Thanks to technology, the way the landscaping industry functions have evolved significantly over the past few decades. Labor shortages, shifts in the workplace, and inflation have also led the industry to turn to technologies for optimizing operating costs.
Landscaping experts predict that business technology will continue to see an exhilarating and rapid evolution in 2023. Both in terms of the tools that will see new or increasing usage and how industries and enterprises will adopt them. In the section below, four landscaping industry experts talk about some of the top developments they expect to emerge in 2023 as well as actionable steps businesses should take to prepare for them.
Michael Wood believes that in today’s age adaptation of technology is feasible
It’s easy to mistake the progressive replacement of labor-intensive tasks by technology for danger to existing jobs like estimators and lawn mower operators. However, as Michael Wood, Senior Director of Franchise Operations, US Lawns says when asked how U.S. Lawns is handling any resistance to technology, “I think in these current days, it’s not an issue because there are other open positions.”
Assigning more time to critical tasks, and freeing up workers who previously did the mundane data entry work has made adopting technology more feasible. He adds that it was a laborious, time-consuming task for employees to collect data every day, compile it and send it out to those who could make timely business decisions leveraging the data. Here, the same employee is redirected to another department or to another task. “Let the technology, do what it does. Right. So I think there are so many open positions now that I don’t see that being a factor right now,” says Michael.
The landscaping industry urgently needs new-age tech-based solutions. Professionals in landscaping need to realize their blatantly good benefits. However, as Michael pointed out, the largest obstacle we face is this industry’s mindset, which makes it difficult for it to accept change and move past manually laborious chores.
The landscaping and construction sector is one of the least digital in the world. Yes! Reveals a McKinsey & Company report. The industry still has not fully embraced the notion that initial investments in new digital technologies will result in higher long-term earnings because it spends less than 1% of its revenues on R&D.
Michael also adds that by identifying ways that we can shorten the sales process, landscaping maintenance businesses can sell to customers the way they want to buy today, which is continually evolving. “Look at the way we purchase cars now, or really anything. We’re really buying the product before we even get in contact with a salesperson. I think our industry needs to move in that direction.”
Technology is the solution, and our sector must adopt it.
Brenda says that technology in the landscaping industry is a no-brainer today
Brenda Ward, the Vice President of Business Operations and Administration at Beary Landscaping says, “Technology is a no‑brainer. That’s because, to fully understand your costs, it all begins with a good estimate. Time is of the essence for salespeople. What stops the adoption of technology rather than fostering it is a generational thing.”
Besides, she adds that youngsters are joining the sales teams. They are looking at tasks differently, making them entirely mobile. They may prefer a tool like Attentive over having to take out their calculator. If they would have known that they had to leave a job site with a measuring wheel, brush up on their geometry skills from 10th grade, and determine accurate measurements, they probably wouldn’t have even accepted the position.
Brenda points out that making educated guesses is no longer necessary thanks to cutting-edge technology like Attentive’s AutoMeasure software. With platforms like Attentive, inaccurate measurements and estimates are no longer an excuse.
Hence, gradually, the landscaping industry is bound to respond positively to adopting technological solutions. According to Brenda, the costs after relying on automation make more sense because their estimates are more accurate. And if you don’t get on board, you might be pricing things too low. Or you won’t be competitive for very long. Experts used to approach a location and announce, “Oh, this is a $15,000 job.” There are just a limited number of them there. They won’t be around forever.
She adds, “With technology, you are doing things faster, better, and without harming the environment with paper, without extra emissions.”
Joshua states that technological advancements in the landscaping industry are here to stay
Joshua Steven Gámez, CEO of East Coast Facilities discusses how technology improvements in the green industry have impacted the daily operations of a landscaping business. He adds that autonomous mowing is here, and it’s here to stay. It will grow, it will mature, and it will become more of a constant aspect of the industry. It will replace a small number of workers, but that’s still progress. Initiatives to improve the management of teams, sales processes, and operations are now being seen in the software sector.
Joshua says, “Technology has matured greatly in the past decade, for sure. We have companies like Attentive that didn’t exist just a handful of years ago or if they did, they weren’t as accurate as they are today. Especially in terms of the product and service delivery of the estimates or the takeoff data that’s coming out of the programs.”
He talks about how it can be difficult for lawn care businesses with numerous workers or a fleet of trucks to merely track everyone. But now, thanks to fleet tracking and field-service technology, what was once managed with phone conversations and checking on employees in person can now be managed from a mobile device or computer.
Joshua also discusses Omnia, an internal business software platform that he has worked extensively with at ECF. The staff can easily follow the automated process that the program generates for more efficient operations.
Technology can solve today’s landscaping industry’s pressing concerns – Shawn’s perspective
“Technology can solve many challenges facing the landscaping industry. The labor shortage continues to be a pressing concern, as hiring for field positions is challenging. Technology can resolve this issue, as it offers more sustainable processes and equipment like autonomous mowing.” mentions Shawn Prince, Head of Business Development, Attentive.
It will be necessary to upskill your workforce in order for them to adapt to technologies in this profession. Our workers who are on the ground switch from using the equipment themselves to controlling it remotely. Perhaps from a maintenance standpoint, they can devote more effort to the particulars that, as we all know, are sometimes overlooked on construction sites, adds Shawn.
He continues by saying that Attentive played a role in this innovation in the landscaping sector because Continuum used Attentive’s automated takeoff software to speed up its sales processes.
According to Shawn, technology will enable a more effective strategy, enable the teams to expand their skill sets, and have a favorable effect on this market.
Due to the logistical difficulties associated with shipping, there haven’t been many developments in this field so far. We will thankfully see more markets in the business in the future thanks to improvements in supply chain infrastructure.
Throughout the ages, expert landscaping professionals have maintained outdoor spaces. But the market has undoubtedly changed since the era of king’s orchards, and in 2022 and beyond. With retail chains, HOAs, facilities maintenance companies, and office campuses willing to invest huge amounts of money in their outdoor spaces; it’s no wonder that landscaping companies are transforming their ways of doing business with the help of technology.
What effects do you think these trends will have on your industry? What other developments do you see influencing the construction and landscaping industries in the future? Drop a comment below.
Attentive is spearheading the initiative to transform how the landscaping industry works. Over 200+ landscaping, snow, and pavement maintenance companies partner with Attentive to drive their revenue. Book a personalized demo with us today.