Landscape Tech™ on Turf's Up Radio  features Sean McCormick, Founder and CEO of SingleOps

Posted by Ty Deemer on Feb 13, 2020 9:00:00 AM

 

SingleOps founder and CEO, Sean McCormick was recently a guest on Landscape Tech™, a technology talk show on Turf’s Up Radio. Hosted by Matt Hudson, a landscaping veteran turned industry consultant, Landscape Tech™ strives to educate green industry professionals on how leveraging the right technology for business is critical for success in today’s fast-paced and constantly changing business environment. 

Listen as Sean and Matt discuss a wide array of technology topics that are affecting the green industry, and how SingleOps is helping thousands of green industry professionals run more efficient and profitable businesses. 

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In under an hour, hear Sean and Matt discuss

  • How SingleOps was born out of a landscaping office.
  • Software having the highest return on investment of anything in your business.
  • Features that set SingleOps apart from the competitors.
  • Case studies of SingleOps customers going above and beyond in serving their clients. 
  • Important benchmarks provided by the 2020 Green Industry Economic Report.


Sean McCormick- SingleOp (1)


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Full Transcript of the Interview Below: 

Introduction:
Welcome to Turf's Up Radio's exclusive presentation of Landscape Tech, brought to you by the Lawn and Landscape Technology conference, the leading technology-focused event for the green industry.

Matt Hudson:
All right, welcome everyone. Today, my guest is Sean McCormick. Sean is the founder and CEO of SingleOps. SingleOps is the leading all-in-one business management software for outdoor service industries including tree care, lawn care, full service landscaping, sod farms, and landscape supply. The company serves thousands of users who have collectively processed over $1 billion in revenue through SingleOps and use it daily to operate their business and interact with clients. Welcome, Sean. Thanks for joining us today.

Sean McCormick:
Yeah, thank you, Matt. I appreciate you having me.

Matt Hudson:
Yeah, absolutely. I'm excited to learn about SingleOps. I've read up a little bit, I did a demo with one of your reps and I'm looking forward to digging into it. But I'd like to start with the history and how you came up with SingleOps and how it evolved.

Sean McCormick:
Yeah, sure. So it really actually started as a consulting project about six or seven years ago for a small Atlanta-based specialty landscaping company doing landscape installs, etc. And they experienced what I think a lot of folks in the industry experience once they hit about that one, 2 million revenue milestone; they just had tons of inefficiencies in their business. And so their owner, Matt Lowe, who's actually my co-founder on SingleOps, he looked everywhere to try to find a good software solution for their business. Once they get to that size, they've got multiple crews in the field, multiple managers and estimators all potentially in the field, and then a back office and they were all just totally disconnected.

Sean McCormick:
His company unfortunately, sunk about 300 grand into Salesforce trying to configure that for their business, and it just didn't work. And so I looked around at other solutions out there at the time and there was really nothing good. So we built it initially for his business, and they just immediately took off like a rocket. They had been on the Inc Fastest Growing Companies List every year since, they're over 65 million in annual revenue now, and it's just been so, so profitable for Matt and his business partners and then all their employees and customers as well.

Sean McCormick:
Well before they hit that up 65 million mark, we knew we were onto something, and so we partnered with a couple, well more than a couple, got green industry companies in and around Atlanta, so full service landscapers, tree care companies, because they all said, "Hey, we need this too and we haven't found it yet." Their partnership allowed us to hire our first employee, Adam Griffith, who's actually still with us, and he's our director of engineering, and we just went to work building out this awesome product specifically for these verticals, for this industry.

Sean McCormick:
And we did so the very first years without having an office of our own. And that was intentional. We worked out of the office of not just Matt's company, his landscaping company, but these other full-service landscapers and tree care companies in and around Atlanta. We worked out of their office day in, day out, learning about their problems and how a really good business management software solution can address them from the CRM, customer records side, to building really nice estimates and understanding profitability, scheduling, invoicing, payments, the whole deal.

Sean McCormick:
And that was critical for us because that feedback loop was so tight. When we built a feature that was really going to help, we heard it, but then when we built something that was off the mark, we heard that too from folks coming in right into our little office in their office and saying, "Hey look, this needs to be fixed." And so that, really just understanding the industry and building a product specifically for it was critical to our early success and our success today. And so fast forward to today and we've got hundreds of companies using SingleOps all over the country, in every state in the country, and into Canada. And thousands and thousands of users on the app, all day every day, doing their jobs, growing their business, seeing record levels of profitability.

Sean McCormick:
So yeah. Hopefully that answers your question.

Matt Hudson:
Yeah, absolutely. And I think it's cool that you got in there being from... not coming from the industry or not being a landscaper, you got in there and just lived with them and found out all those blind spots that you just can't see unless you're really running that business. So, that's pretty cool.

Sean McCormick:
Yeah. I would consider myself almost a green industry veteran at this point after working so intense for almost a decade on that, and then also having well over a decade of experience on the technology side prior. But I was super lucky to start with some really good folks on our team, Matt being one of them with that really good green industry background, and then bringing on other people as well with both green industry and really good technology backgrounds.


Matt Hudson:
Yeah. It's cool because you mentioned, you get to the point where you hit that wall where when we start out as landscape entrepreneurs and we're grinding, we've got a couple of crews, we can manage everything ourselves even if it's hectic, but then you start growing and you just can't do it all yourself. And without the right tools it's much more difficult. So do you think that's the core benefits you add, is just having that centralized place where everyone can come together and see the same information?

Sean McCormick:
Yeah. So we call that a system of record. And you hit the nail on the there, that system of record for your business is so powerful. And the vast majority of companies in the industry, they've got probably a good system of record on the accounting side, they're probably using QuickBooks, but they either have a poor or don't have any system of record on the customer side. So where's that customer data, your call log, your estimates and the followups and the changes and all these things there that's so critical to have everyone on the same page? And then of course your system of record for your crews, for your fields.

Sean McCormick:
And so SingleOps ties all that together in one system, because of course we sync bi-directionally with QuickBooks, so you've got all that data, but then that data can both drive profitable decision making, so you can pull up reports, understanding profitability like job costing stuff, but it also can automate things, so now you know, "Oh well, I can increase my close rate if I send this proposal follow up two days after the initial proposal." All those things are what SingleOps allows you to do and automate so many of them so you can really just grow your business and extend your resources without adding a bunch of folks on your team.

Sean McCormick:
And we all know how hard it is to get good labor, so it really allows you to get more out of the labor you have and not have to make you hire so much. I mean, Matt's business, for instance, they grew over 100% year over year, over year, yet weren't adding that relevant, that same level of back office staff. And I'm pretty sure today they have three people in their back office and they're running a $65 million operation. It's just crazy what you could do with technology.

Matt Hudson:
Yeah. I mean, it's amazing. And it's almost, I think where we're headed, it's mandatory. If you're going to be competitive, you've got to be able to operate at this level or you're just going to get left in the dust fighting for scraps. You hit a great point though, you don't have to hire as many people, you can optimize a lot of these things. Talk to me about who uses the software in the company? Is it just the backend? Are your field managers using it? How does it function between the different departments?

Sean McCormick:
Yeah. So we have three main user types, one is the back office user, so they benefit tremendously because they're able to remove a lot of duplicate data entry that they might be doing or duplicate efforts. So because everything's fully integrated, they don't have to re-enter time sheets from the field or reenter estimates or any of that stuff or copy things into QuickBooks or copy things into some outside Excel report, none of that. So it's a huge time savings for them. And then allows them to repurpose their time to things that really, really benefit the business like getting good data and delivering that to say ownership in a report format. So that's one key user.

Sean McCormick:
The other are the estimators. So whether they're doing estimates in the field like a tree care company or if they're building really nice estimates in the back office, pulling up really good technologies like Google Satellite View and doing additional mapping and all that, which you can do through the software. So that user, it allows them to both increase their close rates, so I mentioned estimate follow ups being one example. But also upsells is huge, especially in areas of the country where, for instance in the Southeast here, a lot of full service landscapers, their most profitable part of the business is enhancements.

Sean McCormick:
They'll often maybe get a full service maintenance contract at a loss just with the opportunity to sell those enhancements and become very profitable. And so SingleOps really helps you with those upsells in terms of automating it, giving options to the customers, reminders, the whole deal. So that's second user type. It's all about growing top line in really efficient ways. And the third user type are crews in the field. So with crews, it really helps with accountability, reducing mistakes, the whole deal. So you've got the ability to both see where they're at on a daily basis in their schedule, but also really give them digital work orders.

Sean McCormick:
And then they can, in one app, not just keep track of time, but apply that time to their jobs and their schedules, which then job costs, so that's automatically going to be happening with all that reporting. And then all that can go into your payroll system so you don't have to reenter anything to pay your employees. So there's tons of benefits for them as well.

Matt Hudson:
Nice. Yeah, I love it. That seamless network between those three areas is critical. And you were talking about the job costing. I want to talk about how this... Labor's obviously the number one cost in the landscape business and the service business. And I've seen it throughout the years that we sink or swim with how efficient we use our labor and how accurately we estimate it and how efficiently we implement it based on that estimate. Is that what you're seeing, is when people adopt this software, it's making the workflow much smoother, so therefore they're getting more accomplished? In addition to being more organized and saving time, are they able to execute more efficiently?

Sean McCormick:
Yeah. You hit the nail on the head again with comparing what you're estimating versus what's actually happening. And so in different systems, some systems we see out there, sure you might be able to get this estimated, labor budget or estimate of profitability, but it's not really nicely tying that with the actual job costing. Or maybe you're getting the job costing data, but you're not able to see the estimated margins and the estimated material costs, etc. So what SingleOps does is it really ties those two together. So you've got your estimated margin, your estimated profits and your actual profits, and you're able to compare the two.

Sean McCormick:
And in doing so, it unlocks all this great data about your business. For instance, it'll tell you, "Hey, do I have an estimator out there who's consistently underbidding? I need to coach that person up so that they're giving more aggressive bids." Or, "Do I have a crew out there who's consistently underperforming?" The work with bid properly, but their jobs aren't as profitable because they're taking too long. So the system will be able to tell you all that stuff, and then drive really profitable decision making for your business. In addition, "Hey, do I just have this one customer out there that I'm losing my shirt on. Maybe I need to increase my prices or just fire that customer."

Sean McCormick:
So it allows you to get that profitability reporting on such a granular level; per crew, per estimator, per customer, per job, per service type. So all that just can drive such profitable decision making for your business.

Matt Hudson:
Yeah. And that's just, I mean, that's a game changer. In the old days it was, "Let's pull up our QuickBooks invoices and go and print out job costing reports on a spreadsheet three weeks after the job's over and try to figure out how we did." And it sounds like from what you're saying, you guys could do this almost in real time. Is that a fair statement? Can you do it daily?

Sean McCormick:
Yeah, absolutely. It's real time. So you're able to pull up, say you've got an ongoing landscape maintenance job or a big design build project that's not finished yet, but you're able to see real time profitability and how that's tracking with what you estimated. So are you over or under your labor budget based on what you got left on that project? So that's critical too, because you don't want to wait until three weeks after the month closes or two weeks after that job's done to find out if you're profitable or not, especially if it's a big one that lasts a while, you need to know right away.

Sean McCormick:
And that can really help manage and help coach your managers so that they know, "All right, Look, I'm over my labor budget, so I need to be real efficient to wrap this job up and hit my-

Matt Hudson:
And I've always, even when I was trying to do it in real time, having this information you can throw extra labor at it if you have to or outsource things or make different decisions that you can't make in the rear view mirror, you need that information in real time to pull that off. That's awesome stuff.

Matt Hudson:
Sean, I wanted to talk to you next about how SingleOps can configure for different types of landscape companies. I mean, I always say there's never two landscape companies that are exactly the same because there's so many different service offerings out there, there's so many different niches within the industry. I mean, "green industry" businesses can be everything from a hardscape company to a tree company to a landscape company. Can you talk about how SingleOps can work with the different types of business models and be efficient for all of them?

Sean McCormick:
Yeah, sure. So one of the things that we built from very early on was we built SingleOps to be very configurable. And that is to your point that no two grain industry companies are the same. One might focus more on the commercial side, one might focus more on residential, municipal and then all the different services that they might offer or might want to offer like in the future. So what we do very early on when someone signs up for SingleOps is we pair them with an implementation specialist and they go through discovery. And that's basically, "Where's your business at today? Not only with your data but your service offerings, your types of customers."

Sean McCormick:
And then we'll use that to configure SingleOps to work beautifully for you. But also too, and part of discovery is, "What are your future goals? Are you a residential landscape landscape maintenance, but you want to add design build or you want to add tree care?" That's critical because if you have a system like SingleOps, it makes it that much easier to grow your business, but in adding those other components in the future. And so that configuration is something that we really excel at. And a lot of it is just our team understanding the industry and understanding your business and how to best set up SingleOps for you.

Matt Hudson:
Cool. Cool. Yeah, I mean, it's just critical because trying to stick that square peg in a round hole and make a software or any technology work, it's got to adjust for the needs of the business, and I've run up against that many times. Let's talk a little technical stuff about how accessible SingleOps is. Is it something that people can access from the field? They can put proposals out in the field? Or do you have to work from the office on it? Talk a little bit about the accessibility?

Sean McCormick:
Sure. So it's all cloud based and there's a web application. So on any device, you pull up a browser, you can log in and basically see everything. Now, everyone has roles and permissions with their user. So you can set that up so that obviously your crews don't see as much as the business owner or the back office. But it's going to work beautifully on any browser. Now, we also have mobile apps, so we've got an iOS app and an Android app. What's great there though is it's not a separate app, it's actually the same code base so that you don't have to, say you're in the field, sure you've got this downloaded native app, but you don't have to sync data to and from some other app, it's all real time.

Sean McCormick:
I know we can get a little technical here, but basically what we've done is we've built it with the most modern technologies so that you don't have to be sitting there uploading or downloading all these different versions of data out there. It's all the same code base, all the same data, real time, and it works beautifully on any device whether it's the installed app on your iPhone or your iPad doing an estimate, it's the installed app on a smartphone mounted in the truck for the crew, or it's the office computer pulling it up on a browser and doing scheduling, all of that is going to work beautifully across the organization.

Matt Hudson:
That's cool. So I think you touched on it earlier by the speed of getting out estimates. You can put estimates out from the field, there's really no reason to have to wait and come back to the office and do that anymore, right?

Sean McCormick:
Oh, right. I mean, if you're walking a property and you're doing an estimate, you can not only do it in the field, but you can get the customer to sign off on it on the tablet or whatever you're using as well and sell it right there on the spot. Of course you can email too. And that's critical because the first estimate, 80% of time is the one that's sold, and so getting that out quickly is critical, and we have all these tools that do that.

Matt Hudson:
Wow, that's super cool. Yeah, it's come a long way. Back in the day, I think early 2000s, I used to have a printer in my car, Bluetooth came around and I would print out proposals and I can attest to that . When you put a proposal in the hand when you're there onsite immediately, you just close out so many different objections or delays or another competitor coming in. I mean, it just drastically-

Sean McCormick:
Yeah, that's one of the things I've seen a trend in the industry is just this increasing complexity of estimating, which it is great, you want to make sure that you're giving out great pricing, that you're going to be profitable on. But the downside is, if you take two days, three days to get that estimate to the customer after they've made the initial call or after you've gone onsite, that's two or three days for them to change their mind, or two or three days for another competitor to come in and sell them. And so you want to do both, you want to give great estimates, with great pricing, that are really thought out and impress the customer, but you want to do them fast so you actually sell it. And with a system like SingleOps, it allows you to do both.

Matt Hudson:
Yeah. And when you're running the job costing reports and you're using that backend and then you're actually running it in real time and you get dialed into these jobs day to day, that estimating becomes almost second nature. I mean, you're living and breathing your numbers so you don't have that fear of putting out a bad number because you're learning literally in real time.

Sean McCormick:
Right. Yeah. You're not flying in the dark anymore.

Matt Hudson:
Cool. Let's shift a little bit and talk about... We've talked about sales, we've talked about marketing, you touched on a little bit, but just the management, how this helps with the scheduling, the routing. Again, all that ties back to that labor cost that drives the profits. What does SingleOps do for scheduling, routing and job management, stuff like that?

Sean McCormick:
Yeah. So once the work is sold, it goes into our job management workflow, which allows you to manage the job, assign crews, assign equipment, but also just really nicely scheduled. Whether it's a one off a job, like an enhancement or if it's a big recurring contract. And it might have multiple pieces of recurrence in it, you might have weekly maintenance, but on top of that, you might have a five application lawn care program. All that can be managed and scheduled in SingleOps. And what's greater, some of the intelligent optimization things that we do in there, we have a nice thing called the Route Planner where you can highlight an area of the map and say, "Schedule this," and it'll automatically put it on a cruise route and schedule it based on optimized directions.

Sean McCormick:
And so in doing so, what we find is a lot of our customers, they're able to schedule one more job a week for that crew, or in some cases, one more job a day, and that's critical. I mean, that's just such an efficiency gain that you're able to get out of your existing labor and so you don't have to hire that additional crew, just by scheduling and managing your work better. And so, that's a huge game that some of our customers get that SingleOps makes it real easy to do.

Matt Hudson:
That's cool. And then when we're talking about work orders and maybe more for the construction side, are there ways to split up work orders, divide things into phases and projects and keep things organized as opposed to just running off an original?

Sean McCormick:
Yeah, absolutely. You can do this when you're activating, but also too after it's sold. You can break it up into phases so you can do phase billing, you can have different crews running different phases, at different times, at the same time. It all depends on the way you want to estimate and run the job. But yeah, it all ties in together with not only the work orders, but also ultimately with the invoices too. And that's one of the big variables, there's just so many different ways that our customers like to, or to have to invoice their customers and so SingleOps gives you those options, "Hey, this design build project is one big invoice at the end." Great. Or, "It's invoiced per stage and one invoice has to be broken up this way."

Sean McCormick:
All that stuff you can do in the system. And of course, that's going to sync bi-directionally with QuickBooks as well.

Matt Hudson:
And then, I keep drilling down on labor because again that's where all the money goes out the door if we're not driving it right. How are you tracking, you mentioned it earlier, it's syncing with payroll and all that. Is it GPS-based where we're clocking in and clocking out on the phones, how are you tracking the labor per job per man per day kind of thing?

Sean McCormick:
Yeah, so on the mobile app for the crews, they're able to pull up, we call our time sheets functionality. So they'll clock in at the beginning of the day, clock out at the end of the day, and then in between those two end points, we're able to start and stop work. So you get all the payroll data, you get all the the in grade data for job costing and reporting. But it also does record their location. So you can pull up a breadcrumb trail and say, "All right, well, here's where this crew went. Oh, they totally went off off the route here. What happened?" And you can see that stuff essentially in real time if you want to make changes during the day.

Sean McCormick:
But again, yeah, it's just data. It's just that system of record, you get all that without having to take extra steps to do it. And it just cuts down on the communication too so it just makes you more efficient.

Sean McCormick:
You don't need to call back crew and say, "Hey, why aren't you at this job yet?" You pull it up and see, "Oh, they're finishing up here, starting to make that call. I can just communicate that to the customer." Or of course, you can set up texts so your customer's texted before the crew arrives or after the crew, whatever you'd like to do. And then that's just a huge time saver, and then it really increases accountability and compliance with your team as well.

Matt Hudson:
Yeah. Well, that was my follow up question I had was accountability and compliance and creating that space where there's no dark corners people can hide, and I don't mean that in a bad way, but just keeping people moving. So that's critical to the success of these jobs.

Sean McCormick:
Yeah. It's funny just having your crew know that that is being tracked will increase compliance in and of itself. It's funny that the study is with police officers and once they have a dash cam or a cam on them, so much stuff just doesn't happen when they know that they're being track record. I know that's terrible, and there's a big brother aspect to that, but when the crew knows, "Hey, I'm responsible for starting and stopping my time and I'm going to be accountable to this route and this technology is going to help me to stay accountable," then just in another self you remove a lot of those challenges that you might've had otherwise.


Matt Hudson:
Well, I think it's a good dividing line from what I've been seeing is, those who are on-board and want to help the company grow and participate, eventually, they may... There's a little resistance in the beginning, but once they adopt it and I get on board and they start to see how they're winning, how they're winning the day, how the company's winning, it actually helps improve the overall culture of the business because now you've got team players that are seeing the numbers, they're feeling included as well. They're feeling like they're part of the process, which is a big divide in our industry.

Matt Hudson:
A lot of times guys show up every morning and it's like, "I'm just going to show up every day and they're going to tell me where to go. And every day I don't really know what I'm doing." But when you have a sense of what the company's doing and you're a part of that, it really can affect the culture and the overall productivity. Have you seen that as well?

Sean McCormick:
Yeah. there is always resistance when you're implementing a new software or you're asking your team to do anything new or different, but some folks are scared of that resistance, that resistance is good because it's going to show you and your team, "All right, who are the team players? who wants to help me build a better business, provide a better service to our customers and who doesn't?" So early on you can see that just by saying, "Hey guys, we're going to give this new program a shot." The folks that will say, "All right, cool. That sounds fun." Or, "I'm cool with it. Great."

Sean McCormick:
But the folks that are, "Oh, I don't want to have to do my estimates this way or I don't want to have to clock in or out," it raises a red flag, "All right, is this someone that I want on my team? Is this someone's going to help me achieve my goals and then provider will get service to my customer?" Of course you can win them over, and there's resistance, but that resistance can be a good thing because they can tell you a lot about your business and the folks working in it.

Matt Hudson:
Absolutely. And you can't get to a 65 million when you got... and I know not everybody's going to 65 million, but you can't double and triple your sales until you get that labor force all in sync and everybody working together. So that's good stuff.

Sean McCormick:
Or just improve your profitability 1%. It's little things like that that in terms of the cost of implementing a software like this and the return, and if you can just improve your profitability, half a percent that can at times be over 100X ROI on this investment. Now, if you wanted your pie growth and you have growth ambitions, great, we can help you with that too, but just those small changes can be hugely impactful, and we can help your team get you there.

Matt Hudson:
Absolutely. And that's the la... We've got a couple of seconds left, but the last point I'd make on that is that it allows you to capture all that low hanging fruit that you just didn't have the bandwidth to capture because you didn't have the tools to help you do that.


Sean McCormick:
Yeah. You might not have even known it was out there, but yeah, not only can you find out that it's there, you can also just add that to your business like another component. "All right, I'll turn on this new service I want to add." Boom. You got it.

Matt Hudson:
Yeah. And you get the systems to do it. Good stuff, Sean. Let's take another quick break and we'll be right back.

Matt Hudson:
Okay. Welcome back everyone. Welcome back, Sean. And this segment, I want to talk to you about some case studies, if you'd share with us some real life examples of what you've seen from your customers and how SingleOps has helped their business specific ways.

Sean McCormick:
Yeah, sure. We've got a handful of case studies published on our website that go real in depth, but I'm happy to speak to a few of them. It's always good to get a different collection of case studies from different types of companies, one of which, which we love is a company called Atlanta Arbor. They're close to us in Atlanta, we've worked very closely with them. They actually started using SingleOps pretty soon after they started the business. And that was great for them because they really started with a great system of record right at the beginning, and it's allowed them to grow tremendously.

Sean McCormick:
They're one of the largest, most successful tree care companies in Atlanta now. The last I checked on Yelp, they were the number one reviewed, the highest rated as well. And of course, SingleOps you do that, get nice reviews in addition to providing a good service. So that's one really good one. Another one, Deep Roots Landscaping, they're a full service landscaper. I actually did an interview with their business owner the other day which we published on our website, and one of the great tidbits from that was their co-founder, Ben, basically said he could do twice as many proposals in a day using SingleOps than he was able to do before.

Sean McCormick:
And that made me just so happy that we're able to provide them with that ability to grow their business and just make him as the co-founder and owner, just more efficient. So that was a great one. Another one, another interview I did with one of our customers the other day, Go Turf, this company, they've really enjoyed about the job costing and profitability side of SingleOps. Before, they were just like so many other folks running blind in terms of what their profitability was until they're able to see their P & L few weeks after the month. And so because he's been able to keep a close eye on it, he's actually driven profitability up quite a bit for his business.


Matt Hudson:
That's great. It really, for me, if after 25 years in this business, the one thing, if I had to look back at one thing that just changed the game was, it's just knowing your numbers, and that starts with job costing because you can't go back. Once you see where you lose money, you just can't make that mistake again intentionally, and it's like you can't unsee this stuff. And knowing your numbers, I just drive that home all the time, it's just the most important thing. Everything's important, but the numbers don't lie? Let me ask you this, when you're looking at SingleOps and you look at these different case studies, what do you see helps the most?

Matt Hudson:
I know that's a broad question, everybody's got different needs and wants, but what are you seeing that it might be that one or two different things, the features or triggers that allow people to get momentum once they start using SingleOps?

Sean McCormick:
Yeah. There's so many benefits to a good system of record, a good business management software solution, but the one that always hits home the most to me, and then also what makes my team so passionate about doing this is when we hear folks that, "Hey, I was working 10 plus hour days, working on the weekends," because people in our industry just work like crazy and we love that work ethic, but when we hear from someone that, "Hey, SingleOps has allowed me to not work on the weekends anymore, and now I can spend time with my family." Or, "I don't have to work these crazy 10 hour days anymore, I'll be able to go on a vacation."

Sean McCormick:
It's stuff like that. It kind of brings it to a personal level for us and our team, and when we hear that, it just makes us so happy. Like we've been able to provide not just this value on the business level, but on the personal level to our customers to be able to allow them to spend more time with their family or work more on the business than in the business. That type of stuff is just really powerful for us, and then we love to hear that.

Matt Hudson:
Yeah. That's what you call in the marketing world, the hidden benefit, that thing that comes, that we are really after, the thing we really want. We don't want the features, we really want those benefits, so that's really cool. That's great, that's what we're after. We didn't start these businesses to work 80 hours a week and be grinding all the time, but without these tools, it's been very common. It's just the way these businesses are run. Talk about communication. I see that as another benefit about allowing the different parts of the business to communicate together. And again, I keep circling backward, help the culture of the business just by improving communication.

Sean McCormick:
The app itself has all those records so that for instance, if you're on the field and you've got a customer and you need to give them a quick answer, you don't have to call the office to get that answer and wait for a while. You can pull up on the app, that whole customer record and see exactly what they might be asking about. Maybe it was that last job you did, you know everything right there. It just automates a lot of that time consuming back and forth with your team that you might've not had before, but that's just the app itself. The automated emails and texts are also really huge, so that not only can be used for communication with the in-customer, so texts or emails about, "Hey the crew just wrapped up, how did we do, here's a survey," but also internally.

Sean McCormick:
So a lot of our customers we'll set those up to, "Hey, an estimator was just assigned a new lead." Boom, you got an email right in your inbox or a text message with all the details about that lead. And so it just speeds it up, it makes it easier. And so you don't have those tough conversations with your team, stressed out, "Oh, I didn't get this customer an answer." Like, "What do we do for the last week?" You already know that. So all that stuff really helps.

Matt Hudson:
So as the owner or I guess the primary person in charge able to take a top level view of everything in his business and see how each salesperson's working and who's communicating with who, they're able to just to sit back and look at this, correct?

Sean McCormick:
Yeah, on any device. They don't even need to be in the office to do that. And what's really cool is one of the things that we have on that this is global search, and you can search just about anything. So you've got the customers phone number, last four digits, you type it in, you'll pull up that customer's profile and on one page, you're able to see like everything. And just that speed of getting that information is just critical, not with decision making, but with customer service, the whole deal.

Matt Hudson:
That's cool. And then in what comes to mind for me now is, if a rep or a project manager or someone decides they're going to take their talents elsewhere, you don't have to beg and plead for all that information when they're gone, you have a seamless transition to the next guy, correct?

Sean McCormick:
Yeah. Seamless transition, and you don't have to worry about all that getting stolen. All you do is just deactivate your user and they can't access the system anymore. So the improved security for your business is one of those things that doesn't get mentioned a lot, but it's really nice.

Matt Hudson:
That's cool. Well, great. That's good stuff. Let's take a quick break and then we're going to come back and talk about the future SingleOps. I know you guys just released your first screen industry report, I want to talk about that a little bit and we'll look forward. So we'll take a quick break.

Matt Hudson:
All right, welcome back everyone. Welcome back, Sean. Sean, now, I'd like to transition and look into the future. Technology as you know is always changing. It was always having to keep up and be on the cutting edge. So I want to know what you guys have coming up with SingleOps, what you see as the future and how this platform platform's going to evolve.

Sean McCormick:
Yeah, great question. One of the really cool things about cloud software is that you don't have to wait a year to get the next update and install it or whatever, and even some folks that develop cloud software still take that approach, and we don't. We're all about releasing new features, improving the app, and when you use it, a lot of the stuff just happens, you don't even notice it. But then, you'll look back a year and you're like, "Oh my God, this is changed and improved so much." So on a monthly, if not even weekly basis, we're releasing new improvements and new cool features. But some of the big things we're working on in 2020, one of them is a deeper payments integration, really designed to help our customers get paid faster by their customers.

Sean McCormick:
We have really good functionality there, what kind of credit card storage and secure storage and automated bill pay and prepays, but we found that to be just such a huge benefit to our customers, just getting them paid and paid faster, decreasing that accounts receivable window. And so so we're going to further focus our development efforts on that as one of our big priorities in 2020. So some pretty cool functionality that we'll have released there shortly. Another one is we're working on some integrations with some industry leaders, so I can't speak too much of that just yet, but some really exciting integrations that we'll be releasing in 2020. So stay tuned.

Matt Hudson:
That's cool. And then you bring up a great point with integrations because there's just so many pieces of technology out there and the more you can be that central hub to where we can eliminate needing 57 different apps to run our business is just priceless.

Sean McCormick:
Yeah. And we're seeing the industry move in that direction because a lot of that incumbents on the equipment side, also on the supply side, they're seeing the future and that, "All right, by integrating with a good system of record like SingleOps, we're able to just tie together so many other sources of data, but so many other actions, purchasing supply, purchasing materials per job." So yeah, the industry moving in the right direction, we're a leader in this and we're very excited to release some of these integrations in 2020.

Matt Hudson:
Cool. Well, talking about being a leader, you guys this year released your first green industry report, I think just last week or two weeks ago, I got it in my email box. You want to talk about what was the thought behind creating the report and just talk about the report in general?

Sean McCormick:
Yeah, sure. We talked about how important it is and how great it is for a company to have the right system of record, but with SingleOps, we just have this treasure trove of data now about the industry as a whole because we've got customers in every state, in the country and in Canada, of all certain sizes and all that. And so it just gives us these insights that we're allowed to share, of course not identifiable to any individual customer, but just as a whole. And so it allows us to see a pulse on the industry, where are close rates, and how are those different in different regions?

Sean McCormick:
What are interesting takeaways? Like one that we saw was the speed of estimate delivery and then how that relates to likelihood of selling the work. And so we didn't want to keep that to ourselves, we want to share that and provide that information to the industry, and then just also let folks know you. It's a great time to be in the industry. Overall, the industry is growing and we're seeing a ton of great businesses come out of that. So we released that for the first time this year, a lot of good data and a lot of good takeaways, then we're happy to look at that again next year as well.

Matt Hudson:
Cool. Yeah, I found it very good read. It was very well put together, some great points to consider and I appreciate you guys sharing that. So let's transition over to for listeners that are interested, know more about how to get on-board. Let's start with the typical onboarding process. I think you touched on it a little bit earlier, but just go through how when someone signs up for SingleOps, how do they get on-board? How do they get this system up and running and how long it typically takes?

Sean McCormick:
Yeah, sure. The first thing that we do, we offer free demos, and they're very in depth if you want to get into depth. And so that's the first step, they're kind of just to check out the product, learn about our process and see if it's a right fit for you because it's not going to be the right fit for everyone, but for a lot of folks that want to grow their business, increase profitability, almost certainly is. So we love doing those demos and learning about your company and showing you what SingleOps has to offer. If you do decide it's going to be a good fit for you, then we immediately pair you with an implementation specialist and they go through that whole implementation process from that discovery part of it that I talked about earlier, to account configuration. Of course, there's data migration as well.

Sean McCormick:
We have that bi-directional sync with QuickBooks, so that makes that pretty easy, but we'll get in data from other sources as well. And then we just get it all set up to get your team rock and roll in with it. And we'll provide team training too to any member of your team and all that's included with our pricing and it just allows you to have a lot of success with the project. I mean, what we hate is when we hear from a potential customer, "Oh, I tried this with another company and we spent all this money and the team wouldn't get on it." It's just beyond implementation, those can be costly. So we really invest a lot into the success of our customers. And that gives us such a high percentage of success with these implementations.

Matt Hudson:
Yeah, it's critical. I mean, it's the same if you buy a new tractor or a new machine, a new piece of equipment, that onboarding process and that implementation process is critical. And the difference with the tractors is, it's sitting there staring at you so you have to actually use it. With software, it's easier to avoid. You can put it off in the corner and forget about it because we're "too busy". So having that person to help guide you is just absolutely critical. So if someone's interested in a demo, how would they go about getting it?

Sean McCormick:
So you can go right to our website, you can book it right then and there. We have a little chat bot that will pop up, you can use that, or we've got buttons all across it or you can book a demo. It's really easy to do that. Just got to SingleOps.com, and you can book the demo there. And then yeah, the team will follow up and get you rolling with it. One thing too I want to mention as well, because we talked about the demo process, the implementation process, but one thing that we also do that we have dedicated staff on our team to do is, once you're live and you're using the system, maybe you've been using it for a year or two, we have a customer success staff that'll help you get even more and more value out of it.

Sean McCormick:
So we release a new feature, we're not going to wait for you to find it, we're going to proactively contact you so you can keep getting more and more value out of this program. And we feel deeply about that.

Matt Hudson:
Yeah, that's pretty innovative. That's cool, because just getting it going... Sometimes I've been guilty of this, I get a piece of software technology going and I understand the basics, but I never really tap its full potential because just getting it going seems to be the win, but being able to dig deep and really leverage it, and like you said, it's constantly changing stuff. So how cool. Cool. So pricing. Talk about the pricing structure.

Sean McCormick:
Yeah. So we price per user and we start at 300 bucks per month, and that comes with three users. And then depending on the time of year or who we're marketing this to, we always offer some discounts. So we're offering a 10% discount, which is a nice discount for all listeners of your show. When you come in, just mention, "Hey, we heard of y'all from the Landscape Tech Show," and yeah, we'll immediately apply that discount. And even just figuring out what's going to be the best solution for your business to start and really talk about that return on the investment too, because that's super important. This is not just from the pricing that we offer, but also from the time and the effort for your team to get it going.

Sean McCormick:
We want to make sure this is going to be a 10X plus return on your investment. And in many cases, it gets all the way to a 100X. And we can see that, hey, we can help you sell one more job a week. That's tremendous. Hey, we can help you schedule one more job a week for your crew or a day. That ROI just is through the roof. And so we can help map that out, not just for you to understand, but also for you to present to your team and say, "Hey, this is why we're making this decision. It's going to have this cost, but the return is just tremendous."

Matt Hudson:
Cool. Good stuff, Sean. I appreciate all your time and knowledge today. Anything here before-

Sean McCormick:
That's it, Matt. You've asked some great questions. I've enjoyed answering them, and looking forward to listening to your shoe in the future.

Matt Hudson:
All right, Sean, I appreciate it. All the listeners out there, give SingleOps a shot. Give them a call, take a demo and see if it's a good fit for you. I appreciate it.

Conclusion:
Thank you for joining us on Turf's Up Radio's exclusive presentation of Landscape Tech, your journey into the next generation of green industry product development and technology. To hear more episodes of Landscape Tech, download the Turf's Up Radio Landscape Tech app, where you find podcasts or simply visit TurfsUpRadio.com/LandscapeTech. Landscape Tech is brought to you by the Lawn and Landscape Technology Conference, the leading technology-focused event for the green industry. To find out more about this first annual technology event and to take advantage of your Turf's Up Radio 10% discount when you register, visit LLTechConference.com and enter promo code TURFSUP at checkout. Hope to see you there.

Tags: News, time saving, cloud based software, benefits of singleops, think big, SingleOps, thoughtleadership

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