Sunscape provides value by understanding what it is that property and facility managers need to ensure a greater outdoor experience for their tenants and residents. This is done at every level, helping with budgets and scheduling to increase curb appeal, asset value, and offering the best return on investment.
Austin-based Sunscape started in 2004 when CEO, Hank Wilson, was mowing lawns. It took 15 years, but the Sunscape team grew the company into what it is today: a leading commercial grounds maintenance company with 85 employees in the Austin and San Antonio markets. Sunscape focuses on large-scale, high-end properties and providing maintenance, enhancements, irrigation and plant healthcare services.
Wilson’s leadership style has always been vision-driven with a focus on the strategic as well as the tactical. His BHAG, published on the company’s website is, “To be the first choice to customers and employees in every major market in Texas.”
Wilson and his team are constantly seeking solutions to make operations more efficient in order to keep him out of the weeds. As early as 2012, Sunscape used a business management software solution to streamline operations. This provided Wilson with a unique point of comparison when Aspire hit the market.
“Our biggest challenge with the software we used at that time was that it lacked ease of use,” says Wilson. “The program had limited mobile functionality and it was difficult to extract the information we needed quickly. We watched Aspire from the day they launched and were happy to be one of their early adopters.”
Sunscape went live with Aspire in December of 2016.
“We aim to be the best at serving high-end commercial properties that also want to be the best. Aspire helps us achieve this goal. Aspire simplifies things. It keeps all of us on the same page with the information necessary to make the right decisions.”
– Hank Wilson, Founder and CEO, Sunscape Landscaping
After implementing Aspire, Sunscape experienced efficiencies across every aspect of the business. Using the Issues feature, crew leaders were able to take photos, update work tickets and track job progress in a way that kept managers informed without having to be on site. By auditing properties remotely, managers were able to increase crew workload while reducing costs. Simultaneously, crews felt more empowered to act autonomously, saving time previously required trying to get management approval.
“Not only was everyone making better decisions,” says Wilson, “we were saving an incredible amount of time.”
At the management level, Wilson was able to run customized reports in real time—something he had lacked in the previous software. “So often in a day or a single meeting, I want to pull an up-to-date report on employees, invoicing, tickets, a CRM. Now, I use Aspire’s built-in reporting features to deliver that quickly and accurately.”
With this, Wilson has been able to use data to build his business plans, budgets and company goals. For a company laser-focused on hitting its BHAG, this has been vital.
In addition, Aspire bolstered Sunscape’s culture. Says Wilson, “It gave us a single language to speak and metrics to agree on. There’s no longer ambiguity in our measurables. The data is the data.” This has allowed the company to manage, compensate and reward people better. It’s also helped the team better understand goals and metrics.
Finally, Wilson has benefitted from Aspire’s iPad functionality. Sunscape runs on Apple mobile products and Wilson can now travel between sites and branches using a simple touchscreen. “As an owner, I love how this gives me flexibility and the ability to be effective on the run.”
Always a man with a plan, Wilson has a number of objectives for the future of Sunscape. He wants to expand into other markets. He wants to make Business Journal’s list of Best Places to Work. He wants to become the first choice to customers and employees in every major market in Texas.
“The bottom line for us is being able to scale our company. Aspire allows us to do that,” says Wilson.