5 Ways Lawn, Landscape and Tree Care Companies Can Reduce Expenses
The challenge is real. With inflation and the cost of doing business on the rise, companies of all types, including those in the lawn, landscape and tree care category, are looking for solutions to lower operating expenses while still providing high-quality services to keep customers happy.
Even if you are considering a modest price increase on your service offerings (read our blog post on how to do that effectively), you still should take proactive steps to keep operating expenses under control so your valued customers won’t ever be tempted to “shop around” for another lawn, landscape or tree care provider.
No matter the size of your staff and work crews, these 5 cost-saving strategies can have a favorable impact on your company’s bottom-line:
Increase Warehouse Efficiency
Inventory velocity and cash flow have a direct relationship when you can manage material at projected job levels instead of warehousing supplies for use at some point in the future. It’s much more efficient – and profitable! – for your company to have the right inventory available exactly when you need it at the lowest possible cost. A basic understanding of real-time material and chemical inventory supply chain management can optimize your warehousing processes, especially when costs continue to rise and scrap metal is more expensive too. The experts at Arborgold are ready and available to offer solutions that are custom-designed to meet the specific needs of your company.
Promote and use ACH vs. Credit Card Payments
One sure-fire way to impact operating costs is to explore an ACH (Automated Clearing House) network for automated payments instead of credit cards, which charge a merchant fee on every transaction. In fact, average merchant fees can cost up to 5% of your firm’s gross revenues. ACH payment options have traditionally lower per-transaction costs. You might have some customers who insist on using credit cards to pay for your services and it’s best to accommodate them in that case. But if customers or vendors are open to using an ACH network…cha-ching!
Embrace Technology Integrations
If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to launch your lawn, landscaping or tree care company into the digital age. Take a look at some of these “smart” technology tools that Arborgold recommends to level up the professionalism at your company, and let us know if you have any questions about them:
- Advanced scheduling, routing and dispatch software saves money on fuel. Your crews will be dispatched via the fastest and more direct route each day, based on the number and location of jobs on their schedules. Who needs pain at the pump when there’s a solution at your fingertips?
- Thanks to technology, you can streamline the data entry process and eliminate duplicate entries for the job management and the accounting systems.
- Seamlessly sync timesheets with payroll services and digital approvals for fast and efficient payments.
- Automate text and voice broadcast messaging for all job-related client communication. These tools can strengthen your brand and provide high-quality customer care while reducing the financial investment on manual calls.
- While most lawn, landscape and tree care companies try to schedule with location in mind, today’s field service software often includes advanced scheduling tools that can determine the best date and time for any new job based on the location, equipment required and crew availability. This can reduce payroll costs and fuel expense related to drive time vs. work time.
- Software platforms like Arborgold allow salespeople to create remote estimates for lawn care and landscape maintenance jobs from any internet-enabled device by using seamless Google Map technology as well as access to online SiteOne or LandscapeHub material catalogs. It’s now much easier to reduce overhead expenses and cost-per-acquisition with accurate off-site estimating.
Track Time on Job Sites
Does your company employ a part-time seasonal workforce? If so, you know that managing payroll hours to ensure the profitability of revenues on every customer visit can be tricky. Fortunately, there’s an app for that! By using GPS location and digital on-site job check-ins to track time on the job, time in the shop and time on the road separately, companies will have a much better understanding of their true “direct contribution” profit and loss at all levels of the operation.
This strategy bears repeating because it’s probably the #1 profit-killer – AVOID REWORK. Returning to complete unfinished work on a job site is not only an unscheduled, time-consuming visit that must be absorbed by your service warranty, but also risks annoying the customer who found the performance on the prior visit to be unsatisfactory. Arborgold’s unique software platform allows lawn, landscape and tree care companies to:
- Create detailed estimates with property photos, digital landscape designs and actual material inventory line items to set realistic and accurate client expectations
- Integrate with online nurseries and landscape material catalogs including SiteOne and LandscapeHub to confirm availability and pricing for each item to be installed
- Assign service checklists for crews on the job to ensure they perform all aspects of each service before leaving the customer site
If you’re ready to reduce expenses and increase profits at your lawn, landscape or tree care company, find out if Arborgold is right for you.