Spring selling season is on the horizon for landscaping and lawn care service providers across the country (if it hasn’t begun for them already). Selling season is an exciting time, but a busy time too. The time frame to get quotes prepared and out the door before the first service is expected to commence is short- and on top of that competition is fierce.
It’s obviously important that green industry service providers take their time to prepare accurate estimates, but it’s also important that they’re prompt and turn proposals around quickly.
So what’s a landscaper to do when they’re facing the first quarter crunch?
Turfscape, Inc. Measures Properties Faster & More Accurately with Go iLawn
Take a page from Bob Martin’s book. Bob is an estimator at Turfscape, Inc., and also a Go iLawn user. Bob prepares landscape maintenance and snow removal estimates for commercial properties, which can be very time consuming and detail oriented.
Prior to using Go iLawn, Bob and the Turfscape team measured properties in the field with a measuring wheel. This resulted in inconsistent measurements and left Bob with no way to check for accuracy or confirm that the entire site was measured (and measured properly at that). These issues would further delay the estimate and proposal process altogether.
After they started using Go iLawn, Bob and the Turfscape team have been able to “manage the seasonal ‘Request for Proposal Crunch’ more effectively” and turn their proposals around faster as a result. Plus they use their Go iLawn site diagrams to help operations execute sold work more efficiently.
Here’s what else Bob has to say about using Go iLawn to measure properties for landscaping and snow removal estimates.
Turfscape, Inc’s Description of their Marketplace and Company
Q: How do you position your company in the market?
A: Turfscape provides services to meet our client’s site specific and budgetary needs. We are capable of value engineering customer contracts or providing full site management services.
Q: What is your brand known for? Do you have a unique selling proposition or a mission statement that helps define your brand?
A: Mowing grass and plowing snow for large properties.
Q: Is your market competitive? Do you compete against low cost providers, big chains, etc?
A: Extremely competitive, and the market competition varies between the sub-markets in which we operate in (i.e. Eastside vs. Westside vs. Southside). Our competition in our market segment ranges from midsize local companies to national providers.
Turfscape, Inc’s Experience Before Using Go iLawn
Q: Summarize three points of frustration you faced before you started to use Go iLawn. How has using Go iLawn specifically addressed those problems?
1. Limited by weather and daylight hours- Go iLawn allows us to measure properties year round regardless of what Mother Nature has in store for us outside.
2. Hours invested in field measuring sites- Our virtual jobsite is literally a few clicks away and after switching to Go iLawn we are able to estimate properties at all hours of the day.
3. Inconsistency and accuracy of measurements- The fact that Go iLawn is extremely user friendly has allowed us to quickly train employees to help out during crunch time. The ability to save each workspace and edit the work if needed has enhanced our ability to institute a higher level of quality control. The creation of specific measuring templates also ensures that the work is consistent regardless of the user.
Q: How did you measure property before using Go iLawn? What were the results?
A: Sites were all measured in the field with a measuring wheel by any available employees. Results varied by site, i.e. the more complex the site, measurements seemed to be skewed and/or areas missed all together. Snow cover would complicate the field measuring as well, particularly distinguishing landscape features (turf vs bed, bed edge, hard edge, property boundaries, etc.).
Finally, consistency of measurements- with any and all available staff out measuring sites it was hard to have a frame of reference to base the measurement from, it would be assumed that the entire site was measured completely. With Go iLawn, jobsites can be reloaded and checked for accuracy and consistency from job-to-job.
Turfscape, Inc’s Experience After Using Go iLawn
Q: What was the big a-ha moment when you decided you needed to try Go iLawn?
A: We were looking to increase our estimating capabilities and bid output. Using Google Earth didn’t seem like it gave us any type of accuracy and/or time savings so we decided to give Go iLawn a try and see what our results were.
Q: What are the top three features you love about Go iLawn? Why do you love them?
1. Edit Feature- Nice to be able to correct your work during the measuring of a site- Helpful also when there are multiple people measuring sites- gives the user the ability to modify the work if needed so there is some level of quality control and consistency to the measurements.
2. Ability to switch from the high resolution property view to the lower resolution neighborhood views- The property level allows the user to view the virtual worksite in greater detail so the measurement takeoffs can be dialed in. The neighborhood level usually provides more current imagery thus allowing the user to compare between the two views and adjust for any site modifications as needed.
3. Subtract Area (from the “right click” drop down menu)- This feature provides a “cleaner” or less cluttered finished product. Minimizes the number of individual measurements needed to complete a site takeoff thus saving time and increasing productivity of estimating properties.
Turfscape, Inc’s Results With Go iLawn
Q: What specific problems has Go iLawn addressed that other landscape contractors might be able to relate to?
A: Go iLawn has enabled us to manage the seasonal “Request for Proposal Crunch” more effectively. We are able to turn properties around in a relatively short period of time and get the bid into the customer’s hands, even under extreme situations where they need it next day! Extremely helpful for bidding large commercial portfolio work.
Q: Did you experience any direct “big win” business results for your company because of Go iLawn?
A: We recently started including the Go iLawn site maps with each site we submit proposals for and have received a lot of positive feedback for doing so. It has helped eliminate some confusion and clarified our bids ultimately leading to the successful winning bid.
The site maps are also utilized by our operations staff for job set up and property overview/boundaries reducing the time needed to walk each site with job supervisors- areas of concern can easily be identified and labeled on the site map and reviewed with the field employees.
Why Would Turfscape, Inc. Recommend Go iLawn?
Q: What is the single biggest reason you would recommend/why you love the Go iLawn?
A: I’m a self-proclaimed “map nerd”! I have always been fascinated with maps, mapping stuff, satellite imagery. Go iLawn allows me to combine my job of landscape and snow estimating with my inner nerd passion for all things cartography. Each site presents a new opportunity and challenge, so although the process may remain the same, the task is different with each job.
Q: What would you say to a contractor who is considering whether to purchase Go iLawn?
A: Well worth the investment. Be patient and develop a standard measuring system for each market segment in which you bid.
Special thanks to Bob Martin of Turfscape, Inc. for taking the time to answer our questions for this Go iLawn customer case study. Keep an eye out for Bob in our ads this spring in Lawn & Landscape, Turf and Landscape Management.