Using too many different platforms to complete the business day was bogging down operations at North Point Outdoors, a full-service landscape, irrigation, and snow business headquartered in Derry, New Hampshire. The company was using Quickbooks for invoicing, accounting, and estimating; Constant Contact for email marketing and sales tracking; Excel for recurring service routing; Microsoft Word for work order templates; and a good ole’ dry erase board for keeping track of project backlog. It was simply too much. Frustrated by the lack of consolidation, the team began to look for a better solution.
“Six years ago, my business partner, David Fairburn, came to me and said, ‘There has to be a better way,’” says Andrew Pelkey, co-owner of the company. “Not only did none of these methods coincide with one another but the information could not be easily shared throughout.”
After researching multiple programs, Pelkey says they finally settled on a CRM software program that encompassed scheduling, estimating, marketing, field tablet scheduling, and front end accounting syncs with Quickbooks for back end accounting. Pelkey says it’s been a game changer.
“Using this software has been a huge part of our success in growing North Point Outdoors from a $450,000 company six years ago to revenues that are expected to exceed $5 million,” he says. “Looking back, I don’t think we could have come this far without it.”
But Pelkey is quick to add that it wasn’t exactly a simple solution. Integrating software is no small feat — but it’s one that he says was a necessity to grow.
“Implementing technology in your business is designed to increase efficiencies, profitability, communication, record keeping, and overall make sharing information with your team and clients easier and more effective,” Pelkey says. “Using this software does do just that — but it simultaneously has also created the need for man hours spent on developing, updating, and refining the system and the requirement to work with it. Otherwise, it’s counterproductive.”
It can be frustrating at time — Pelkey says it might mean slowing down, creating a new template or line item when you’d rather just be hitting “send” on an estimate. But he says that every single hour spent refining makes both the system and the company stronger.
“If you aren’t changing and adapting, you aren’t moving forward,” Pelkey adds. “This means the ‘job’ is never done! Technology will continue to improve and it will require our team to continue to refine and update to follow suit. As our short history has shown if we continue to do so, the growth will follow.”
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