Unlock savings in your landscape business with this key role

Read Time

3 minutes


Abby Hart


Aug 4, 2023

Unlock savings in your landscape business with this key role

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been with a group of people that truly value the opinions of everyone on the team and realize the talent each individual brings to the table,” says Carmen Cleghorn. 

As a procurement and fleet director at LMC Landscape Partners, she touches every area of the company and provides reporting and insights that improve business performance. Her job also allows her to flex her entrepreneurial muscles by diving into data and trends and creating processes that improve the lives of her co-workers and save money across the organization. 

Cleghorn joined LMC in November 2022. One of her primary initiatives was to develop a new alliance program to consolidate and create stronger partnerships among the company’s preferred suppliers and vendors. Since implementing the program, LMC has seen an average of 10% savings across their 20 biggest suppliers.

“I couldn’t do it without Aspire because we didn't have the visibility Aspire provides,” she says. “We could get a lump sum of what we've been spending with vendors, but the breakdown in Aspire gives us so much more visibility into the details that we need to leverage that information.”

Aspire’s purchasing functionality helps Cleghorn track the spending toward the company’s preferred vendors and allows her to identify the adoption rates of the alliance program among LMC’s five partner companies.

But analyzing the data and building a program to save your company money is only the beginning. Cleghorn shares three things you can do to unlock procurement efficiencies and savings in your landscape business. 

1. Hire a dedicated procurement person

“I’m not just saying this because it’s what I do—the benefit of hiring a procurement person truly outweighs the cost,” says Cleghorn. 

A procurement lead can help your company in the following ways:

  • Communicating with existing vendors and working with them to obtain the best price and efficiencies possible. 
  • Optimizing your list of vendors and researching better options.
  • Relieving stress from operations people who typically have purchasing duties in addition to production, payroll, etc. 

In addition to handling procurement, Cleghorn is LMC’s fleet director and tracks the life cycle and total life cost of assets like vehicles, mowers, and heavy equipment. She uses Aspire to track the company’s fleet of 425 vehicles and more than 800 mowers and manage asset turnover, maintenance schedules, repair costs, and equipment purchase or rental costs. 

Cleghorn focuses on the data first and foremost to save the company money and maximize the value and uptime of its trucks and equipment. “Whenever you have a dedicated person who has your best interest in mind, it shows its value repeatedly,” she adds.

2. Develop a report that gives you insight into your spending trends

Cleghorn has full access to historical purchasing data in Aspire and uses it to create an analysis report. Microsoft Power BI pools vendor reporting from Aspire and QuickBooks for all five partner companies into one report to track the purchasing trends. 

“That's how I can identify what vendors we're using and understand the adoption of our program,” she explains.

Vendors who offer special discounts to LMC are enrolled in the alliance program, incentivizing staff to use those preferred suppliers. Cleghorn monitors purchasing trends in Aspire to ensure LMC isn't buying from new non-alliance program vendors since an increase in the number of new vendors would indicate that LMC employees aren't adopting the alliance program.

In addition to tracking program adoption and savings, this report can help you analyze vendor and pricing data for trends that benefit your company—or help you pivot to counteract any negative trends.

3. Consolidate your vendors

The vendor purchasing report ensures you have data to support which vendors you approach to build relationships or alliance programs. Fewer vendors mean you have fewer relationships to manage and can direct your efforts to your key vendors. 

200 vendors support  LMC’s five partner companies. Every day, Cleghorn works on adding more of those vendors to the 20 in the company alliance program and obtaining better savings from each.

This strategy isn’t new to the service industry. Cleghorn came to LMC from a global general contractor company. She says the construction industry is moving towards this kind of strategic procurement nationally and globally, and they’re seeing a huge benefit.

Cleghorn and LMC trust Aspire to make their jobs easier—especially in procurement and purchasing.

“Every day, we enable a new feature of Aspire that gives us clearer data,” she says. “In my world, you have to be an undercover data analyst because the data tells you how you are doing and how to pivot. Aspire allows us to centralize this data and pull it when need it so we can always be on top of our game.”

Explore how Aspire can provide better job costing and consistent estimates and help you manage your team. Schedule a free, personalized demo today. 

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