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“Quality, Vision & Values” – Interview with Teddy’s Lawn & Landscape

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Success Stories

INTERVIEW with Teddy’s Owner Brent and Terece Teddy

Nearly twenty years ago, starting out exclusively as a lawn maintenance business, it didn’t take long for Teddy’s Lawn & Landscape to transition and extend their roster of services; it was only two years later when they added full landscape installation and snow and ice management to their service offerings.

Understanding the importance of increasing their bottom line, this Michigan based company has been on the road to success ever since. Now in 2015, the company has several full-time landscape designers and certified landscape technicians on staff, as well as a snow management team like no other in the business.

One of their secrets behind all of this success? Using real-time technology to improve the company’s productivity, efficiency and sales. Brent and Terece Teddy, share their insights and talk about the current success of their business:

Q: Can you describe a success story for us?

A: Before we started relying on technology, everything was done the ‘old fashioned way’ (with paper), and it was challenging to keep track of where our crew members were and what project they were on. Back in February 2015, Michigan was hit with the third largest snow storm in history, known as the ‘super bowl’ storm. Thankfully we had already implemented LMN software! During the storm, being able to track all of our assets in real-time, we were able to make critical decisions and move equipment around as necessary to ensure all of our clients were serviced effectively.

Now, thanks to LMN, whether it is the person answering the phone or managers on the road during the day: anyone can log in and see where the crews are and know what jobs are being completed and when. If the schedule has to be changed on the fl y, the online tools are easy to use – and any changes can quickly and efficiently be made.

One of the challenges after a storm of this size is also the billing and reporting. With LMN’s GPS verifi cation, the real- time reporting gives us the necessary back-up if customers have any questions on any services performed on their site.

Q: What types of challenges has your company overcome?

A: During the snow season, dispatching a large number of employees can be a challenging task. The set up for the LMN system for snow removal is easy to enter, track and manage. From simple data, to setting up the tasks for that specific job is critical during a snow event.

LMN also allows you to download a site map that a crew can use, where you can see the boundary lines, and any other notes needed on a site. If a change needs to be made for the next event, it is easy to go into that job and change it.

It is a necessity for crew members to leave detailed notes about how the job was completed and if they noticed anything on a site while they were there. LMN allows you to do this, and everything is documented quickly, so the team can complete a job and not spend time filling out unnecessary paperwork.

Q: How does Teddy’s handle their maintenance business?

A: Teddy’s has a growing landscape maintenance division that requires our crews to complete multiple jobs per crew every single day. Specific details for each maintenance job is essential to make sure every job is completed correctly. Without these notes, this would require call backs, complaints and so on because the job was not completed as promised to the client.

LMN allows you to put in these notes and specs. Landscape maintenance requires you to return to complete the same task over and over at the same site during the season whether it is weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. The notes are saved in the system until you change them. If you have your initial data put in correctly you never have to change it, post to a schedule for a particular day and you are ready to get the work done.

Also, with being able to see where our crew is in real-time, stress levels go down because you are not always wondering what is done and where your people are. Instead of wondering you start looking at how long it is taking them, how much material they used and are they hitting the budget for particular properties. This is something before that you would not know until days if not weeks later.

Q: With the upcoming snow season right around the corner, how will your company leave the competition in the drifts?

A: No more snow binders – Hallelujah! The amount of time and money that was spent on snow binders will pay for your LMN. This year will not be spent modifying snow binders; instead if a change or addition is made, we will simply add it to the system.

At Teddy’s, we consider ourselves one of the top snow management fi rms in Southeast Michigan. This is why we are looking at adding LMN’s Jobsite Watch. This will help keep us as a leader in snow management in our market. We believe that clients will come to expect this from a professional snow management fi rm.

Q: Have you ever attend a workshop led by LMN?

A: We attended a workshop last February at Schoolcraft College. This workshop benefited us greatly as we learned how to set up a budget which included equipment cost recovery, actual staff costs and overhead recovery. Once you are actually looking at the real numbers in front of you for what a piece of equipment actually costs you and an hourly employee including overtime, taxes, and insurance you will learn one or two things. You will have been lying to yourself for years for what it actually costs you and that you can actually afford to invest in some equipment, making you more productive and profitable!

Q: What other online resources have helped your company’s success?

A: We love LMN’s free demo/instructional videos on www.learnlmn.com; they are a great tool for new staff and getting them up to speed on the system without having to involve other staff members to train them, or pay to send them for training like with other systems in the market.

Last, we also like how LMN takes your suggestions into consideration. If you think of something that could be more beneficial to your company, the LMN team will take your idea and try to incorporate it. Anything that would make sense that they did not think of before is heard and considered to be implemented into the system. We have made numerous suggestions since we have started using the program and we appreciate that some of them have been implemented and we are using them today.

Q: If you could ‘forecast the future’, what do you see down the pipeline for your company? Is there any exciting news that you could share with the readers of these publications?

A: Teddy’s is excited for the future as we continue to grow at a substantial rate. It’s not about how much we can grow a year, its more about how much we can grow while keeping focused on our quality, vision and values. We are growing at a healthy 40-50% per year and are excited to invest in staff, technology and equipment to keep our company on top.

One of the things that we have wanted to add is an internship program. We enjoy passing along the knowledge we have learned and believe that our company would be a great place for future horticulturists and snow specialists to learn.

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