How Neave Group Outdoor Solutions Doubled in Size and Increased Their Effectiveness by Documenting and Implementing Better Systems
Last Updated on March 8, 2020 by Owen McGab Enaohwo
Neave Group Outdoor Solutions operates both in a B2C and B2B capacity and has 125 full-time employees. They create spaces for people to enjoy and entertain, use for parties, and elevate the lifestyle of their clients.
For commercial clients, they offer landscape maintenance, snow removal, and holiday decorating. They also maintain the safety of lots.
For residential clients, they offer high-end construction and maintenance services, including the installation of backyard swimming pools, patios, fire pits, decks, outdoor structure, lighting and event planting.
Neave Group Outdoor Solutions’ next big goal is to work on their business model and refine their systems as well as field processes.
Highlights of Results Neave Group Landscape got from Using SweetProcess:
- Trains new hires more thoroughly and saves on labor costs
- Doubled in size and effectively manages a team of 125 with different needs
- Achieved greater efficiency overall and spends less time on tasks that don’t generate value
- Offers a better service to their clients
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Off the Beaten Track
Scott Neave is the CEO of Neave Group Outdoor Solutions and is responsible for business operations and ensuring the company runs smoothly at all levels.
Susan Thompson is Neave’s executive assistant.
In creating systems, they initially struggled with being too detailed. As Thompson shared:
“We’ve had issues where we’ve been far too detailed in our processes. So, the people who are trying to learn a new piece of their job glaze over reading checklists because we were too thorough. The intent got lost.”
In the past, they had relatively few people involved in creating and updating processes, and they were too detailed. Unfortunately, Neave and Thompson couldn’t get them to tone it down. Effectively, their bottleneck was that they didn’t have enough people updating their systems and no one was responsible for simplifying.
Another challenge was in getting their staff onboard to do their part in documenting and implementing their own procedures, so again the responsibility fell on the few who were involved in creating systems to gather feedback and document.
Neave shared that they used to document systems in Microsoft Word but found it too challenging to keep documents accessible, searchable, and centralized. So, the greatest cost of not having workable systems was productivity and time.
Prior to systemizing, Neave’s workday was all over the map. He even said:
“For me, a typical workday is never typical, because of the nature of our business.”
Recognizing the Need for Change
The company had systems but knew they needed to be improved upon as all their time was spent putting out fires instead of ensuring quality work and customer service.
As Neave offered,
“If nobody knows what they’re doing, and everybody’s doing it their own way, it’s chaotic. There’s no value in everyone doing things their own way. That’s not what an organization is.”
Neave shared that he stumbled upon SweetProcess somewhere along the line but doesn’t recall the exact details. Either way, it was a timely discovery.
Initially, he had some trouble understanding the difference between processes and procedures and how they were meant to be organized as well as how to explain this for his team, as processes and procedures aren’t the same things.
But Neave started a free trial and liked that SweetProcess was simple and web-based. Soon he was using it to create company how-to guides, training tools, and guidelines.
The company started creating two versions for their processes and procedures: a detailed version containing all of the nuances, and a simplified version for daily use.
The SweetProcess Effect
The company has effectively doubled in size since finding and implementing SweetProcess. Neave and Thompson are now able to lead an organization of 125 with a myriad of challenges, requirements, customers, and job sites.
Thompson loves that they can easily search and reference their processes and procedures at any time, which allows them to train with greater efficiency and hold their team accountable to tasks.
“One of the best things about SweetProcess is the searchability and you can access it on all your devices,”
“Continual improvement is important to me as a CEO and company. With our systems in place, we can easily find bottlenecks. We can revert to past working versions of processes. We can make current systems better. So, the power is in the ability to constantly improve the business.”
Neave’s and Thompson’s workdays have also gone through a bit of a transformation.
Thompson doesn’t have to answer the same questions over and over.
Neave said his company can now focus on value-oriented projects and activities. Today, he focuses on increased efficiency and productivity, streamlined processes, better services and experiences for his customers and staff.
“Instead of being in the field solving tactical issues, as an executive team, we can focus on strategy and bigger picture issues. We’re out of the weeds and looking for opportunities, not just playing defense.”
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