When Nasim Landscape began implementing Aspire in September 2020, they knew they were embarking on a daunting project.
“I'll be honest, I was terrified when I went through implementation, terrified,” says Niwar Nasim, president of Nasim Landscape.
“I did not have a good implementation—and I had the best implementation manager, in my opinion. Stephanie Ryder was absolutely incredible,” he says. “The problem was, we were a company that never had actual data. Our data was all over the place.”
Since the business doesn’t stop even for software training, Nasim found that creating bids, running construction crews, and leading implementation, while also managing every other daily detail, quickly burned him out.
About a month into implementation, it was time to import financial data into the system. He froze.
“I said, ‘I don't know what this is. I don't know what to do.’ I literally had no clue. I don't want to just throw numbers into Aspire, because this dictates and sets how everything else is done. So, we paused our implementation.” he recalls.
Jon Gohl, Aspire’s director of implementation, recommended Nasim meet with financial consultants at The Herring Group. Greg Herring and his team have had a longstanding relationship with Aspire since its early days, and have consulted on more than 40 Aspire implementations.
The Herring Group enabled Nasim and his team to move forward with getting the information they needed for a successful onboarding, helping them determine their overhead, pricing, expenses, and their current financial standing.
“They put it all together for us,” Nasim says. “Had I known about the Herring Group then, I would've signed up with them immediately.”
After finishing Nasim’s 90-day implementation, The Herring Group continues to consult with the Nasim Landscape team regarding CFO-level financial reports and growth plans. Two Twelve Advisors now assists the company with strategic Aspire needs such as developing standard operating procedures and processes.
“(Two Twelve Advisors) has helped us get so much more out of the software than we would have on our own because we don’t have a chief technology officer or (internal) Aspire specialist,” he says.
These relationships with Aspire and its consultant partners laid the groundwork for Nasim’s leaders to train a new crop of middle managers over an eight-month period. “Many of them don't know what Aspire is, and I'm not a trainer—I still need to learn things myself,” he admits. “It’s expensive, but we see the dividends immediately. It's amazing.”
Education is the key
The company has grown at an average rate of 21.7% gross profit each year over the last three years, and Nasim credits that growth to education and training.
“It’s what allows us to buy new trucks, and to attract respected managers from large companies in the area, give them the salaries they want, and trust they'll be able to deliver and execute,” he says. “Everything you make you invest back into the business.”
Nasim’s critical concern at the moment, even more than staffing in general, is finding qualified irrigation technicians. “We have so many needs and high-paying opportunities in this industry, but we lack serious education in essential positions like irrigation technician,” he says.
Promoting from the field has been the answer to this challenge so far. “My irrigation manager now, I actually promoted him from the field. We're talking about a guy who has always been a tech, younger guy, but never really was given an opportunity to grow.”
Nasim demonstrated how to complete an evaluation on an iPad using Aspire and its integration with Weathermatic.
“We're talking about stuff that is revolutionary for our industry for somebody like that,” he says. “In the he'd have to have a notepad and bring those notes back to the office and have somebody type up those things.
“Now he can do 30 evaluations in a day and before it was seven or eight. He's able to do more volume, you're teaching him software, and investing in your people and teaching them real-life skills, real software that helps their confidence and helps the bottom line of the company.”
Nasim has more than a few stories like this, showing Aspire and its capabilities to prospective hires—now his area managers, enhancement managers, and account managers.
“To me, watching people develop is more fulfilling than buying a brand new truck or landing a large account,” he says. “Taking a tech who was in the trenches, and now he's blossoming as an irrigation manager. It’s one of my greatest accomplishments.”
Embracing the change
Nasim practices what The Herring Group has taught him: to embrace enterprise-level software.
“When you can show that technology to potential key personnel, if it's the right person, the message will be heard loud and clear,” Nasim says. “There's a huge gap right now; many large companies don't have (Aspire) and it's frustrating because we all want to make our jobs easier. Everybody wants automation.”
He’s able to show hires not only how they’ll be trained, but also point to a plethora of resources such as AspireCare, Two Twelve Advisors, and The Herring Group to keep them educated and engaged.
“You can never know all of (Aspire). I’m an impatient person and I want to know everything now. It doesn't work that way, and you have to be patient,” he advises. “But it does come together. It does click in.