In the commercial landscaping industry, the more customers who sign agreements for recurring services with your company, the more profitable you’re likely to be. To lay the proper foundation for success, small-business landscapers need a modern software solution to manage and track a growing business while also offering customers easy and convenient payment options.
That, in a nutshell, is what Brian Mendoza wanted for Evergreen Landcare, a Los Angeles company offering maintenance, enhancement, design/build, and irrigation services to mostly commercial landscaping clients. Before becoming part-owner and president of Evergreen in 2017, Brian worked as the company’s maintenance route supervisor, then director of operations, where he experienced firsthand the problems that result from too-complex or ineffective software.
“I was interested in finding software that would work for a small business like us,” Brian says. “I've tried different systems out there, but they’re not as efficient. It took at least six years to finally come across Crew Control.”
Faster invoicing, faster payments with Crew Control Payments
Evergreen onboarded with Crew Control business management software a year ago, and agreed to beta-test the full functionality of Crew Control Payments to see whether it would improve Evergreen’s billing processes and make it more convenient for customers to pay.
Brian says Crew Control Payments not only improved billing and customer payments, it helped Evergreen get paid faster, reduce the number of open invoices, and improve cash flow. Company revenue reached $2.2 million in 2021.
“We're able to put the client's information in there with the credit card, bill the client quickly for the service, and print out the report in usually two business days,” Brian says. “That was the big ‘wow!’ It's easier to bill our clients for recurring services with credit cards. And about 40% of our clients pay with credit cards versus company checks."
While his previous software worked well for estimating one-off jobs or out-of-scope work, Brian says Crew Control simply works better when managing multiple customers’ accounts for recurring landscape services. In addition to a better billing and payment process, Evergreen Landcare uses Crew Control to improve record keeping, quality control, accuracy of estimates, and communication with clients and employees.
“Success is finding a system that works for everyone,” Brian says. “I think Crew Control was able to connect everything. Again, from the client to the management, the management to the crews/employees. Crew Control is a lot easier for our type of business.”
A reliable, flexible solution for scheduling and routing
With 22 employees servicing strictly commercial properties, such as office and apartment buildings, Evergreen needed a reliable CRM and routing system that operated more smoothly than using an Excel spreadsheet. The company tried using other software, but found the systems either too expensive or too complex.
“There were just too many steps, and it was just a lot of things wasted,” Brian says. “That's when I realized there were opportunities to look into our systems, and improve them.”
Brian discovered the power of Crew Control for routing a year ago and uses the light business management system to optimize Evergreen’s growing number of routes. The software makes it easy for crews to clock-in or clock-out on their mobile device, and the clearly visible dashboard appointment tiles make it easy for office staff to adjust scheduling with just a few clicks.
Better communication and record-keeping
Employee communication also improved, Brian says, because the Crew Control system allows him to send notes and text messages to bilingual employees in Spanish, so everyone accesses the most up-to-date scheduling information. This also prevents paper schedules from being lost or left on site, which protects the company against competitors’ prying eyes.
“It was always a plague on us, trying to figure out how we can improve keeping our privacy as to who we service, what man hours or time that we spend at the sites,” Brian says. “Also to understand how we can correctly route our crews on the time of day.”
Crew Control automatically sends confirmation texts and emails for recurring landscape maintenance appointments so customers know when to expect Evergreen’s crews for service, then notifies them once crews complete the job. Technicians upload photos of the property and the system tracks labor hours for each job in real time.
“It's a better way of record-keeping,” Brian says of Crew Control. “The crews’ hours are based on how many accounts they have in a day. If they start losing sites, obviously that affects their revenue, their income, because they're not going to have their maximum hours in a given day. It helps both sides—quality assurance on the management level, and record-keeping for our clients.”
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