Logo: AspireWhen Mike Rorie, CEO of GIS Dynamics, gave the keynote at the 2019 Aspire Client Conference in Tempe, Ariz., his message was simple: The smartest investment you can make today is software.

Mike Rorie

Mike Rorie

Rorie knows. He spent 18 years working long hours to grow his business to $3 million in revenue. In 1993, he invested in software and grew to $28 million in eight years.

“I could not have continued to play the game I was playing — working like a maniac 12 hours a day, seven days a week for so little return,” he says. “Something had to change, and we made the change. We invested and managed the business with a system.”

Rorie outlined three parts of the system that help businesses make money: hard systems (equipment), soft systems (standard operating procedures) and information systems (management software).

Twenty years ago, hard systems were important; today information systems are where it’s at.

“Software, to me, allows you to standardize work so people can move on to more valuable tasks and activities,” Rorie says. Instead of building your own, Rorie encourages owners to work with a software partner that already has everything in place.

“Don’t think you have to have a custom program that does things just the way you do them,” Rorie says. “If you want to grow your business and remain competitive, you’re going to have to adopt systems and processes. You have to do that to be effective.”

(Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)

Five reasons why systems matter to an owner

  1. Great systems put owners in control of the company. You become proactive instead of reactive, guessing what decisions to make.
  2. Great systems turn dimes into dollars. You reduce waste and can focus on growth, playing offense instead of defense.
  3. Great systems turn average people into high performers. Your people can become THE experts instead of relying on you increasing productivity and reducing turnover.
  4. Great systems protect the company. You no longer have to rely on a few key people, and should they leave, other team members can fill in quickly.
  5. Great systems create equity interest in your company. Your company is more valuable because of the predictability a system provides. Rorie knows having sold his company at the price he wanted.

Instant replay

Jim Martin

Jim Martin

For Jim Martin, president of James Martin Associates in Vernon Hills, Ill., software allows them to track how they’re doing compared to how they thought they’d perform, which has played a large role in their success.

“The most important thing for business owners is to be able to predict where you’re going to be and look forward. It’s difficult to do that without having an aggregator for the information,” Martin says. “Aspire does the best job of that from what we’ve seen.”

His company offers maintenance, design/build, irrigation and snow services, and their customers are about half commercial, half residential. The company has an annual revenue of $15 to $20 million and has been using Aspire for four years.

Tom Bolas

Tom Bolas

“It gives us a really good look at how we’re doing at how we thought we were going to do,” Martin says.

Before, they had a dozen different spreadsheets to track all of their information, but now, they’ve drastically cut down on those and can rely on the software, says Martin’s general manager, Tom Bolas.

“It’s streamlined the process,” Bolas says. “If people don’t have software that allows them to consistently estimate and review how they’re performing at their jobs, it’s very hard to improve their performance.”

The Aspire business management software system

Suggested KPIs for your business

Customers: Account Manager performance report tracking revenue under management – lost contract, gained contract and up-sells (Click to enlarge)

Forecast: Budget reports tracking Actual revenue to budget revenue and actual labor costs to budget labor cost (Click to enlarge)

Labor: Crew performance report tracking job hours budget and scheduled compared to actual (Click to enlarge)

Sales: Salesman performance report tracking budget to actual new sales proposed and closed (Click to enlarge)

Photo: Peter Welch

Photo provided by Peter Welch

Making the game

Winning is the reason people play the game, at least that is what Vince Lombardi believed. Every business needs a vision, a strategy, a system, and the courage and commitment to execute.

Peter Welch

Peter Welch

“A good software is a good solution. The less it takes to do what we do, the better off we are and the better we can get ahead,” says Rorie. “People don’t realize ‘simple’ usually wins. Complexity eliminates a lot of victories, which keeps people from being able to get to the goal line.”

Software can run the business, lessening the workload and inefficiencies – things that are important to Peter Welch, chief financial officer of Heartland, and his team.

The company offers commercial maintenance and snow removal services and have an annual revenue of $65 million. They’re located in Mission Woods, Kansas, and they have four platform companies, which all use Aspire.

“We have seen efficiency and consistency across the platform in bidding work, estimating work, production scheduling and profitability reporting because they are all speaking the same language,” Welch says.

Welch says it’s essential to have a software system if a company wants to grow. “If you want scalability, multiple branches or multiple account managers, now is the time to make that investment. It makes the ability to grow in an organized fashion much easier than waiting until it’s out of control.”

To learn more about The Aspire Software Co. and request a demo, visit www.yourapsire.com.

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This page was produced by North Coast Media’s content marketing staff in collaboration with Aspire. NCM Content Marketing connects marketers to audiences and delivers industry trends, business tips and product information. The Landscape Management editorial staff did not create this content.

Header photo: Stock.Adobe.com/TOMASZ ZAJDA