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Streamlined Success: Native Land Design improves bidding process and gains control of labor costs with Aspire

Ben_Case Study

“Aspire’s real-time analytics allows us to make better decisions, to bid better and to stay on top of labor costs. All of this contributes to making us more profitable…this is the biggest, most exciting benefit we get from the software. Every year we’ve been on Aspire, we’ve made more money.”

Ben Collinsworth
Founder and CEO
KEY STATS
Native Land Design_Web
Websitenativelanddesign.com
Business TypeCommercial Landscaping
RegionTexas
Customer Since2015

Founded in 2001 and a leader in commercial landscaping services, Native Land Design is committed to both the environment and clients in the office, retail, industrial, and community management sectors.

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At a Glance

Working with Aspire, Native Land Design has:
  • Improved reporting—across all divisions—to keep managers on top of their P&Ls
  • Quantified and reduced back-office expenses and inefficiencies
  • Increased their enterprise value with a national company that recently acquired them

Aspirations

In 2001, at the age of 23, Ben Collinsworth started Native Land Design in Austin, Texas. After six years of residential and commercial construction, the company shifted to focus on commercial maintenance.

The pivot was a success. In 2009, Inc. Magazine named Native Land Design one of the Fastest Growing Private Companies in America. The company now employees 250 people in peak season and exceeds $15 million in annual sales. They cover Austin, Houston and the McAllen area.

In 2015, Native Land Design became one of the first 30 companies to adopt Aspire’s business management software system.

Results

“Right off the bat, our people were up and running on the software because of the Aspire implementation process.” said Collinsworth.

This has allowed the company to align front-line employees, sales and operations like never before. If a crew member updates a work order, the account manager is notified. Similarly, the CTO can generate reports on outstanding estimates to encourage account managers to follow up. This “real-time” transparency allows the company to align goals, which leads to increased productivity.

The back office scrapped their outdated spreadsheets and standardized everything from bidding to billing. For the first time, they could organize all contracts in a single repository, track expenses in real time, and standardize labor rates and markups across all work orders. Not only did this lead to a more consistent gross margin for the company—it freed up employees to concentrate on insurance, safety, and other issues that had been on the back burner.

Before long, the benefits trickled down to the customers. Armed with real-time information on the progress of each job, account managers could follow up more quickly and thoroughly, and clients felt better informed. Up-sells increased. Client retention rose—this was critical.

Above all, Aspire helped the Native Land Design team increase net profits every year. “The analytics allow us to make better decisions and stay more on top of labor costs. All of this contributes to making us more profitable. Every year we’ve been on Aspire, we’ve made more money.”

Out for Bid

Native Land Design achieved record-breaking growth and by 2017, the company had made the prestigious Top 100 list of Fastest Growing Aggie-Owned Businesses in the World for a third time.

By 2018, Native Land Design was being courted by several larger companies. In February 2019, they met with Yellowstone Landscape, one of the country’s largest commercial landscaping firms. One of the first questions Collinsworth asked was whether Yellowstone was using Aspire. When he learned they were in the process of implementing it, he knew it was a good fit.

“The benefits we’ve seen from Aspire have been so game-changing that I was unwilling to consider a buyer who wasn’t on the same page. The fact that Yellowstone used Aspire was part of why we wanted to work with them.”

Collinsworth saw that his company was about to grow from four branches to being part of a 34-branch company. With Aspire as the common language, he was confident that scaling would succeed.

What's Next

Over the next five years, Collinsworth, who is still a part-owner, wants his company to become the go-to commercial landscaping company in all major Texas markets. As the company grows, he intends to apply the Aspire best practices he’s discovered at Native Land Design to every branch.

“I want to be able to show up to any branch and, within five minutes of looking at the dashboard, understand our job performance, potential enhancements, and job costs. Aspire is crucial to achieving that vision.”

“Aspire’s real-time analytics allows us to make better decisions, to bid better and to stay on top of labor costs. All of this contributes to making us more profitable…this is the biggest, most exciting benefit we get from the software. Every year we’ve been on Aspire, we’ve made more money.”


– Ben Collinsworth, Founder and CEO, Native Land Design

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