The lead up to Christmas is a busy time of year for everyone in the trades and services industry, but if you thought you were flat out, imagine what it's like for our clients The Christmas Tree Man!!
After spending the whole year cultivating, watering and pruning to perfection, October through to January are always extremely hectic months for The Christmas Tree Man. A huge influx of orders, taking payments, selecting and grading trees, harvesting, organising drivers and delivery schedules would be a total logistical nightmare if it wasn't for the help of cloud software. We chat with them about what they use to keep their business running smoothly over this peak period.
The Christmas Tree Man is a family owned business based at “Paddy’s River”, Wingello, in the NSW Southern Highlands. John and Louisa Boag manage and live on the farm with their four daughters. The business was established by John's parents Robert and Barbara Boag over 30 years ago and has long held the reputation of supplying the best, fresh Christmas trees in the Sydney area.
Every year The Christmas Tree Man plants thousands of tree seedlings on the farm. It takes 4 years, and multiple prunings, for the trees to reach perfection and be ready for harvest. Then the real work begins. Trees are selected, graded on size and quality, then cut, wrapped in netting and loaded into the trucks for delivery to customers within hours of being cut. Thousands or orders stream in and thousands of trees are sent off to their new homes.
Like most businesses, the Christmas Tree man started out as a paper and pen business. As demand grew, so did the paperwork and soon this end of year peak period became a major pain point. With only 4-6 weeks to get the job done and a 24/7 demand and service delivery, the company was desperately in need of a system overhaul. Keeping records and distributing the workload between seasonal staff of up to 20 employees, tractor drivers, trailer loaders, delivery, admin and truck driver couriers was creating an ever-increasing pile of paperwork.
Four years ago John and Louisa started looking for a way to streamline their processes and work more efficiently, they had already bought the business online with a new website and contacted TradiePad for advice on cloud software, wondering if there was a job management solution which would suit the needs of their unique business.
After a scoping session reviewing their current processes, ServiceM8 was recommended as the ideal job management solution which would revolutionise how The Christmas Tree Man business ran, and TradiePad began training them on how to use this software to its full advantage.
Implementing ServiceM8 has easily doubled their output, dramatically cut costs and time spent on tasks resulting in more than doubled profitability. " It equates to putting on another full-time staff member. We wouldn't be able to manage without an automated system, if we have this seasonally, imagine what it could be for an all year round client!"
Louisa says some of her favourite things about ServiceM8 are "Scheduling by the dispatch map, it saves HOURS per day!! The automated text messaging means our clients are receiving outstanding service with no extra effort and driver locations mean we know exactly where the drivers are on a run and we can keep our clients well informed."
"Online ordering and the integration to ServiceM8 means jobs are created automatically and we've pretty much eliminated data entry. We have super efficient scheduling by regions which creates a simple run sheet with maps/directions for our drivers, and the simple search tool is used when clients call which brings up all details instantly and we can see where a driver is up to on his run. There are so many good features that we would never have dreamed were possible!"
The Christmas Tree Man is continually striving to provide the highest quality trees and service for their customers. Their emphasis on freshness, sustainability and recycling lead to them providing a tree to Parliament House in Canberra this year, quite the coup for this family business!
Nothing beats the smell of a fresh Christmas tree, if you are after one for this Christmas you can place your order for delivery on the Christmas Tree Man Website or pop into the farm on a Sunday and choose your own. Each tree is dispatched within hours of being cut and delivered straight to your door within 1 day of being cut at the farm, guaranteeing freshness. The Christmas Tree Man also provide customers with the option of installation when delivered and tree pickup service in early January.
Interested in finding out more about ServiceM8 and how it could help streamline your business?
TradiePad is currently offering Service M8 Discovery Training at a special discounted price. A great introduction and basic training package which will get the ball rolling for your business just as it did for the Christmas Tree Man!