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.