February 14, 2023

The need for operational visibility in a landscaping business. A guide.

Business Management
The need for operational visibility in a landscaping business. A guide.

Operations in a commercial landscaping business account for most of the time, resources, overhead, and costs. Therefore, it can easily be the make-or-break aspect of your business. If you don’t have a bird’s eye view of where your crew is spending time, how much material they need on a daily basis, costs for transportation, uniforms, etc., and overall profitability, it can lead to margin leakage. Not only will your profits decline but you’ll also be left without operational visibility into what’s causing that. 

It is important to find the balance between investing in your staff and increasing efficiency. Plus, knowing where your employees are and what they are doing at all times is essential for gaining the proper operational visibility into your team. 

Why do you need operational visibility into your business?

Operational visibility is a crucial aspect of any commercial landscaping business. It involves having a clear understanding of the day-to-day operations and the ability to make informed decisions based on that information. Without operational visibility, it can be difficult for a landscaping business to stay competitive and profitable.

One of the biggest benefits of operational visibility is the ability to better manage costs. By having real-time information on things like labor and materials, a landscaping business can make adjustments as needed to keep expenses under control. This is especially important in a highly competitive industry where margins can be tight.

Having visibility means being able to react and adjust to any evolving customer requirement. As a result, you may take the necessary actions in real-time, such as informing clients about late arrivals, adjusting for understaffed crews, or making last-minute changes to crew schedules. 

With this knowledge and adaptability, you can continue to provide clients with high-quality service even in the face of macro challenges like fuel price hikes. Visibility provides you with continuous insight into your team’s performance, where most of your resources are being deployed.

Ways you can get operational visibility and how it benefits you

#1 Crew app

Another benefit of operational visibility is the ability to improve efficiency. By having a clear understanding of how crews are performing, commercial landscaping business owners identify areas where they can improve processes and reduce downtime. This can lead to more productive crews and faster completion of projects.

Operational visibility also allows a landscaping business to better serve its customers. By having real-time information on the status of projects and the ability to quickly respond to customer concerns, a business can improve customer satisfaction and build stronger relationships. This is especially important in an industry where customer churn is a major issue.

Here's how Attentive.ai can help

With business management software like Attentive.ai Accelerate, you can take care of crew management with ease. This would involve the coordination and oversight of the crews that perform the actual landscaping work. Having a well-managed crew can bring many benefits to your landscaping business, including:

  • Increased productivity: By having clear schedules and assignments, crews can work more efficiently and complete jobs faster. This can lead to increased revenue for the business.
  • Improved quality of work: Crew management allows for better supervision of the work, leading to improved quality and fewer mistakes. This can lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Better communication: Crew management allows for better communication between the crew and the operations manager. This can help identify and address any issues promptly, leading to more efficient and effective problem-solving.
  • Increased safety: Crew management can help ensure that crews have the proper training and equipment to perform their work safely. This reduces the risk of accidents and injuries, leading to lower insurance costs and a better reputation for the business.
  • Reduced labor costs: With a well-managed crew, businesses reduce the need for overtime and temporary workers and control labor costs.

With Attentive.ai's crew app, crew members can do the following:

  • The crew leader can take attendance of crew members based on the biometric verifications
  • Crew members can mark their roster for the coming month
  • The crew leader can upload photos, videos, and notes  from the site
  • Log time and material cost against individual jobs

Additional Read: How to Manage Your Landscaping Crew With Ease and Efficiency

#2 Timesheets for operational visibility

Do you want to identify who on your crew performs the best? Which crew should you assign the most significant project to? Do you want to know who is available and who is working on what? Here, the solutions should be obvious from a short glance at a timesheet.

Timesheets might perhaps offer a solution. Managers are able to assess the productivity of their staff thanks to the metrics provided by current timesheet software. They may find it simpler to determine who performs well and who has to step up as a result.

You can frequently use this information to estimate future project costs if you know how well your team is working.

With the help of timesheets, you can determine not only how many hours your team is putting in, but also how productive they are. Besides, a decent timesheet solution will offer a straightforward way to log working hours and a number of data filtering options.

You can also keep track of accruals, any additional modifications needed for processing payroll, and leave or holiday allowance. Now, payroll administration is simpler, quicker, less error-prone, and more affordable, thanks to this.

You can assist your crew in logging the beginning and ending times of tasks. And this is useful when your ops team wants to discover which tasks take up more time and spot places where workflows may be more efficient.

#3 Scheduling for operational visibility

Is your team putting in the required hours and working on the right projects? Are customers receiving good service without any complaints?

The caliber of your crew and how quickly you can bring on great employees will determine how successful your landscaping business is. How can you be confident that your team will achieve maximum productivity? Here, scheduling is another important aspect that equips you with a deep insight into crew size, capabilities, planned weekly hours, and availability.

You need to compare predicted production hours to actual payroll hours when determining the cost of any service, including mowing, mulching, row planting, installing irrigation systems in landscapes, and other tasks. For instance, if you calculate that it will take 120 hours per week to travel, prepare the daily equipment, and mow each of your 75 lawns. But you are paying your staff for 135 hours, your profit is suffering.

For this, you will need to improve your estimation techniques and assess the effectiveness of your workforce. Do you genuinely factor production time into your task estimates? Otherwise, you must. Do your teams perform job tasks efficiently, taking the quickest routes, etc.? Or are they wasting time and using equipment ineffectively?

#4 Job tickets 

Creating job tickets for crews in a commercial landscaping business can bring many benefits, including:

  • Improved organization: Job tickets provide a clear, organized way to assign tasks and track the progress of each job. This can help to ensure that all tasks are completed on time and to the customer's satisfaction.
  • Enhanced communication: Job tickets can communicate important details about each job to the crew, such as the scope of work, customer instructions, and any special requests. This can help to ensure that all tasks are completed correctly and to the customer's satisfaction.
  • Increased efficiency: Job tickets can be used to track the progress of each job and identify any areas where the crew may be falling behind schedule. This way, you can identify and address any issues in a timely manner, leading to more efficient and effective problem-solving.
  • Better accountability: Job tickets can hold the crew accountable for their work. This can help to ensure that all tasks are completed on time and to the customer's satisfaction, which can help to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Easier invoicing: Job tickets can be used to document all work done, including materials used and labor hours, which can make it easier to generate accurate invoices for customers.
  • Data collection: Job tickets help collect data on labor hours, material costs, and associated equipment costs. This leads to improved efficiency and productivity and identifies areas for improvement.

Overall, creating job tickets for crews in a commercial landscaping business can help to improve organization, communication, efficiency, accountability, invoicing, and data collection, which are all important for the success of the business. Hence, it is important to use tools such as digital forms and mobile apps to create and track job tickets effectively.

Summing up

Planning and tracking your daily operations may seem obvious until you take into account the minute elements that consume your billable time. You are effectively capping the maximum amount of money you may be making if you don't have the right visibility into the right metrics.

In conclusion, operational visibility is essential for any commercial landscaping business that wants to stay competitive and profitable. By having real-time information on costs, efficiency, and customer satisfaction, a business can make informed decisions that lead to increased revenue and stronger customer relationships. Implementing tools such as business management software and mobile apps for crews can be helpful in achieving operational visibility.


Why is operational visibility important in a landscaping business?
Operational visibility is important in landscaping as it allows ops managers to monitor and track operations in real-time, helping them promptly identify and address issues. This, in turn, leads to improved efficiency, productivity, and profitability.

How can operational visibility help improve customer satisfaction?
Operational visibility can help commercial landscaping businesses improve customer satisfaction by allowing them to provide accurate and timely updates on job progress and completion. It also enables businesses to quickly address any issues or concerns, ensuring customers are happy with the services.

What tools and technologies can help enhance operational visibility in a landscaping business?
Tools and technologies such as business management, crew management apps, and site audit apps can help enhance operational visibility in a landscaping business. They provide real-time updates, streamline communication, and improve task management, allowing managers to optimize resources and improve efficiency.