Technology roundup: Toro Horizon360 business software now available to landscapers

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Photo: The Toro CompanyPhoto: The Toro Company

The Toro Horizon360 business software is now available to landscape contractors looking to drive more profits and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their businesses.

Toro says over 100 contractors tested this all-in-one software suite over the last 18 months, and with their feedback, the company says it has finetuned the software to meet landscape contractors’ needs. Toro says Horizon360 allows landscape contractors to track the productivity of their crews and equipment, automate their billing process and enhance the time management of their business from the start to finish of every day and every season.

With Horizon360, Toro says there are no sign-on fees and no yearly contracts. The company says landscape contractors can take their business to new heights with the basic tier ($99/month with a 30-day free trial) or the enhanced tier ($199/month with a 60-day free trial) pricing categories. No matter which tier landscape contractors choose, Toro says it guarantees world-class expert onboarding support at no extra charge.

“With more than a century of experience to draw on and several contractors who piloted and provided feedback on the software, we’ve developed Horizon360 to give contractors more data, better data and powerful tools,” says Dave Francis, senior marketing manager at Toro. “We want to help users work smarter, not harder, and with Horizon360 business software, contractors will have what they need at their fingertips to analyze the effectiveness of their business and increase productivity on all fronts.”

Toro says the Horizon360 software streamlines profitability for landscape contractors in several ways, but specifically enables operations to:

  • Track crews: Toro says Horizon360 can efficiently track landscaping crews and monitor the progress of each task to ensure timely completion. Tracking devices are powered by 12-volt batteries and communicate directly with Horizon360 software once they’re installed on a machine.
  • Automate invoices: With the integration of QuickBooks online, Toro says users can sync employees, equipment and tasks with the software, saving hours when it comes to invoicing.
  • Schedule jobs: From irrigation to snow removal and lawn maintenance, Toro says Horizon360 converts estimations into customers and jobs as soon as the work is ready to schedule. The Horizon360 scheduling tool helps assign work to employees and balance schedules, and it can help manage rain days by simply reassigning and rescheduling the work.

Jobber raises $60M to help small home service businesses

Jobber recently announced a $60 million USD growth equity round led by global growth investor Summit Partners.

The company says the round includes participation from Jobber’s existing investors OMERS Ventures and Version One Ventures, as well as first-time participation from Tech Pioneers Fund. The company says this growth financing will support continued investment in R&D, hiring, customer acquisition and will help to further accelerate the company’s rapid growth.

“We founded Jobber with a mission to help small businesses and the people behind them be successful,” says Sam Pillar, CEO and co-founder of Jobber. “Home service businesses are facing ever-increasing consumer expectations for a more seamless, digital experience while at the same time working to meet unprecedented demand. We are proud of the positive impact the Jobber platform has had on so many small businesses and the service professionals who lead them. We’re excited to be partnering with Summit as we continue to pursue our mission and build on Jobber’s leadership position in the home service category.”

Jobber says there has been a tremendous shift in technology adoption among service professionals in recent years fueled by increasing consumer expectations for a seamless, transparent, technology-enabled service experience.

Photo: JobberPhoto: Jobber

“Consumers today expect businesses to be highly responsive and to interact digitally,” says Forrest Zeisler, CTO and co-founder of Jobber. “They want to book services online, pay with the click of a button, have automated reminders and more. If they need something fixed, customers want information in real-time, to know the name of the technician and when they will arrive.”

Colin Mistele, principal at Summit Partners, has joined Jobber’s board of directors.

“We believe the home service category is in the early stages of a significant digital transformation – and Jobber is paving the way for thousands of small and mid-sized services businesses that are working to incorporate digital tools in order to keep pace with customer expectations,” says Mistele. “The Jobber team blends strong product vision, data-driven market perspective and a customer-centric approach – a powerful combination that we believe will support the company’s continued rapid growth. We are thrilled to partner with the Jobber team – and we are excited about the future of this category.”

Jobber says there are approximately five million small and medium-sized home service businesses in the United States, which contribute more than $550 billion to the economy each year.

While many small businesses faced significant challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic, Jobber says the home service category – including lawn care, plumbing, HVAC, electrical contracting and other segments – has demonstrated remarkable resilience, benefiting from renewed consumer interest in improving and investing in home living spaces.

Jobber says its latest quarterly Home Service Economic Report, which includes data from over 100,000 service professionals, finds that median revenue across home service businesses increased 23 percent year-over-year in December 2020, while newly scheduled work also saw an increase over 2019.

Jobber says the trend towards digital adoption in-home service was gaining momentum prior to Covid-19 and the pandemic has accelerated it. Jobber says its SaaS and mobile solutions help service professionals to navigate and operate in a touchless world. The company says they can communicate with customers electronically, send quotes and invoices and accept payments online, supporting a clear long-term shift away from cash and checks towards “cashless” credit and debit transactions. Jobber Payments, the company’s payment processing solution, saw more than 80 percent growth in volume in 2020 and has now processed over $1.7 billion in transactions.

The company says the strength of the home service category, digital transformation and the company’s rapid, capital efficient growth have helped Jobber increase its new recurring revenue by 90 percent in 2020.

The company says it added nearly 100 new hires last year, growing its overall workforce to more than 250 people and plans to hire an additional 200 team members in the next 12 months.

TD Securities Inc. served as an advisor to Jobber.

SiteOne Landscape Supply announces virtual SiteOne Universities

SiteOne Landscape Supply says green industry workers seeking to expand their knowledge and business offerings in 2021 will have the opportunity to join accredited training remotely.

Photo: SiteOne Landscape SupplyPhoto: SiteOne Landscape Supply

SiteOne says it is bringing its innovative University offering online. Universities will feature focused tracks on business, erosion control/drainage, green symposium, golf, hardscaping, irrigation, lawn care, lighting, nursery, pest control and tree care.

“The off-season winter months are an ideal time for many contractors to grow their skills and improve business practices,” says Christina Moore, senior events manager at SiteOne Landscape Supply. “Our team has made a focused effort to offer courses in Spanish and English. We are offering seven to 10 tracks during every event, and where possible, provide relevant continuing education credits based on geography.”

Among the first in the industry to offer virtual training, SiteOne says its new robust courses taught during a SiteOne University in 2021 will be another game changer, ensuring contractors have access to the information and resources needed to grow their skillset. Over 20 of the industry’s top supplier partners are helping to bring SiteOne University virtual training to contractors.

Individuals interested in attending can find a class and register here. Registration is open; events begin on Jan. 19 and extend through November 2021. The 25 University training opportunities are open to everyone. Partners points may be applied to cover the registration fee.

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