There are few industries that can reasonably earn the moniker “economically resilient.” Market fluctuations, inflation, and interest rates – are all outside factors that can make or break a business, regardless of how well the organization is performing. Landscaping, however, has historically proven it can weather any external condition.
In fact, its existential need is so firm, it has been valued at roughly $105.1 billion as recently as this year. Further, during 2020’s economic turmoil, there was even growth among the total number of landscaping businesses as households turned to new hobbies.
That said, opportunity alone does not guarantee success. The entire business model depends on eliminating wasted time and maximizing work output to boost profitability. This is especially true of those operating in regions with cold winter climates, where seasonal constraints create highly limited windows of operation. For those organizations, there is no acceptable margin of loss.
As a result, more landscaping companies are turning to fleet and safety operations solutions to help improve their overall digital efficiency strategy. By underpinning assets such as trucks and specialized tools and vehicles with a digital foundation, landscapers can optimize day-to-day routing, improve safety protocols and increase data visibility for smarter real-time decision-making by using an all-in-one solution.
If eliminating operational waste and meeting growth opportunities is top of mind for your landscaping business, consider how a connected commercial fleet can help meet these goals:
Making data work, from routing to maintenance
In the world of modern commercial fleets, every asset is effectively its own data center. As assets move from job to job, tactically mapping the day-to-day business, they generate a tremendous amount of data. For example, technology can calculate the average time it takes to travel between jobs or how much time the asset is spent idle. Further, some systems will even monitor deterioration rates, closely tracking how near an asset is to a point of repair. This data is the key to significant operational adjustments and, ultimately, value.
That said, these mobile data centers are only one piece of the puzzle. Assets need to be integrated across a centralized, end-to-end solution that transforms disparate data sets into a single view of the business. Paired with best-in-class analytics, landscaping managers can fully understand how their assets are being deployed with full context. That way managers can ensure that each asset is following a deliberate, assigned route (while monitoring for deviation) and even prevent vehicle breakdowns over time.
Consider, for example, a landscaping operator in southern Florida. As hurricane season approaches, there is a potential uptick in client need as well as risk to the fleet itself. With a fully integrated system, managers can track historical trends and forecast how many teams will need to be deployed over a certain period, thus maximizing revenue opportunities. That level of operational intelligence and forecasting simply isn’t possible without a digital approach to field operations.
Safety as a growth driver
For landscapers subjected to seasonal ebbs and flows, operating on a perfectly curated resource schedule is the only way to ensure year-long profitability. The problem with well-oiled machines, however, is that a single disruption can have lasting consequences. So when these landscaping assets experience accidents or even theft, the impact can cascade.
Fleet safety doesn’t have to be a cost center – in fact, it can help improve driver performance and alleviate insurance issues commonly associated with asset management. Modern fleet solutions embed artificial intelligence (AI) video within assets that help support both internal metrics and external accountability. Monitoring for high-risk behaviors such as hard braking or speeding, these solutions can proactively alert drivers and reduce potential threats. In addition, video captures a 360-degree view, preventing fraudulent claims that drivers were at fault. Such proof can speed up insurance claims (and even limit policy upcharges) and help keep the business running when it needs it most.
Connected assets, pivot faster, better returns
Landscaping companies operate best when they move quickly, meet demand and keep their assets healthy. Without deeply connected insights on asset behavior and long-term trends, leaders cannot move with agility so intrinsic to success. By leveraging connected solutions, easily approachable with a simplified UI for your variety of users and drivers and those systems that can adapt to changing business conditions, provide the fastest and best time to value and highest ROI. Building a strong network, commercial assets can drive new opportunities and help edge out competitors. The insight is there, it just needs to be unlocked.