In the landscape sector, integrated business management software has made a considerable difference in the way many companies operate. However, for those who have not yet implemented an industry-specific software solution, the benefits may not be as clear. If you’re one who’s been left asking, “Do I need software for my business, and why?” here are five reasons why software does matter for you to consider.
Landscape business management software can help you:
Gain complete control of your business
Increase your business’s profitability
Boost productivity across your entire organization
Scale your business for profitable growth
Ensure customer retention
1. Gaining Control
Business management software systems provide valuable, integrated functionality across all areas of your company, eliminating the need to use spreadsheets, manual processes, and multiple software programs. Information from every department is input into one system, where it can be easily accessed in a central location and utilized as needed, like when you're trying to determine which customers, crews, and services are making money or not.
More importantly, this integration provides visibility into all aspects of the business to enable better decision making. With this increased awareness, owners and general managers can make proactive, informed decisions that help the business stay on course.
Adjusting your course when things don’t go as planned is much easier—and more successful—when done incrementally, in real time, versus scrambling to triage a situation you were unaware of weeks, or even months, later.
2. Increasing Profitability
Having access to your business’s information in one centralized system is far more than a convenience. In fact, having this ability can even influence whether your company is making money or not. With full visibility of the factors that impact profits, owners and general managers can better determine where improvements are needed—and why.
For example, if a job is losing money, an operations manager can review all aspects of the project, from labor to materials, to assess if the discrepancy is simply related to crew productivity or, on a higher level, if pricing needs to be adjusted. Likewise, business owners can see which services are turning a profit (or not) and adjust their service mix accordingly. Or, if it’s determined that a customer is costing the company money, business owners can decide if terminating the relationship is necessary.
Maintaining a healthy bottom line is greatly simplified when you have real-time insight into your company’s profitability. Even better, with an end-to-end software solution, you don't have to wait until month's end to see this in Quickbooks—you know right away.
3. Boosting Productivity
Regardless of your role in the company, chasing down information to do your job is both frustrating and a waste of time. With an integrated business management system, information from one department is immediately accessible by others within the organization.
For those involved in the accounting function, this is particularly beneficial. Not only does an integrated system help improve accuracy by eliminating duplicate data entry and manual processes, it also helps ensure financial statements and reports are completed in a timely manner. On the operations front, having quick access to estimating and purchasing tools as well as daily crew timecards helps simplify tasks and streamline processes, freeing up time to focus on high-value activities. For owners and general managers, an integrated software system enables tracking of account manager and production supervisor goals against actual performance, all in one place.
Ultimately, as productivity increases across the entire organization, it becomes possible to accomplish more with the resources at hand.
4. Scaling for Profitable Growth
Growth is often a primary objective for business owners; yet the real challenge faced by most companies is scaling. Typically, as companies grow, resources are added at the same rate as revenue, and thus profits remain flat. The challenge in the landscape industry is that every time your revenue increases by 10%, so does your overhead.
However, scalable growth occurs when revenues increase but overhead remains level, resulting in higher profit margins. The best way to grow revenues faster than overhead is to increase the productivity of each person in the company—and landscape management software provides owners and general managers with the tools that enable this to be possible.
By increasing efficiency and boosting productivity, business management software helps companies accomplish more without adding resources to achieve profitable growth.
5. Retaining Customers
Although heavy emphasis is often placed on acquiring new customers as a means of hitting revenue goals, the reality is: keeping the customers you have can make a greater impact on your bottom line. For example, crews become more efficient when servicing the same properties over time which in turn improves your margins, plus there’s no continuing cost of sale associated with current customers.
Customer retention is the primary driver of net profit, and it can also influence customer acquisition through word-of-mouth referrals and case studies that can be shared with prospects. There are a multitude of factors that may influence customer retention, but ultimately the key to keeping your clients is delivering the best possible customer experience.
Business management software helps ensure your field and back-office operations run seamlessly so jobs are completed correctly and on time, invoices are sent in a timely manner, and your customers remain satisfied. In essence, software is a tool that enables you to provide superior and differentiated service, so customers never want to leave you.
For more information on how software can make a difference for your organization, please contact us here.