DBL Landscaping increases gross margins by 18% and triples net profits with Aspire
“I’ve seen our gross margins increase 18% since using Aspire. That’s significant. On bottom line, we’ve seen a 2–3X improvement. Back in the day, I was excited when we had 6% net increases. Nowadays if we don’t hit 12%, it’s a problem. That’s a night and day difference.”
At a glance
With Aspire, DBL Landscaping has:
- Increased gross margins by 18%
- Improved net profit by 3X, allowing for the reinvestment funds to grow and pay for talent
- Doubled the number of upsell proposals delivered within the same time period
- Increased upsell close rates to 80%
Aric Budden started DBL Landscaping in 2006 in Tempe, Arizona, focused on performing installation work for residential clients. In 2008, the company broke into the commercial landscape maintenance segment where it found a reliable source of recurring work and revenue.
In 2009, Aric decided to specialize exclusively in landscaping for professionally-managed commercial property management. This focus allowed the company to customize their services to meet their core clients’ requirements, allowing for profitable growth. As a result, DBL grew from $2.5 million in revenue, with low profit margins, to more than $7.5 million annually with strong profits.
“We went from a shotgun strategy to a focused sales effort,” says Budden.
During this growth spurt, Budden decided to invest in a software platform and signed on with Boss LM. Although Boss was the best solution on the market at the time, the software did not evolve to meet the increasing demands of his growing company. “There were too many software issues and it felt like a battleground to get them addressed,” recalls Budden.
In 2016, DBL Landscaping made the switch to the Aspire platform. “The first thing we experienced with Aspire was the layout or ‘user interface.’ It looks really cool and that’s a huge selling point when I’m hiring new people,” says Budden.
As the partnership with Aspire Software evolved, Budden realized efficiencies in training and business management as well as ways to increase profitability across the board.
“I knew Aspire was working the day that I walked into our field supervisor’s office. There are five guys in there, and they’re always fighting with technology. That day, three of them were on a computer in the Aspire platform and the other two were on their iPads, building schedules and analyzing data. I’ve been fighting the technology battle since day one, and to see it working in the field was a ‘wow’ moment.”
When we asked Aric how Aspire changed the way he did business, he turned to his management team—those who use the system day in and day out—to share their experiences:
Alec, head of client services
“Everyone on my team is held accountable to their numbers within the Aspire platform (KPIs, dials, reports), and productivity has increased because of it. What’s more, because we’re able to create quick and accurate bids, we can propose twice as much work in the same amount of time.”
Laurie, account manager
“Navigating the system is very simple, even without much training. Personally, I am twice as productive because of Aspire. I am able to complete proposals quickly, which frees up time to research opportunities for enhancements.”
Claudia, head of business systems
“Aspire has helped manage job costs and labor accurately and quickly. The system also allows us to review earned revenue, so we have a better understanding of our true performance and margins throughout the month—not just at the end of the month. As a direct result, our enhancement and tree divisions are experiencing rapid growth and our bottom line has increased 5%+.”
Carlos, head of operations
“Organizing schedules and tracking hours has become easier, which has allowed me to stay focused on the task at hand. Aspire helps me understand what we have coming up and what has been completed.”
Denise, head of business development
“Because Aspire helps us stay organized and informed by tracking hours, schedules, and job costs, we have increased crew production. For example, we are currently tracking to achieve an 80% acceptance rate for upsell proposals in our tree division—this is huge!”
Aric Budden, president and founder
“I’ve seen our gross margins increase 18% since using the Aspire platform. That’s significant. On bottom line, we’ve seen a 2-3X improvement. Back in the day, I was excited when we had 6% net increases. Nowadays if we don’t hit 12%, it’s a problem. That’s a night and day difference.”
Budden’s 10-year target is to have 500 properties under contract. Specifically, he wants 500 professionally-managed commercial properties, reinforcing his strategy of “right fit” over expansive growth. As he puts it, “we want 500 of the right clients.”
As DBL grows, they are depending on Aspire to keep pace with their needs, delivering new functionality and improved UI. “As Aspire Software continues to innovate, I know their system will make us even more efficient going forward.” says Budden.