Sophisticated Business System for Professional Landscape Companies

Sophisticated Business System for Professional Landscape Companies

In this multifaceted webinar series you will see how Manage360 is ideally suited for professional landscape companies looking for a robust business system that will significant streamline operations, reducing hours spent on tedious tasks, and focusing on where the profit really is. This webinar series will be presented live and will be recorded so that you may review it at your convenience.

Webinar 1: Orientation, Budgeting, and Configuring for Success

This webinar provides an overview of how to navigate through Manage360, the budgeting process, and how Manage360 is configured for success.

Webinar 2: Managing Your Sales Pipeline for Success

In this webinar, we have a great sales discussion and look at how Manage360 helps you document your sales framework, ensure everyone is on task, nothing slips through the cracks, walking an opportunity through your sales pipeline, and reporting on activities.

Webinar 3: Systemize and Streamline Your Estimating

In this webinar, we dive into setting up your costbook for labor, materials, equipment, kits, and services and then outline how to estimate accurately and efficiently in Manage360.

Webinar 4: Managing Your Production

In this webinar, we look at managing the phases of your jobs, setting up your schedules for your crews, exporting purchase orders, tracking time and materials, the job costing process.

Webinar 5: Billing and Reporting Efficiencies

In this webinar, we look at how to manage your billing in Manage360 and how it connects to QuickBooks Desktop. We also look at the reports available to you to make sound operational decisions.

Summer Time Checks and Balances

Summer Time Checks and Balances

There’s never really a perfect time to review your processes to make sure you’re being as efficient as you possibly could be, but like the old adage “the best time to plant that tree was 20 years ago, the next best time is today”. What better opportunity when you’re in the peak flow of all of your processes to take a few moments and make sure you’re running how you want to be.

Take stock of all of the processes you have for a key area within the business. I wouldn’t recommend a complete audit of every standard operating procedure you have, rather a targeted check-in to make sure you’re doing the absolute best you can in that area. Here are some keys to success in reviewing your processes:

  1. Be inclusive! Have everyone who that process affects in the room when reviewing and making any changes.
  2. Discuss the current reality – are things working or are they not? What can be done to improve? What needs immediate attention?
  3. Have the difficult conversations – if something isn’t working, it’s important to call it out. Be hard on the issue, soft on the person.
  4. Identify best practices – there are many different ways of doing things well. Have someone surface best practices and discuss how the team can do better than that.
  5. Adopt a continuous improvement approach – your processes never become stuck in a state of status quo. As a team, you’re always looking for ways to enhance how you do things.

It’s often difficult to find time in the midst of the summer in the landscape business to work on the business. It’s incredibly important to focus on the strategic direction of your company, carving out time to do that is the key here. Whether it’s once a day, once a week, once a month — make sure you are giving the right amount of attention to how your business runs.

Roadmap to a Successful Business Software Implementation

Roadmap to a Successful Business Software Implementation

Roadmap to a Successful Business Software Implementation

by Dan Weaver, DynaSCAPE Account Manager

When implementing a business software solution there are many key factors that lead to a successful implementation. Of course, the road to success will come with obstacles and challenges that can arise throughout the process but having the proper mindset and leadership team to manage the project from the top down, will significantly help any company achieve their desired end goal.

Here at DynaSCAPE we coach hundreds of landscape businesses on green industry best practices including: budget setting, cost book creation, sales pipeline management, cost-based estimating and job tracking workflows. All with the goal to produce profitable jobs and increase productivity. Critical to the successful implementation is patience, challenging work and guidance; and, of course, it is critical to also have a software solution and company that will coach and guide you through the journey.

So, how does a successful implementation happen?

Game Plan

Start with a game plan that includes a critical path, milestones, goals and an ideal go live date. Creating, outlining and simply working backwards from the end goal, drastically improves your odds of your team’s successful implementation of a business operating system. Here at DynaSCAPE, we take your business through a series of configuration and training sessions where we coach and help upload your budgets, materials and labour rates and show you how to use the system, end to end, to help establish the game plan before we kick off the project.

Change in Culture, Operations and Work Flow

There are many options and levels of software on the market today that address specific aspects of your landscape business and others that provide end to end software solutions that will fully transform the way your business runs their operations, work flow and processes from initial call to final invoice. No matter the size of the software solution or business, the first factor we discuss is that operational changes are necessary to adopt the new system. We have learned this through hundreds of successful implementations through the years. Not every implementation is successful, which is where we identify the issues and course-correct where necessary, until the desired result is achieved.

Buy-in From the Key Players

The process should always start at the top. When implementing a landscape business operating system or any software solution that will change the way you operate and conduct business, it requires focused time and attention from the business leadership. A key point to note here is that the entire team has full buy-in and by having the confidence and direction from team leadership, will set the stage for a successful implementation.

Having the Right People in the Room

It is equally important to have the right people in the room during configuration and training meetings. The leader of the project “Champion” should oversee this and will be tasked to make sure they include the right people in each session. For example, if the session is on sales CRM and estimating, make sure to have the sales and estimating team present. If the session is on job tracking, make sure project and operation managers are included. If the meeting is around payroll, billing and invoicing, make sure to include the office manager, accounting and accounts payable/receivable personnel. This will not only help with the overall communication and highlight what is expected for each team member, but it plays a larger role in building the trust from top down, thus making the team feel involved throughout the entire process. Again, the owner and leadership team MUST be involved during the entire process to ensure a successful implementation.

Scheduling, Planful Approach and Goals

Before we hit the ground running and kick off the project, it is important to schedule and plan an approach for the project. The biggest factor here is to be realistic with your time and resources. First you want to have a “champion” in your organization that will lead the project and be responsible for tasking certain employees with homework during the implementation. The second largest factor is seasonality and timing. For example, it probably isn’t the best time to implement during “The 100 Days of Hell – Spring!” Pick a time that best suits your business (of course there is no ideal time to make changes) but be mindful of when you have the right amount of resources and time to commit to the project.

Making Meetings and Being Prepared

Once you decide on the best time of year for your big improvement project, make sure to show up and come prepared to these scheduled meetings with your training specialist. Missing meetings is the number one reason for stalling or delaying a project, which has severe consequences down the road like pushing back your “Go Live Date” effecting the success of your business system.

Practice, Practice, Practice

During the configuration and training meetings we outline and provide best business practices, work flows, how to use the system and provide home work. We preach that practice, practice, practice is always the key to improving and learning any software. By not practicing what was taught, you can easily forget and settle on old familiar processes. Be sure to ask for help, reference recorded training sessions and use the many resources provided to help with the learning of the system. All of this will help drastically during the transition to a great business system.

Software is only as powerful as the set-up, understanding, learning and practice of the system. By following the top down approach and attitude from your leadership team, having a planful approach, being prepared, making the scheduled meetings and having the right people involved, will ensure this success formula for creating a great culture and buy-in from your employees. If you follow these steps, the transition to a productive and streamlined business operation will be a breeze. Let us know your plan, we are here to help guide your business through this journey and would love to chat more about how our software solutions can help make your business GREAT!

DynaSCAPE Client Profile: Pearce B Designs

DynaSCAPE Client Profile: Pearce B Designs

Pearce initially made the decision to invest in DynaSCAPE Design this past Feb ’18. In a very short amount of time, she was able to learn how it works and create beautiful job-winning landscape plans. Her hybridized approach of creating her plans using DynaSCAPE Design and rendering them by hand produced a style that can only be described as a marriage of her passion for art and landscape design, and they really are stunning.


Getting Started

When I was talking to Pearce about how she got started, she described her passion for the outdoors and how her creative curiosity drove her to wanting to design and create. Her undergraduate studies included art and geology, but she found a new passion, learning about landscape design. Moving to the DC Metro area to take an internship with a landscape design/build firm, she enrolled George Washington University’s landscape design program in the evenings. Right around the time she earned her certificate in landscape design is when she started her family.

Living in Phoenix, AZ for the better part of four years with her plant expertise residing with east coast palettes meant that she was feeling a bit out of her element. Pearce and her family moved back to South Carolina about three years ago and has really found that she’s hitting her strides now.

Building the Business

Seeing a gap in the marketplace, Pearce positioned herself and her business as a resource for homeowners that were looking to get landscape work done but wanted to start with a plan, and a resource for homebuilders and landscape contractors who don’t have landscape designers on staff. Now Pearce B Designs is a booming landscape design business that regularly keeps Pearce in a fun balancing act being a mom to three beautiful children and running a successful landscape design firm.

Catalyst for Change

As a professional landscape designer who drew by hand for many years, Pearce found herself with a heavy workload that often took much too long to turn around finished presentations needing to increase her capacity. She mentioned that she was avoiding discussions about plan revisions simply because they were too difficult to do by hand; couple that with needing to manually creating plant lists, takeoffs, plant photo catalogs and not being able to be mobile in her work. She decided that she was going to move to a software solution for her landscape design work.

In her search for the right software solution, Pearce evaluated Pro Landscape, Vectorworks Landmark, Land F/X, and DynaSCAPE Design. She mentioned that she had been looking at Vectorworks Landmark for sometime, but kept coming back to DynaSCAPE because of the beautiful graphics (the artist in her had a hard time letting go of the hand drawn look), the learning curve, and the price point.

An Educated Decision That Paid Off

In five months, Pearce has learned how to be very effective using DynaSCAPE Design and references her successes in increasing her capacity to complete larger projects and more work overall as well as significantly increasing her efficiency has led to a more successful landscape design business. She said she loves that she can make changes quickly and can easily work with the data she collects during the site analysis phase. If she could add one thing, she would like DynaSCAPE to add more plant symbols of larger varieties.

Please check out Pearce B Design’s website and follow her on Instagram!