More companies across various industries are taking advantage of the latest digital technologies to create new or modify existing business processes. Consider how the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has rendered some practices obsolete.
This increased use of computerized technologies across many sectors of the economy is being coined as a digital transformation. There are plenty of benefits landscaping companies can reap by using new technologies. However, it’s understandable that some businesses may be on the fence about digitizing.
Is it the right time for a digital transformation? How will digitizing add value to the business? No company wants to digitize for the sake of it, and it may seem intimidating for landscape businesses and their owners to know where to start.
Here are the benefits of digitizing a landscape business and some introductory ways small companies can do it to fuel growth.
Benefits of digitizing a landscape business
The landscape industry market has been growing an average of 4.2% per year, which means competition is getting more intense. Businesses must differentiate themselves from competitors to generate profit and meet their bottom lines.
One way to stand out from the crowd is to adopt technologies for a wide range of purposes. Take digital marketing in the landscape industry, for example. It can allow companies to reach new audiences on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
This could be greatly beneficial for the average landscape company. However, this is only one example of how businesses could benefit from technology. Here are other specific benefits they reap by digitizing operations:
Improve communication between employees, managers and customers
Use automation to remove bottlenecks and redundancies in jobs
Gain valuable insights into business operations
Issue complete reports about landscaping jobs directly to customers
Schedule and dispatch jobs more efficiently
The benefits of digitization often outweigh the drawbacks. It will take time, patience, and trial and error to get it right.
Steps to help a landscape business digitize
Digitizing does not happen overnight, and implementing new technologies in a landscape business is no exception. However, taking small steps can make processes more efficient and effective.
Consider using project management software
The main benefit of using project management software is that it keeps information about the entire landscape business in one central location for easy access. Whether it’s employee schedules, daily to-do lists or saved invoices, project management software can be a game changer.
It helps keep business files organized and companies operating at maximum efficiency. Additionally, project management software can improve communication with clients. Customers can be updated on job schedules, contracts and payments.
Invest in fleet management solutions
Fleet management solutions are helpful for landscape companies that manage an entire fleet of vehicles or machinery. These systems use telematics to oversee maintenance and efficiency improvements. The core benefits of a fleet management solution are increased productivity, employee safety, cost savings and identifying issues with landscape equipment.
Additionally, a viable fleet management system can allow landscape managers or business owners to track vehicles using GPS technology, manage fuel effectively, and plan optimal routes to and from landscaping jobs.
Improve employee training with digital solutions and e-learning
It can be challenging to adequately train employees on job-specific skills, such as prioritizing safety while completing landscaping tasks. A comprehensive training program should include an overview of protocols, new technologies or equipment and even provide workers with skills they’ll need during client interactions.
E-learning and other online resources can revamp a landscape business’s training program. These digital offerings vary but generally feature videos, checklists, and exams to ensure employees learn critical topics and skills.
Some topics may include equipment operation, accident prevention and engine basics. Additionally, landscape companies must comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. Including OSHA regulation modules can ensure legal requirements and standards are fulfilled.
The world is becoming increasingly digital, so landscaping companies should consider following suit. Whether digital technologies are used for marketing purposes, employee training or fleet and project management, these small changes can have a measurable impact on the success of a landscape business.
Evelyn Long is a writer and editor focused on home building and construction. She is the co-founder ofRenovated, a web magazine for the home industry.