Through a pandemic, weather issues and other challenges, Lawn & Landscape was able to pull off our 2021 Technology Conference. Because of COVID, we had to push it from our ideal month of February to late August in 2021. We are still working through 2022 plans, so stay tuned. But the discussion from the educational sessions, on the tradeshow floor and during networking times was full of enthusiasm about how technology is evolving in this industry. Here are a few lessons I took away from the conference.
Don’t be scared.
It’s OK to be a little hesitant about embracing what the future may hold. A lot of people struggle with change and it’s OK for you and your employees to feel the same way about software, robotic mowers, drones and other technological advancements. But don’t let that stop you from investigating and investing in something that can help your business. Just like you would prepare for a big job, take the time to research what you need and then prepare your team when you make the purchase.
If you are researching a new piece of technology, take employees from all ages, backgrounds and divisions within the company and form a committee that is involved in the upfront work. Then, when you make the shift, have that group involved in the roll-out so the change comes from different voices. While those voices will have a number of opinions, once a final decision is made, make sure the message shared with the rest of the company is uniform.
As you choose a software company, do your best to get a feel for their process when something isn’t working, or you have an issue. Do they promise to get back to you within a certain amount of time? Mike Heiner, who spoke at the conference and was the point person for his company’s major software change, wanted his top choice to reply within four hours on the same day at the latest.
For more on the education from the conference, check out our coverage in this issue. We also have more coverage on the event at bit.ly/lawntech. – Brian Horn