Like A Boss: Smarter Service Reports


Finding that service reports were winding up crinkled, coffee-stained, or even lost, Michael Mayberry, chief technical officer for Level Green Landscaping in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, figured there had to be a better way to keep track of services performed. With the development of an in-house system of Property Service Reports, Mayberry has found that the company can be more efficient with an electronic report using their mobile phone. It shows what services were completed and the date they were done. Reports are now being filed in a much more timely manner and customer communication has improved.

Mayberry says that with these electronic service reports, the company can communicate to the client about exactly what services were performed. While some clients require it, others just appreciate it. But it’s also been helpful for Level Green to maintain those electronic records for their purposes. Mayberry says that if a client were to claim a service wasn’t performed, it’s now quick and easy to pull up that report and check.

“With the paper and pencil method, we were lucky if reports even made it back to the office,” Mayberry says. “Oftentimes they made it to the account manager late. But this system is instantaneous. They fill it out on their phone and the operations manager and account manager for that site gets it right away. Then it can be forwarded to the customer if desired.”

While the process is still under development, Mayberry says the functioning prototype that he’s employed in the field is running smoothly. He’ll work out the kinks as things move forward. And since he is developing the system totally in-house, he has complete control over how everything looks and functions, which has allowed it to be completely customized for the company.

“We wanted to create a system that was completely our own,” Mayberry says. “Eventually this system will also track employee hours and include our payroll system.”

Of course, with the implementation of new technology there is often pushback and Mayberry says there’s been some. But in this testing phase, he’s focusing on the employees who were eager to use it and allowing them to talk to other employees about how it’s making their life easier.

“What used to take a half hour to fill out on paper now takes just a few minutes,” Mayberry says. “They push a few buttons and submit their report. As it’s being used in the field, I think employees will start to recognize how much easier it makes things. Once they see those time savings, they’ll likely be on board with it, too.”

Our Like a Boss series highlights some common business challenges landscape professionals face and how they conquer them.