Efficiency is critical when you're dealing with snow and ice removal.
Anyone who has worked in the industry knows how difficult the winter months can be, especially when you're stuck using paper and pen systems, spreadsheets, or clunky software.
Crews may be able to go home and rest after a long shift of snow plowing, shoveling, or de-icing, but managers are stuck with mountains of paperwork—then they have to head back to the office to do it all again.
With Aspire's business management software (specifically designed for contractors in landscaping and snow/ice removal), business owners like Brian Maurer have seen their processes transformed. They're able to save time, reduce employee burnout, and get invoices out the door in less than 36 hours.
But how do you actually handle your snow-removal services in Aspire?
To show how the software improves efficiency for companies like Brian-Kyles Landscapes of Distinction, we're going to walk through the process for managing snow maintenance in Aspire.
Let’s dive in.
What can you do with Aspire business management software?
Aspire’s all-inclusive, cloud-based business management platform was designed by contractors, for contractors.
By bringing every area of the business under one roof, it gives users complete control—and access to real-time data and visibility into profit margins.
Aspire’s work ticket management system allows you to easily compare estimated and actual hours and expenses by property, client, service area, and more.
You can learn more about all of Aspire’s features here, but when we say all-inclusive, we mean all-inclusive. Everything you do—from estimating, scheduling, and purchasing to mobile time tracking, invoicing, and job costing—can be managed within the platform.
For an industry like snow and ice removal where efficiency is key, Aspire has the power to save countless labor hours, increase profit margins, and improve client and employee retention.
Here’s how it works.
Managing snow events in Aspire snow and ice management software
It’s easier to understand how software can make a difference when you’ve seen how it actually works, so we’re going to take a look inside Aspire to show how it’s used to prepare for—and manage—snowstorms.
There are four main phases to managing snow and ice maintenance in Aspire:
- Schedule the work
- Collect data from the field
- Manage work tickets
- Prepare invoices
To give you a sense of what the process looks like, we’ll dive into each phase in greater detail below.
Schedule the work
Whether you need to clear snow from walkways, roadways, parking lots, residential areas, or commercial properties, the first step is scheduling the jobs you need to complete.
There are two primary approaches to scheduling for snow maintenance in Aspire:
- Assigning properties to a route
- Using the “Schedule an event” tool
Manual route assignment
With the first method, you assign properties to a route and empower crew leaders to decide where to go first, based on weather conditions.
This approach tends to be popular with contractors who don’t get a lot of snow and aren't normally faced with severe weather. It gives operators lots of autonomy to prioritize properties and services based on the snowstorm and the work tickets they’ve been assigned.
Schedule an event
One of the most popular features for snow and ice users is “Schedule an event.”
This allows managers to plan for multiple storm scenarios in advance, then immediately apply those plans to existing routes when a storm hits.
For example, a business could set up all possible events (see examples in the screenshot below) before winter. Then, when a specified region receives 1 to 3 inches of snowfall in December, select the appropriate event and click “schedule.”
This would automatically schedule all services included in the event to pre-built routes.
This feature in particular has saved Aspire users in winter storm-prone areas countless hours of work and stress during snow season.
Collect data from the field
Once crews have been dispatched, managers can stay apprised of their progress through the CrewMobile app. Crew members and leaders start and stop time on jobs from the app, in addition to creating or updating work tickets as needed.
For companies that use subcontractors, there’s also a dedicated subs portal. Contractors get their own login and are able to see the properties and services they’ve been assigned to.
Some businesses choose to set up their subcontractors with the CrewMobile app since it offers GPS tracking abilities and simplifies the payment process, but others don’t want the hassle of getting subs onboard.
The system is flexible enough to fit whatever setup works best, depending on the needs of the company.
Manage work tickets
Work ticket management in Aspire is incredibly easy—and it’s one of our users’ favorite features.
Managers create individual tickets for each service that needs to be performed for a property, and those services have costs associated with them based on estimated labor hours and materials.
During the winter season, though, things don’t always go as expected. Winter weather events rarely listen to the National Weather Service, meaning what's expected to just be inclement weather can quickly turn into a severe storm with heavy snowfall and high winds.
With Aspire, supervisors can easily swap or adjust work tickets based on what actually happened—all from any internet-enabled device.
No more juggling paperwork in the office hours after an event. Now, managers can go home, finalize work tickets from their laptop, and get some rest.
Finally, because work tickets contain all relevant details about a job and can be easily updated after every event, clients are able to deliver invoices to property owners within days (or sometimes hours) instead of weeks.
Aspire’s streamlined invoicing process lets you bill clients in whatever way you choose—from one-time payments to progress billing and contracts.
The impact of snow and ice management software
Commercial snow and ice management software frees up your time to focus on the work that matters (and to get more than three hours of sleep during even the worst stretches of winter weather).
Working in snow removal or ice control is no walk in the park. Staffing shortages, unpredictable weather patterns, and challenging working conditions can make the winter months one of the most difficult times of year. Don’t make it harder on yourself by using outdated systems.
With Aspire’s robust scheduling, work ticket management, mobile time tracking, and invoicing features, you don’t have to dread the onset of cold weather.
Plus, a recent release introduced several new features specifically for snow and ice contractors, including better visibility into reporting, improved subs expense management, and streamlined subs communication.
To find out what Aspire can do for your business, schedule a customized demo today using the link below.