Legacy: How Aspire helped Old Village Landscaping's second-generation owner succeed

Ken Raffety HeadShot

“With Aspire, the proper people are able to see when we are under-bidding, over-building or under-building. Labor cost and efficiencies drive everything in our company and Aspire helps our team reach an unprecedented level of insight and understanding.”

Ken Raffety
CEO and 2nd Generation Owner
KEY STATS
Old Village Landscaping logo
Websiteoldvillagelandscaping.com
Business TypeCommercial Landscape and Grounds Services
RegionSacramento, California
Customer Since2015

Founded in 1978, Old Village Landscaping has become a multi-generational company with superior services, from plant care to water irrigation and conservation.

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At a Glance

Working With Aspire, Old Village Landscaping Has Been Able To:
  • Increase company net profit by 5%
  • Improve customer satisfaction and retention
  • Reduce labor hours, increase job margins and raise revenue per crew hour
  • Align compensation with productivity

Aspirations

There’s something special about a company that passes from one generation to the next. Business gets interwoven with family and the experience becomes deeply personal.

Such is the case for Ken Raffety, CEO of Old Village Landscaping in Sacramento, California. Old Village was started in 1978 by Ken’s parents, Bob and Norma Raffety, and has served the Central Valley for over 30 years. In the early days, the company provided residential construction, landscaping and maintenance services. Today, it’s a full-service commercial maintenance operator with 35 year-round employees, generating $2.6M annually.

Letting Go of the Old Ways

Before investing in Aspire, Old Village employed an assortment of unconnected systems. “We generated bids in Word and Excel and invoiced in QuickBooks. We tracked material costs in cumbersome spreadsheets. Everything was separate and no two systems spoke to each other,” recalls Raffety.

In the field, operations were equally inefficient. When an issue arose, it was written down, called in, texted or emailed—and not always to the right person. Information essential to customer service and satisfaction was often lost or forgotten.

“My managers were overloaded with customer requests and quality issues. We were hungry for a solution to put it all together.” So in 2015, Old Village became one of the first companies to implement Aspire. “We were looking for something that could support all of our maintenance functions.”

Results

From the beginning, Old Village replaced their fragmented reporting systems with Aspire’s streamlined reports and dashboards. Every foreman and account manager used the Aspire Mobile Crew App on company iPhones to clock in and out of jobs, reports issues and requests (i.e. irrigation concerns, vandalism), and monitor delivery and costs—all without having to text, call or write it down on a Post-It. 

“We simplified the entire process,” said Raffety.

Out in the field, Aspire enabled foremen to be more organized and efficient. They got visibility into budgets and developed a stronger sense of responsibility for the quality of the work. This produced a better customer experience and raised the standard of work.

For the first time, account managers were able to provide real-time and detailed updates to clients without being physically in the field. They were more organized, more efficient and capable of handling larger workloads without burning out. Plus, they were relieved!

The accounting team used Aspire to optimize the metric that matters most to the company’s bottom line: labor. With Aspire, Old Village Landscaping could detect discrepancies in hours posted and materials used versus materials bid. “Suddenly, we knew when we were under-bidding, over-building or under-building. Labor cost and efficiencies drive everything and Aspire helped our team reach an unprecedented level of insight and understanding,” says Raffety. This insight allowed the company to reduce operational redundancies and increase profits 5%.

Along the way, Raffety’s leadership team utilized Aspire to gain a stronger long-term perspective. “In the past, I had to manually calculate daily estimates. Now, Aspire automatically provides me with budgetary reports that show if I’m making money today and year over year.” This has allowed Raffety to better align his compensation plans to budget, generating a more motivated and productive workforce.

What's Next

In the coming years, Old Village Landscaping plans to expand its maintenance operations by 20%. As Aspire roles out new functionalities, the company intends to lean on the software for continued organizational efficiencies. Most recently, they started utilizing Aspire’s equipment portal. In the future, they hope to implement Aspire’s employee training function.

“Even though we’re a smaller company, Aspire has always been responsive to our needs and ideas. They’re constantly rolling out new functionalities, all of which improve our operations. I appreciate their openness to feedback and their thirst for improvement.”

“With Aspire, the proper people are able to see when we are under-bidding, over-building or under-building. Labor cost and efficiencies drive everything in our company and Aspire helps our team reach an unprecedented level of insight and understanding.”


– Ken Raffety, CEO and 2nd Generation Owner, Old Village Landscaping

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