Making a beautiful outdoor area is their business, and business has never been better for Gelderman Landscape Services since they started using AppSheet!
Gelderman provides commercial and residential landscape maintenance, landscape design, construction and snow removal services in Southern Ontario. Their customers and work crews are often spread across a number of different locations, and it can be hard to keep track of with old-fashioned spreadsheets.
The company’s Business Process Administrator, Breanne Hulst came across AppSheet while working on a Google form. At the time, the company was sorting through mountains of paper every day to track nearly 150 employees across four different branches. The employees would log things like inspection reports, on-the-job-accidents and hazards, and then send all that information back to a central processing center.
“There was just too much paper, which is really hard to manage when you have it coming from different locations,” Breanne says.
That’s where AppSheet came in. Breanne has some experience with Excel but no programming background. With AppSheet’s no-code platform, Breanne was able to input her spreadsheet data and create an app that allowed crews to fill out a report detailing what work had been completed on a site that was then sent to the client. Communication is a priority, and these reports have helped bridge the gap and create better relations between Gelderman Landscape Services and its clients.
In two years, Breanne has created 15 apps that help run different parts of the business, so Gelderman can focus on what it does best: performing top-quality property maintenance and construction services.
Fifteen apps may seem like a lot, but Breanne says each one has an important job. Five of the apps deal with employee health and safety, and cover accidents, illnesses and on-the-job hazards. Employees who were involved in or witnessed any incidents can now immediately submit a report.
Another app handles job site inspections, to make sure crews are keeping the work area safe and that they have all the tools they need to complete the job. There’s an app to organize invoices coming in from teams in the field, and one that handles vehicle and equipment inspections.
One of the biggest apps has to do with customer relations. When crews are on the job, they use the app to send progress reports to the owner of the building so everyone stays on the same page. Breanne says that’s made a big difference.
“We deal with property managers, and there can be one that has a few different condos they operate with. They want that communication, and I think a lot of companies promise that they’re going to tell customers what they’re doing but there’s nothing back it up.”
While Breanne says the shift away from paper can be a tough one in the landscaping industry, it has some major benefits. Instead of just filing a report away never to be seen again, “We can analyze reports that have come in and actually do something with the information we’re getting.”
And keeping the information all in one place helps the company track any issues and solve them quickly. “We’ve been able to analyze our health and safety reporting and say ‘if this is something we’re always seeing, we can work on that.’”
Breanne’s favorite feature? How easy the app makes it to send out information quickly to the people that need it.
“We’re able to play with the app so we can send out the right information, but not all the information. It really helps with our workflow.”
Gelderman rolled out their newest app in August, and there are already plans for more, including one for a monthly workplace inspection and one for equipment repair.
Her advice for anyone looking to make their own? Head to AppSheet’s YouTube page.
“Watch the videos, they’re really helpful,” she says. “And then on AppSheet’s website there are a lot of sample apps that you can copy to get started.”
Whether it’s an app to track package deliveries, keep track of inventory, or send notifications to employees, AppSheet can help you do all that and more. If you find yourself sifting through stacks of paper or scrolling lines of spreadsheets you may find, as Breanne did, that AppSheet can simplify the workday and help both large and small businesses run as smoothly as possible.
Kate loves telling a great story. She recently moved to Seattle after several years as a local news producer in Salt Lake City, Utah. She's now pursuing a master's degree in Communication, Leadership & Digital Media at the University of Washington while working on AppSheet's content strategy team. In her spare time, she loves exploring the city, teaching herself new digital skills, and working through an extensive list of excellent video games.