I found this picture representing the good ol’ concept of Chinese whispers.
I know you’d be thinking, “Utkarsh, why are we talking about Chinese whispers all of a sudden?”
Well, it reminded me of something - something that happens in your company. Not targeting you specifically here, my friend. It happens in most landscape maintenance and lawn care companies.
Whenever information about the job site changes hands, almost always, there’s something that gets missed. 😞
To put it succinctly, THERE’S ALWAYS A LEAK!
And the consequences can be DIRE!
1️⃣ You may not be able to deliver the quality of service that you promised during sales.
2️⃣ Your team may end up wasting time chasing ghosts while the important, more pressing issues may not get addressed.
3️⃣ You may go over budget and end up making no profits, or in many cases, end up incurring losses.
Why are handovers a total mess? 🤔
Let’s take a look at how the information flows from one team to the other.
Your Business Developer wins the contract and then hands over the customer and what he knows about the site to the Account Manager.
The Account Manager then passes on what he learns during his site visits to the Crew Leader/Production Manager.
The Crew Leader then instructs the crew about what is to be done and where.
In theory, this looks like a seamless process. In reality, it’s chaos. 😵💫
1️⃣ People see the world differently
2️⃣ People are not paying attention
3️⃣ People have different expectations of outcomes
For you to deliver the top notch service that you promised and keep your customers happy, your handovers need to be clean - meaning without any leakages.
You may think, “My teams communicate with each other daily; my business has no leakages.”
I’d say, think again!
The more people there are talking to each other, the more likely it becomes that something would leak during handovers.
Take a look at this figure:
If you have as few as 10 people in your company who are communicating with each other, there are 45 possible lines of communication and that means 45 instances for potential leakages. 🤯
This effect is compounded by the fact that most of your business communication is still pen-and-paper based.
1️⃣ Papers get lost all the time.
2️⃣ It isn’t easy to share data written on papers.
3️⃣ You can’t edit things on paper either, so that’s another issue.
So the first change that you’ve got to make is make your documentation digital. Digital data is easy to share, easy to edit, and easy to organize.
How to digitize job site data? 🤔
Many landscaping companies use WhatsApp groups or Google Drive. And even though that’s much better than documenting data on paper, it still doesn’t solve the problem completely.
As Daniel Currin, CEO, Greenscape, pointed out during our session at the Lawn & Landscape Tech Conference 2022:
“We’ve tried the shared drive and putting all the documents in one place, but it just isn’t very visual and doesn’t look like people’s heads. When you’re able to visualize the data not next to the map, but on the map and layer that with all the things you’d wanna see, then that’s a game changer.”
Document job site data on live maps! 😎
Landscaping is an outdoors activity. Almost all job related communication is tied to a specific location on the property and it is very difficult to explain “where” with just words.
The best way for us to document job site data is to do it on the maps.
Imagine this scenario. If all your teams could be on all the properties at all times, it would be so much easier to relay job site data. All you’d have to do is point to the location you’re referring to and the other person would know. Well, that is just not possible though, is it?
Then here’s a better alternative. You document job site data on living, dynamic maps! 😎
You can do that with SiteRecon. We’ve got a mobile app that lets you document job site data in the field. That data is synced automatically to the web app that you can operate from your office. So every member of your team can access job site data - regardless of where they are.
Guys from companies like Greenscape, Level Green, Mulhall’s, Rockaway Inc., etc. are using SiteRecon to document job site data and they’re loving it.
When I talked about the need for having such a solution in the last issue of The Friday Cut, I got this beautiful response from Mary Ellen Burton, Account Manager at Level Green Landscaping:
Here, consider this scenario, for example.
Your Business Developer goes on site to do a site inspection.
He pulls up the Plato app on his phone and documents site conditions on the map. He can then export a detailed report containing all the notes and photos and share it with the client and Account Manager.
Since all the information is documented on the map and both the BD and AM see the same map and the same information, there is no leakage. ✌️
Similarly, when the Account Manager goes on site to see how the job is being carried out, he can document service issues, enhancement opportunities, etc., on the map and share them with the Operations Manager.
The Operation Manager can then convert the very same data (notes, photos) logged in by the Account Manager into job tickets and give the handover to crew leaders. The crew leaders can then assign tasks to the individual crew members on those very same notes, photos.
This way, everyone sees the same things and makes decisions on the same data. The map acts as a canvas upon which all your teams can come together and collaborate seamlessly.
It plugs the leakages that happen during handovers and helps you run your business profitably, smoothly and efficiently.
We're here for you 🤜🤛
I understand that implementing new tech can be daunting, but you’re not alone in this. We’ve helped several landscaping companies adopt this new practice and we’re acutely aware of all the pitfalls and challenges that you’ll probably face. We’ll be with you every step of the way and help you set up this system.
As I stated in the previous issue, transforming landscaping job documentation is a priority for us this quarter. So we’ll provide you with all the support that you need to succeed.
If you’ve tried the app already but have faced certain challenges, please let me know about them. I’ll help you find solutions.
If you haven’t given it a shot yet, well, give it a shot! It’s spring. You’re on sites right now. This is the best time to implement this new process. You’ll be documenting better and you’ll spend less time firefighting and more time delivering the service you promised.
Here’s a link to download the app 👉 CLICK HERE
If you want to hop on a quick training call, we’ll be more than happy to help you out. You can book a call with our Customer Success Team on this link 👉 BOOK CALL