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How to Find the Real Cost of Waste in Your Landscape Business

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Business Advice

Flawed workflow, lack of motivation, idle time or excessive admin work are just a few areas of inefficiencies. Learn how to create processes and increase profit with these tips from the LMN experts plus a free download.

Is the cost of waste killing the bottom line of your landscape business? One thing is for sure, you can’t buy back time. As you start to plow through the heavier workload the warm weather brings, juggling multiple landscape projects and teams, it’s easy to get caught up in the day to day minutia without thinking about the big picture. It’s possible your teams are powering through to finish jobs so they can move along to the next, without thinking about how efficiently all the moving parts of the project are working.

One question worth asking at the beginning of the landscape season is:

Are there areas of your landscape business where time is frequently wasted?

Time can be misused due to a variety of factors. It might not be intentional, but wasted time robs your company of billable opportunity. Identifying waste before the spring rush, and streamlining processes will help put your team on the right track. And hopefully, you will find more hours of billable time that will help boost company profits.

Waste not, want not: Where do the landscape company’s inefficiencies lie?

Here are a few areas you might want to evaluate in your company before the busy season begins.

  1. Needless production time: Is there a way to prevent spending too much time on tasks, using the wrong tools and equipment, or doing avoidable work, like over-excavating an area?
  2. Idle time: Is there a process in place for when a team is waiting for decisions, deliveries, etc.?
  3. Logistical mismanagement: Does poor planning result in the unnecessary movement of materials, equipment, or people?
  4. Superfluous inventory: Do you commonly find that your materials quantities are off? Ordering too much can mean wasted time loading, unloading, and re-loading, not to mention the time spent returning it.
  5. Flawed work: Is there a common denominator when it comes to elements of a job that frequently need to be fixed due to human error?
  6. Extra admin work: Do you find that too much time is misspent because of a lack of process and procedure?
  7. Lack of employee motivation: Are your employees empowered to make decisions, feel like they’re a part of a team, and trusted with certain parts of the business?

Involve employees in identifying areas they see as unproductive and disorganized (without judgment), and get their feedback about putting certain processes in place. No one has more day-to-day insights than an experienced employee who has been out in the field and sees inefficiencies every day.

Focus, as well, on employee satisfaction. You want your seasonal workers to want to come back each year. Try to empower them to make certain decisions and avoid micro-managing, which can lead to job dissatisfaction.

Take advantage of technology to keep all aspects of the business organized, and make sure everyone knows how to properly enter and track workflow.

Establishing smart systems and processes that can be applied to every project will help keep employees on track. This will also help to give them autonomy to make decisions because they have a clear understanding of what needs to happen when certain situations arise.

Clear lines of communication and written, established processes shared with employees at the beginning of the season should help to get everyone on the same page for the busy months ahead.

If you are new to LMN and want to take your landscape business to the next level attend one of our workshops and try LMN for free. If you already are experiencing the gains of LMN’s business management software, the LMN Academy is for you.

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