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Make the most of 2022 with software

January 3, 2022 -  By
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Business management software can take a company’s organization and productivity to the next level, but there are a number of factors to consider when choosing a program.

Landscapers can identify their big issues and choose a software accordingly. (Photo: Arborgold)

Landscapers can identify their big issues and choose a software accordingly. (Photo: Arborgold)

“When choosing business software, landscape contractors should find a solution that enables them to grow their business, service their customers, and maximize their money all on one platform,” says Tim Robinson, COO of WorkWave, a cloud-based field service and fleet management software company based in Holmdel, N.J. “Choosing one integrated platform streamlines business processes throughout all aspects of the business life cycle, saves time and money and creates an exceptional customer experience.”

Industry experts share tips on how contractors can choose the right program and get the most out of their business software in 2022.

Problem ID

Technology is designed to solve problems, but contractors first need to identify exactly what their problems are and then choose the best software system to meet those needs, says Donna Garner, chief marketing officer for Arborgold, a field management software system for the green industry based in Bloomington, Ind.

“Every software vendor tends to do certain things well. For example, one program may be great for scheduling, but their marketing features are lacking,” Garner says. “Contractors need to identify what their biggest problems are and find a program that solves as many of those problems as possible in one system.”

Pick a partner

Robinson reminds contractors to purchase software from a reputable company that can offer training and support and help them grow in the long term.

“It is important to do your research and make sure that the company you are doing business with can scale to your business needs and has longevity and immense knowledge in the industry,” he says. “While some of this may not seem as important as the software itself, you are trusting this company with the entirety of your business operations and want to make sure they are continually innovating, investing in their resources and solutions and have a strong vision for the future.”

Lead the way

Bryan Mours, vice president of customer services for Aspire Software, a landscape business management software provider based in Chesterfield, Mo., says implementing software should be treated like any other company project: Assign a manager, a process and a timeline. He adds that a new software program will require changes to the way things are done within the company, and employees are often resistant to the process. It’s important to choose the right person to oversee the implementation, and company leadership should approach the task with energy and positivity.

“You need to be able to accept the fact that some things in your organization will need to change based on how the software functions,” Mours says. “Identify the person within the organization that will be able to best manage this project from start to finish.”

Be consistent

Mours says the most successful companies have consistent processes for operating the software. Everyone within the company should use each part of the program the same way, every day. Document the processes and make them accessible to all employees.

“Software is just another tool, like a shovel or a mower. Without good processes, the tool becomes useless,” Mours says. “Rather than have everyone manage the software their own way, write up a process around it and make sure everyone is following the same path.”

Dig deeper

For contractors to get the most out of their software, Garner says it’s a good idea to take the time to explore the program and learn about functions beyond the main features.

“Think about your smartphone — there are so many things your phone can do that many people don’t take the time to learn,” she says. “The same principle applies to business software. Contractors get comfortable with what they know and fail to learn some of the really cool things these programs can do that can make life easier and save time.”

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