Southern Landscape Group is a landscape management company, founded in 1998 by Mark Maslow, with a vision to help clients get the best experience possible and deliver outstanding service.
A customer of DynaScape since 2003, they initially started off with a design package, signing up for basic design and then upgrading to color and Sketch 3D. Once they became design users, they started looking around for a job costing estimating software. They were recommended by their consultant to evaluate DynaScape’s landscape business software and were impressed with what they saw. They found the design robust and solid, but the integration and cohesiveness from the design to the estimate, to the proposal, to the job costing looked like the ideal end to end solution.
“It has been an incredible tool for our business, not only from a sales perspective, but also from a job costing and production perspective,” says Mark Maslow, President and CEO of Southern Landscape Group. “It’s a program that’s truly friendly to designers, estimators and production folks as well.”
There are several challenges that prompted the need for software. Managing estimates, capturing accurate cost and productivity and the overall efficiency of completing estimates were a problem. Southern Landscape was using different Excel spreadsheets and programs and there was some hesitation in adopting web-based applications due to data privacy.
Southern Landscape then signed up for Manage360 and rolled it out starting with the sales and estimating module to manage their CRM and sales. Six months into using the sales and estimating module, they added the job costing and today they use DynaScape as end-to-end software from design to invoicing.
“DynaScape’s complete package has solved a lot of problems for us,” Maslow says. “Simply being able to export materials and databases that you build on your design directly into your estimates prevents the miscounts that you have on the designs and the problems that you run into with failing to put the proper number of plants and the correct size. Because those two speak to one another, there is a zero margin of error. And so from a sales and estimating side, that’s critical.”
Maslow feels that as a business owner, being hyper aware of cost and productivity is important and you want to make sure all your costs are captured.
“Not only does it speed your estimate up, but it’s streamlined. Everybody is pricing work the same way. What we realized when we were implementing Manage is that there were a lot of general conditions that we were not recapturing on our estimates from the time and cost involved with loading up for the job, driving to the job, the equipment cost. Going back and being able to recapture those costs and build accurate, bulletproof estimates did wonders for our bottom line.”
When it comes to crew efficiency, Maslow also says that his team out in the field have really enjoyed the program. There’s a cohesive, detailed printout of everything they need for the job every day and what the scope of work is. His team knows that when there’s a job, they can see how many hours are on it and the equipment needed. This has ultimately built a lot of confidence with his team.
“We’ve really been able to do an excellent job adjusting production issues that we’ve captured through using the time tracking feature,” Maslow says. “Again, that coupled with the sales and estimating have just worked wonders for our bottom line. And ultimately as a business owner, that’s what we’re in business for is to be profitable.”
“It’s a heck of a program. The usability of this and the ease is just incredible. I honestly wonder how we ever operated without it.”