Precision Landscape Management was founded in 1979 and became an Asset customer in 2002.
What problems were you having with your existing software, prior to Asset?
Unlike many landscape firms that start out using manual processes for estimating, job assignments, billing, etc., we knew from the beginning that the use of technology was good for business. Unfortunately, our initial experience with business management software was a great disappointment. For the first four years we used simple spreadsheets to manage our business. This was better than a paper-based manual system, but not by much. Data still had to be entered multiple times and was prone to errors. Our next step was to try “out-of-the-box” accounting software. However, we soon discovered it was too limiting because it didn’t include an estimating component.
Next, we tried a software product designed for the landscape industry. This partial solution quickly became unacceptable, as it didn’t include payroll and was less than effective in its overall functionality. From here, we moved on to a more sophisticated software product also designed for the landscape industry. This product turned out to be an unreliable solution due to the unresponsiveness of the supplier when technical problems arose. Despite their lack of support we endured for about 2 years while we searched for a “final solution.”
How did you discover Asset?
After disappointing results with several software solutions, we were frustrated. We knew what we were looking for but weren’t able to find it. We wanted a software solution built just for landscape companies: a complete system that does it all—estimates, proposals, work orders, invoices, payroll, and job cost tracking—and links every step in the process so data has to be entered only once. Hoping the “fifth time would be the charm,” we scoured the market for another option. Two of us attended trade shows and interviewed users of various software products on the market. This search led us to Include® Software and Asset.
What was it about Asset that made it the clear choice?
We quickly realized that Asset met all of our criteria and much more. The other 4-5 “finalists” didn’t have the single input capability of Asset and didn’t include other basic features we were looking for.
In fact, Include® Software was the only comprehensive solution for the green industry specifically. We were sold as soon as we learned that Asset would eliminate duplication of data entry, give us accurate real-time reporting, and incorporate estimating, proposals, purchasing, and scheduling with accounting.
We also discovered that Include® Software has a 95% customer retention rate and great technical support. After our many bad experiences with other software companies, this was huge for us and made our decision much easier.
How did the implementation process actually enhance your company?
During implementation we realized that much of our existing data was inaccurate, since it was based on our old systems and processes. Because of this, we ended up revising much of our data and only importing basic information directly from our old system. In the end, this proved to be a good move because we had data we could trust. The support provided by Include® Software staff was excellent.
How has Asset saved your company money?
We’ve been running our entire business on Include® Software. Because of our ability to manage growth and profitability with Asset, we were able to double our size without adding any additional office personnel. We have 230 employees in the field and four in the office, and every one of them loves it. Asset paid for itself in the first six months of use.