We talked to a Michigan-based facilities services & property management company. Continuum Services offers a single-source solution for interior and exterior facility operations. This includes multi-disciplinary expertise in landscape, construction, snow, facility engineering, HVAC service and installation, and plumbing.
Jon King, Director of the Operations-Exteriors Division at Continuum Services, has been using Attentive.ai’s property measurement platform, AutoMeasure, for over a year and a half to build proposals for landscaping and snow jobs. Read along to learn about the tremendous results Jon’s team has realized with Attentive.ai.
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Continuum Services saves 75% of their time with automated takeoffs
One of the things Jon identified early on with Continuum Services’ estimating process is the time spent measuring sites manually. Previously it took Jon’s team 20-40 hours per week to make field visits and manually measure sites. Hence, it was a full-time job, just drawing polygons or walking off properties.
They started thinking outside the box, looking at software companies that could be game-changing when they stumbled upon Attentive.ai. The team at Continuum Services was kind of resistant at first. They didn’t really understand how the product could help them.
However, as Jon says, “Literally, after the first demo, we realized that this platform has to be a part of our sales process.”
“With Attentive.ai’s automated takeoffs, we could minimize the time impact on the team. And we could ensure that they aren’t working overtime to create those estimates and send the proposals out,” he adds.
This got back the Estimators, BDs, and Account Managers who were measuring sites manually- a big chunk of their time. Hence, they could spend this time with their clients, touring the site to verify the property features, and collaborating with their team. So, overall, it’s been a huge time-saving investment.
Continuum can now focus on more strategic, meaningful tasks
AI-based technology is fairly new in the green industry. And Jon talks about what helped bring down the resistance wall when considering investing in automation. He says they knew they had to use it once they understood how the platform works. That’s because Attentive.ai has given their team time back. The time they spent at their desks or at sites measuring on their own. Now, the team can focus on selling more and improving the business.
“We have around six different people that are a part of estimating. When a person goes out to the field, you’ll also have to consider the driving time, etc. Since we are getting the time back, we can validate the value of the time saved through production reviews,” explains Jon.
Now, the team can offer better customer service, leading to more renewals and landscape enhancements. This includes services and additions sold to existing landscaping maintenance clients outside the maintenance contract. Besides, in smaller landscaping companies, one person can be donning multiple hats. Infusing automation into the sales process takes a significant amount of work away from them.
Another crucial benefit Jon mentions is that automating site measurements has also allowed the operating teams to be with their people (crew). This has positive effects on the overall turnover within the crew at landscaping businesses.
Continuum Services has improved its bid turnaround time by 20% with automated takeoffs
When an RFP comes in with 20-25 jobs around the city where they’re all 20-30 minutes away from each other, your days are all tied up. “With a measuring tool like Attentive.ai, we can get it done in less than 24 hours. Then you can get started on production reviews,” adds Jon.
For relatively larger sites, Continuum Services is saving 50% of its time on measuring sites. For smaller job sites, the time is cut down by 80%. This has helped reduce the bid turnaround time by 20%. “I don’t need to do a production review; all I need to do is to verify the tree count, tree rings, beds per ft, mulch, weeding, etc., with a detailed site map and the hours it should take to complete the job.”
“If you measure a site by hand, you come back and work on creating an estimate; you may have to revisit the job site again to verify. With Attentive.ai, you have 95% of the information. All you do is validate the remaining 5% with detailed sitemaps. And you propose the job, leading to over 20% faster bid turnaround time,” adds Jon.
Continuum Services optimized its bids and improved the win rate by 5% each with automated takeoffs
Since the estimates are built on accurate, auto-generated takeoffs, “you’re never going to be off by much, not enough to make a difference,” observes Jon.
According to Jon, partnering with Attentive.ai has also helped their team impress customers with proposals equipped with detailed, up-to-date HD sitemaps. They are able to add a visual element corresponding to the services they offer, be it parking lots, snow removal, etc.
Besides, the map gives their ops team and the client a clear picture of what Jon’s team is doing. Once the landscape maintenance contract is finalized, the ops team uses these color-coded, labeled, high-res maps on their phones while on the site to better do the job.
With these optimized bids, winning proposals that have detailed sitemaps in them, and the faster bid turnaround, Continuum has been able to improve its win rate by 5%.
“Team and technology will get you there,” remarks Jon
“The only way you will win today is by having the proper technology and a great team,” observes Jon. According to him, as the outdoor services industry faces labor shortages, the pool of talent is not large. Hence, instead of tasking a high-performing team with things that can be automated, enable your teams to focus on high-value tasks.
“By choosing technology, we’re saving nearly 80% in terms of dollars, considering the costs required to invest in automation. This way, my business is gaining margin points as technology does the work for me, freeing up my team’s time to focus on improving the bottom line,” adds Jon.
What Attentive.ai can do for you?
Attentive.ai has optimized the sales process for Jon at Continuum Services and 250 other outdoor services companies. Looking to switch to automation? Try out your 2 free sites. Explore how you can send out more winning bids, especially during the peak season with automated takeoffs.
To know more about how we can help your business, talk to us today.
What challenges did Continuum Services face in its business operations before implementing Attentive.ai’s automated takeoffs?
The company spent a significant amount of time on its estimating process because it took the team 20-40 hours per week to make field visits and manually measure sites. They had a team only devoted to estimating and measuring sites.
How did Attentive.ai’s automated takeoffs help Continuum Services improve its business operations and increase revenue?
- The company saves 75% of its time with automated takeoffs
- They can now focus on more strategic, meaningful tasks
- They have improved its bid turnaround time by 20% with automated takeoffs
- They optimized their bids and improved the win rate by 5% each with automated takeoffs
What were the key benefits of using Attentive.ai’s automated takeoffs for Continuum Services?
- Saving time
- Optimizing bids’ accuracy
- Winning more bids
- Bidding more, especially during the peak season