Assembling A Better Business

BOSS® Hosts Client Connect Workshop to Help Clients Achieve Better Performance with Assemblies Tool


To help users achieve better results creating more accurate and timely proposals and work orders, BOSS® Software hosted a Client Connect Elevation Workshop July 23-25 in Boston to dive deeper into the software’s Assemblies feature and share how users can leverage it for increased growth and profitability.

More than 40 BOSS Software users participated in the workshop that included both group and small groups sessions led by the BOSS Elevation Team, industry consultant Bob Maffei of The Maffei Companies and the management team of ND Landscape Services.

Attendees spent a day getting a behind the scenes look at ND Landscape Services facility learning how this growing family-owned business has deployed BOSS Software to improve its estimating, materials management, accounting, lead management and scheduling processes.

Rotating through ND Landscape’s production, contract administration, finance and sales departments, attendees were able to see first-hand how the company has integrated the Assemblies tool, a feature unique to BOSS Software, across their operation. The small group settings allowed for an interactive exchange and sharing of best practices, a valuable part of the overall BOSS experience.

The day concluded with a tour of historic Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, and group dinner.

Day two of the program included a review of the tools included in the latest software update (10.1) and a preview of what future enhancements are in the works. Users also learned more about BOSS’ extensive user support options, wellness checks and certifications.  

The Assemblies best practices panel discussion featured Nick DiBenedetto of ND Landscape Services, John Richter of Richter Landscape and Wayne Epling of Epling Landscaping. These industry veterans shared their experiences using the BOSS Assemblies tool to better manage the financial and operational performance of their irrigation, design build and enhancement projects from proposal to completion.

The event wrapped up with an informative, energetic session from Maffei, who built Maffei Landscape Contractors into a well-respected landscape firm on Massachusetts’s Cape Cod, who shared best management practices on how to measure to manage more effectively by empowering employees, implementing systems that drive accountability and managing to outcomes.

“The information that was offered and the connections BOSS Software users formed during the workshop will deliver immediate benefits,” said Shannon O’Neil, of the BOSS Elevation Team, sponsors of the event. “The workshop demonstrates BOSS’ ongoing commitment to providing users with tools to grow and improve their businesses and listen to what landscape and snow contractors need from their software.”

The event was supported by Gravely, SiteRecon and Urture.

The BOSS Software Difference

Noted for its ease of use and ability to be tailored to meet the ever-expanding needs of companies, BOSS stands alone when it comes to delivering return-on-investment and unmatched levels of client service and support.

BOSS is designed to solve shared challenges and barriers to growth for business owners in multiple field service markets including landscape construction, landscape maintenance, snow removal services, interior maintenance, and cleaning. Learn how BOSS can help you grow your business or request a consultation.

Tips for Improved Employee Software Training

Rapid growth in business is often called “a good problem to have,” but it can also overwhelm a business that is not fully ready for the substantial impact of taking on new customers and adding services.

Training employees in new business software can have a similar impact on rapidly growing businesses. Employees as well as managers and ownership can feel overwhelmed at the prospect of learning and successfully implementing new business software, no matter how promising the reward is for making the change.

And even when the initial onboarding process is complete, ongoing training to fully maximize all the software’s business management tools is a necessity.

Software Training Essentials

Consistent and ongoing employee training is essential for maximizing productivity and ensuring efficient utilization of the software. Here are some steps for successful business software training:

Assess Training Needs – Evaluate the specific requirements of your organization and identify the software that requires training. Determine the desired outcomes and performance goals for the training program.

Set Clear Objectives – Clearly define the learning objectives you want to achieve through the training. These objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART goals).

Design Training Materials – Develop comprehensive training materials that cater to different learning styles and in different formats. Include user manuals, step-by-step guides, video tutorials, interactive presentations, and any other resources that facilitate learning.

Create a Training Schedule – Plan the training sessions, considering the availability and schedules of the employees. Consider whether to conduct the training in-person, virtually, or through a combination of both, depending on the software and logistical constraints.

Tailor Training to Audience – Adapt the training content and delivery methods to suit the needs and skill levels of the employees. Consider conducting pre-training assessments to gauge their existing knowledge and customize the training accordingly. Make sure the training also addresses the tasks employees will be asked to perform with the new software.

Create Cross Training Opportunities – To build your ‘bench strength’ on using the software, create cross training opportunities for employees to ensure that someone can step in and effectively perform needed task in the event of an employee leaving, extended absences, vacations, etc.

Engage with Hands-On Exercises – Provide ample opportunities for employees to practice using the software through hands-on exercises and simulations. Encourage them to experiment and explore various features of the software.

Foster Interactive Learning – Incorporate interactive elements such as group discussions, role-playing, case studies, and real-life scenarios to enhance engagement and knowledge retention. Encourage questions and create a supportive environment for learning.

Tap into Training Support Resources – Your software partner should offer ongoing support resources to help you with the onboarding process. They should also offer ongoing support resources (i.e., help desks, user forums/conferences, etc.) to address any questions or challenges that arise after the training sessions. Make these resources readily available to employees responsible for using the software daily.

Monitor Progress and Provide Feedback – Regularly assess the progress of the employees during and after the training. Offer constructive feedback to individuals or the group as a whole and provide guidance on areas that need improvement.

Reinforce Learning Through Follow-Up – Schedule follow-up sessions or refresher courses to reinforce the learning and ensure that employees retain and apply their newly acquired skills. Offer opportunities for employees to provide feedback on the training and suggest any improvements.

Evaluate Training Effectiveness – Measure the effectiveness of the training program by collecting feedback from participants, conducting post-training assessments, and assessing the impact on performance and productivity. Use this evaluation to refine future training initiatives.

Successful business software training requires a well-planned approach, ongoing support, and continuous evaluation to ensure that employees are equipped with the skills needed to effectively use the software and contribute to the success of the organization.

The BOSS® Difference

BOSS Software’s in-depth knowledge of business software and the needs of professional landscape and snow removal contractors makes it the number one choice for businesses searching for a complete software solution. Call 866/596-5971 or request a free consultation today.

The Integra Group Continues Mission of Giving by Partnering with Habitat for Humanity

The Integra Group, the creator of BOSS Software,® not only aims to be impactful with the tools it provides its customers for their businesses but to have an impact on the community where it lives and works.

Since 2015, Integra Group team members have put aside their programming and client support responsibilities for a day and grabbed hammers and drills to help Habitat for Humanity St. Louis build new homes for families in need.

The Integra team put their time and talents to build the exterior framing on the ranch-style home in St. Louis’ Riverview/Glasgow Village neighborhood. A typical Habitat home is in the range of 1,200 to 1,500 square feet and features three to four bedrooms and one to two bathrooms. In most cases, our homes also have a full, unfinished basement and either a driveway or parking pad.

This project sustains The Integra Group’s mission of community service through both time and treasure, with an eye toward long-term sustainable results. In addition to Habitat for Humanity, the company also works with Give Hope Global, Midwest Food Bank, and the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation.

“Partnering with Habitat for Humanity provides families the opportunity and possibility that decent, affordable housing represents, and we are proud to participate in such a worthy cause,” said Mike Cossins, president and founder of The Integra Group. “By coming together toward a common goal, we were able to make a tangible difference in the lives of others.”

Habitat for Humanity offers a homeownership opportunity to families living between 25 and 50 percent of the area median income, who are generally unable to obtain conventional house financing. In addition to purchasing their home and paying an affordable mortgage, partner homeowners contribute 350 hours of “sweat equity” on the construction of their home or another Habitat Saint Louis home and take educational courses to help them succeed at owning a home. Since its inception, Habitat and its volunteers have brought nearly $60 million in affordable housing development to the St. Louis metro area.

About The Integra Group

Founded in 1999, The Integra Group provides cloud-based solutions and custom software consulting services throughout the U.S., England, Canada, and Australia. BOSS industry-specific solutions are mission-critical business management services that are enterprise-wide in scope.

Finding Money in Plain Sight

Finding Money in Plain Sight: How BOSS Software Automates the Invoicing Process

Rapid growth in business is often called “a good problem to have,” but it can also devastate a business that is not fully ready for the substantial impact of taking on new customers and adding services.

Diamond Landscapes, a full-service maintenance and design firm with offices in Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky, found itself at an inflection point with its own growth, says Andrew Cropper, general manager of operations and sales.

“We were growing rapidly and needed the ability to track contracts and proposals, as well as analyze outcomes more efficiently,” says Cropper. “Our software, which involved heavy use of Excel spreadsheets, was not getting the job done. We needed a much higher level of detail.”

In 2021, Diamond invested in BOSS Software to help deliver the data and analytical horsepower it needed to support its growth and improve decision making.

The installation of BOSS started with the maintenance division. Cropper revamped the company’s catalog of materials used, reducing the number of items from 8,500 to 800. Compliance with ticket allocation reached 80 percent in the first year and has continued to improve as management and employees have become familiar with the software and work to take full advantage of its features.

Nailing Down Contracts

In the field, BOSS provides a layer of accountability via the job inspection process that is powered by BOSS Mobile.

“Account managers in the field are equipped with iPads, and field supervisors inspect properties to ensure the work is being done properly and according to contract. That information is recorded in the software on the iPad,” says Cropper. “There is an audit for each service, and at the end BOSS produces a property score. If an area is missed, a crew leader and account manager are tagged in the notes section on what needs to be corrected, the level of urgency, and other information as needed.”

With more accurate, updated information gleaned in real-time from the field, Cropper and Diamond can enjoy what has been the most impactful benefit of using BOSS Software – nailing the contract.

“When I came on board at Diamond, the biggest issue that I could see was that our pricing on contracts was inaccurate,” says Cropper. “We were allocating materials improperly or not at all and leaving money on the table. We weren’t charging what we should. With BOSS, we have good data in the system and good job costing. We can assess and price jobs properly from the start and accurately charge for materials and labor.”

Better Data = Better Performance

Having more reliable data puts predictive planning power in Cropper’s hands. For instance, he can calculate turf square footage vs. hours mowed to determine how long a job takes, allowing refinement of production rates.

“With all numbers in place it helps in our forecasting in terms of labor, materials –really in all areas,” says Cropper. “We can filter by account manager, service provided, and much more. It has great reporting capabilities that can help us spot labor needs, where labor time is off, where help is needed, and shift labor and equipment. It can also help with purchasing efforts – we do financial audits, so we know labor rates vs. costs.”

Another big BOSS impact is converting legacy contracts in the maintenance division.

“With existing clients up for renewal, we experienced a year over year increase of $800,000 from legacy contracts from 2021 to 2022, and so far, this year we’ve seen an increase of $300,000 over last year,” says Cropper.

One key capability drove the increase:  the ability to track how long it takes crews to execute specific maintenance tasks.

“This will get better and better going forward,” says Cropper. “We now know our allocations, and everyone is on the same page.”

Taming the Snow Business

Mother Nature will always find a way to wreak havoc on any snow management plan, but the best companies find ways to control what they can. Diamond embraced the BOSS Snow module which slashed billing time and gave the entire snow team better tools to keep work moving and cash flowing.

“We were using massive spreadsheets to track routing and salt usage which was not efficient and could take up to three weeks to bill,” says Cropper. “After the first snow event we got the work into a billable state in a fraction of the time as the previous system. After the second snow event it was less than a day. This year we were able to get billing done in 30 minutes.”

Diamond invoices snow three ways depending on the service options – seasonal, time and material, or per occurrence.

“With BOSS, we are now able to issue contracts or work orders with confidence,” says Cropper.

Another cool feature of BOSS Snow gives plow operators and supervisors the ability to add photos and notes from the work site, which proves highly informative and useful. “It’s a great tool to double check work quality,” he says. “We can share with customers photos for proof of service along with time punches. It has been a big game changer for us, reducing multiple days of work to a few hours.”

Internally, Diamond managers are still learning but the comfort level with the use of BOSS Software tools continues to increase. Crew members have embraced capabilities such as built in GPS for customer addresses, use of job notes and photo capabilities, and the enhanced communication tools that provide more efficiency. “Crews know what they need for the jobs, and they are not running back and forth to the office for materials,” says Cropper.

And the best part is that there is still a mountain of potential to generate even more revenue and improved efficiency with BOSS tools and systems across the entire business. As improved data is collected and populates the software, everything from P&L forecasting to targeting high margin customers to managing costs and spending on long-term construction projects becomes more streamlined and accurate.

“Looking ahead, we want to drill down more on data,” says Cropper. “All jobs should have notes added to them and we can also add property maps, plow maps, planting maps, and more. It will be a big undertaking, but we want to streamline communication and extract as much benefit from the software as we can.”

The BOSS® Difference

BOSS Software’s in-depth knowledge of business software and the needs of professional landscape and snow removal contractors makes it the number one choice for businesses searching for a complete software solution. Call 866/596-5971 or request a free consultation today.

A Season of Opportunity

Business Revenue Doubles With Seamless Software Execution

This winter has been a season of opportunity for Curbside Landscape and Irrigation, a year-round landscape maintenance company in suburban Minneapolis. As Mother Nature churned up the snow machine at a record pace, including sequential weather events that dumped nearly the entire season’s average snowfall in just seven weeks, the Curbside team was more than up for the challenge.
Difficulties that so often vex snow and ice removal efforts – logistics, crew communication, work tracking, reconciling invoices, and timely billing – have been seamlessly executed with the use of BOSS Software.

Curbside started using BOSS back in 2016 to improve every aspect of the business operation, says Tyler Johnson, business coordinator at Curbside.

“We were able to get buy-in from employees during the first year, and we’ve seen revenue go up significantly since we started using BOSS,” Johnson notes. “We more than doubled revenue from $9 million to $20 million, and now employ 100 individuals including field staff and administration.” That revenue total includes $7 million in snow management alone.


Mobile App Connects Crews

One of the keys for Curbside’s success in its growing snow and ice removal division is keeping the execution plan relatively simple and flexible, while fully employing BOSS’ powerful logistics and record-keeping abilities to manage the chaos in real-time. The software’s mobile app can create a ticket for each snow event, and all notes on the property and work completed are available for the foremen and crews to view.

“For example, supervisors can share detail on what areas of a property need additional clean up or have special requirements,” says Johnson. “Access to updated information is always available – no one is wasting time waiting for instructions or information.”

The app also provides access to property maps and includes a texting feature to communicate with the foremen and crews, in particular the salt spreader drivers.

“When we need to communicate with crews on changing weather conditions, like when sleet changes to snow, or when there is an equipment breakdown and we need to move crews and equipment around to cover an area, we don’t have time to call multiple trucks to respond. This is where the software’s texting capability is critical,” says Johnson.


Faster Invoicing, Better Cash Flow

BOSS’ ticket system collects all the work that occurs during the snow event on a given property, including field notes from foremen and crews who work overnight. When Johnson arrives for work in the morning, he gets a complete and timely picture of what occurred in the field over the past 24 hours.
Having all the information accurate and centralized has been a game changer for Curbside. Internally, the field information fuels the company bonus program, which helps ensure employee buy-in to the software system.

“We developed a culture where people want to make good money through the company’s bonus programs,” says Johnson. “And if we don’t have accurate data to prepare proposals or invoice clients with, the bonuses won’t be as good. Long-term employees know the value of having accurate info and why it’s important, and this gets passed along to new hires.”

Externally, having accurate, timely data means the speed to invoice is exponentially faster.

“This winter we billed more snow work in two months than we did all of last year,” says Johnson. “Before BOSS it was taking three weeks to invoice. Today, we will have an invoice out in 48 to 72 hours.”

In addition to streamlining the cash flow coming in, it also speeds reconciling with subcontractors.

“If we aren’t able to pay them on a timely basis, we may lose them or need a serious line of credit to manage around it,” says Johnson. “Snow management demands good cash flow.”

Curbside has maximized the benefits of using BOSS Software by going all in and extracting as much value as it can. For example, the mowing department has improved its proposals using information generated by the BOSS Software to include actual costs to perform work. The division was profitable for the first time in 2022 having its best year ever.

The company has also embraced BOSS’ culture of continuous improvement, providing the company with ideas for enhancements to the software.

“BOSS is willing to hear input from end users and make changes,” says Johnson. “We got together with them in the offseason to discuss ideas, and by winter the changes were made. They took the time to listen and got it done. Every winter we think of new ideas, and BOSS has our backs.”


The BOSS® Difference

BOSS Software’s in-depth knowledge of business software and the needs of professional landscape and snow removal contractors makes it the number one choice for businesses searching for a complete software solution. Call 866/596-5971 or request a free consultation today.

Optimizing Your Business Software

When it comes to any system or process at a business, a wide spectrum exists on its overall functionality. On a scale of 1 to 10 is it motoring along at a satisfactory 5, or blazing toward an optimized 10?

Business software is certainly one of these systems that can fall anywhere on the optimization scale. Just because it works does not necessarily mean you’re getting every penny of value out of your investment of time, people and financial resources.

Fortunately, there are some critical best practices for landscape companies that will significantly improve your experiences with the business management software you are using, and ensure you are getting the biggest return on investment.

Train and Retrain. Landscape companies simply can’t afford to have the weakest link in efficiency and productivity be a lack of software acumen among the employees. Training is critical for ensuring the effective use of software, for uncovering employee challenges and weaknesses, and for improving overall job satisfaction among the crew.

Once trained, employees will need plenty of time to practice their new skills without fear of making a critical error. In addition, refresher courses and additional training, after updates, ensures there’s no lapse in team effectiveness.

BOSS updates their software continuously and informs users so they are “in the know” of new features that should be culturally adopted and trained for.

Assign Super Users. Not everyone will need to understand every aspect of the business management software, but there needs to be one or two individuals who act as super users.

They will be responsible for learning the system from top to bottom so issues can be resolved rapidly in conjunction with your company’s IT department. They may also work with IT to interact with technical support from the software company, so issues can be converted into solutions that are implemented rapidly.

After you’ve assigned your super user and backup super user, how can you to take it to the next level? BOSS offers certification programs – both basic and advanced – that will ensure your team has the knowledge needed to make the most of BOSS. We recommend having at least one person certified in each key area.  

Establish Goals. Just like landscape businesses set financial and productivity goals for their maintenance, design build or snow removal divisions and identify individuals to make sure those goals are met, setting goals for the implementation of software is equally important.

Setting timelines for integrating with other systems, adding on capabilities, and reassessing the software to ensure effective use will all help to ensure that software use is optimized. It is also important to fully understand what features of your software are not currently being used, and to develop plans for future implementation as it matches with growth and expansion.

To help establish attainable goals, users should refer to the BOSS Scoreboard, a report within the system that can be run by contractors at any time. The scoreboard displays features used and not used in the system and is a good first step to help creating your software implementation road map.

Engage with Peers. The best advice for maximizing software effectiveness often comes from other companies using the same system. Tap into the network of fellow BOSS software users by joining the BOSS Elevation Group, a group of users that meets virtually every month. You can also attend a BOSS Elevation Team workshop. You’ll find real benefit from sharing and learning from each other. 

Use the Dashboard. The software’s built-in dashboard provides important insights into efficiency, productivity, and profitability at your company. Ensure that your key personnel understand what the dashboard is telling you, and how to act on the information most effectively.

Tend To Your Data

The old cliché “garbage in, garbage out” is a favorite among business software companies when it comes to the challenges of turning data into information, and for good reason. Software clients must do everything in their power to ensure that the data going into a software solution is accurate and reflective of the conclusions that come out the other end. Keep the following in mind as you think about your company data:

  • Identify and stick to common terminology to ensure software stays clean.
  • Keep data fresh and valid by eliminating that which is old or no longer of value.
  • Due to the economy, companies are updating as prices changes – daily, weekly, biweekly vs. monthly or seasonally. Invest the time to learn how to update your software pricing catalog in the most effective way to save money.
  • To ensure you are getting the best and latest offerings from your provider, update software when required. If disruption is a concern, have updates take place in the evenings when it is not in use.

You’ve made a significant investment of time, talent, and capital to put this software to work in your business, so optimizing its effectiveness makes perfect sense. By fully engaging your provider, your employees, and other companies using the software, you can be sure you’re working toward the goal of achieving a “Perfect 10.”

The BOSS® Difference

BOSS Software’s in-depth knowledge of business software and the needs of professional landscape and snow removal contractors makes it the number one choice for businesses searching for a complete software solution. Call 866/596-5971 or request a free consultation today.

How to Make the Software Onboarding Process Easier

You’ve done your homework, vetted possible partners and solutions, and finally made the difficult choice to move your operation to a new business management software solution. Congratulations on the progress you have made so far!

However, the excitement and internal energy created at a company at the apex of implementing a new software package can be quickly overwhelmed by disillusionment and frustration for the organization that is not properly prepared for what will be a substantial business disruption.

As a business owner, this is surely something that you’ve come to recognize – there is a substantial amount of work ahead that will test your leadership, your implementation team, and almost every aspect of your operation.

Effectively transitioning to new business management software is never going to be seamless and will come with struggles that will vary from company to company and implementation to implementation. But there are important ways you can prepare your organization for the tasks ahead to ensure that you and your people are managing the process, meeting goals, and not losing their minds along the way.

First, recognize the power of top-down commitment to the change and the benefits to the organization. As the owner, you are going to be the perceived leader of the software implementation.

Therefore, it is critical that you champion the process from top to bottom. Managers and associates will respond positively or negatively to the implementation directive and internal leadership driving it if you yourself stay genuinely engaged, enthusiastic, and supportive.


Right Plan, Right Team, Right Mindset

While battle plans often change once the shooting starts, there’s no understating the importance of having a well-developed implementation plan established as the implementation team prepares to move forward.

Details on the technical implementation, the sunset of the old system, training programs for the teams, and going in with a full understanding of the impact on existing software users are some of the key benchmarks of a solid plan.

This plan-building tip from a software authority is particularly compelling. New software will almost undoubtedly mean that certain workflows and processes will change. While many of these changes may be welcome ones, depending on how broken or tedious your current processes are, there will be others that may be met with resistance. Laying out exactly what will change, and how it will change, will help your team members feel more comfortable and prepared for the new software rollout when it occurs. For each new workflow, define the benefits that the new technology will offer, the steps that must be in place for a successful adoption, and any changes in responsibility that team members may have.

On execution, locking in the right team of managers to deliver on the plan is also important of course, as is getting them all on board and locked into the process. It’s important that your implementation leads understand the value of the new software, and that they have a clear idea of the benefits they and the employees will enjoy after making the switch. The implementation team will need all this information to stay focused on the process, and to communicate and emphasize key points to team members ahead of the game.


Have Clear Communication Throughout

After spending weeks and months on the software decision-making process, nobody understands the value and reasons for making the change better than you. It’s an important point to keep in mind – don’t assume that everyone has as clear of an understanding as you do.

To this end, having a communication plan in place ahead of transition, ensuring that all employees are kept up to date, is critical to a successful software transition. Be prepared to explain the strategy and benefits up front. People respond better when they understand the rationale for doing what needs to be done.

Also, even if you’ve already discussed why you’re implementing new software, establish a clear set of business objectives to get your whole team fully on board. Share this strategic vision with your team early before the rollout process begins.


There Will Be Bumps in the Road

Resistance is a normal factor in any substantive change in business, with something as systemic to the operation as software. Some people are natural resisters, and there will always be issues when it comes to migrating data, implementing processes, and everything else. Seek to reduce friction, but don’t get pulled under by its existence – keep moving forward.

Software implementation is never going to be completely seamless. But having a solid plan, a good team in place, and the right mindset should go a long way toward ensuring your investment of capital and time provide the anticipated return to your operation.


The BOSS® Difference

BOSS’ in-depth knowledge of software and the needs of professional landscape and snow removal contractors makes it the number one choice for businesses searching for a complete software solution. Call 866/596-5971 or request a free consultation today.

How Software Helps Grow Your Business

Owners of landscape and snow removal companies often enter the industry for the love of the work and the gratification of providing excellent service. Nothing beats the satisfaction of exceeding customer expectations, generating leads, building pride within the employee ranks, and ultimately growing the business.

But with growth comes the challenge of maintaining all the early momentum that gets you there in the first place. How can you manage customer relationships and expectations as you take on more clients? How do you manage and control the flow of new business opportunities and the proposals that come with that growth? How will you manage and track labor and material costs to ensure maximum efficiency? And at the end of the day, by what measures will you determine whether your business is successful? 

Building a Better Business With Software

Small business owners in almost every industry face the same predicaments, and often aren’t at liberty to bring on additional management assistance to fill gaps that open as a business grows. One option that many entrepreneurs turn to is the addition of a business management software system that addresses key pain points and provides automated solutions.

A business management software solution provides a structured model and defined processes to streamline operations. This helps the business run like clockwork without having to hire additional staff or overburden current staff with repetitive, time-consuming tasks.

The benefits of investing in the right software solution for your operation are significant, according to small business resource websites such as  AllBusiness and Small Business Trends. They each identify small business challenges that that the right software package can help you to tackle the following:  

Customer Relationships – The right software package will not only allow you to manage existing customers more effectively, but also to mine new business from prospective clients. Software can provide a depth of knowledge about prospects that allows you segregate them and make the best possible decisions on strategic marketing, including targeted, timed, and fully tracked email communication.

Simplifying Employee Tasks – Something as simple as tracking employee timesheets using a time-tracking tool within a software system not only makes the process easier for employees – managers can view, retain, and track employee activity to monitor efficiency and streamline payroll. Also, many software packages take advantage of mobile phones and cloud computing, allowing account and customer information to be accessible from almost anywhere. 

Creating Estimates and Invoices – Using software for creating accurate estimates and invoices eliminates stress and reduces errors by minimizing the possibility of human error and ensuring consistency across customers. An integrated system tying financials to customer records makes real-time invoicing a reality, and a more advanced software system will compile this information to provide insights into the popularity and profitability of services, as well as the financial trajectory of the business. 

Creating and Tracking Projects – The right software package will allow you to monitor the status of projects from start to finish. It will also help you track material usage, so you don’t cut into your profit margins. By tying together all the key business information in one place, the everything from scope to cost to final invoice are created and delivered without errors, surprises, or drama. 

These are some of the most basic benefits of bringing on a software package to your business. Deeper and more significant benefits can be mined from software systems that are targeted to your area of business and tuned to the way you want to run your operation. And your level of commitment to extracting value from the software is also critical.

Key Takeaway

Once you determine your company’s specific needs and goals, then use the software to help support your efforts to achieve them. A good software solution also helps position a company for an acquisition as there is more clarity and consistency to financial reporting. Having the correct software in place will save you both time and resources, two things that can be reinvested in seeking new opportunities for growing your business and people.

The BOSS® Difference

BOSS’ in-depth knowledge of software and the needs of professional landscape and snow removal contractors makes it the number one choice for businesses searching for a complete software solution. Call 866/596-5971 or request a free consultation today.

Mistakes to Avoid When Onboarding Software

The decision to switch or purchase business software is a significant one for landscape contractors and snow removal professionals. The process can be stressful. From the advance research to determine the best vendor, to demos to preview the software, to negotiating the final agreement, it takes time and strategy.

All of this adds extra pressure to owners, managers, and employees up and down the company ladder to ensure the software delivers the ROI that is expected.

The real pressure comes after the agreement is signed and the onboarding process begins. User onboarding is a massive responsibility for the person(s) assigned to lead the charge. According to research from customer strategy advisory firm ThinkJar, nearly 70 percent of customer churn could be prevented if issues were resolved during the software onboarding process.

Client support during the onboarding process is critical. BOSS® has a long record of accomplishment of providing hands-on, easily accessible support from experts who will help contractors navigate the process. How important is support during the onboarding stage?

According to research from video marketing research firm Wyzowl, nearly two-thirds (63%) of customers say that onboarding – the level of support they’re likely to receive post sale – is an important consideration in whether they make the purchase in the first place.

Mistakes to Avoid When Onboarding New Software

Once the agreement is signed and it’s time to onboard the software there are several things to keep in mind, according to Jarret Pitchford, onboarding specialist for The Integra Group, makers of the BOSS management software.

  1. The number one mistake to avoid is to think that the software is a cure-all for mismanagement. Pitchford said this is by far the leading mistake owners make when onboarding new software. New software will help streamline processes and efficiencies, but it can’t cover up poor planning or decision-making.
  2. The second common mistake is to think that the software must be perfectly implemented on day one. An enterprise software should be thought of as adaptable and capable of growing with a company’s needs. Reports should show the following:
    • Are direct costs too high or too low?
    • Are production factors too fast or too slow?
    • Are margins too high or too low? These key performance indicators need to be reviewed, fine-tuned, and corrected to make sure proposals are competitive.
  3.  A third mistake companies make is not having the correct people in place to guide the deployment. Either the people managing the deployment are overworked and don’t have the time, or they are not familiar enough with the company to answer key questions about the direction of the deployment. The onboarding process needs someone to manage it. It’s not a full-time job, but it is a task that takes attention. As the company grows, so does that person’s responsibilities with the system.
  4. The final mistake to avoid during the onboarding process is not setting a realistic timeframe for implementation or setting any hard goals for the team. Failure to do this results in going too fast and making mistakes, or not setting priorities or benchmarks for deployment because everything else takes priority.

“Many of the onboarding mistakes contractors make are a result of one or a combination of these,” said Pitchford. “A successful onboarding process requires setting clear goals and expectations and providing both the proper people resources and time to do it right.”

The BOSS® Difference

BOSS’ intimate knowledge of software and the professional landscape and snow removal business makes it the number one choice for businesses searching for a complete software solution. Call 866/596-5971 or request a free consultation today.

Purpose-Driven Culture Drives BOSS to Deliver

Purpose-Driven Culture Drives BOSS to Deliver

Landscape management software has vast potential for streamlining business processes, uncovering new service opportunities, and maximizing the potential productivity – and personal job satisfaction – of every employee. Helping landscape businesses extract these benefits takes not only great software, but deliberate planning and exceptional customer service throughout the implementation process.

This invested, embedded approach to landscape management software is what makes Integra, manufacturer of BOSS Software, unique in its field. Owner Mike Cossins says he started the company in 1999 to build something that improves people’s lives – both his own employees and those of his customers.

“This has been the driver since we started,” says Cossins. “To improve the lives of clients, helping their businesses operate more effectively and profitably. To allow them to be more generous with their employees so they get more enjoyment from the work and their lives. We are tech geeks, but we are driven by a deeper purpose. It really motivates us.”

More Than Software

Clients who commit to BOSS aren’t just purchasing a piece of software, they’re benefitting from the BOSS culture of care. The detailed implementation process, developed and fine-tuned through 20 years of work in the industry, is designed to ensure that the landscape contractor can enjoy every benefit built into the program.

“One of our guiding principles is that quality implementation is just as important as quality software,” says Cossins. “We use a team of implementers with a deep understanding of both the landscape industry and the software to make it as simple as possible.”

They also stress the need for total commitment from clients to engage in the software implementation. “They have so much invested in the software, and there’s no way to learn it overnight,” says Cossins. “The client needs to commit themselves to learning how to use it. It’s like digging for gold – the more you keep at it, the more return you can achieve.”

Cossins really drives this point home – success without commitment almost assures failure. “We understand that this is a difficult journey,” he says. “Everyone goes through it. We have a proven implementation process that takes time to complete. Clients need to leave a margin for the effort and understand that this is not a ‘spare time’ project.”

Support You Can Count On

Successful client implementation has been facilitated when contractors share responsibility internally, and don’t try to do everything themselves.

“We know that when people aren’t prepared or don’t understand a task, it will get pushed to the bottom of the to-do list,” says Cossins. “We advise that contractors to enlist key employees who know the business well, provide them support to take some of their day-to-day duties off their plates, and put them on the implementation project.”

New BOSS clients are assigned an “implementer” who serves as the point person up until the software goes fully live. Then, the client is handed off to the Elevation team, which works to help the client maximize the software benefits. Other resources, such as online video training, help support the “white glove” service approach.

In the end, client service is the measuring stick by which BOSS gauges its success, and the key metrics don’t lie. BOSS’ average response time to service calls is one hour, and that translates to high client satisfaction rates.

“We designed our company to have slow but steady growth because that’s what drives us,” says Cossins. “We can’t double or triple in size and still serve our clients well. We are here for the long haul.”

The BOSS Difference

BOSS’ intimate knowledge of software and the professional landscape and snow removal business makes it the number one choice for businesses searching for a complete software solution. Call 866/596-5971 or request a free consultation today.