End of Season Wrap Up

End of Season Wrap Up

At this point in 2018 you’ll have decent understanding of your financial position. How did you do? Now’s the time to step back and see how you did. How you really did. There’s a lot to consider when trying to determine just how successful your season was. Did you trend toward the profit margin you set for yourself? Did you get that granular when you were doing your planning?

 

Profitability

At the highest level, you want to key in on where you were most profitable. Was it your design/build division? Or was it enhancements? Remember, don’t rely on just looking at your total sales. It’s more than that, look at your expenses (overhead, job related, and labor) that went along with generating that revenue. How much was left over? How did that compare to last year or the year before? (In DynaSCAPE Manage360, the job profitability report will show you this information.)

Take a look at your most profitable type of work, this will help you plan for the upcoming season by looking to sell more of that type of work that yields higher margins. How do you know what type of work is more profitable? Well, let’s break that down. These jobs tend to be what you’re best at, what your known for. Everyone has a speciality. What’s yours? These profitable jobs are usually what your crews like to do, you easily recover all of your overhead and job related expenses, and your clients are willing to pay more for that type of work. After it’s all said and done, it has the higher profit margin than your other jobs or services.

Is there a particular area that you service that has more affluent neighborhoods? Are you tracking where your affluent clients are? What geographies are producing the more profitable jobs for you? Are you visible in their circles? Be where your clients are, be as visible as you can. If you’re not, your competition will be.

 

Review this season’s budget and plan for next season

During your budget planning you would have set out your projected revenue for each of your divisions (design/build, enhancements, grounds maintenance, gardening, snow and ice as examples). Did you reach that key result? Did you fall short, meet it, or exceed it? Have you built up your pipeline enough to carry you through the spring for the upcoming season? Planning your expenses (both overhead/admin and job related) are key aspects of your budget planning process. Make sure you’re looking at it from all angles and include your key people. They’ll have insight into parts of the operation that you might not or might overlook. You’ll want to make sure you account for any planned equipment purchases, staffing needs, investments in coaching or consultants and software (hint DynaSCAPE!).

 

Staff performance reviews

Feedback for your staff is more important than you think. Don’t take it for granted that they know how you feel about their performance. Without the right feedback your staff are going to interpret your behavior as either positive or negative feedback. Saying nothing can be the most detrimental. If someone isn’t performing to their potential let them know how to improve in a constructive reaffirming way. If their behavior needs to be corrected then do it in a firm but coaching oriented manner. Reward those that go above and beyond. Your key people should be treated like they are key members of the team and compensated to reflect that. If not, you may find yourself looking to have to fill their spot because they moved on to an organization that will.

When wrapping up your season, it’s important to gather the key members of your team and do an open and honest debrief. Talk about what went really well and how you can repeat that. Talk about what really went horrible and how you can avoid it for next season. Plan strategically for the spring so you can hit the ground running.

Have you looked at DynaSCAPE’s Manage360? It’s your budgeting tool, your sales pipeline management system, estimating software, job and crew tracking, profitability reporting, and integration with QuickBooks. It’s really the operating system for your landscape business. We want to be a partner in your success. Get in touch with us and we’ll show you how we help transform landscape businesses.

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Dipping Your Toe Into 3D Waters

Dipping Your Toe Into 3D Waters

The concept of 3D modelling for landscape design isn’t a new one, but for many it’s a consideration that’s been on the table for many years. What’s the hesitation? Well, there’s many and that’s ok. For others, like any other technology adoption model, the early adopters have embraced 3D landscape design and haven’t looked back. Does that mean they never produce CAD drawings? No, it just means that what is presented to the client is a beautifully imagined and visualized outdoor living space that can speak for itself. The CAD drawings and color renderings go to support the conceptual design process, assist in producing construction documents, and layout/dimension plans for your crews.

Think of it in terms that you’re adding to your skill set rather than replacing one for another. Layering on your skills as they relate to landscape design software solutions can take time and a will to grow and continuously improve. The most common question we get is “how does it all work and how do I get started?”. I’ve broken it down, step-by-step on what the process is to go from CAD plan to 3D model ready to be presented to your client.

There are a few things to consider as you think about dipping your toe into the 3D waters:

  1. Having the right hardware to support 3D modeling (powerful processor, enough RAM, solid state hard drive, and very importantly having a dedicated graphics card).
  2. Choosing the right software solution to support the finished presentation you’re looking for. Here at DynaSCAPE, we chose to integrate with SketchUp because we believe it is the best-in-class 3D software solution regardless of what industry you’re in. It just so happens SketchUp is awesome for landscape design!
  3. Invest the right amount of time and effort into learning how the software works. The right amount of time is going to vary from person to person and that’s ok. Most people have a decent understanding of how they learn best. Are videos helpful or do you need someone beside you to show you how it works? The right amount of time is going to depending on lots but what to take away from this is that you should carve out dedicated learning time to figure out how it works.
  4. Build a portfolio of models that you have created and use those to show your potential clients of what you’re now capable of doing. Use your learning time to build that portfolio which will help you get paid work.
  5. Creating a business model for the 3D services you now offer. Charging a premium design fee for your 3D services is what most landscape designers are doing now. Build a business model for yourself that will help you recoup the investment you made in acquiring your new 3D modeling skills and will be a continual revenue generator for you.

Here’s how it works (if you’re using DynaSCAPE’s Design software)

Step 1:

Export

From DS|Design choose ‘Export to SketchUp format’

Step 2:

SU-Step2

Open your design in SketchUp.

Step 3:

SU-Step3

Run the DynaSCAPE CAD Cleanup tool to prepare it for modeling.

Step 4:

SU-Step4

Begin modeling the house and hardscape elements.

Step 5:

SU-Step5

Add material textures.

Step 6:

SU-Step6

Replace 2D symbols with 3D models.

Step 7:

SU-Step6

Finish model and create scenes from various angles.

Step 8: Prepare a presentation for your client by:

  • Exporting them as images and  printing them out or emailing them to a client or
  • Creating a  walk through video or
  • Rendering the model with one of the many rendering programs to create photorealistic images of your finished design.

From DynaSCAPE to SketchUp

Basic Steps for Modeling

Presentation Options Overview

Request Information About DS|Sketch3D

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DynaSCAPE Presented with Industry Award

DynaSCAPE Presented with Industry Award

August 16, 2018 — DynaSCAPE Software made the trek to beautiful St. Andrew’s By The Sea in New Brunswick, Canada. This ocean side resort town was host to the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association’s board of directors meeting and National Awards of Landscape Excellence.

The National Awards of Landscape Excellence recognize Canadian companies that have actively participated in significantly raising the level of professionalism in the landscape industry.

“The Green for Life Industry Award was created to recognize the incredible companies that contribute significantly to the industry, environment and local Canadian communities,” said Bruce Hunter, CNLA president. “The CNLA Executive Committee chose to honour DynaSCAPE because of its support not only of CNLA and its provincial associations, but to the broader communities that it is a part of.  They are leaders in their field, committed to raising the level of professionalism in landscaping.”  Joe Salemi, Manager of Sales & Marketing for DynaSCAPE accepted the award.

The DynaSCAPE team extends their gratitude to CNLA for such an honour to be recognized through the Green for Life Industry Award!

Creating a Change Order Culture

Creating a Change Order Culture

The important part to realize here is that when a client wants more work done a formal Change Order will help them understand that more work costs more money! Managing each change through a formal Change Order helps manage expectations and sets out a fair and equitable relationship between you and your client.

Let’s start out by clarifying what a Change Order is. Many contractors and subcontractors start off by offering their services to friends, making verbal contracts, and performing great work while trusting that they’ll be paid. Any modifications to the original project are discussed and verbally agreed without a fuss, and everyone walks away happy. Right. How often does it ever go that smoothly?

A change order is a document used to record an amendment to your original landscape construction contract. Change orders create a record of additional services being provided to your customer, along with pricing for those services. A subcontractor that neglects to use change orders may forget to bill additional costs related to the changes requested, or forget to complete the changes altogether.

 

A change order form has the following features:

  1. A revised scope of work – this could mean less work or more, but usually, the customer is asking for something in addition to what has already been agreed.
  2. Pricing for the new work.
  3. Any relevant modifications to the original contract that result from the new scope of work, for example, extending the delivery schedule for the project because the scope of work is now greater.
  4. The signatures of both the contractor and the customer.

The most important function of change orders is that they show the customer that getting more work done costs more money. Change orders were made to help you manage the customer that always wants more for less, and when combined with a detailed scope of work, you’ll have an easy time ensuring that both and your client are treated fairly.

Overall, just make it part of your standard operating procedures that anytime a client requests a change the request is communicated to the appropriate responsible person to create a change order and have the client sign off on the requested change. Make sure everyone on the team buys in to that. Sure it’s going to add more admin work to your already heavy workload, but it will save an incredible amount of headaches in the long run. Additionally, your client will respect your level of professionalism and appreciate your careful attention to detail on their project.

About Change Orders in Manage360

Change orders can be added to a job at any time, on the fly and on site. Once approved, it’s simply added to the current job in Manage360, which gives you different views of the job so you can see the original contract, the change orders, and a current view showing both.

With Job Management, each change order is tracked and billed separately, which not only ensures that you’ re paid for all additional work, but also lets you see exactly how you’re recovering your overhead for each change, and how all of the changes are affecting the job’s overall profitability.

With output to the client that’s based on the American Institute of Architects’ standard change order form, Job Management’s change order capacity is a simple solution to one of the industry’s most complex problems, namely, how to ensure that all of a job’s change orders are recorded, tracked and compensated for in a way that’s easy to do and consistent with your overhead recovery method.

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DynaSCAPE Acquired By EverCommerce

DynaSCAPE Acquired By EverCommerce

Dear Clients, Partners, and Industry Friends,

We are pleased to officially announce that DynaSCAPE Software is now part of the EverCommerce family of companies. Over the last 20 years, DynaSCAPE has built a reputation as the industry leader in landscape design and business management software, trusted by more than 3,000 users. We are excited with this new venture, as it stands to fuel our continued growth into the future.

Both Mike Bosch and Kirk Were, DynaSCAPE’s long-time owners, offer their thanks and appreciation to all of our clients, partners, and trusted employees for the many years of support and mutually beneficial relationships. Kirk offers “DynaSCAPE is first and foremost a company based on relationships and we are so happy that DynaSCAPE’s goal of providing great software and services will continue through this new relationship under the stewardship of EverCommerce and the DynaSCAPE team.”

The EverCommerce portfolio includes 19 companies, including 14 in the field and home service sectors, which provide software and services for small to medium-sized businesses. EverCommerce currently helps 70,000 businesses across the globe run and operate more efficiently. We look forward to leveraging the organization’s existing relationships and resources to provide you, our clients and partners, with even more robust features and services.

“We’re excited about the growth and strategic opportunities ahead of us with our new EverCommerce partners,” says Joe Salemi, Manager of Sales & Marketing. “We have established our place amongst the top in landscape design and business management software solutions, and there’s even more we will do with EverCommerce as we plan for our future.”

The leadership team at DynaSCAPE is very excited to be part of the EverCommerce family of companies and will continue to work with the rest of the team to deliver the excellent level of service and delivery that you have come to know and expect.

“We are thrilled to bring DynaSCAPE into the EverCommerce family and support its continued growth,” said Matt Feierstein, President and COO of EverCommerce. “DynaSCAPE’s solutions have been a major contributor to the success of landscaping companies across North America, and are an ideal addition to EverCommerce’s portfolio of home service solutions. We’re excited to work with the DynaSCAPE team during this next phase of their business to continue bringing new features and great service to their clients.”

We pledge our continued commitment to enabling your success and look forward to providing even more benefits as we embark on this new journey together.

Thank you for your continued trust and support.

Sincerely and with warmest regards,

The DynaSCAPE Software Team
1.800.710.1900
sales@dynascape.com
www.dynascape.com

About EverCommerce

EverCommerce is bringing together best-of-breed commerce solutions in the service sector, forming one service commerce platform that improves go-to-market strategy for technology companies and simplifies the software-buying process for business owners.
Our team has extensive expertise in business operations, management, legal, finance, accounting, technology human resources, marketing and sales that, via the EverCommerce platform, we provide as a service to drive continued growth and success for growing service commerce companies. Our ecosystem enables companies to thrive in an environment of shared knowledge and resources with significant cost savings.