Mowing Down Inefficiency: Jason Thomas's Tech Revolution at Don's Lawns

Published on July 11, 2024

On this episode of the Profit Roadmap podcast, Ryan and Bekah chat with Jason Thomas from Don’s Lawns in Oklahoma City.

In this episode, Jason talks about:

  • Overcoming resistance to change in the workplace
  • Using automation to improve client communication
  • Innovative tools for gathering client reviews
  • Growing revenue without increasing staff
  • And so much more!

From Pest Control to Lawn Care

Jason Thomas wasn't always in the lawn care business. 

In 2016, he and his brother started Bug Bros Pest Control in Kansas and they expanded to Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2018. 

Their big move came in May 2021 when they bought Don's Lawns in Oklahoma City.

A Business Stuck in the Past

When Jason took over Don's Lawns, it was stuck in the past, and the business was run like it was 20 years ago. 

The office was still using a desktop-only version of scheduling software, which had recently been upgraded to a cloud-based version. 

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On top of that, they weren't taking advantage of any mobile applications for fieldwork which meant that communication between the office and field technicians was slow and inefficient.

Paper forms were still being used for job reports, which led to delays in billing and client follow-ups. 

The lack of real-time data made it difficult to make quick decisions or respond promptly to client questions. 

Additionally, the manual processes required a lot of manpower, which limited the company's ability to grow without significantly increasing staff.

Jason realized that what had worked 20 years ago wasn’t working today, and it was even negatively impacting client satisfaction. 

It was clear that a major overhaul was needed to bring Don's Lawns up to speed with modern lawn care businesses.

Bringing Don's Lawns into the Modern Age

Jason saw a chance to make big changes with technology that could lead to more efficiency and happier clients

One of the first things Jason did was introduce new software, Service Autopilot, to help with scheduling, routing, and invoicing. 

The goal was to make everything run smoother and faster, but getting everyone on board wasn't easy. 

To win the team over, Jason showed them how the new tech would make their jobs easier in the long run. 

He explained that it might take a little more time now, but it would save a lot of time later. 

Embracing Innovative Tools

Jason didn't stop there, and he kept looking for new ways to use technology. 

One cool tool he found is called Applause which sends clients a text after their lawn is treated, asking them to rate the service. 

If they give a high rating, it asks them to leave a Google review. 

This has helped Don's Lawns get 3,000 five-star reviews in just three years!

The Applause tool also allows technicians to see their performance on a leaderboard, adding a fun competitive element to their work. 

Technicians can earn bonuses for five-star reviews, which are automatically added to their Applause account which has been a hit with the team.

Automating Client Communication

Another big win was using automation for client communication. 

Now, clients get automatic updates about their appointments and helpful tips about lawn care which keeps clients in the loop and makes them feel valued.

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Jason implemented a system where technicians fill out a "lawn conditions" form after each visit. 

This form checks for things like weed percentage, grub damage, and soil compaction. 

If issues are detected, the system automatically sends the client an email with recommendations and creates a ticket for the office to follow up on potential upsell opportunities.

Reaping the Rewards of Technology

All these changes have paid off big time. 

Since Jason bought Don's Lawns, the company's revenue has grown by 50% without hiring any additional staff.

It was all about using the right software and tools to streamline their business and maximize efficiency.

Jason also mentioned that their accounts receivable have significantly improved thanks to automated collection efforts. 

This has made cash flow management much easier for the business.

Looking to the Future

But Jason isn't done yet, and he has big plans for the future. 

He's excited about using AI to help with sales and client service, and he even imagines a day when lawn care technicians might wear smart glasses to help them do their jobs better.

These smart glasses could allow technicians to easily consult with team leads or managers, showing them exactly what they're seeing in the field. 

Jason also envisions using this technology to record service visits, providing proof of service and a valuable training tool.

Jason's Advice for Others

For businesses looking to adopt new technologies, Jason says that one of the most important things is getting team buy-in. 

He suggests clearly communicating how the changes will benefit each team member personally. 

He also advises starting with a solid foundation which should include scheduling, routing, and invoicing software.

Learn More

Want to learn more about Jason and Don’s Lawns? Be sure to visit their website or give them a call at 405-336-3368.

Related: Increasing Sales and Efficiency in Outdoor Services With AI

The following music was used for this media project:

Music: Summon the Rawk by Kevin MacLeod

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License (CC BY 4.0):

Alyssa Sanders

Alyssa is the Team Lead of Creative Marketing at Xplor Field Services. When she's not writing or creating content, you can find her watching a new sci-fi series or shoving her nose into a book.

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