C. Caramanico & Sons, a landscape contractor company based in Philadelphia, was founded in 1946. Now, with 125 employees and operating as a $12.7 million-dollar business, Caramanico & Sons strives to provide its customers—including universities, hospitals, apartment complexes, and retirement communities—with landscaping maintenance, enhancements, and construction that improves property value and curb appeal while driving client retention.
Time for a change
When John and Mike Caramanico took over the family business in 2014, it was primarily focused on big-ticket construction work. The Caramanico brothers sought to refocus the operation, channeling 50% of its revenue into maintenance with the balance addressing enhancements, snow and ice services, and lastly, construction.
With these new organizational goals, the Caramanicos realized they would need to shift from relying solely on all-manual processes—which had led to the use of disorganized spreadsheets, inaccurate reports, and ineffective production meetings—to software that could standardize and streamline their processes.
“We'd have tons of production meetings where we'd find out our reports were inaccurate—that there was a mistake or somebody didn’t update what they were supposed to, and it became very frustrating,” said Caramanico.
That’s when he realized it was time for a difficult—but necessary—change. After researching software options and briefly considering developing their own in-house solution, the Caramanico brothers decided on the Aspire platform as their primary cloud-based business management solution.
“We decided to implement Aspire in 2017, and Kevin Kehoe gave me some advice, as the leader of Aspire Software. He said, ‘This is going to be hard. You've got to tell everybody it's going to be hard. We're going to take your ships, beach them, and then we're going to light them on fire, because we're not going backward,’” said Caramanico. “That advice hit home. We'd been doing things a certain way for a long time at our company, but we had to change everything to make Aspire as powerful as possible and to get the most out of it.”
After getting his employees on board for the business transformation, Caramanico assigned one of his employees as their Aspire power user, or point person, so that anyone with questions or concerns knew exactly who to consult. This individual quickly became an expert and was instrumental to the organization, managing the entire implementation and onboarding process for the company.
Since implementing the Aspire platform, Caramanico’s teams are now relying on accurate metrics to run and expand the business.
“If you give good managers good information, they're going to make good business decisions. That holds true for us, now that we’re operating with Aspire,” said Caramanico.
His business processes are organized and streamlined, and he’s also noticed that his contractors and clients recognize Caramanico & Sons as a serious, professionally run landscaping business.
“When you tell other contractors that you run Aspire, they know you're serious. That makes us feel good, like we're running the best that's out there,” said Caramanico. “And that's our mentality. We want to deliver high-quality service to our customers, so we want to buy the best trucks, the best mowers, and give our people the best tools to operate.”
For the Caramanico brothers, delivering the best landscaping service in Philadelphia isn’t the final destination. In fact, they plan to grow the family business by establishing more branches.
“Right now, we have four satellites where crews report in the morning,” Caramanico explained. “Over the next two to five years, we want to establish two branches where people who are responsible for account or operations management report every day, so those branches will have their own responsibilities,” said Caramanico.
To do so, Caramanico will rely on Aspire, which helps him and his staff manage multiple branches and satellite offices by standardizing processes and ensuring data is consistent. “When people are away from the home office, they know how C. Caramanico & Sons operates —from an opportunity generation standpoint to the delivery of the work orders and work tickets to completing the work tickets and getting everybody paid,” said Caramanico. “Aspire brings a great deal of consistency to the operation.”
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