At a glance
With Aspire, HeartLand has:
- Centralized organizational data, eliminating the use of spreadsheets
- Enhanced internal processes, while reinforcing best practices
- Access to real-time insights, enabling proactive decision making
- Gained full visibility into the profitability of every project, service, and customer
- Empowered and engaged staff, increasing professional development
Founded in 2016, HeartLand is comprised of seven unique landscaping companies that span from Denver to Washington D.C.: Signature Landscape KC, Keesen Landscape, Columbia Landcare, Hillenmeyer Landscape Services, JML Landscape Management, Heritage Landscape Service, and Landscape Concepts Management. These companies specialize in commercial maintenance, including snow removal, plant care, and irrigation system maintenance.
David Tribble is the Aspire director at HeartLand. His team works with each of HeartLand’s companies to ensure the Aspire platform is implemented smoothly and that each team understands how to optimize the product.
Enhancing existing processes
Although Aspire has the capability to transform businesses, it doesn’t necessarily have to change the way a company operates. Instead, many clients like HeartLand use the software to build out and improve upon existing processes. The platform is designed to function within—yet enhance—a business’ current workflow operations while reinforcing best practices.
Tribble spoke to this feature, saying, “Before, we were using spreadsheets to track information, and nothing was centralized. Aspire is one centralized hub that was designed for our specific industry. Importantly, the flow has worked well within our existing businesses.”
Tribble says that the implementation phase of starting with Aspire is important because it’s a company’s opportunity to analyze its current processes and determine how the platform can make the business more efficient and effective.
“Aspire is flexible; when you start working with the Aspire team, tell them about your product, what you want, and how you want your operations to flow,” Tribble suggests.
He also suggests that new clients set fixed goals for future operations and share those goals with Aspire during implementation. “If you start with the end goal in mind, they can help you get where you need to be and set it up how you want it to run.”
Data makes a difference
With its user-friendly interface, the Aspire platform makes data more attainable for individuals and departments, from production managers and crew leaders to payroll and accounting. For HeartLand, this access has trickled down to impact every aspect of the operation.
Instead of running month-end reports, HeartLand companies can now monitor business activities throughout the month and make changes in real time, when needed. “We can get our people involved on a daily basis to see how we’re trending, and then make corrections,” says Tribble. “To make those changes on the fly and know where you stand at any given moment is a tremendous advantage.”
In terms of process, access to data has allowed HeartLand to more easily track clients from the time they become a lead through production to invoicing, no matter who first picks up the phone or responds to an email from a prospective customer.
For business development, the platform has helped HeartLand deliver more precise estimates and competitive bids for prospective jobs. In some cases, these insights have even led the companies to break ties with unhealthy legacy clients or unfavorable bids.
“Aspire allows us to walk away from a job if it doesn’t make sense because we’re confident in the data,” says Tribble.
Employee growth and development
One thing HeartLand didn’t necessarily bank on was the positive impact that Aspire would have on its employee development.
HeartLand places a lot of value in empowering staff to learn new skills and progress in their careers. “The vision for HeartLand has always been to grow and develop our people, and part of that is providing them with the tools they need to do their jobs effectively,” Tribble says. “If your salespeople are struggling to get information out to their customers because your system is broken, they won’t want to use it.”
To help with this ongoing development, Aspire Software provides online tutorials and videos to help people across the organization learn how the system can make their jobs easier and more meaningful.
Because the Aspire platform allows everyone on the team visibility into the holistic health of the company, they are now able to get more involved and advance their careers. “People who had been with us for 10 or 20 years had the potential to become stagnant in their positions,” says Tribble. “Now, they’re able to take on bigger roles and responsibilities in the company.”
Strong operations, strong team
When Tribble looks back on how Aspire has changed HeartLand, he is most proud of the employees who embraced the platform, dove headfirst into its features, and became more invested in how the business operates.
“Getting to know the business better by using Aspire creates more opportunities for our employees down the road. That’s where growth is created.”