June 8, 2021

The Hidden Cost of Manual Landscaping Estimates

Bidding and Estimation
The Hidden Cost of Manual Landscaping Estimates

Is your team driving down to customer sites every time a new commercial lead comes in? Are your sales and account managers sitting on their computers for hours drawing polygons on online tools like Google Earth or Go iLawn?

Is your team still doing manual landscaping estimates? If the answer is yes, this article is for you.

The hidden cost of manual estimates

Relying on manual estimates is adding cost to your business and affecting profitability and revenue growth. Here’s how –

manual estimations

Every minute your sales or account managers spend on non-billable, low-value-add work is a minute away from activities that generate growth for your business. This can be lead generation, prospecting, up-selling to current customers, or building new relationships.

You’re probably bleeding hundreds of thousands of dollars

If your sales force is spending between 10-20% of the time measuring properties on online tools or on-site with a measuring wheel, you’re losing almost 300 hours (2 months) per sales employee annually. Now multiply it with the size of your sales force and their hourly wages. We’re talking thousands of dollars of wasted opportunity. On top of that, factor in the revenue contribution an employee can have during the time and the impact starts to add up.

Even a 10% productivity gain per sales employee could fetch you hundreds of thousands of dollars. If your salesperson makes $500K per year, you might leave a ballpark of $50K on the table per employee.

Are you getting the most out of your landscaping jobs?

The manual process involved in getting take-offs is also incredibly inefficient and impacts employee morale at multiple levels. Despite taking hours, the measurements are often inaccurate and impact the job profitably. A salesperson doing $500K in sales every year and underbidding by 10% could cost the business over $50K.

Alternatively, if they overmeasure by the same percentage, the chances of winning the bid plummet. Either way, it affects employee morale as their commissions often depend on the sales they make and the job profitability.

manual estimations

The mammoth cost of replacing a salesperson

The cost of hiring a new salesperson can be astonishing and can burn a deep hole in your pocket. From searching, interviewing, and training to actual productivity can take up to 9 months and that cost is incredibly high. Empowering your sales teams with the right tools and resources is paramount.

This is true even if you have a costly and skilled estimator team supporting your sales teams.

We have spent time with a host of commercial landscaping companies over the past 2 years and almost all of them have a substantial proportion of under-billed/unprofitable bids, with OR without estimators. The problem is not with the skill set of the estimator, but with the manual estimation process itself being inefficient. The current tools make estimation and collaboration between sales and estimator teams much harder than it has to be.

manual estimations

If you are an estimator, we have the perfect article to bust some landscape estimates myths.

In 2021, if you had to travel for a customer meeting at a location X around 30 Miles from your office, would you open your Google Map/Car Navigation System, use a Paper Map or just navigate looking at Street Signs hoping you end up at the exact location?

Given the choice, 10/10 people would use Google Maps. The same is true with current estimation tools. Using tools like Go iLawn or Google Maps for landscaping estimates is like using paper maps and street signs when the world is moving to navigation systems. They simply don't work anymore.

Where Attentive.ai Comes in

At Attentive.ai, we have built an automated tool for landscape estimations that completely automates your property measurement workflow. Now, with our simple 3-step measurement process, your team only has to spend a few minutes setting up the estimates, while we do the heavy lifting for you.

Working with your skilled sales force and your estimators, Attentive.ai will give you a superpower that will allow you to compound your growth. There’s a lot more to the platform that will make your landscaping estimates efficient, accurate, and a lot more collaborative.

Don’t take our word for it. Try for yourself.

Sign up for a free trial today. No credit card is needed.