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Real Contractor Stories – A Great Canadian Success

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Success Stories

Every business has certain values, goals and expectations that drives each and every member of the team. A plan for profit, great work ethic and customer satisfaction are common factors for business owners. One factor that is often overlooked is a sense of community – and for The Great Canadian Landscape Company, a locally owned and operated business in North Vancouver, community is a driving force for long-term success.

“Our community supports us each and every day, and to be successful you have to do the same,” explains Chris O’Donohue, President and Founder of The Great Canadian Landscaping Company Ltd. “Our team is the final key. They are the face of our business and provide the great service to our clients that led to our success.”

The Great Canadian Landscaping Company was found in 2000. Focusing on Design, Build and Maintenance, this company proudly services residents of North Shore, Vancouver and Burnaby. “As a locally owned and operated business we have been able to be successful with great work, award recognition, and with enthusiastic presence,” says O’Donohue. “Our team is the face of our business and they provide great service to our clients, which we are known to have.”

Real Time Management

Nearly six years ago, The Great Canadian Landscaping Company started using LMN – a popular landscape estimating software that has obtained thousands of active users across the globe. With budgeting software, estimating capabilities, rapid scheduling and a mobile timesheet application, LMN has been able to provide O’Donohue and his team with the groundwork to continue on the road to success.

“In the first two years using LMN we made it mandatory that our staff use the LMN Time module and we saved over $120,000 on time theft alone.” explains O’Donohue. He added that LMN has allowed his company to be more accurate and in the end, more profitable – thanks to the software’s detailed and accurate timesheet, estimating, and scheduling capabilities.

“LMN has allowed us to provide detailed job planners to our staff and project managers before they set foot on one of our client’s properties. We also can easily provide material lists to our crews – which ensures that nothing is missed.”

So, what was the driving force that led the company to try this software in the first place?

Simply, The Great Canadian Landscaping Company wanted to price projects successfully and implement future growth. While there were plenty of similar software applications to choose from, LMN stood out. “A lot of software solutions are not current or do updates as often as LMN. Being current and providing up-to-date tools and solutions is important to our success long term,” said O’Donohue. “Earlier this year, LMN released their CRM module which we use to track close ratios and sales of our estimators. It keeps the entire team focused!”

Three Steps for Success

Every company needs a recipe for success. The Great Canadian Landscaping Company relies on a three-step process: Design, Install and Maintain.

According to O’Donohue, the best way to begin a new landscape renovation project is with a Design. At The Great Canadian Landscaping Company, 2D and 3D renderings are available, which help each and every client envision their dream. This phase not only determines the client’s wants and needs, but also their elements of the project, and overall budget. “LMN comes into play after this first meeting, where we prepare a budget for the initial design work. When the design is completed and accepted, we use LMN to prepare a professional quote for review and approval that shows cost of goods sold, breakeven points and an accurate profit margin,” explains O’Donohue.

From here, the Install team of machine operators, hardscape and softscape leaders will set out with the plan and execute the project using the LMN Scheduling module. Each site is overseen by a project manager who will be the liaison during the course of the project as the need arises. An estimator and designer will be available as well, to ensure the scope is completed as proposed – they have full access to the status of the job at anytime since LMN is a cloud based software.  As the job progresses, we use LMN Time data and compare the labour and material actual costs against what was estimated to keep the job within budget and stay efficient,” says O’Donohue.  “The office can also leave notes for the field online so nothing gets missed! This is especially useful in the winter for our snow maintenance.

Once the installation is complete, the company’s Maintenance Estimator will meet to discuss future maintenance needs and requirements. “Our team of experienced maintenance crews can now take over where our installation team left off. We offer weekly lawn and garden maintenance, fertilization programs, irrigation and landscape lighting services and garden cleanups as required.  We also have an entire snow division that handles both residential and commercial maintenance. LMN allows us to prepare a detailed service estimate and contract to be reviewed by our client.”

LMN changed the way The Great Canadian Landscaping Company looked at each and every maintenance and installation contract that came their way. Staff members were able to see estimated profit before sending it to a client – making the end result predictable and accountable.

“LMN has allowed us to become a better company, price jobs more successfully and make our company more profitable… which in turn allows us to be more successful and win future accolades. It allows us to get away from the ‘old fashioned’ square footage or linear foot method used even today by many of our competitors – who in the end, really don’t know their actual costs or profit. This has added to our bottom line impact on profit and our overall success,” said O’Donohue.


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