Second Nature Landscaping and Guaranteed Greener Grass
two divisions of Poor Boys Enterprises, Inc.
For 20 years, this family owned business has delivered landscaping and lawn maintenance to only residences in Virginia Beach, hiring local workers and paying them more than the low rate paid by larger, commercially-centered landscaping businesses in the area. « We keep our business local », says Aaron Morris, the son of the father and son team who run the business, “and we pay our local workers two or three dollars more than the big companies.” There are two divisions of the company, a landscaping service and turf care, called Guaranteed Greener Grass. The turf care division uses a proprietary lawn care process, developed by Aaron and his father, which has prompted rave reviews by homeowners.
Time Saved: Trucks from the landscaping division only stop at one or two locations in a day. But the turf care division may have three, four or even five trucks, making ten to twenty stops in a day, spending ten to fifteen minutes at each location, which can extend as far as the Harbor View Section of Suffolk, twenty miles out from their headquarters in Virginia Beach. Time is of utmost importance, as the company promises an estimated time to arrive on site (as much as possible), which customers appreciate.
Before using Route4Me, Aaron planned all the routes himself, from estimates to service days, using map books, or (later) Google Maps, customer paperwork and GPS on the trucks. Aaron used to put the customers in order, based on his own knowledge of addresses and, for others he did not know, had to look up addresses and locations manually. A problem arose when, after stopping at a location the first time, the driver didn’t have a record of the location, so he couldn’t easily return. Going from Point A to Point B using GPS wasn’t enough.
Aaron first found Route4Me as an app, and now has a subscription for his computer. As this is a seasonal business, subscription rates vary. His subscription varies from “Small Business” (up to 20 users) to “Enterprise”(50+ users) for a few months a year when the work is intensive and hours long. Now, Aaron still plans the routes for his turf maintenance crews, the day before. Planning takes only three to four minutes and the route is printed out with customer paperwork and put in order for the crew, with a schedule in Aaron’s computer, so that he knows approximately where the crew is, during the entire workday.
The obvious benefits are time savings, reflected in fewer hours of overtime for the crew (which is paid hourly), savings of wear and tear on the trucks in the fleet (there are seven in the company) and gas. But there is another benefit. Turf maintenance consists of regular stops to apply various products to a lawn, to keep it green and healthy. Each stop can take only about ten to fifteen minutes. If a driver is not sure of an address location, or spends even five minutes more finding it, only three or four of these lost five minutes can add up to ten or fifteen minutes for an additional stop. With Route4Me, not only is time saved, but there could be another customer added to the route, which means new business and enough time to keep a new customer’s lawn beautiful.