“Using Aspire, we were able to go from billing one month after a snow event to billing one week after a storm. That is a significant improvement in turnaround.”
Based in Kansas City, Kansas, Signature Landscape is a $30 million dollar company specializing in commercial maintenance and high-end multifamily sites. The company started working with Aspire in January 2018.
Prior to implementing Aspire, Signature was using three distinct, all-paper processes to manage its operations. A single administrator entered in-house and subcontractor data. With Aspire, Signature consolidated those systems into one platform and went almost completely digital, employing an administrator at each branch to manage data.
Before long, Signature saw a need for a more structured personnel approach to optimize the platform’s potential. Samantha Wilson, previously a Signature admin working with Aspire, became the operations training and support analyst and now serves as the in-house expert and lead trainer.
To ensure a smooth transition, Wilson worked with Aspire to roll out a comprehensive training and documentation program. “We had in-person training demonstrations for each position and process, with supporting photos and documents, including explanations for the purpose of important steps.”
According to Kevin Larson, customer success manager at Aspire, this documentation and organization process was crucial to Signature’s success. “By having the whole workflow documented, and with great training, Signature was able to fully grasp the advantages and capabilities of Aspire.”
With a foundation in place, Signature was prepared to take on the 2019–2020 snow season.
The most immediately obvious benefit for Signature was the rapid turnaround of billing. “We were able to go from billing one month after a storm to billing one week after a storm,” says Wilson.
This efficiency also helped to boost staff morale. Prior to Aspire, Signature’s administrative staff might put in 60–70 hours a week during snow season, just to keep up. “Now, the company is saving on overtime and admins are able to complete their work within their 40 hours while also keeping up with their non-snow duties.”
Signature’s clients have also appreciated the new pace of billing. “Our clients have always been, understandably, quite demanding about getting their invoices as fast as possible, and that sometimes led to errors. By going paperless and streamlining our processes, we’ve reduced errors and we’re better able to accommodate our client’s needs.”
Additionally, the company has benefited from Aspire’s reporting and dashboards features, which helps the team collect, maintain, and measure data. This also makes it more seamless for Signature to prepare insightful reports for its parent company, HeartLand.
Looking back at the 2019-2020 snow season, Wilson says she felt like everything really came together. Between improved client relationships, boosts in staff morale, increased cost savings, and improved gross profit margins she says, “Closing out our snow season in 2020 felt like a champagne moment.”
Looking to the future, Wilson says Aspire’s estimating templates are going to help the company produce forecasts with higher accuracy to enable more seamless client renewals. When processed manually, renewals can require dozens of manual inputs and take 100s of hours. With Aspire, the platform pulls existing historical data for each contract—including requirements for labor, material, and expenses—to deliver forecasts in just a few minutes. “This is going to be crucial to our ability to manage more and bigger clients,” says Wilson.
And, the timing is right. In early 2020, Signature acquired a large snow operation, growing its snow business by 250%. In order to successfully manage this increase in operations, Wilson says her team will rely on Aspire. “By running everything through Aspire, we have confidence we can take on a lot more business, which obviously leads to profitability,” she says.
This winter, Signature Landscape continues to expand its integration with Aspire. The company recently deployed the equipment module and has started to track not only its assets inventory, but also its new equipment purchases, inventory management, and service and maintenance of its fleet. This winter, Signature intends to set up routes within Aspire; offer software training and refresher courses for employees; and get every subcontractor logged into Crew Mobile or the subcontractor portal for a completely paperless experience.
As for Wilson, she remains focused on making the integration a success. “It used to take us a crazy amount of time and labor to complete a job—from data entry, production, field work, etc. With Aspire, we cut our labor time in half, which has ultimately saved the company a lot of money. Aspire is changing how we do things.”
“It used to take us a crazy amount of time and labor to complete a job—from data entry, production, field work, etc. With Aspire, we cut our labor time in half, which has ultimately saved the company a lot of money. Aspire is changing how we do things.”
– Samantha Wilson, Operations Training and Support Analyst, Signature Landscape KC