The business environment is moving faster than ever with technology and innovative programs becoming available almost daily. Business software, operating systems, personnel management, vehicle and equipment fleet programs and all types of tracking programs are now ready to help you make the most of your business and profit opportunities.

First thing’s first.

The most important thing a business wants to do is make money. Today, there are software programs that let management view their revenue creation and expenses daily. For years, businesses relied on quarterly or monthly P&L statements to track their profitability; now your numbers are available anytime of the day. Your management team can have full view of departments and the complete company results. This really helps when you create an incentive program for managers because they can see the scorecard daily. Larger businesses must invest in the latest technology to remain competitive and profitable, and smaller operations should use technology to grow revenue without adding significant cost. Review your financial reporting system and be sure you’re using the most up-to-date programs. Look for peer groups that benchmark your financial results against other companies; it’s another way to improve profitability.

Programs that save money.

There are many programs that can reduce your cost of completing bids, purchasing, routing crews and tracking job times. Go iLawn offers time-savings programs to help prepare proposals. Company owner Mike Rorie, a respected landscape contractor and industry expert, also created the 80/20 Systems Audit that is included in his “The Advantage of Great Systems” presentation many successful contractors have attended. Rorie’s success comes from designing great systems that all contractors can benefit from. Chris Ascolese, Go iLawn business development manager says, “Technology can make life better and change the way we do things for the better. Embracing new technology can help businesses reduce cost and increase profitability.”

There are too many software providers to name, but when you review a program be sure it offers room to grow and allows for additional users within your company. CRM programs can save communication and customer relations costs.

Every manager or supervisor should have a way to communicate with clients about issues that are important to them without spending an inordinate amount of time or effort. Clients appreciate timely communication that is brief and to the point and isn’t always a sales pitch. CRM systems also route issues and communications throughout your company fast and effectively. These programs eliminate the proverbial rumor mill and speed up resolutions.

A big pile of papers.

Do you track your vehicle, equipment maintenance and repairs in hard copy? I hope not, but unfortunately far too many contractors still use paper records. There are computer and online programs that can track fleet costs and save maintenance and repair expenses. Large companies use these programs and know exactly what their vehicle and equipment expenses are. Remember, fleet maintenance and repair expenses reduce your bottom-line profit, so every dollar you save on these expenses goes right into your final profit.

Job time and routing software is a necessity for green industry companies these days. Most operators have a high labor burden that can be reduced by smart planning and using software systems to reduce on-the-job times and control crew travel times. A 5 percent reduction in job times and travel times can mean thousands of profit dollars. Don’t leave it to a pile of paper on your desk to track your expenses; know your cost factors and then work to reduce them.

New technology for irrigation.

Smart sprinkler heads are all the rage in irrigation today. Saving water is always good and improving irrigation systems so they put the right amount of water where it’s needed is what clients want. IrriGreen Genius smart heads take this a step further by reducing the number of heads needed and allowing for computer activated water distribution. If you offer irrigation services, find the latest technology that clients want and watch them order more services.

Quick Clips

1. Financial systems come first.

2. Change your ways to use tech better.

3. Throw tracking papers away.

4. Use technology to reduce your labor burden.

5. Find innovative ways to help clients save.