How GPS Helps Overcome the Biggest Challenges for Landscaping Companies
Landscaping is a tough business. Aside from the natural seasonality, landscape business owners contend with a variety of issues including equipment and vehicle maintenance, labor shortages and costs, economic fluctuations, and establishing trust in an industry sometimes plagued by fly-by-night competition.
Many landscapers have turned to technology to give them a competitive advantage. One technology stands out as both a way to cut costs and a tool for growing and protecting the business. GPS data gives landscapers the ability to have a bird’s eye view on their business, spotting trouble and highlighting opportunities to grow.
Cutting costs is key
Over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, 88% of Linxup users in landscaping reported a decrease in work orders. When economic downturns occur, landscaping services are often deemed a luxury by regular customers and can be high on the list of places to make cuts. The companies that survived 2020 best learned how to use GPS data to make strategic cuts of their own.
Accurately tracking time on site, identifying your most productive crews, and receiving alerts for fuel-wasting behavior like speeding and excessive idling can add a lot to a small business’s bottom line. Are your crews sitting in idling vehicles on their lunch hours? A business with four vehicles saves, on average, a little over $200 per month in wasted fuel alone. GPS data also helps identify vehicles and equipment that’s underused to make better purchasing decisions.
Preventative maintenance is an added benefit of GPS data for both vehicles and equipment. Landscaping managers are able to accurately identify when vehicles and equipment will need service based on real mileage and engine hours. Planning ahead removes the element of unwanted surprise. They avoid jobs being derailed by a sudden breakdown and keep their customers happy.
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Your labor force is the face of your business
Your crews can make or break your business. One or two ghosted jobs can ruin your reputation and wipe out your customer base in entire neighborhoods. On top of that, reckless driving behavior can open you up to liabilities. Employees using vehicles or equipment after hours for personal projects adds wear and tear and fuel costs that aren’t contributing to profit.
Linxup users find that GPS offers a variety of ways to get an accurate picture of how your crews are performing in the field. Geofence and after-hours alerts give an instant picture of productivity. Special features like motorized equipment tracking can provide extra detailed mapping to show everyplace work happened on a property. Driver report cards and dash cameras help coach employees on safe driving and provide concrete evidence in the event of accidents.
One theft can have lasting impact
Those after-hours alerts can also prevent catastrophic theft for a lot of landscaping businesses. Hermes Landscaping watched in real time as a skid loader and vehicle were stolen from a job site. They were able to provide location information to police and recovered $75,000 worth of property. JBK Landscaping recovered a $30,000 track loader.
Either loss would have been devastating to those businesses, but the effects of theft can last even longer. Missing assets can mean missing out on lucrative jobs. And if your customers find someone else to cover a missed appointment, that customer might be permanently gone.
Real Green Systems offers all-inclusive solutions to manage a business, build a brand and promote it, acquire new customers and develop ongoing relationships to build loyalty to your company. Your lawn and landscaping business will thrive using our extensive business management and marketing solutions.