We had a lot of technology, but it wasn’t integrated,” he says. The company used inventory software, GPS, and field services software from Intuit before trying several landscape business-specific solutions.
They settled on LMN as a software solution in 2021, but it wasn’t the end of their journey.
The turning point
“It was probably two to three months in when we realized we had outgrown it,” he says. The job-costing module was separate from the scheduling and timekeeping module and required manual syncing to move data around the platform to create reports.
“It’s really two different software (solutions) cobbled together,” he explains. The setup wouldn’t work for Amigo’s team because of its growth goals.
“We're at a size where we have more going on and more people,” he says. “That data has to be there for us because we don't have the time to look for it. If you're doing a million dollars, there's only a handful of jobs you're probably doing during the month. When you're doing hopefully 20 or 30 someday? You’ve got to be able to scale.”
Amigo chose Aspire because of its ability to grow with the company. The team implemented the solution before the spring of 2022.
He says he’s thrilled with the switch. “We get the information we need,” he says. “My team doesn’t have any more pain points. There are no side comments; that's all gone away. It's allowed us to all get on the same page.”
The difference between LMN and Aspire
Once the company began to work with Aspire, the value was clear. Amigo highlights some key benefits G&G Landscape has experienced since they switched.
Scalable growth on the program. “LMN is the minor league version of Aspire,” Amigo says. “If you're a smaller company than we are, less than a million dollars or a million dollars, it might be a great temporary solution for you to get started.”
“We knew we were getting the reporting and the job costing (with Aspire). But Yellowstone (Landscape) is on Aspire, so obviously, it was built for scale.”
Accessible data. “My ops manager––who hated LMN––says, ‘You've got to see all this data I'm getting on our maintenance properties. Now I can focus my time on the worst-performing ones to figure out why and solve that.’"
“It's the data that's at your fingertips. It's easily accessible in Aspire.”
Robust job costing and reporting features. Aspire’s reporting features are a game-changer compared to the company’s last solution. “LMN’s reporting is terrible. You can't get the data. You're very limited about what you can do, and it will not produce the information you need.”
For example, before Aspire, the company could not obtain monthly reporting on services and materials related to clients to determine purchasing amounts.
“He had to review every contract somehow and get it exported ... it was a big pain.”
A goal number for every team member. “Aspire's biggest benefit to us is having everybody know their numbers,” says Amigo. “You should know whether you had a good day—that's what Aspire is for me. It's our scorecard.”
The company is developing a scorecard for each role to measure productivity and performance, which they can accomplish now with Aspire’s dashboard, reporting features, and accessibility to accurate data.
He believes having these goals will allow his teams to focus on the areas of most significant impact and improve job satisfaction.
Superior implementation process. Amigo has an interesting analogy when comparing the implementation processes of his prior solution with Aspire.
“It’s like going to McDonald’s or going to Capital Grille. Aspire is Capital Grille. It’s just a different level of service,” he says.
Though the typical implementation is 60-90 days, Amigo and his team were laser-focused on completing the implementation quickly. Armed with his consultant and tech-savvy leaders, he met with his Aspire implementation manager three to five times a week to guide his team through the onboarding solution in 30 days.
The team was able to implement and see results in time for the busy spring season. “If the theory is Aspire is so much better for us, why wouldn't you want to be doing it right away and have all the benefits of using it versus stretching it out?” Amigo says.
Better customer care. Today, Amigo regularly communicates with his customer success manager, giving feedback on his team’s experience. “I'm very pleased that we're getting a lot of responses, and we're working through it,” he says.
With his previous software, Amigo directly connected with a C-suite executive and figured that would affect the level of service he received. “I thought, ‘Surely, they're going to listen to my concerns, and they're going to help us fix a few things.’ I got absolutely nowhere.”
With more accessible data, better reporting, guided implementation, and better customer care, Amigo and the G&G team have made great strides in their business since onboarding with Aspire.
And if you ask him how he feels about switching to Aspire, he’ll give you a simple answer.
“I’m thrilled,” he says.