AG NEWS
AG NEWS

Using Big Data for High Quality Decision Making

  • Sep 23, 2014

You’ve heard the term “big data”, but how do you apply it to your lawn and landscape business?
The August Lawn & Landscape cover story reveals that investing in a data-driven solution can provide invaluable insight into your business. Like many of you, Taylor Milliken, CEO of Milosi, Inc. landscaping in Tennessee tried to balance the merits of a growing business with the need to better understand which part of his company was making money and which areas were not. 
In business, information is king, and those who can analyze it have an inherent advantage. For example, Milosi, Inc.’s adoption of a data-based solution allowed them to:

  • Hold crews accountable by generating an efficiency rating based on profitability, which was posted in the shop on a weekly scorecard.
  • Identify efficiencies: pruning jobs were completed consistently under budget, allowing the business to increase its number of bids at a more competitive price point.
  • Address overhead concerns: aeration services were taking longer to complete than expected, resulting in jobs being underbid. Crews were also returning with excess supply, resulting in added inventory and transportation overhead, reducing profitability.
  • Asses core capabilities: irrigation installation was one of the least profitable segments of the business and is now bid as part of a larger construction project versus a stand-alone bid.
These are just a few examples of how a company successfully transformed raw data into actionable insights that directly impacted the bottom line. While big data is undoubtedly a buzzword—it’s no fad. The desire to make better-informed business decisions and spot trends based on historical and real-time information is here to stay.

The first step is to find a trusted and knowledgeable agronomic partner who can properly explain the benefits and drawbacks of harnessing business data. Just like you wouldn’t perform your own root canal, sitting down with an expert to help navigate this technical landscape is prudent. Many times there are cost-saving measures you hadn’t even considered.
Case in point: Milosi, Inc. The company operates in Tennessee, a.k.a. Tall Fescue Country and by focusing on this variable alone, there are countless factors to consider that can have a profound effect on cash flow.
  • Does my tall fescue seed provide adequate resistance to Brown Patch?
  • Will I have to spray costly fungicides or do some other management cultural programs to control it?
  • Am I providing the fine texture and deep color that my customers want?
Luckily, there are tools available that make this process painless. The WinField TurfTech Tool is a proprietary offering that combines data from the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program into a single database so you can quickly pinpoint the best turf seed for your specific conditions.
Companies looking to harness the power of technology are the future of our customer base across all of our segments. Our goal has always been and continues to be sharing our products, programs and insights to help our customers achieve and exceed their business goals.