Achieve More with Landscape Routing Software

Achieve More with Landscape Routing Software

Properly routing your crews is often like putting a puzzle together. Ensuring crew members are assigned tasks, optimizing the routes they will be taking, accommodating any sick leaves and/or delays are all a part of solving the puzzle. Putting these tasks together manually using whiteboards, sticky notes, or online calendars can be exhaustive and result in business inefficiencies. Using a landscape routing software streamlines these processes for you. You no longer have to jump from one whiteboard to another to route your crews or worry about adjusting for unforeseen changes in your teams’ schedules. Here are the top three benefits of upgrading to a landscape routing software: 

Organized Service Tasks and Increased Service Capacity 

You can never know how much your crews can achieve until they are well-routed.

A routing software works to accomplish the fundamental need of every landscaping business – maximizing service capacity. Begin the process by grouping similar service types; for example, all trim & mow tasks can be grouped together and scheduled for the same day of the week. By grouping a service type, your crew carries only the equipment specific to their day’s task. They perform the same task throughout the day without switching to other job types, helping them achieve work efficiency and be more productive throughout the day. This feature of routing works especially well if you provide maintenance, weekly services, or service contracts as your routing calendar is easily streamlined to achieve more

The second phase of grouping is by location. All the similar service types in close by areas are routed together, creating an efficient route for your crew; instead of losing valuable time driving around the city, they can provide more billable services in the same time frame and maximize service capacity.  

Cost Savings Through Optimized Routes 

A landscape routing software acts as the smart assistant who plans it all for you. The automated system shortlists and presents you with the targeted work orders for the day, along with the optimized route each of your crew members can take. The suggested plan is created to meet all your service calls in the least possible travel time, helping you to keep your overhead costs in check, saving unnecessary gas consumption and added vehicle maintenance costs. 

Here’s another way a route optimizer saves you from wasteful expenditure: if any of your crew members are not able to reach the client’s location on a bad weather day, the routing software suggests the next best alternative route for the nearby team. This way, your service orders are fulfilled without additional spending on sending out crew members from the office location. By efficiently utilizing nearby crews to cover the empty slots, you save on additional fuel and travel expenses.  

Have Eyes on the Field  

For efficient remote management, you need to have eyes on the field. Mobile crew tracking gives you the power to have visibility over your crew and equipment. Your team can easily clock in and out of jobs throughout the day, making it easy for you to audit your crew’s performance and identify any weak links using comprehensive timesheets. Along with the crew, track the whereabouts of your equipment, materials, and subcontractors in the field. Any changes in the crew’s route/roster can be done almost instantly through your mobile app.  A mobile landscape routing software gives your supervisor a leg up over conventional methods of crew tracking and management.  

Embrace the Benefits of Landscape Routing Software 

The tools you use today to manage your team have a significant impact on the levels of their productivity, workflow, and communication. Streamlining your biggest asset, your crew, rewards your business directly. Reduce administrative stress and focus on providing more billable services. Connect with one of our account executives today to learn more about how DynaScape’s landscape routing software can help you optimize your routes and save on overhead costs. 

Challenges of Learning a 3D Landscape Design Software

Challenges of Learning a 3D Landscape Design Software

Challenges of Learning a 3D Landscape Design Software

When you work in the landscape industry, you’re making your clients’ green dreams come true. The problem is, not everyone can look at a 2D drawing and visualize what it’ll look like after it’s been installed. Including a 3D-rendering of your landscape design in your proposal/presentation can be the difference between closing that deal or not. This doesn’t mean you won’t still need traditional 2D drawings; your crews/contractors will still need a detailed plan with dimensions they can reference while installing. Rather, anything you can include in your presentation to the client to enhance their visualization of the finished product will not only add an extra layer of professionalism but will also get them excited to see the space after it’s been transformed. While the concept of presenting your designs in 3D may not be new, it has transitioned from being a competitive advantage to an essential element in getting more clients. That being said, moving into the 3D-modelling side of the industry does pose its own unique set of challenges.

The Learning Curve of a 3D Landscape Design Software

Learning any new skill set can be challenging without the right support. This statement holds true for learning a 3D landscape design software. When adding 3D landscape software to your toolkit, you need to keep an objective in mind- upscaling your presentation and being the first to win the project, but if learning the software takes ages, your purpose is defeated.

The solution: view demos before you purchase. Do the transition steps seem easy to apply? Do the terms of the software tools seem relatable and apply to your industry? You can even request/schedule a 1:1 walkthrough of the software, if available. Discuss your concerns and objectives with the software provider and analyze how willing they are to resolve any issues you may have. Also, keep in mind that everyone’s learning curve is different and cannot be generalized; at this stage, you can gauge the level of support offered by the software provider, and evaluate your understanding after viewing the demo.

landscape design software

Most 3D Software is Not Exclusive to the Landscape Industry

The current market is saturated with 3D software options, but you’ll want to choose one that fulfills your landscape design needs. For a long time, the green industry struggled with a lack of 3D design software that also had access to landscape-specific components. For example: if your client wanted to see a different style of paver on a pathway or patio, you would have to create the new paver using the tools available in your generalized 3D design software; doing this could take hours! The more time it takes for you to get those revisions back to the client is the more time they have to consider choosing another landscaping company for the job.

Luckily there are landscape-specific applications and comprehensive component libraries available to add on to your existing 3D software, making it significantly easier to render or make changes to your design. With these libraries you can choose from over 1,000 components including real plants, ponds, pools, rose arbors, cabanas, pergolas, and more. Having access to landscape-specific 3D components significantly reduces your time spent on creating your design and provides your client with a stunning visual representation of the finished space.

POOL AREA Landscape Design By Cedar Springs Landscape Group - Created in DS|Design, exported to SketchUp, rendered with Shaderlight Pro

Consider the Cleanup Time

When you convert your drawing from a 2D software that is not well-built for 3D landscape designs, it can blur out or misrepresent the details. Cleaning up such a drawing can be a very daunting task. Anyone who has spent time converting a 2D drawing to a 3D rendering has, at one time or another, found that the 3D representation of his/her 2D drawing did not turn out the way they had envisioned. The plant details are lost, 3D textures look blurred, and structures like patios appear as poorly drawn wireframes.

Using the right 3D landscape design software with appropriate plugins can save you time on the cleanup process. A custom plugin can automatically fix CAD drawings in a single step. Once you’ve imported your 2D file, you can scan it through the plugin to fix common 2D drawing/CAD geometry issues. The shorter the cleanup time, the quicker your turnaround time for proposals.

With the right software to support your 3D proposals, you can start winning more clients, building a portfolio of models to showcase your work, and charging a premium design fee for your 3D services.

To learn more about how DS Sketch3D, our comprehensive 3D component library, can take your proposals/presentations to the next level, get in touch with one of our account executives today.

How the Right Leadership Can Help Businesses Come Out Bigger and Stronger

How the Right Leadership Can Help Businesses Come Out Bigger and Stronger

maturity level of landscape business

Let me start by saying these times are not unique. Yes, I am sure this will generate some constructive feedback, but hear me out.

In our lifetimes we have seen significant change, especially in the digital era. New technologies and tools have had a remarkable impact on the business world. Just ask any video rental store or taxi company if their businesses have recently been threatened or challenged. Some businesses have come out stronger while others have struggled to survive. So, we’ve seen widespread impact in industries before, and it will be the companies with strong leadership that will come out in front.

(side note: yes, COVID-19 has a broader impact across most industries; my point is that change is all around us)


What does strong leadership look like?

First let me say, I am and always will be a student of leadership.  It does not matter at which stage of your career you’re in or your level of responsibility, businesses need better leaders, especially now! “Never stop learning” is what my 90-year-old father-in-law says, and he just retired from practicing medicine at 84!


The more I learn about business, the more I know it is about people

The more I learn about business, the more I know it is about people. Any leader must recognize that technology helps to enable and streamline your business, but it is the people using the technology, and the systems and processes led by people that really make a difference.

I would like to share some thoughts from an author I admire and respect. Vince Molinaro wrote the book The Leadership Contract (2013) and it is fundamentally a core staple in how leadership should operate. He touches on many aspects, but narrows it down to 4 key principals:

Leadership is a Decision – Make It
Leadership is an Obligation – Step Up
Leadership is Hard Work – Get Tough
Leadership is a Community – Connect
I want to focus on ‘Leadership is a Community.’  Fundamentally, leadership is not an individual sport anymore.  The world is too complex/competitive, and decisions must be made quickly.  No one leader has all the answers, and if they say they do then that is a clear sign they are misguided.


How and where do I start to build leadership communities?

The obvious place to start is to build a community of leaders within your organization to share ideas, brainstorm solutions, and solve your complex challenges.  This is simple and most leaders are good at this, or at a minimum have a few select coworkers they can rely on, regardless of their degree of influence within the organization.


The real opportunity lies in creating a community of leaders outside of your organization.

During the COVID-19 situation, I have been fortunate enough to be included in a few external leadership communities that have been extremely valuable.

One group is lead by a progressive leadership development organization that, free of charge, has set up a weekly meeting for like-minded leaders to connect on how each leader is navigating in these challenging times.  We meet weekly with each meeting lasting only 45 minutes, and I come out after every meeting with several leadership strategies and tactics that I can then share with my organization.

The second group I belong to is a group of senior business technology leaders who have similar business challenges to mine, but they operate in different industry verticals.  We meet bi-weekly to share our challenges and learnings, and recently we’ve been communicating several times per week to help each other to be our best in our respective leadership responsibilities. Each of our challenges, solutions, and the media content over the previous 2 weeks are all shared, making all of us more aware of how we’re showing up as leaders in our respective companies.  Sometimes we just need to cheer each other on during tough moments, and that is a priceless gift.

So, what are you waiting for?  Get out there and start building your leadership communities. Just remember the purpose is not only for your own growth but for the growth of every leader with whom you interact.  Better leadership everywhere is what drives the company’s overall health and success. Being connected to a leadership community will help all of us to better navigate the good and challenging times.

This blog was written by Brad Furtney, President of DynaSCAPE. Brad has led the general management and revenue generating functions for high profile companies including Twitter, Juice Mobile, Bell and Labatt. He has been responsible for driving revenue results, strategic business alignment, margin improvement, people leadership, culture enablement, compensation design and strategic partnerships for more than 15 years.

The Old School vs New School Landscaper

The Old School vs New School Landscaper

professional landscape software

There are many schools of thought in the landscaping industry. And one of the biggest challenges is moving forward to the new school reality of today’s modern landscaper. There are many who resist the move from their old school way of doing things, just because it’s what they know and are used to. If it’s working, why change it? Why get deep into the waters of technology and professional landscape software when what they currently do brings in profit?

It can be hard to convince people to make changes to their business if they don’t see the benefits far outweighing what they are currently doing. The investment of time and money might be too much for them, even if that new school of thinking will make their daily lives easier, help them win more bids and ultimately, earn more profit.

And even within your own organization, you might have people who are resistant to change for many different reasons. One of the hardest jobs as a landscape owner is getting people to understand why you are making a change and what that change will do for your business.

Starting with the simplest changes

There are some very basic things that old school landscapers are still not doing that make perfect sense today. Are you emailing your quotes instead of using snail mail services to get your quotes to your customers? Many new school thoughts are around digitalizing files so that they are easy to access and require physically less space to house them. Gone are the days of cabinets filled with paperwork from jobs, when instead they are all stored on a computer system, or in professional landscape software.

Even how we connect with customers has changed, as some people believe that you must phone and talk to each customer. New school thoughts believe texting is perfectly acceptable and a fast, convenient way to speak with your customers. This is a big change to some people who believe texting is not made for a business setting, while truthfully, most people prefer to text than talk on the phone.

And some landscapers haven’t started accepting credit card payments and still want cash or a cheque. That could be because they don’t have the means to accept credit card payments and have never bothered to look into it.

While some of these changes aren’t groundbreaking or don’t seem like they are business altering, they can start to show you where you are in your school of thought. If you are still using paper files, you aren’t automating and doing manual processes. If you’re calling instead of texting, you could be wasting time every time you pick up the phone and don’t get an answer. And if you aren’t accepting credit cards, it may be because you don’t have a landscape business management software that is capable of completing these transactions.

Working with professional landscape software

Adding technology into a landscaping business drastically changes how that business runs. And because of the very nature of software and technology, some old school thinkers don’t want to even look into it. It’s either too expensive, too time-consuming to learn, or they don’t see the value it will bring to their business over what they are currently doing now. As workforces shift and we adopt new remote style working conditions, landscape business management software allows employees to work from home or in different locations. And for some, they want to see their workers in the office and see the working being done.

It takes convincing that using professional landscape software is the best strategy for a business. And that the cost, which may seem high to some, will be returned in greater numbers by the automation, streamlined processes and analytics a business will get from a software solution. Those are just some of the reasons that modern, new school thinkers are starting their business on the foundation of software and technology. That’s because they see that more information, greater access and a digitalized system is more valuable than a paper-based system that requires a lot of manual work.

Software is challenging for some people. But facing challenges is what leaders are supposed to do in the landscaping industry. With training options available, there is a way for the old school thinker to become a new school one and leverage the same value out of professional landscape software that other companies are already doing.

Changing your employees’ mind

Sometimes the battle isn’t with the owner, but rather with your own employees. The owner of the landscaping company may want to embrace professional landscape software and all the tools it brings to the team. That includes things like:

  • Mobile tracking apps
  • Timesheet tools
  • Landscape design software
  • Automated quoting and estimating tools
  • Scheduling tools
  • Budget recapturing

But the owner has to sometimes sell those benefits to the people who work under them. And those people might not want to accept change. Asking someone to input their time on a mobile app might seem like more work to them than just writing on a timesheet and handing it in. Change is often hard to accept if they don’t understand the benefits of that change. Some landscape designers still want to use pencil and paper and refuse to work with CAD software programs to complete designs.

So, what is the business owner to do? Firstly, getting their people involved from the very beginning makes them part of the decision process. Secondly, offering plenty of training will get them used to the system they are going to use. Finally, show them why the new software is better for the business can flip the switch from an old school thinker to a new school one. Unfortunately, some just won’t accept change, and some landscaping business owners have had to make tough decisions that they want to fully embrace the new way of thinking over living in the past.

Bring a fresh perspective to your business

While change can be difficult for people to accept, sometimes a new perspective on your business is really what you need. Just because you are changing from what you were doing before doesn’t mean you failed as a business owner. Change doesn’t mean what you were doing was wrong. It simply means, we now have more means to accomplish greater things. If someone were to ask you simple questions like, “would you like all this paperwork to be gone?” or “do you wish it was easier to schedule your crews?”, the answer would be a resounding “Yes!”.

With professional landscape software, you can take the processes you have built through many years of being in business and simply improve them. As technology advances, your business needs to advance as well. So bring in a fresh perspective and look at new ideas to implement into your business. Start with the basics, and before long, you’ll be looking for full professional landscape software solutions.

What’s The Maturity Level Of Your Landscape Business?

What’s The Maturity Level Of Your Landscape Business?

maturity level of landscape business

It’s always good to know where you are in business, especially in the landscaping industry. Whether you just opened your landscape design or maintenance business, knowing where you are can be the difference in moving forward, or staying still. A business not moving forward risks either going out of business or losing profit.

Ben Collinsworth, General Manage with Yellowstone Landscape, presented the maturity level scale at the Lawn And Landscape Technology Conference and talked about how using this scale to see where your business is at is important when wanting to put in a new process or automate parts of your business. 

“As you go through it, you recognize where you fit on this scale,” Collinsworth said. “For me, especially when putting in and implementing new things, it’s good for me to have a scorecard. This helped me understand where I am at as a business on this scale.”

The maturity level scale includes: 


Unpredictable processes, poorly controlled and reactive


Processes characterized for projects and if often reactive


Processes characterized for the organization and is proactive (standards set)

Quantitatively Managed

Processes measured and controlled


Focus on process improvement

Let’s learn more about this scale.

Level 1 – Initial

New businesses generally fall in this level on the maturity scale. In dollar amounts, they are less than $1 million in revenue and don’t have many predictable processes in place. They run less automation and software solutions, are poorly controlled, and mainly are reactive to what is happening around them.

The example Collinsworth gave during his presentation was a client calls the office to ask if the crew is still going to mulch the property. They are at the job site but don’t seem to have any mulch. The owner runs to the truck, drives to a supplier, picks up the mulch, drives to the crew’s location to drop it off. There are too many bags at the property, so he must come back later to pick it up.

In this example, there are plenty of ways to automate the process and not be reactive. That includes using landscape software to establish purchasing of supplies and materials, proper scheduling of crews to go to a job site when the material is available and knowing ahead of time what jobs you need to perform and the supplies you will need.

Putting systems in place to scale

Collinsworth pointed out that for Level 1 businesses, not looking to add landscape software and automated systems can slow your business growth and stop you from scaling your business forward to the next level. And what limits landscapers from growing is their inability to update their process, and search for solutions to assist their business in getting to the next level.

“I found these were some of the limiting factors to landscapers growing,” said Collinsworth. “If you couldn’t get past those stages where your business was more systematic with software and hardware, it really didn’t matter how good your work was, you couldn’t scale. If you don’t go through this process, you will get stuck in a plateau and not be able to go to the next phase.”

By Level 2 and Level 3, the processes are starting to become more defined and revenue is growing. By the time a company has hit Level 2 in his example, the owner isn’t reacting to a job he didn’t know was happening but is still bringing the supplies to the crew on the job site. By Level 3, the processes are in place through landscape software where the crews are picking up supplies and materials before they leave for the job. This can be accomplished through a crew tracking mobile app, where crew leaders see what is needed for each job before heading to the site.

Work to become a Level 4 landscaper

A goal every landscaper should aim for is to become a Level 4 landscaping business in the maturity scale. According to Collinsworth, that’s a business that has processes in place that are measured and controlled and are more managed than other businesses.

Using his example, Collinsworth said a client calls the manager to tell them that they did a great job, the property looks great, the crew cleaned everything up and can’t wait to refer them to their friends. That’s because there were processes in place to get the landscaper to that point. Using landscape business management software, they scheduled their crews appropriately, the correct amount of materials and supplies prior to heading to the job site was obtained by the crew leader and they followed a process when leaving a job site.

It’s a well-run business and many landscapers are happy to reach this level of revenue, which Collinsworth said is between $7-10 million annual. It’s a healthy business that is producing results that customers are happy with. But there is still room to improve and continue to scale in order to reach the final level.

“A lot of us stay there and there is nothing wrong with that,” said Collinsworth. “People are happy, but there is still a little bit more in the system to make more revenue.”

The pinnacle of maturity

Where every landscaping business wants to get to is Level 5 on the maturity scale. At this level, your business is running fully optimized and your focus is on constantly improving the processes you have in place. Because you have a landscape software already in place, you have been tracking all your data and collecting as much information as possible, you can make these kinds of adjustments with the best information available.

The difference in outcomes directly reflects your ability to optimize your business practices so that you are running a more efficient organization. And in the end, it not only increases your revenue per job but also expands your customer base, as happy customers are more likely to refer you to other people for more work.

“There is a big difference and a different outcome for the client,” said Collinsworth. “To me, these are driven by processes we put in place through the software we are choosing to use. The guys that are very systematic, they know what to do, how long to be there, know what to take and are incentivized to do it the right way, and the client is happy because they have quality work done.”

The good problems to have

Once you have reached the Level 5 maturity rank, you are at a place where you are having good problems in your business. By installing landscape business management software, your processes are optimized and automated and you have a system in place to achieve great results. Now you just need the people to produce those results for you, which means hiring more crew members if your landscape business is growing. And hiring more because you are growing and scaling is definitely a problem you want to have.

“Once we got to that Level 5, we weren’t worried about the systems breaking down, we were worried about the people being able to do the work showing up,” said Collinsworth. “And that’s okay. It’s a better way of doing it than having the people show up and not be able to produce. That’s an important part of the process. As you go through it with your own business, you can address this with landscape software.”

Let us know if you are ready to talk to someone about taking the steps necessary to reach Level 5 with your landscaping business. We have a team ready to help you, and we’d love to hear from you.

Customer Education Is More Important Than You Think

Customer Education Is More Important Than You Think

The customer is always right.

Sound familiar? It’s the most used customer service phrase and more than likely, you’ve said it a few times yourself over your career. But is it true? When you think about what the phrase is saying, it’s pretty vague, especially when you apply it to the landscaping industry. That’s because there is a time and place when the customer is right, and a time and place when you’re right. And that’s centered around the customer’s education in the landscape design, build and maintenance industry.

The two types of education we are going to look at are:

  1. The customer’s education in the industry and their expectations
  2. The customer’s knowledge of lawn care maintenance, design, and landscaping advice

Let’s dig into this a little more.

Customers are becoming more educated

As the landscape industry continues to grow, so too does the consumer’s knowledge of the industry. Many people are taking advantage of the services of lawn care maintenance specialists and landscape designers. And they are becoming more knowledgeable about how the process works, who is all involved and what they can get for their money.

The customer is always right.

Sound familiar? It’s the most used customer service phrase and more than likely, you’ve said it a few times yourself over your career. But is it true? When you think about what the phrase is saying, it’s pretty vague, especially when you apply it to the landscaping industry. That’s because there is a time and place when the customer is right, and a time and place when you’re right. And that’s centered around the customer’s education in the landscape design, build and maintenance industry.

The two types of education we are going to look at are:

  1. The customer’s education in the industry and their expectations
  2. The customer’s knowledge of lawn care maintenance, design, and landscaping advice

Let’s dig into this a little more.

Customers are becoming more educated

As the landscape industry continues to grow, so too does the consumer’s knowledge of the industry. Many people are taking advantage of the services of lawn care maintenance specialists and landscape designers. And they are becoming more knowledgeable about how the process works, who is all involved and what they can get for their money.

It also means their expectations of what they get out of your services is going to grow. And when customers become educated in the services and have higher expectations, gimmicks aren’t going to win you long-term business or be a sustainable source of revenue for the foreseeable future.

Customers are starting to look beyond the flashy gimmicks, the cheap sales and the deep discounts landscape designers and maintenance professionals are offering because value now plays an important part in consumer decision making. Consumers are more willing to pay a higher price for better service than go with a cheaper option that might not get them what they want, or that comes with a risk of a lack of professional service. And if you are cutting costs on your deals and not offering great service, a customer has no reason to stay with you and can quickly take their business elsewhere.

What are customers looking for?

With customer expectations growing, what they are looking for now is professionalism from their landscape providers. More than ever, people are using online reviews and websites as ways of deciding who they will select to handle their landscaping needs. So a professional-looking website with positive online reviews will do more for your business than cheap flashy flyers in the mail.

It’s also important to be as professional as possible in your design and quotes. Having a presentation ready for your customers will do a lot more to win a job than just sending a .pdf file to them. That’s where landscape software helps to put together a tight presentation. That includes having a colorful design and concept art, possibly with 3D renderings and video presentations. As well as a fully costed out quote that details everything involved in their project.

Professionalism sells well, so take a look at your branding and customer service practices, because that is what customers are looking at. Even the simple things like answering emails and phone calls, showing up exactly when you say you will, and being clear about your expectations for the job, so that you can meet the customers.

Dive into customer education

The customer is always right, except when they are wrong. And it happens. Customers are not experts in all things landscaping. That is where you come in. Plenty of homeowners have never received any sort of advice on lawn care maintenance before. And that is a great way to earn yourself an in into their maintenance needs.

There is a significant gap in how customers are learning about lawn care needs. Some get it from reading online, others from television shows and gardening specific television. But directly from someone, directed at them specifically, will get them listening far more than any television spot will. It can be how you gain the trust of your customers but providing them with the advice and expertise they are searching for. And if you are working with them on their landscape design, you become a partner in their projects, which gets them more invested in what you have to say.

When you have completed a quote from your landscape software, you don’t just walk in, hand it to them and let them figure it out. You become their partner in the project and walk them through each step of the journey. It takes away some of that sticker shock if your price is higher than they expected. You have the chance to explain why things cost as much as they do, which is a lot better than having them go find information on their own, which may be wrong, and then expecting you to come down in price.

Become the authority in landscaping

What landscape software has helped many professionals in the industry become is the authority. It gives them greater confidence going into a presentation that the numbers are right, the design is flawless and their company image is professional. That confidence isn’t something that can be measured, but you will start to see greater numbers of quotes coming back as victories because you became the confident authority on landscaping.

The customer is right in what they want and you should try and accommodate them as much as possible. But you are the authority in the industry with the knowledge and knowhow and the expert. And a confident owner who has answers to questions will definitely succeed more than the owner who is trying to slip deals through by shaving off the sticker price until the customer says yes.

Think long-term and use education as a sales tool and a way to bring confidence and assurance to your customers. That will bring in more business, help you scale your operation, and keep you busy all season long.

Let us know if you’re ready to learn more about how you can use DynaSCAPE’s leading landscaping software to help your customers better understand their landscaping projects. Contact us today.

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