We had a great showing last week at the GIE show in Kentucky. This show is the largest landscape show in the country including thousands of people and companies from across the globe. It was exciting to see some of the innovative new products and services that will be paving the way for growth and innovation in the green industry for years to come.
It was apparent that we are in the midst of the technology revolution. Never before have businesses had access to so many affordable technology solutions that can help fuel growth and profitability. Here are a few thoughts on how to take full advantage of the technology revolution:
1) Technology has completely revolutionized sales, making the “inside sales” model a real possibility. With the right combination of CRM and marketing automation tools, you can save time and money by closing new business without ever leaving the office. This doesn’t replace good old fashion face to face selling, it simply adds an efficient alternative. As an example, we have used tools such as Salesloft, Hubspot and Hirenami to assist us on the sales front.
2) The next piece of technology every company needs is an Operations automation software, formerly known as an ERP system. This is the application that your mobile workforce can use to handle proposals, estimates, scheduling, labor tracking, work orders etc. A good operations software allows everything to be done from a mobile device, removes paper, eliminates duplicate data entry and puts the key performance metrics such as “job profitability” front and center. Some of the older technologies still cost an arm and a leg so make sure you do your homework to find one that is state of the art and affordable. We use SingleOps for this part of our business.
3) Labor efficiency is another huge part of the technology equation. This involves applying technology to either your manufacturing process or your service offering to get more done with fewer people. The self driving lawn mowers at the show are a great example. Self directed machine or automated processes will not replace humans, they will simply help us get more done with less.
One thing we have learned from implementing different technologies is that the tool is only as good as the process that is built around it. Make sure you build a culture that is willing to embrace new technology and open to improving your processes to ensure success. Remember that the most expensive statement in the world is, “But we’ve always done it this way.” As technology continues to evolve, I challenge you to look at your current set up to make sure you are in a position to ride the technology wave of the future.