Irrigation innovation through software

May 16, 2019 -  By
Implementing software reduced irrigation maintenance checks from a three- to four-week process to a task that takes a day. Photo: Ken Saieh

Implementing software reduced irrigation maintenance checks from a three- to four-week process to a task that takes a day. Photo: Ken Saieh

“It’s time to speed up the process,” thought Native Land Design Founder and CEO Ben Collinsworth about his decision to turn to new technology for irrigation maintenance checks and inspections.

“We had a ridiculously ineffective process that took a ton of time,” he says.

It took three to four weeks for the Cedar Park, Texas, commercial landscape company to approve, schedule and complete irrigation maintenance work. There was a lot of room for error because technicians wrote notes about each inspection on paper, which then had to make its way back to the office before reaching an account manager, and finally, the client.

With the company’s new software solution, the three-plus-week process of irrigation inspections now only takes a day.

Software on-the-go

Ben Collinsworth, Native Land Design

Ben Collinsworth, Native Land Design

Collinsworth met Rob Beauchamp, co-founder of Tapigo software, at a local business group meeting in Austin, Texas. Beauchamp shared his idea, and Collinsworth suggested irrigation as the software’s first focus.

Beauchamp, who is responsible for the design of the software, worked with two other developers to launch Tapigo in late 2015. Collinsworth served as an investor, subject-matter expert and Tapigo’s first customer.

“A big motivation for us was to really help the smaller contractor be as professional as possible,” Beauchamp says. “Taking the best of big-business solutions and applying them to a small-business audience.”

Working efficiently for water efficiency

MAPPIN' IT The app allows technicians to look at a map of the property and make notes the clients can easily read. Photo: Tapigo

MAPPIN’ IT The app allows technicians to look at a map of the property and make notes the clients can easily read. Photo: Tapigo

The software uses Google Maps to mark parts of an irrigation system during inspection. Users can add photos and notes to the app. While entering information, the software builds out an inspection report simultaneously, Collinsworth says. Preloaded manhours and prices enable users to immediately attach pricing to the inspection report.

Users can send the report to a client while still on site.

“It’s a better-looking report because we don’t have stains and water-ridden paper with chicken scratch all over it,” Collinsworth says. “It’s something the client can read easily.”

Clients review reports and approve work quicker than before because “they trust the information that got back to them,” according to Collinsworth.

Using Tapigo completely changed the whole process at Native Land Design, which reported $16 million in revenue for 2018 and ranked #144 on the 2018 LM150 list.

“Instead of being the most inefficient service we offer, irrigation maintenance became a lot more feasible,” he says.

What’s to come

Rob Beauchamp, Tapigo

Rob Beauchamp, Tapigo

Users can download the Tapigo app for a free 30-day trial. After that, a monthly subscription costs $10 to $30 per user.

“Even though many of the early adopters of our solution are larger companies, everything we did was to try to help smaller companies work as efficiently as the bigger ones,” Beauchamp says.

So far, Tapigo serves only the irrigation maintenance space, but Beauchamp says the company already developed a snow and ice management solution that will come to market this fall. In addition, landscape maintenance and tree trimming apps are both expected in the coming year, he says.

Danielle Pesta

About the Author:

Danielle Pesta is the associate editor of Landscape Management. She started writing for the green industry in 2014 and has won multiple awards from the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA). She can be reached at dpesta@northcoastmedia.net.

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