Across the commercial landscape sector, business owners are increasingly seeking ways to monitor both equipment and crews in order to reduce downtime and drive more revenue.
Briggs & Stratton has developed and piloted an IoT device and web-based platform tailored specifically for those businesses. InfoHub for Commercial Turf, by Briggs & Stratton, launched at GIE+EXPO, gives landscape owners and managers the intelligence they need to be smarter about scheduling jobs, preparing bids and even deploying crews and equipment. The data is fed from a cloud-based platform to the InfoHub portal. Armed with this real-time data, owners can drive more efficiency and profitability to the bottom line and make dynamic decisions to respond to uncertainties like weather rescheduling.
In research conducted by Briggs & Stratton, as part of the InfoHub development process, many landscape business owners reported dissatisfaction with current data insights solutions and some even reported tracking information manually. Many were only able to look at data after-the-fact, which did not help them make decisions about crews, scheduling and equipment in real time.
"Many of the products on the market are only giving commercial lawn cutters half of the answer. They may monitor equipment maintenance needs or they may track crews, but the majority of software programs can't track an entire fleet," said Carissa Gingras, director of marketing - global support, Briggs & Stratton. "Because InfoHub can be installed on any gas-powered engine with a spark plug and battery, commercial cutters can now track their entire fleet regardless of engine or mower brand."
Briggs & Stratton worked with more than two dozen cutters in 2016 and 2017 to test InfoHub and validate features and benefits. The top two benefits pilot users found with InfoHub was their ability to track their crew and equipment, and the ability to understand profitability and productivity by crews and jobs. And since the number one expense cutters have is labor, InfoHub helped pilot users manage their labor resources more efficiently and ultimately, grow their businesses.
"Labor is very expensive. In any lawn care maintenance company, it's the most expensive thing that you pay every year," said Buddy Delong of Bluegrass Lawn Care, St. Louis. "Making sure that labor is efficient, and on task is very important. Using a system that tracks your equipment and your people allows you to use fewer people. And understanding utilization of labor cost is critical when labor can represent up to 40% of a cutter's expenses."
Tracking equipment and helping cutters understand labor costs is only part of the InfoHub offer. InfoHub offers route optimization based on crew location, efficiency and availability. This permits cutters to add customers and routes, driving more revenue into their business. InfoHub also provides visibility to profitability by job and by crew, so cutters can determine whether they are making money, or losing money, on a job. "Many cutters told us they use InfoHub to both understand the costs in their business, as well as drive more money to the bottom line," Gingras stated. "InfoHub is truly a unique business solution that helps cutters grow their business by monitoring their fleet, regardless of brands, and increasing profitability by job."
For additional information on InfoHub, visit BriggsInfoHub.com.