Case Study:

Hittle Landscaping Streamlines Operations for 60+ Crews, Payroll, and Estimating

When it comes to using landscape business software, efficiency is everything. If the software is slowing you down because it’s burdensome to use, then it defeats one of the main purposes that you’ve likely implemented it. Most landscape business owners and managers are looking to make their experiencing using of software as streamlined as possible.

Marla Wallace Hittle Landscaping ControllerThat was exactly the case for Hittle Landscaping. The Westfield, Indiana-based full-service landscape company (which has both maintenance and construction divisions) was previously utilizing a proprietary software product on top of their accounting software. The proprietary software was being utilized for job costing and routing—and all of that data had to be uploaded into the accounting software.Marla Wallace, the company’s Controller, admits it was tedious.

“It was definitely a burden to be operating two different software systems,” she says. “We’d have to go to individual Excel spreadsheets each time that we needed to look for information and different team members would have different files. We needed something that was all-encompassing.”

That led them to explore their options.

“We were looking for a product that was built specifically for landscaping companies and therefore could really streamline what we were doing,” she explains. “A lot of our industry colleagues were using Asset. In 2012, we made the switch.”

Since then, the company has adopted every single module of the system and says business operations have improved as a result.

A Look at Live Data—At Any Time

iCREWtek by Include Software

The biggest change (and benefit) of adopting Asset has been having a system in which everyone in the company was working out of the same place—and seeing the same files. Wallace says that instead of having to look up or print out individual Excel spreadsheets, everything is now in one system.

“That has really helped with our estimating,” Wallace says. “To be able to look at live data any time has been huge. Plus, it’s improved our efficiency. The fact that everything gets pushed right through the system keeps things moving. An estimate gets approved, work orders get created, routing is generated—and everyone has visibility to all of this.”

The same benefits are true of iCREWtek, which is the mobile companion to Asset. Wallace says that they’ve been using iCREWtek for 3 years now and they love it.

“It’s live data at any time,” Wallace says. “At any point, you can see where any of your crews are. You can see where they last clocked in, what jobs they’ve completed so far, and what they’re currently working on. It’s tremendously helpful in keeping us connected in real time to what’s going on in the business.”

Of course, Wallace admits that implementing iCREWtek with 60 crews was no small feat—and it took some time. But the company believes in being “all in,” and using the product to the fullest. So, that meant making sure everyone was trained to use this valuable aspect of the software product.

Time Savings Abound

Wallace says that Asset has saved the company time in many ways. By streamlining processes, improving communications, and providing access to real-time data, Wallace says that operations are always moving swiftly.

Another area that Asset has helped has been in payroll. Prior to using Asset for payroll, the company had a data entry employee manually entering every work order into the system. But the use of iCREWtek has changed things.

“With iCREWtek, we have the crews imputing data from the field and managers are posting it,” Wallace explains. “It goes straight into the Time Card Manager for processing and payroll. Things are moving faster with no hold-ups.”

Advice for Newcomers—and Those Looking to Use the Product More Completely

Wallace says that companies which are not utilizing Asset to the fullest are missing out. She admits that something like this is a big leap, but she says that in order to get the most out of the product, it’s important.
Hittle Landscaping Project “My best advice would be whether you’re implementing Asset for the first time or making the leap to use the product more completely, to give yourself the time needed to do it,” she says. “It’s not a small task. Start at the beginning of the year and give yourself 4 to 6 months to get a strong grasp on the process. Then, when you’re ready to go live, you’ll have every module up and running.”

For newbies, she advises that going “all in” is key.

“If you don’t, you’ll find yourself working more in the business—not on it—and you will never find the time to go back and implement those modules,” Wallace warns. “If you truly want to get the most out of your investment in the product, it’s ideal to use it all.”

Want to learn whether Asset might be the right tool for your landscaping business? Let’s explore and see what Asset can do for you.
Image Sources: Hittle Landscaping

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