Located in Austin, Texas—where technology is basically a way of life (and most certainly a way of business)—Ben Collinsworth, owner and founder of Native Land Design, says he felt embarrassed that his company appeared to lag in that arena.
Watching friends outside of the industry transform their businesses with technology inspired Collinsworth to do this same for his. “Going digital” shows local businesses the company is “tech-driven.” Improved efficiency and communication are also benefits.
The hold-up in bringing technology to his company was the notion that a single-technology solution would be able to run the entire company.
On top of that, Collinsworth even designed an in-house irrigation asset inventory and location tracking application to take his irrigation inspections digital. Tapigo, which he has made available to other landscape businesses, allows professionals to walk properties with a tablet instead of a pencil and paper.
Digital Workplace Advantage #1: Keeps Your Business Relevant
Since making a digital transition, Collinsworth says he has helped ensure his company is remaining relevant in a tech-driven region. He felt that was particularly important when it came to being attractive to young people, who are potential employees.
“A big reason that we wanted to go digital was to make sure that we weren’t getting left behind when other markets were already moving in this direction,” Collinsworth says. “We worried that we wouldn’t be able to recruit young talent, right out of college, when we were still using paper for so many processes.”
Digital Workplace Advantage #2: Increases Efficiency
In general, Collinsworth says “efficiency” has been a huge benefit of implementing more technology. For instance, property notes can be pulled up instantaneously and reviewed before meeting with a client—not only impressing the client but ensuring that everyone is on the same page. Plus, everyone can easily access information, whenever they need it.
“Writing some notes and leaving them in your office really doesn’t do anyone any good,” Collinsworth says. “With everything digital, we can share information and view information in real time. That’s a big benefit for everyone and it saves a lot of time.”
On top of that, the development of Tapigo has taken what used to be a three- to four-week process and scaled it back to as few as three days.
“Not only was the paperwork literally getting wet and ruined during irrigation inspections, but the entire process was taking longer than it had to since papers were getting misplaced or errors were being made when the notes were typed up,” Collinsworth says. “Now it’s all performed on a smart device and is so much more efficient.”
Digital Workplace Advantage #3: Boosts Communication
In addition to keeping the company relevant in the digital marketplace (which Collinsworth expects will pay off in recruiting) and boosting the company’s efficiency (now that everything can be done so quickly), Collinsworth says that an additional benefit has been the increased and easier communication.
“If we take meeting notes at one of the branches, we can share that with everyone,” Collinsworth says of the company’s three separate offices. “Again, it’s keeping everyone on the same page and that’s made a huge difference for our company as a whole.”