Looking for job documentation best practices? Read on.
Commercial landscaping businesses are all about creating beautiful outdoor spaces that enhance the overall aesthetic and functionality of office buildings, HOAs, retail centers, apartment complexes, and public parks. A critical aspect of achieving this goal is understanding the site conditions and capturing notes and possible hazards accurately.
Unfortunately, due to the overwhelming nature of work, many landscapers and account managers fail to conduct proper job documentation about site conditions. This can lead to crew safety issues, poor job executions, and missed opportunities for upselling and cross-selling landscape enhancements, to name a few.
In this blog, we discuss the importance of site data job documentation, the potential hazards of not doing so, and how to fix the process.
Table of Contents
Why is site data job documentation important?
Documenting site data is essential for landscaping businesses for several reasons. Let’s look at the top 3:
- Ensure crew safety
- Maintain high quality and always meet client’s expectations
- Double down on upselling and cross-selling opportunities
To ensure crew safety
First and foremost, it helps the crew be aware of the site conditions they will be working with. For example, if there are any potential hazards such as uneven terrain or obstacles, potholes, excavation trenches, slippery slopes during snow removal, etc., that need to be worked around, the crew will know to take the necessary precautions.
Additional Read: How to Manage Your Landscaping Crew With Ease and Efficiency
These may include:
- Slope and drainage
- Soil conditions
- Existing structures
- Trees and other vegetation
- Electrical and utility lines
- Safety hazards
Slope and drainage
The slope and drainage of the site can impact how water flows and collects, which could affect the success of the landscaping project. Besides, proper drainage is essential to avoid issues such as erosion, flooding, or water damage to the landscaping features.
The type and condition of the soil can impact the success of the landscaping project. Here, soil that’s too compacted or lacks nutrients may not support healthy plant growth, while soil that is too loose could lead to erosion.
Any existing structures on the site, such as retaining walls, fences, or buildings, could impact the landscaping project. Hence, the account manager or estimator should take note of their condition and any potential limitations they may pose.
Trees and other vegetation
Trees and other vegetation on the site could impact the landscaping project. For example, the root systems of trees may need to be considered when designing a new landscape, and pruning or removal of trees may be necessary to create the desired look.
Electrical and utility lines
The location of electrical and utility lines should be noted to avoid accidentally damaging them during the landscaping project. So, this can help prevent accidents and ensure the crew’s safety while on the job.
The presence of an existing irrigation system can impact the design and layout of the project, as well as the installation of new features.
Potential safety hazards on the site, such as unstable trees, steep slopes, or large rocks, should be identified to keep the crew safe during installation.
By taking note of these site conditions and potential hazards, the account manager can provide their crew with relevant information to execute the job safely and efficiently.
To ensure high quality and always meet the client’s expectations
Secondly, site data job documentation helps the crew understand what the customer wants and what their expectations are. It allows the crew to tailor their work to meet the customer’s needs and ensure that the end result is exactly what the customer envisioned. This can lead to increased customer satisfaction, which is critical for a commercial landscaping business’s success.
To identify upselling and cross-selling opportunities
Thirdly, documenting site data is crucial for upselling and cross-selling landscape enhancements. By capturing all site data accurately, a landscaping business can identify areas where additional work may be needed or enhancements that would improve the overall look and functionality of the space. This can help increase the business’s revenue and profitability.
By identifying additional services or enhancements that a customer may be interested in, the business can increase its revenue per customer and improve customer satisfaction.
Additional Read: How to upsell landscape enhancements?
One of the main benefits of upselling landscape enhancements is that it can lead to increased revenue per job. For example, if your commercial landscaping business is hired to perform basic lawn maintenance services, they may identify additional opportunities to offer services such as tree pruning, hardscaping, or outdoor lighting. Hence, with these services, the business can increase its revenue per job and ultimately boost its overall profitability.
In addition to increasing revenue, identifying upselling opportunities can also improve customer satisfaction. Now, with additional services or enhancements, your business can improve the overall appearance and functionality of the property. This can significantly enhance the customer’s satisfaction level. This can lead to increased customer loyalty, positive word-of-mouth referrals, and ultimately, more business for the company.
Potential hazards of inaccurate and insufficient job documentation
Failing to document site data accurately can have significant consequences for a landscaping business. For example, if the crew isn’t aware of potential hazards such as uneven terrain, they’re prone to accidents and injuries while on the job. This can lead to lost time, increased costs, and even legal liability if an accident results in an injury.
Here’s a comprehensive read from OSHA. Crew leaders and ops managers can educate their teams about the possible hazards for workers on the site and solutions.
In addition, failing to conduct proper site data job documentation accurately can lead to customer dissatisfaction. If the crew doesn’t understand what the customer wants or fails to capture all site data accurately, they might not meet clients’ expectations. This can lead to negative reviews, decreased customer satisfaction, and potentially lost business.
Finally, failing to capture all site data accurately can lead to missed opportunities for upselling and cross-selling landscape enhancements. If the crew isn’t aware of all site conditions, they may miss areas where additional work is needed. They could also skip enhancements that would improve the overall look and functionality of the space. This can lead to lost revenue and profitability for the business.
This can be detrimental, especially during the peak season when your business can identify upselling opportunities for additional revenue. By offering a broader range of services, your business can differentiate itself from competitors and attract more customers. This can help your business attract new customers and ultimately grow its customer base multi-folds.
Fixing the process of job documentation
To fix the job documentation process, landscaping businesses can standardize their approach to capture all site data accurately and consistently.
This approach should include the following steps:
- Show up prepared on site
- Note customer requirements
- Help your ops team plan with real-time job documentation
Show up prepared on-site with accurate sitemaps
Before arriving on-site, your team needs accurate, interactive, and high-def sitemaps. These maps will comprise the property’s layout, dimensions, and numerous property features. With a mobile app like Attentive.ai OnSite, your team can document site conditions, and mark any potential hazards or obstacles. This can help the crew be better prepared and understand what they will be working with before arriving on site.
Note customer requirements by geotagging site data
As the crew walks the site with the customer, they should note all customer requirements and preferences by geotagging the site data. This can include specific areas of the property that require attention. Any slips, trips, and falls that need to be worked around, and any enhancements the customer may be interested in.
Help your ops team plan better with real-time site data job documentation
By capturing site data accurately and in real-time, the ops team can plan better for the job. This can include identifying any additional equipment or materials that may be needed. And it’ll ensure that the crew has everything they need, including the right resources and materials to complete the job efficiently.
Next steps for your job documentation
Have you ever considered the benefits of reducing the amount of paperwork and gallery images you need to sort through every time you need to communicate site information to your crew members or the client? Imagine how much easier your life could be.
With Attentive.ai you don’t have to imagine. Improve the process of job documentation by using a tool like Attentive.ai OnSite mobile app. This app equips estimators and account managers with job site intelligence. It enables them to capture all relevant information accurately and in real time.
With OnSite, you can show up prepared on-site with accurate, HD sitemaps, allowing the crew to understand what they will be working with beforehand. AMs can also note customer requirements by geotagging site data, ensuring that all customer preferences and requirements are captured accurately.
Furthermore, OnSite provides real-time site data that can be used by the operations team to plan better for the job. In conclusion, accurate site data job documentation leads to crew safety, meeting customer expectations, and upselling and cross-selling opportunities.
How can you improve documentation at work?
To improve documentation at work for commercial landscaping businesses, you can take the following steps:
- Develop a standard documentation process
- Use digital tools to capture, organize, access, and streamline your information
- Train your staff to document properly
- Conduct regular audits and inspections
- Incorporate photos and videos
- Review and update your documentation process
Why focus on documentation?
For ops managers and crew to:
- Show up prepared on site
- Note customer requirements
- Plan better with real-time job documentation
How can documentation improve accuracy?
- Site documentation can improve accuracy in the following ways:
- Understanding customer expectations
- Improved communication
- Better job planning
- Historical data analysis