When your landscaping company starts to grow, the amount of equipment you own will increase as well. As the number of your tools multiply, they will inevitably prove harder to track without a system in place.
Asset Panda, an asset management software with capabilities for asset tracking, inventory management, vendor management and purchase order generation, was born out of that same issue of struggling to keep track of all the assets in a company.
Rex Kurzius, founder and CEO of Asset Panda, created the software after his IT consulting company had no good way to keep track of all their equipment.
“We only had a record of the equipment in assets module of our accounting software,” Kurzius says. “So, I knew it was a certain piece of equipment. I knew how much the depreciating value was. I knew the serial number and the title of it, but I had no idea who had it, where it was, what condition it was in. There was nothing to give me any anecdotal information and we ended up just writing off a lot of equipment because we kept losing it.”
After realizing the most companies have the same issue when it comes to tracking equipment and assets, Kurzius decided it was time to offer a solution.
What sets it apart?
There are many asset tracking tools available, but one aspect that makes Asset Panda unique is the flexibility and adaptability of the platform. Kurzius says they don’t sell a product, but rather a platform that can be designed to solve a specific business’s needs.
“When someone signs up for Asset Panda, it’s not like we teach them how to use our system,” Kurzius says. “It’s actually the reverse. The client tells us what their workflows are and what their pain points are, and we configure the system to alleviate those pain points.”
Setting up the platform with the client typically takes two weeks, but Kurzius says it depends mostly upon the free time the customer has.
Asset Panda has both a web portal and mobile app. To access the mobile app, employees simply download the app on their smartphone and then they are instantly added as a user because the company offers unlimited users.
“The system is so configurable that every experience of end users can be unique to that user,” Kurzius says. “They don’t have to open up an app and see 50 fields when they only working with three. It will only be the information that’s pertinent to them and getting their job done and helping the company get the information it needs in order to accurately run their business.”
Kurzius says there is a huge benefit to having everyone in an organization having secured access to help both keep other employees and the employer on the same page.
“There’s never a limit to the amount of users,” Kurzius says. “It’s the people who own the company, it’s the people who work for the company and even their customers could use Asset Panda to give them notes on what they want done on their lawn or things they want done differently. We want to encourage as many people as possible to get on Asset Panda and learn how to use it.”
What can Asset Panda do?
With Asset Panda, landscapers can check in and check out equipment, track maintenance and reporting. As for how companies can track their assets, there are several options.
“It’s up the client how they want it to work,” Kurzius says. “Most companies have some kind of barcode that they put on a piece of equipment. So, they’ll put a barcode or a QR code and they’ll scan the asset. Some of them work by just taking photographs of the equipment and putting the serial number in. It just depends on the client.”
Cutting Edge Lawn Care, a lawn care company based in Austin, Texas, has used Asset Panda to track where equipment and tools were located, to plan for maintenance and to get notified when assets were being sent out or coming back in.
Previous to Asset Panda, the lawn care company kept track of its landscaping equipment by writing them down on a piece of paper on the office wall.
“We have several hundred pieces of equipment running around, be it trimmers or various things, plus the exponential amounts of parts that we would need to maintain and hang onto in order to keep those trucks and pieces of equipment repaired,” says Todd Tindel, owner and founder of Cutting Edge Lawn Care. “We weren’t able to keep very good control of that. Theft is not a problem; it’s just we would buy more stuff than we needed and often times we wouldn’t have what we needed because we didn’t know what was there.”
After learning a company’s workflow process, Asset Panda builds a system that makes it easy for a crew to scan what pieces of equipment are going out on the job that day.
“I’ve got it tracking everything from parts to mowers to trimmers even batteries,” says Philip Foltz, operations manager for Cutting Edge. “I know where my batteries are, what trucks they are in and I know when warranties are up on them. You have to keep track of that stuff because if something goes bad and it’s under warranty, you need to know.”
With the tracking maintenance aspect, Asset Panda can also set up preventative maintenance schedules and help streamline the communication between the people out in the field and the people in the office.
“You can be out in the field and get a notification that maybe the John Deere you have is up for service next week,” Kurzius says. “It’s not just a person sitting in maintenance looking for the serial codes and barcodes, it’s the person out in the field who scans it and goes, ‘Oh okay, maintenance is due in five days. I’m going to take that back and make sure it gets maintained.’”
Asset Panda can also generate reports for customers on anything that’s going on in the system so they can know that their information is getting updated properly.
Kurzius says Asset Panda says the main cost savings come from loss prevention, whether the equipment is stolen or simply misplaced, but it does have other benefits as well.
“We also save companies money by eliminating a lot of the time it takes to communicate what’s going on with different pieces of equipment,” he says. “We also save companies money if they use us to track maintenance, so they don’t do unneeded, unscheduled maintenance on products. By knowing where everything is all the time, we can help our clients give accurate statements to the government for property taxes so they’re only paying taxes on the things they actually own. Same thing for insurance purposes if they insure their products.”
Kurzius compares Asset Panda’s software to Minecraft where you can create your own world and continue to build on to it after solving the initial issue.
“They can do their initial configuration to solve their issues, but if they get into the technology and the administrative tool, they can continue to customize, change and update Asset Panda,” he says. “A lot of software companies have a gold, silver and platinum package where it gets more expensive and you get more access to features at the different levels. We give everybody everything. We don’t hold back any features.”
Speaking of the costs, Asset Panda starts at $1,500 a year and it is based upon how many assets are in the system. Kurzius says the average account is between $2,500 and $3,500, which includes implementation and data conversion.
“We’re just a really good fit for people who have equipment out in the field that’s moving around all the time,” Kurzius says. “For us, we’re not a massive company that comes in and tries to sell things they don’t need. We feel we have a kindred spirit with these business owners because we want to do the best possible job we can for them.”
Read the original article on Total Landscape Care.