Strategic Financial Leadership Webinar Series

Strategic Financial Leadership Webinar Series

Our host, Steve Coughran from the Coltivar Group, offers some interesting insight into what you’ll get from this incredible FREE 3-part webinar series!

In this collaboration between DynaSCAPE Software and the Coltivar Group, we will unpack some timely and very relevant topics through this completely free webinar series. Landscape industry consultant and financial expert, Steve Coughran, and Joe Salemi, DynaSCAPE’s Product Marketing Manager will bring some of the most pertinent business information to you. It’s our way of bringing you the best in landscape business information.

STRATEGIC FINANCIAL LEADERSHIP WEBINAR SERIES is approved for Landscape Industry Certified recertification at 1 CEU per hour of instruction attended. For more information on the National Association of Landscape Professionals recertification, please visit the NALP Recertification Center at landscapeprofessionals.org.

Part 1: Emerging Technologies in the Landscape Industry

What you need to know to thrive!

September 7, 2017 | 1:30 PM EST

The landscape industry is struggling with labor shortages, rising costs, increased competition, and changing customer preferences.  However, companies are trying to solve new problems with old strategies.  Learn how selecting a strong strategy and incorporating the right technology can improve productivity, employee retention, cash flow, and overall customer experience.

Part 2: Financial Principles Landscape Companies Must Know to Boost Cash Flow

September 14, 2017 | 1:30 PM EST

70 percent of companies that go bankrupt are profitable when they close their doors. Surprised?? This is due to the fact that companies neglect key financial principles such as forecasting, pricing, cash flow management, and financial statement analysis.  In this webinar, we will discuss the 4 levers that help boost profitability, cash flow management, building a financial dashboard, and the 3 financial statements you must review.

Part 3: Strategies to Survive the Cyclical Nature of the Landscape Industry

September 21, 2017 | 1:30 PM EST

The landscape industry can be wildly unpredictable and cyclical in nature. This webinar will discuss methods for evaluating the economic market, customer preferences, and cash flow requirements for off-season operations.  We will also examine how companies can improve their competitive advantage through a more lean, agile operating model commingled with the right technology.

About our host

Steve Coughran

Steve Coughran

Founding Director, Coltivar Group

Steve Coughran is Founder and Director of Strategy at the Coltivar Group, a keynote speaker for national associations and universities, and author of Delivering Value. In his position at Coltivar Group, Steve helps clients on a broad range of issues including strategy, organizational structure, financial management, and operational effectiveness.

At the University of Denver, Steve teaches a course entitled “Strategic Financial Leadership” which combines his research and real world consulting experience to create an effective learning environment for students.

As an entrepreneur, Steve has launched award-winning firms in the construction industry. He remains active in the community and has served on the Associate Council of the AGC, State Board of Directors for the green industry, as an active member of CAMPC, and as a leader in Impact Denver.  He applies his industry experience and financial acumen gained from working with million and billion dollar firms at Ernst & Young to help companies capitalize on their strengths and create superior value by performing activities in a unique way.

Steve is a CPA and earned his M.B.A. from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University where he studied abroad in China, Chile, India, and Germany. Steve graduated with his M.S. in accountancy from the University of Denver. He advanced his specialization in strategy through study at the Executive Education Program at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Areas of expertise:

  • Innovative strategy design and implementation
  • Strategic financial leadership
  • Financial management and business valuation
  • Customer experience strategy
  • Pricing and estimating strategies
  • Competing on business analytics

Thank you to our promotional partners!

15 Surefire Ways to Boost Productivity

15 Surefire Ways to Boost Productivity

15 Surefire Ways to Boost Productivity

This 3-part webinar series is going to dive deep into some real ways that you can save time through the course of creating a landscape plan for presentation, quickly and easily creating a plant picture catalog, generating takeoffs, having an internal communication system, setting a way to track sales, creating kits for efficient estimating, creating and tracking change orders, using key reports for decision making, and highlighting the great resources available through DynaSCAPE.

5 Design Tools for Increased Productivity

May 11 | 2PM EDT – Quickly create a plant picture catalog, easily create a construction and layout document using our dimensioning tools, generate an accurate plant and material list to Word or Excel, and maximize your use of the figure library for more productive design work.

5 Business Tips for Effective Management

May 16 | 2PM EDT — Utilizing an internal communication system that makes people accountable is key in the busiest time of the year. We’ll take a look a integrating your own or developing a new sales process and integrating it into Manage360. We’ll see how creating and using Kits can save hours of estimating time. We’ll also look at creating and managing Change Orders and how they affect the original contract. Finally, we’ll take a look at the essential reports you need to see on a regular basis.

5 Resources You MUST Know About

May 18 | 2PM EDT — DynaSCAPE has many resources available to our community. In this webinar, we’ll explore the many resources available and get an inside look at our technical support team.

Choosing the right software solution

Choosing the right software solution

With so many solutions available to you, it’s tough to determine where to start when considering your options. How do you narrow the field make the best decision possible?

This webinar will focus completely on your process and walk you through how to choose the right software for what you do. Joe Salemi, DynaSCAPE’s Product Marketing Manager, will lead this free webinar and help you with selecting the right landscape design and business management software. Can’t make it? Register and receive the recording the next day.

 

Case Study – Earth Turf Wood – Accuracy

Case Study – Earth Turf Wood – Accuracy

Case Study: How Earth, Turf, & Wood estimated and managed a 6-month-long backyard paradise project, accurately and profitably

Company President, Jarod Hynson, says that DynaSCAPE Manage360 was the tool they needed to handle such an ambitious project and keep it in the black

THE CHALLENGE

Have a look at the gorgeous backyard paradise project showcased in this YouTube video and ask yourself this: if it had been your landscape company’s project – which required six months, two full-time crews, numerous additional contractors, and almost 150 labor codes – how would you have managed it?

More to the point, how would you be able to estimate it, track it, and complete it in a way that remained profitable, bringing the same profit margins in at the end that you had estimated at the beginning?

That was the challenge that faced Jarod Hynson, President of Earth, Turf, & Wood in central Pennsylvania. Landing a job of that size was another high in his company’s impressive list of achievements – one of their top five largest jobs to date, he says – and managing it required a significant amount of time, attention, and accuracy in order to keep the project on track and profitable through all of the requirements and change orders that a job of that size involves.

THE SOLUTION

Luckily, he had some help. “We used DynaSCAPE’s Manage360 software extensively for this project,” said Mr. Hynson. “We tracked every minute of every day in it, for production.  And we estimated the whole thing with it, from the beginning.”

In fact, it’s because his company had been using Manage360 for several years already that they were even able to take on such a large job. “I wouldn’t have done anything of this size without having a program like Manage360 to help me deliver the proper estimate,” he said. “On a project of this size, if you don’t have the estimating down right, you could literally cripple a company. I hate to say it, but you may not survive a project like this! You get so far upside down and all of a sudden there’s 20, 30, 40, 100 thousand dollars worth of hours and material that you didn’t account for in your estimate? That’s right off your bottom line. It’s extremely dangerous.

“We had a tremendous amount of man-hours slated for this job, and when we went into it, we leaned heavily on Manage360 to make sure that we came out the other side where we were supposed to come out. Because it’s like setting off in a rowboat across the ocean and hoping that you’ll find England eventually.

“And with Manage360, we did! At the end, we were very, very close to our original estimate of hours. We ran over in just a couple of areas, and that’s only because we didn’t have accurate data on two fairly new installation techniques that were kind of a pilot program. So we had to guess on those two work areas, and they were the only ones where we ended up going over in hours. But, now we’ve got accurate data on that kind of work too, to formulate new kits for future estimates.”

THE BENEFITS

Change orders made easy

A key feature of Manage360 that helped Earth, Turf, & Wood to stay on top of this backyard paradise project was the software’s Change Order module. “There were a significant number of changes, mainly upgrades, in this project, so we used the change order module quite heavily.  Not only did it allow us to maintain a certain profit margin that we needed to have on the job, but it also really helped us calculate the schedule, based on man-hours that we added with each of the change orders.”

How does it work? “Our landscape architect meets with the customer to discuss the requested change, and then we attach a production kit to it and formulate an estimate, which we can turn around quickly for the customer’s approval. We don’t start anything new on the site without a signed change order.

“We learned, over many years of doing it, that much of a pain in the neck as they can be at times, if you develop the habit of issuing a change order for every change request, it keeps everybody on a level playing surface. Even if it’s just a color change. It takes all of the unknowns out of the production, especially when it comes time for the final invoice. Because the final invoice should just be an affirmation of all of the change orders and the original contract that was issued for the job. Once the customers get used to our process, I think they appreciate it, because they know exactly where they’re at, cost-wise, on the project.

“And the software really helps us. At any point, we can go into Manage360 and see what change orders were approved and what change orders are pending. And it’s very accurate, because you’re using the same production kits that you used to formulate the original estimate for the job. So there’s a lot of consistency that flows through from the original estimate right through all the change orders.”

 

Accuracy, accuracy, accuracy

Like the real estate maxim about the importance of ‘location, location, location’, what Mr. Hynson points to most about Manage360’s value to his business is its accuracy.  “We’ve been using Manage360 probably for about four years now, and I would say in the last two years, we’ve really got this thing dialed in. To the point where we are within probably 1% of estimated man-hours in production versus actual. It’s extremely accurate. I just looked at a spreadsheet the other day to see how close we were annually on estimated vs. actual, and we’re very, very close.

“It’s extremely difficult to estimate a job of this size accurately.  That’s why we get many different sets of eyes on it. It’s a very big number at the beginning, and an even bigger number for the customer by the end, but when we dissect it, we know it’s right – it’s all there in the software. It’s all attached in man-hours.”

Timesheet__Crew_3_-_James__Wednesday__16-Sep-2015_What he means by “having Manage360 dialed in” is that in his opinion, its estimating accuracy is a result of them having monitored each job, compared estimated vs. actual, and adjusted the production kits when necessary. “If you’re not willing to commit to the timesheet and to tracking all of it, you’re just creating estimates. At the end of the project, you won’t be able to figure out why you’re over hours, and why your production is taking so much longer in the field than you originally estimated. It’s because you haven’t gone back in and adjusted those kits. You haven’t tried to find out what the true hours and materials really are on these things. Until you’re willing to commit to that, you’re never going to get your estimating right, because you’re never comparing. You’re just spinning your wheels.

“It frustrates me to no end when I hear Manage360 users who say they use it just for estimating. How in the world do you know if your estimates are right if you’re not tracking it in production on the back end?  Because that’s where you have to go back in and readjust your kits. Sure, it’s painstaking for a while. It takes months to get to that point. But once you get it there, it will dramatically change the way your company operates, and your bottom line.”

 

Detailed monitoring capabilities

Manage360 provides his crew with other project monitoring advantages as well. “We’re very strict about not spending customer deposits before they’re earned, and with Manage360, at the end of each week we can go in and look at the analysis tab on the job, see how much revenue was generated on that project the prior week, and then take that into account on our cash flow statements.

“Of course, this requires drilling it into the crews in the field that every minute of every day has to be assigned to a work area or cost code. It has to be. From punch in time to punch out time, every minute of every day has to be put somewhere. Then we enter that information – all the crews’ timesheets – into Manage360. On a daily basis.”

So there’s a fair degree of discipline required? “There is. You have to be committed to it. You really do. It’s like if you buy a brand new vehicle and you don’t maintain it, the pieces are going to fly off of it in no time flat. To get the most out of the program, you have to commit to a process. Whatever you put into it is what you’re going to get out of it.”

 

The time savings are significant

Preparing an accurate estimate for a job of this size could take some companies days, but Mr. Hynson said that with Manage360, “we had some fairly accurate preliminary numbers on the original contract within 3 hours. It doesn’t take long when you’ve got all the production kits and the history. It’s just a matter of assigning different kits to different work areas.

“People are blown away when I say that with Manage360 I can sit down and estimate, say, a half-million dollar project in just a few hours and be very accurate with it. It comes down to tracking and being diligent. There are companies that would spend weeks with it and they still don’t know! We base our numbers on 15 years of experience, and we track every minute of every day, so it’s not like we’re guessing.”

 

Your professionalism shows

3D Rendering of part of the project

3D Rendering of part of the project

Asked if the software helped them with their relationship with their customer throughout the six months of the project, Mr. Hynson replied, “Yes, I think so; they knew that we were very detailed and very accurate with what we proposed for them, and how we were willing to execute it. The customer could see that we’re very professional, and that that level of professionalism was going to be there from Day One all the way through to the end.

“The software also ensures that our change orders have the same margins as our original contract. We’re not a company that’s looking to make a ridiculous amount of money on change orders. We’ll treat you fair. Whether we add it in now or we add it in later, it’s going to be the same price. I believe very strongly in that.

“The customer appreciated that. And they were extremely happy with the final product.”

 

Good for jobs of any size

Mr. Hynson had one other piece of advice for landscape companies looking at Manage360. “I don’t want it to come across like it’s just a program for large projects. The best thing you can do is start with very small, five, ten or fifteen thousand dollar jobs and use the program for them. Get comfortable with it, and eventually grow into some bigger projects. I would say it’s a great program for all sizes of projects.”

For more information:

About Earth, Turf, & Wood: www.earthturfwood.com

About DS|Manage360: www.dynascape.com/manage360

Find out how you can achieve the same results!

Investing in DS|Manage360 will result in tremendous efficiency savings. Let’s talk about how you can get started right away.

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Webinar: Designing for Profitability

Webinar: Designing for Profitability

In this webinar, Designing for Profitability, Patrick DuChene of DuChene Design Solutions (www.duchenedesignsolutions.com), covered:

  • Optimal design studios to maximize comfortability
  • The best computer specifications, reviewing time tracking tools, demonstrating studio organization
  • The most effective design processes, developing internal and external communications policies and procedures
  • How to estimate during the design process and maximize the profitability of the design and the project.