When it comes to landscape construction project administration, details matter. It’s imperative to account for the contract, insurance certificates, subcontractor licenses, permits, and other documents to ensure you’re holding up your end of the bargain and delivering a finished project on time and on budget.
The best way to organize these details is in a landscape business management system designed to track these documents and other information specific to construction projects.
Time-Sensitive Data Tracking
Starting with contracts, it’s beneficial for landscape contractors to have a system that not only generates contracts but can also track them from the time they’re created until they are completed, all in one place.
Aspire business management software serves this purpose, says Peggy Hughes, accounting specialist with Aspire Software. She notes it’s important to document contract milestones along the way.
“For example, you want to know what date the contract came back because there could be certain things that need to happen within a given timeframe like blue staking, or marking utilities,” she says.
Other time-sensitive information like expiration dates for licenses or insurance certificates can be uploaded into Aspire and tracked as well.
Purchase and Inventory Tracking
Tracking purchases and inventory is another critical component of successfully completing landscape construction projects, says Travis Wills, a customer success manager with Aspire.
In Aspire, the purchase and inventory-tracking system is set up to make life easier for the people buying materials for each project.
For starters, when you win an opportunity, Aspire forecasts all the materials needed to complete the project and adds them to the platform’s built-in purchasing assistant.
“You don’t need a separate list to hand to the buyer,” Hughes says. “You create a purchase receipt directly in Aspire’s purchasing assistant for each of the vendors from whom you’re ordering materials.”
In Aspire, buyers can add materials from multiple projects to one vendor purchase receipt, allowing your company to reap the rewards of bulk discounts.
Aspire also receives materials in the system the moment they land on job sites and job costs them immediately. There’s no waiting for vendor invoices.
“Every purchase has to be applied to the job so that it’s costed to a job, and you don’t have any expenses hanging out,” Wills explains.
Inventory and Long Lead Items
That said, in Aspire, users can purchase materials like mulch out of company inventory and apply them to a job right from their mobile devices. This process is a breeze, Hughes says, compared to the old, manual method where hopefully someone from production told the accounting department that he or she took items out of inventory and used them on a job.
“In Aspire, it happens immediately,” she says. “Nobody’s waiting for anybody or counting materials in the yard.”
Users also can choose to defer material costs on long-lead items like plants or PVC pipe so they don’t hit the job until installation.
“If I’m making a half million-dollar plant purchase, I probably don’t want to recognize all of those costs immediately when I still have a large amount of work remaining,” Wills says. “Job inventory allows me to defer the costs until installation. It’s much better for tracking the work being completed in the field.”
Aspire handles these steps seamlessly from an accounting perspective, Hughes says. She compares it to the “old school” way that would require accruing for plant costs or doing a journal entry to take costs off a job and adding them elsewhere on the balance sheet.