“Lawn” by kevin dooley is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/?ref=openverse.
Computers in today’s world are used everywhere, in everything, to make life and its tasks much simpler. One field in which computer advancements are crucial in is in the landscaping industry. In landscaping there is a wide variety of computer uses such as, computer aided design (CAD), the use of programs such as excel to track numbers, GPS, and things as simple as sprinklers. Although some of these pieces of equipment come at a cost, the use of these computers helps make business run more smoothly and much more efficiently.
Computer Aided Design (CAD) is a computer software that can generate types of two or three-dimensional drawing/ models for designs of a project. The purpose of using programs is to simply make life easier for the user. CAD can increase productivity, enhance the details of a design, lower the cost for designs, help efficiencies in a project, make quick changes to a design, and allow closer and more detailed drawings for a project. In many instances we see architects, engineers, graphic designers, fashion designers, game designers, product designers, and manufacturers using CAD to help them complete their tasks. CAD is available in a variety of programs including MicroStation, AutoCAD, CorelCAD, IronCAD, CADTalk, and many more.
In the world of landscaping CAD is used in several ways to enhance the experience of a project for both the business, and the customer. When a customer wants a project done, the designer will go out to the site to take some measurements and note the clients’ interests and requests and then go back to the office. From here the designer will use a CAD program to generate a design of the project and send it to the customer. Generating a 3-D picture, allows the customer to see how their project will exactly turn out and allows the designer to make changes to the design before the project begins if the customer does not like it. After the design gets approved from the client, it gets sent over to the crew who will be completing the project. This design includes measurements, requirements, the layout, specific instructions, notes, and renderings which all come together to ensure the final product is up to the client’s expectations. Although CAD is used in designing a project, another program called “GIS” is involved in helping landscapers create the most effective layout for a project. Graphic Information Systems uses tools which collects and analyzes the geographical settings and data for a project. This allows designers to conduct a site analysis of the geographical area, which helps them make their final layout decisions. GIS also allows designers to run digital tests on the projects to see what would happen in a severe weather event, ensuring that it can withstand the elements. This program considers sun exposure, wind patterns, soil conditions, drainage, and vegetation to help plan landscaping designs in the most effective way. Afterall, the customer does not want a plant that needs a lot of light in the shade, or a plant that needs a lot of water in a place that does not get a lot of water.
Computers aid in the success of landscapers by providing many different products that involve GPS. From a business standpoint, GPS allows companies to track their equipment and details such as fuel and efficiency. GPS provides landscaping teams with live feed of GPS maps allowing them to take several routes around traffic, saving time and money. GPS also provides a live tracking on equipment which prevent against theft, helps with inventory management, and allows the equipment to be on an organized maintenance scheduling. When landscaping on certain properties, certain property lines are not marked clearly, which is solved using GPS. In the landscaping industry time is money and if you can decrease the time of crews wondering around a property, this will allow for maximum profit. GPS allows crews to be coordinated on a property properly reducing time spent doing nothing. For example, one-person is weedwacking, while one is mowing and the other one is blowing off creating an efficient team.
GPS is taking over the lawn industry by providing lawn mowers with data to allow it to autosteer, eliminating the need for a human operator to control. Companies are now coming out with GPS assisted steering which allow lawn mowers to avoid overlap, leading to the most efficient cut possible. These GPS-based paths create a guideline for the mower to follow, allowing the mower to cut with extreme precision. Not only does it keep the cut clean, but it also allows for the optimization of fuel efficiency which reduces the operating costs. Although it may seem not that big of a deal, these companies are claiming that the operator can gain as much as a half an acre an hour by using this technology, which is a big deal in the landscaping world.
Along with traditional mowers getting a touch of technology, some companies are taking it to a whole new level creating autonomous mowers. These companies are taking the idea of a common household item, “Roomba”, which is a robot vacuum cleaner, and turning it into a lawn mower. These automatic mowers are electric meaning they run off their charging station which is also its control station. These mowers run of WIFI and uses a series of sensors to tell of an obstacle is in the way. For the mower to know the property lines, the homeowner must place an invisible fence around the yard which acts as a boundary for the robot. Companies are currently working on developing models that use GPS technology which would eliminate the need for placing boundary lines. Although these mowers are somewhat slow, they do get the job done on an average yard, and some even come with the technology that can sense rain, which sends the mower back to its charging station.
Afterall, landscaping is just a business which requires different techniques of tracking and analyzing numbers to maintain production and maximum profit. Computers aid in business by providing several programs such as Excel and QuickBooks in making this possible. In Microsoft’s Excel, it is very versatile allowing owners/bookkeepers to keep track of many aspects of their landscaping business. Excel helps businesses create a budget list along with having the capability of projecting financially what will happen. It can also deal with the sometimes-mindboggling task of scheduling and aid in calendar management such as planning projects, appointments, employee schedules, and payroll schedules. All in all, excel is an incredibly useful tool that allows business to take their planning and organization to a whole new level.
Another computer application that is very useful in landscaping businesses is a program called “QuickBooks”. QuickBooks is used primarily in accounting, which offers many tools for managing the numbers in a landscaping business. QuickBooks allows businesses to keep track of their income, manage expenses, costs, and profit. This allows businesses to keep a closer watch on numbers and have them available for whom ever if they ever need them such as for taxes. Another part of QuickBooks that makes business easier for both the customer and the landscaping provider is the ability to make payments online. QuickBooks also allows for the creation of invoices and sets automatic reminders for clients that ensures payments are paid on time. In most businesses, the payment of employees is done through QuickBooks. One big aspect that saves landscaping businesses a lot of time is that QuickBooks can generate paychecks with the direct deposit options, which takes away the worry of handing out checks to each individual employee, saving a lot of time. Overall, using this program, makes the experience for the customer, the employees, and the business itself, all much simpler and keeps it a one stop shop.
Having a nice, green, lush lawn is a homeowner’s dream, and with the help of a little computer software, this is making the dream turn into a reality. Throughout the years, homeowners have been looking for a sprinkler system that is effective and doesn’t spray water where they don’t want water to go, saving water and money. A company called “Irrigreen” have produced a sprinkler that does just this, offering the customer the ability to change the watering zones, eliminating areas they don’t want watered. This game changing technology is run through an app off the customers phone which is connected to Wi-Fi. This app gives the homeowner the ability to control the watering zones, watering schedules, how much water is used, and even syncs the watering schedules with the latest weather forecast, predicting when the grass will need water the most. Although these systems do come at a cost, overtime these systems will pay itself off.
From the use of GPS monitors to computer aided design, to sprinkler systems, the use of technology in the landscaping industry is detrimental. Over years this kind of technology has developed continuously, leading to the ease of managing a landscaping business. Although some things cannot be replaced by computers, computers have revolutionized the industry and changed the way a professional can about their projects. These new tools not only improve the efficiency of a business, but it also aids in the lookout for the environment, making a critical impact of the landscaping evolution.