Busy landscaping companies with multiple crew members out in the field often struggle to track time for everyone they employ, which can lead to poor communication, payroll errors, and, ultimately, higher labor costs.
To stay on top of jobs, improve job performance, and reduce crew costs, lawn care businesses often seek to solve this problem with a landscaping crew tracking app.
What are landscaping crew tracking apps?
Landscaping crew tracking apps are mobile applications that allow landscaping companies to monitor and manage their crews in real time.
These apps provide features such as:
- Job scheduling
- Task management and tracking
- Time and material reporting
- Customer communication
They help landscaping companies stay organized and run efficiently by tracking the progress of their crews to ensure jobs are completed on time and within budget. These apps also improve customer service by providing property owners with accurate, timely progress updates.
Opt for an all-in-one business solution for crew tracking and more
Not all landscaping time tracking apps are created equal, and many offer only limited functionality when it comes to syncing up with other critical areas of your business, such as:
- Job scheduling
- Project management
- And more
For single-point management, many companies seek landscape business software to streamline and automate their landscaping business operations.
If you’re struggling to keep track of your landscaping team members due to antiquated manual workflows or outdated tracking systems, you’ve landed in the right place.
This article explains what features to look for when choosing a landscaping crew tracking app and how you can use a comprehensive business management platform to not only track crew performance, but also monitor profit margins and maximize revenue on every job.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Landscaping Crew Tracking App
In addition to time clocks and tracking features, landscaping contractors require integrated management software that gives them access to real-time data, automates workflows such as invoicing and makes reconciliation in QuickBooks and other accounting systems easy.
To find the right workforce management solution for your business, consider these seven factors when choosing a landscaping crew tracking app.
When comparing crew tracking and other management apps, pricing is typically one of the top considerations.
Technology is a big investment, and you’re looking for the best return on your investment. Many software providers charge per seat or user, which can significantly increase your costs when it comes time to hire additional employees.
Some questions to ask include:
- Does the vendor offer a free-day trial?
- Does the vendor charge a flat rate or per-user fee?
- Does the vendor charge a higher rate for premium features?
Aspire landscape business management software offers two plans, Aspire Corporate and Aspire Enterprise, based on your landscaping company’s annual revenue.
Regardless of the plan, Aspire doesn’t charge per user, so there’s no need to manage user licenses or purchase additional seats.
Landscaping crew tracking apps facilitate communication between landscaping crews and office staff. In addition to allowing crews to clock in and clock out, this mobile device app typically shows scheduled work orders for the day or week ahead, and specific crew assignments.
Most tracking apps offer push notifications and two-way communication via texts or emails between the office and your field service staff.
With geo-stamped time entry location data, an app will notify operations managers when a crew clocks in and out at a landscaping job. Techs can also use the app either on an iOS or Android device to send a text or email with the job status.
Get greater functionality from an app that does more than just crew tracking
The best crew tracking app offers all of the features above and integrates even further with other core business functions such as estimating, job costing, and accounting to give you real-time insight on job performance and discover new ways to maximize revenue.
Aspire’s crew tracking software offers:
- Mobile app (available for iOS and Android)
- Digital time cards or timesheets and manager review of daily mobile time reporting
- Simplified job scheduling with drag-and-drop functionality and bulk actions
- On-site job estimating for field techs to capture ad hoc jobs
- Customizable estimating templates with comprehensive job kits for precision job bidding
- Accurate job costing with mobile reporting of time and materials on every job
- KPI reporting to track crew performance, monitor margins, and maximize revenue on every job
- Vehicle and equipment inspection capabilities and quick access to digital vehicle inspection reports (DVIRs) for compliance with state-specific safety inspection requirements
Optimizing your crews in the field is about more than just keeping tabs on where they are and the hours they work. Aspire brings together data from every aspect of your organization to give your team members the tools they need to do more with their time on the job.
3. Ease of use
As a growing landscaping company with a mobile workforce, not all of your employees’ digital technology skills will be equal.
In addition to possible communication issues caused by language barriers, some apps don’t offer offline capability when working in remote areas with no internet or cellphone access.
Superior crew tracking software helps everyone communicate clearly, works even when your network is offline so you can capture real-time payroll data, material allocation, and more, and streamlines job management to help you make proactive, informed decisions.
4. Device compatibility
Whether you’re asking your team to use their personal devices, or providing tablets to crew leaders, it’s essential for a crew tracking app to work on a variety of platforms. If you switch between iOS and Android at some point, the last thing you want is to have to switch your business management processes at the same time.
Instead of choosing a landscaping crew tracking app that’s compatible with your current mobile devices and web browsers, find an adaptable mobile app that will perform regardless of the device you use–iPhone, iPad, or Android smartphone.
Aspire is a technology partner to landscaping companies, equipping crews with the tools they need now and in the future with ongoing software development and product updates so the mobile device platform always has the industry’s latest tools, such as geo-stamped time entry data, video uploads, and instant schedule syncing.
5. Business needs
Large enterprise landscaping companies looking to upgrade their crew tracking capabilities usually need to improve crew scheduling and fine-tune their job management oversight.
To gain valuable insight into what’s working and what needs improvement, they need a better system that will:
- Track jobs
- Calculate and report payroll
- Prevent costly scheduling mistakes
Aspire streamlines the job management workflow for landscapers by bringing operations into a single cloud-based platform, including:
- Online booking
- Job bidding
- Payment invoicing
- Payroll calculating
By delivering comprehensive insight into your business performance, the software helps you make data-driven decisions to:
✔ Increase revenue
✔ Improve inefficiencies
✔ Track team performance
To get the most ROI, look for landscape business platforms with end-to-end functionality, meaning it connects with other software tools you already use and doesn’t require switching back and forth between siloed software.
This reduces miscommunications caused by human error and eliminates the need for duplicate data entry from the office to the field.
With the right software integrations, your team can accomplish more, in less time. In addition to a landscaping time tracking app, your landscape software platform should integrate with a wide range of key tools to support:
- Payroll management
- And more
In Aspire, a single dashboard pulls together data visualization from every aspect of your organization so every user can get comprehensive, real-time information to guide their management and operations decisions.
7. Training resources and customer support
Beyond the functionality of a landscaping crew tracking app, evaluate the platform’s training and customer support options.
Questions will inevitably come up as you implement and start using a new software program, so make sure your app provider offers the level of support you require.
- Do they offer dedicated implementation and training support?
- Do they offer post-implementation support?
- Do they offer problem-solving services?
- Will they notify you (and train you) on all future enhancements, upgrades, and software development?
Aspire landscape business software customers work directly with a dedicated implementation manager for the duration of the training process—from onboarding through deployment and graduation—to ensure crews gain the foundational knowledge and skills to utilize the core platform to its full potential.
Aspire also offers users unlimited access to ongoing training and support as well as numerous resources via an online Knowledge Base—at no additional cost.
Advantages of using crew tracking software
The main advantage of using crew tracking software is for landscaping businesses to better manage labor costs. Software platforms with powerful automation features like Aspire help you:
- Reduce unproductive time
- Maximize the scheduler’s time while minimizing mistakes
- Anticipate hiring needs and understand crew capacity
- Monitor overtime and ensure legal compliance
- Gain access to real-time job costs and performance data
Limitations of crew tracking apps
The drawbacks of most crew tracking apps are that they serve only as a time clock and limited communication tool but fail to integrate and connect with the other critical areas of your business. If you cannot measure performance, growth, and revenue, how will you ever achieve and improve all three?
Instead of thinking of a crew tracking app as a single solution for one aspect of your business, get an integrated software platform for every aspect of the way you do business.
Go beyond a crew tracking app with Aspire’s end-to-end platform
With Aspire’s comprehensive landscaping software, companies stay on top of jobs, improving crew productivity, communication, and performance. The mobile app is just one of the platform’s features, which include:
- Customer relationship management
- Accounting and payroll
- Crew management
- Equipment management
- Job costing
The mobile app goes further than just tracking time for your crew members. It allows materials to be tracked, managed, and reported to every property. Crew members can also create “quick tickets” to report issues with total visibility through photo and video uploads.
To learn more, reach out for a personalized demo today.