Landscape Workshop was founded in Birmingham, Alabama in 1984 and sold to McKinney Capital in 2012. Since then, the company has expanded exponentially and now covers much of the southeast United States, with 644 employees in nine branches across Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Florida. The company does approximately $46MM in annual revenue and grew 20% from 2017-2018. In 2018, Lawn and Landscape named it the 38th largest landscaping company in the country.
With that robust growth came increased complexity. Starting in 2014, CEO JT Price and VP of Ops Paul Young implemented an incentive program to help unify the company around two key metrics: the bottom line and customer retention. Price’s goal was to empower his team to think like owners. In practice, this meant managing an increasingly complex workload and tracking more metrics.
Meanwhile, the back office was starting to scramble. With no streamlined systems, they were operating on an assortment of Google docs and spreadsheets synced to a shared drive. “For a company that was growing at the rate we were, it made me nervous,” said VP of Finance Christianna Rudder.
Time for a change
In November 2016, Landscape Workshop decided it was time to invest in a partner that could help them track metrics, streamline processes, and increase efficiencies. They selected the Aspire platform and spent six months setting up the account.
“Introducing a new software is always a challenge when you’re up against institutional knowledge,” says Rudder. “Aspire understood that and implemented a series of training seminars to ‘train the trainers’ so our people were empowered to succeed.”
Thanks to this pre-planning, the integration of the Aspire platform into their business was seamless and the results were nearly immediate.
At the time of implementation, Landscape Workshop was struggling to stay on top of billing. Aspire helped them streamline and improve their billing processes for standard contract work, enhancement projects and irrigation T&M work. Today, they miss fewer billings and the office team spends less time tracking down errors.
Additionally, Aspire's ability to integrate with Landscape Workshop’s existing accounting system and payroll system (ADP) using APIs was critical in reducing duplicative work. These efficiencies allowed the company to instead to focus on other functions of the business.
Account managers discovered immediate benefits from being able to access real-time metrics on Aspire's dashboard. For the first time, they could manage labor, job margins, and route efficiencies in one easy-to-use system. These insights helped them to understand their profitability and job costs in detail and also align their performance with the company’s goals—a real win. This helped generate an overall increase in net profits.
As for those front-line employees who were incentivized on enhancement commission, Aspire enabled them to track sales and proposals every step of the way. They were better organized, better equipped to communicate and upsell to customers, and more aware of their performance metrics. Not only did this boost morale—it also boosted enhancement sales.
“The Aspire platform has changed the way we do business,” says Rudder. “It has helped us save on headcount while helping our guys in the field be more effective. We’re more transparent across the company and also with our customers.”
Landscape Workshop is forecast to grow at least 8% YOY, not including acquisitions. With that growth will come the need to rely on an IT partner to scale with them. Rudder says a continued partnership with Aspire is a no-brainer.
“We want to continue to grow our top line and increase profitability on our bottom line by doing smart things, like implementing solutions to help us be more efficient. Aspire has contributed a huge piece of our company’s growth for the past two years. I can’t see a future without Aspire.”
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