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.

Teamwork Pays Off: The Elevation Team Ensures Client’s Success 

A new enterprise software solution shouldn’t just provide support for the business as it is today. It should position a land care operation to elevate its efficiency, customer service, and profitability well after the purchase … month after month, year after year. 

BOSS® Software has made it a priority to put its clients in the best possible position to maximize the system’s capabilities through the BOSS Elevation Team.

Comprised of BOSS super-users with more than a century of combined industry experience, the Elevation Team provides new users with regular engagement on their use of the software to ensure it is achieving its full potential. 

“We’re client advocates, like an account manager for the BOSS customer,” says Shannon O’Neil, chief operating officer at Chicago-based Ryco Landscaping and an Elevation Team member. “We are there to reach out to clients, engage them, and provide a touch point for questions and issues they encounter.” 

Continually Improving Software Performance

One of the most valuable services the Elevation Team provides is a yearly wellness check, which comes with the software subscription. 

“The BOSS wellness check is designed to gauge how well the client is using the software, and to identify areas where the business could receive more benefits,” says O’Neil. 

The wellness check includes metrics on standard housekeeping items, extended features, and reports so that the client can understand where their organization rates with its use of BOSS.

“A customized report card is provided for review, then we schedule a meeting to go over the results and help the client clearly understand where there are opportunities for improvement, and to answer any questions,” explains O’Neil. 

In addition, clients are trained how to run the wellness check on their own any time of the year to ensure continuous improvement. 

Software Customized to Your Company’s Needs

Software customization and new software segment installations are another place that the Elevation Team can come into play. 

“We recently helped out a contractor who was focused on landscape lighting,” says O’Neil. “We helped him connect the dots, get all the products he was using into his inventory, and successfully deploy the software solution.” 

A recent customization provides a good example of the value of the Elevation Team. It was a payroll report that calculated weekly performance bonuses using an Excel spreadsheet.

“A contractor was doing a specific report and that we were able to help reformat, which has saved the company both time and money,” says O’Neil. 

“It involved pulling a report from the accounting system and putting the numbers into Excel to do the calculation,” she continues, “and that spreadsheet was then sent to payroll. Not only was it cumbersome, but formula errors were causing the bonuses to be calculated too high. We created a Pivot report that took the Excel step out and sent it direct to payroll.”

Premium Service, Premium Results

The Elevation Team also offers premium service calls for a deeper dive into issues and questions.

“Our value as owner/operators is that we can provide a fresh look and level of experience that a programmer can’t because of our experience in the industry,” says O’Neil. “We’ve been there and done that.” 

Another available offering is the BOSS Elevation Group Workshops, which feature targeted, intensive off-site experiences with the Elevation Team, BOSS software developers and managers, and fellow landscape contractors who are BOSS clients. 

“The next workshop in July is focused on snow, and we will have snow removal clients speaking at the event,” says O’Neil. “Our goal is to elevate and improve the client experience beyond basic customer service and accelerate business performance.”

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.

BOSS: Committed to Continuous Improvement

While no one who runs a business can fully foresee how evolving market forces will impact their product and service offerings, the one absolute certainly is that change will happen.

That’s why from the beginning, the creators of BOSS Software rolled out their initial offering with one eye on the horizon.

“We’ve been committed to reinvestment in the technology since day one,” says Mike Cossins, owner of The Integra Group, parent company of BOSS. “When we originally priced the software, we set aside 40 percent of the revenue for maintenance to keep up with technology changes.”

And it’s not just about adding and improving features to the software. Evolution beyond the software itself, such as electronic commerce, internet browser preference, and the movement toward mobile devices for connectivity and communication have required vast investments to ensure BOSS customers can access accounts and interact with employees in whatever way they prefer.

For example, when Google Chrome proved to be a better multiplatform option as a base browser, a software rewrite was required to accommodate a shift away from Internet Explorer.
The move to mobile was another significant shift.

“When we first rolled out BOSS, mobile wasn’t what it is today,” recalls Cossins. “BOSS had been cloud-based, but typically was used in an office on a PC. Subsequently, over several iterations, we designed new mobile screens to be used in the field that are now a core part of the system. And we continue to add features to it.”

Software By Contractors, for Contractors

New feature development is critical, so the software grows with customers’ businesses. BOSS has added numerous capabilities for customers including service route planning and management and integrations with accounting and payroll systems. BOSS also worked with a committee of market experts to create a business management software offering for the design build market.

Today, the commitment to growth and product advancement continues at BOSS with a significant investment in a snow management module.

“It’s a different market than maintenance or construction,” says Cossins, requiring its own approach to software. But just like the other BOSS offerings, “investment will be shared across all of our clients, and a percentage of the monthly fee will go toward the growth and enhancement of the service.”

While monitoring market forces is an internal management responsibility, BOSS relies heavily on customer engagement to ensure its development is on target, and to better understand client needs and desires as far as their management software.

“We have a Client Steering Committee featuring a hand-selected group of our top five clients who are, from our perspective, maximizing their use of all the features of BOSS software,” says Cossins.

At a once-a-year meeting, ideas from the group are vetted out through presentations and discussions and ranked by their relative levels of impact to customers and effort to create. The list instructs BOSS managers and engineers on key future projects.

“The plan now is to add a snow version of that committee to get feedback and ideas for feature development in that product,” says Cossins.

In a rapidly changing world, BOSS’ commitment to invest in the future has kept clients ahead of the curve and will for years to come.

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.

Six Things Contractors Need to Know When Buying Software

Selecting a business software management system is not something you want to change every year, or even every few years. You are not just choosing a software, you are choosing a long-term partner, creating a long-term business relationship and identifying a tool to help run your business.

For businesses to grow revenue, track expenses, manage labor, inventory and subcontractors, increase the accuracy of the bidding process, better serve customers and maximize their fullest potential, they need to select software that aligns with how their business operates and choose a software that seamlessly fits in and supports their efforts.

Let’s be honest. The selection process is not something that can be done on the side or when you have a few hours to spare. To maximize what will be a significant investment of time, people resources and money, you need to do your homework.

When It’s Time For New Software

How do you know your company is ready to switch to a new software system or make that initial investment?

If you feel you could be more productive or efficient with new software, it’s time to consider other options. Assessing your current setup is a good place to start. It’s important not to accept that your current setup is always ‘the way it should be’ just because you are used to it. Being open-minded will bring new opportunities that will boost your business performance.

Six Things to Consider When Selecting Software

Once you’ve made the decision to make a change or invest in software for this first time, there are several questions you need to consider as you research your options, according to Jarret Pitchford, onboarding specialist for The Integra Group, makers of the BOSS management software.

  1. Does your company currently have a culture of checks and balances? For example, do you have a regimented process for purchasing or inventory or do people just buy what they need, when they need it, and figure the rest out later? The same goes for tracking labor costs. When you are working on multiple projects at one time and shifting crew members around due to labor shortages, do you really have an accurate picture of your true labor costs down to the per job level?
  2. Do you currently like the way your company estimates jobs? If not, how, specifically, do you want to change that process and what do you want to achieve with the change?
  3. Do you want to switch to verifiable takeoff data (i.e., how many acres to mow, liner feet to edge, bed square footage to apply mulch, etc.) vs. instinct and experience? Do you have time studies in place you can use in the estimating process to gather the verifiable data needed to improve the accuracy of your estimates?
  4. Look around at your operation ask the question, ‘Does your company embrace technology?’ Is this going to be just another piece of technology that your company will readily adopt and use to its fullest, or will your team think you’re trying to move from a bass boat to an aircraft carrier? If your team is anti-tech, this will be an uphill and costly battle.
  5. Are you ready to lead? The most successful software deployments take place in companies where the owner takes the lead, embraces the deployment, is involved in the process and shows enthusiasm for this change. Your employees will follow your lead.
  6. Can your software grow with you? Switching software can be a major process. If you choose the right partner from the start, you can eliminate the need to change multiple times. It is much better to have a software partner that can adapt to your business as it goes through many stages of growth.

Be the BOSS of Your Business

BOSS consolidates ALL the aspects of your landscape, landscape construction, lawn care or snow management business into a single cloud-based solution available anytime, anywhere. Learn how BOSS can deliver return on your investment that will provide smoother internal processes to help your team provide exceptional customer service.

A Measurable Improvement in Performance

Hartman Landscaping Improved Financial and Operational Performance After Selecting BOSS®

What gets measured, gets improved. That’s critical in any business, but particularly so in the landscape and snow removal industries where labor and staffing can be a revolving door and weather can be unpredictable.

The best way to profitably manage a business is through real-time numbers. These numbers tell a business owner what their gross margins are so adjustments can be made proactively to improve the bottom line.


The Need for A Single Solution

Beau Hartman is the president of Hartman Landscaping in Zanesville, Ohio He’s passionate about the landscape business and it’s been in his blood since he was 15 years old. While this is a common start for many landscape industry entrepreneurs, not all landscape businesses are alike. When Hartman and his team decided that they’d had their fill of reviewing 10 different spreadsheets to complete their client billing as well as the need for a better scheduling tool, they set out to find a business management software program that could serve as a one-stop-shop. Specifically, a centralized platform to remove the uncertainly and time intensive process of manual time keeping and data entry.

After spending a few months researching and reviewing software demonstrations, Hartman determined that BOSS® would provide them with what they needed – a more cost-effective solution than other providers, and with a bonus comfort level that comes from the software for snow removal.

Finding Financial Success

As they set to implement the new software, Hartman couldn’t have imagined the financial success they would enjoy in one year’s time.

“We had been working with consultant Ed Laflamme to improve our gross margins across the board, but BOSS made it a lot easier to properly job cost and monitor and estimate gross margins,” said Hartman. “Job costing, alone, is really the number one benefit to us. If we can’t see what our job performance is, we don’t know what our margins will be.”

The company discovered that several condominium associations clients they were manually job costing and thought they were doing OK on when it came to profit margin were, in fact, costing them money.

Hartman estimated his annual revenues increased from $1.8 million to $2.5 million in 2021 because the software helped the company do more and do it more productively.

“It streamlines everything and allows us to handle sales more efficiently, which in turn helps us monitor gross margin and know we’re doing profitable work,” he added.

Saving Time and Money

Hartman’s team implemented the software in about three months. They held two to three meetings a week running from 30 minutes to two hours. In addition, they had homework to input service, materials and production rates into the program. While time-consuming, Hartman said his team didn’t resist the implementation and were glad to see it through.

Today, contract renewals are much easier through BOSS software automation, and the purchase order system is the driving factor behind the company’s job costing.

“The monthly invoicing alone (through BOSS) probably saved us 12-16 admin hours a month,” said Hartman. “I can’t imagine working without BOSS. We were scared at first as it was an expense, but we looked at how much money we spend a year in advertising and determined that if it costs us a dedicated amount of money each month to run our entire business, it’s definitely worth it.”

Today, contract renewals are mostly automated, a purchase order system is in place controlling job costs, AP is in order, and snow removal and mowing routes are centralized.

Hartman enjoys the ability to monitor gross margin on install projects on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. As material invoices are input, he can see in real-time where they stand on a job. On maintenance contracts, he can see which properties they’re underestimating hours on making it easier for crews to see the overall budget for the job.

Benefiting From Early Returns

With one full season under their belt, Hartman said there were a few big eye openers pertaining to inventory and direct job costs. He also learned about distributed time – the travel time between jobs. BOSS distributes it and proportionately allocates it to each job based on the size of the job.

“The investment and time spent onboarding the new system were big lifts but it’s definitely worth it in the long run it,” said Hartman. “