Established over 30 years ago, Belknap Landscape is a full-service landscaping company, specializing in designing, permitting, constructing, and maintaining landscapes for affluent residential, multi-unit commercial, and high-demand municipal clients. The company also has full service tree care and snow management departments.
Maintaining a large share of the marketplace in the area it operates, Belknap Landscape has experienced consistent growth throughout its history. While the business operates all year round, operations are significantly more robust in the spring through autumn. That is why the company sees its employee base almost double from 50 employees to around 90 during that time of year. Unsurprisingly, key to the company’s operations is its fleet of vehicles and equipment – around 85 assets -including light duty automobiles, heavy duty commercial trucks, and construction equipment.
Belknap Landscape has invested in modern technology like Whip Around in an effort to provide its clients and employees with experiences that are second to none.
An Inefficient and Ineffective DVIR Process
Mark Smith, Construction Operations Manager, at Belknap Landscape explained that pre-Whip Around, in the days a paper Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR) process was in place, the team had struggled to communicate effectively. “Being an organization that operated out of four different facilities made it cumbersome to transfer that paperwork and intelligently make decisions in regards to priorities of repairs and maintenance of our vehicles,” he said. “Accountability of our drivers was also something difficult to manage with the paper copies of DVIRs as the copies for the mechanics often got lost or, in some cases, [the inspections] were never done at all.” When it came to record-keeping, paper DVIRs were “typically stuffed in a box or file cabinet to be gone through at a later date.”
A Solution Belknap Landscape Couldn’t Live Without
With Whip Around, Belknap Landscape’s mechanics and managers receive instant notifications when faults with their assets are identified. Smith describes the real-time data available as “priceless”. The ability to take photographs adds a new level of clarity to the inspection and maintenance process, allowing mechanics and managers to see defects and better guide drivers on how to handle them. “Once documented and action is assigned, Whip Around also allows us to manage what is complete and what is not. It has truly become a tool we can’t live without,” explained Smith. “Our drivers and operators easily communicate with our management and fleet repair teams to keep them doing what they do best: landscape maintenance, construction and tree care!”
The company’s mechanics have become more proactive rather than reactive with the timely, well documented daily reports. Smith explained that responding to faults is much faster than it used to be, it’s now easier to track faults, and there are fewer missed inspections. He added, ”The ability to document photographically has been beyond priceless.”
Whip Around’s dashboard also gives the company’s operations controller the ability to identify which drivers are following the inspection process and which drivers are not. With this visibility, the operations manager is able to follow up with drivers to ensure drivers are doing what is required to stay DOT compliant. Smith explained, “Change can be difficult for people, and it takes repetition to assure our systems are being utilized. Today, we monitor this regularly with the support of alerts from the platform and have very good buy-in from our team in getting the job done.”
“In the past, our drivers struggled to operate efficiently with the paper DVIRs, and one could question whether or not they were just checking boxes,” commented Smith. “Whip Around holds our drivers accountable to proper documentation and inspection of their vehicles and equipment. They can’t cheat the system and in some cases even have to take photographs assuring certain items were checked.”
The reduction in data processing and manual filing requirements as a result of implementing Whip Around means Belknap Landscape benefits from huge financial savings. “[There is] no more transferring paperwork through four facilities – this literally saves us tens of thousands of dollars a year,” said Smith.
Viewing a vehicle’s inspection history is quick and easy. “When we need to revisit past inspections, it’s a breeze,” said Smith. “The Whip Around software is so user-friendly, and within seconds, we can pull up inspections by driver, by date, etc.” This makes for a seamless DOT roadside inspection as Belknap Landscape discovered.. “One of our drivers was recently stopped by a trooper for a full inspection, and the trooper actually commented on how easy Whip Around made his process. Again, a time saver and money saver for us,” explained Smith.
Sometimes, businesses aren’t proactively looking for a solution to their inspection issues. That was the case with Belknap Landscape. “Honestly, we weren’t in the market for a solution. We received a proactive email message from the Whip Around team, and once we saw it existed, we knew we were interested,” said Smith. “Once we spoke to the team in a webinar and saw what the system had to offer, we were sold. It’s been one of the best and easiest decisions we’ve made.”
Thanks to Whip Around, Belknap Landscape’s fleet manager has experienced a significant time saving of 20%, and as an operations manager, Smith has also benefited from Whip Around’s time saving capabilities. “Whip Around has afforded me the time and comfort knowing that process is being followed and service/repairs are being communicated and accomplished efficiently,” he explained. “I’m now able to effectively sell and estimate work rather than chase details of our operations. Our team is all on the same page and communicating well.”
The benefits don’t stop there. The admin team has found that Whip Around has freed up time to do tasks other than processing paperwork. Smith continued, “Today, they focus on accounts receivable, accounts payable, job tracking, invoicing etc. As a result of those items our jobs are being produced more effectively, our teams in the field are more focused on production/quality, our internal office space is more open now that everything is online – the list goes on!”
The company is impressed by the customer service Whip Around delivers too. “Whip Around has exceeded my expectations of customer service, product development, feedback, and overall team support. Holli Gaines and Lauren Gilbert are rockstars!” said Smith. “Honestly, I consider Whip Around and their team our partners in business; they’re the real deal.”
Smith continues to recommend Whip Around to his peers as often as he can and highlights the following reasons for doing so:
- A cost effective solution to DVIR’s and fleet management
- Quality software that enables efficient record-keeping
- Product support at a moment’s notice as well as regularly scheduled webinars
- Whip Around is the company’s partner in business development and even goes above and beyond to support safety initiatives, creating custom material and presentations for Belknap Landscape Co
- Whip Around allows the company run a more efficient shop
- State-of-the-art resources that keep Belknap Landscape’s teams engaged
- Whip Around makes Belknap Landscape a better organization to work for
Explore Whip Around
With a driver-friendly app for inspections, a manager’s app to manage faults and work orders on the go, and a web-based dashboard for fleet managers and mechanics, Whip Around provides a one-stop solution for fleet operators looking to take control of fleet maintenance and compliance — all without the need for paper, spreadsheets and whiteboards. If you are ready to take the first step towards better managing your fleet, book a Whip Around demo today.