The Greenery is an industry leader in the area of autonomous mowers and our company has learned a lot through the process of incorporating them into our landscaping procedures. Recently, Janet DeNicola, The Greenery’s Chief Technology Officer, had the opportunity to share her thoughts and experience with robomowing with peers at the 2022 Lawn and Landscape Technology Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. Janet sat on a panel entitled “Analyzing Autonomous” discussing this cutting edge technology in the landscape industry and the impact it is having on productivity, revenue and employee morale.
Janet was excited to discuss her insights on the topic with other industry professionals. She was able to share The Greenery’s process of purchasing and implementing these mowers, challenges faced and where she believes the technology is going in the future.
Janet’s co-panelists included Michael Mayberry, the CTO at Level Green and Ben Collinsworth from Yellowstone Landscape.
Collectively, the panel addressed the idea that for years, autonomous mowers were always just a “couple years away” from making their mark in the industry. But the reality is that these mowers are now widely used in North America by commercial and residential landscape companies. The panelists all agreed that autonomous mowing could actually enable crews to do more work and increase productivity.
For The Greenery, implementing autonomous mowing wasn’t the hard part, but adopting it into the company’s procedures was a little more challenging.
“Just as change is inevitable in life, we will continue to see change in the landscaping industry to provide an opportunity for our operations to become more efficient and leaner, and to produce a better-quality product for the clients,” says Janet. “How we manage our expectations and set the stage for success makes all the difference with how new things are adopted by the company. There is a big difference between implementation and adoption. Our employees are our greatest asset; as we help everyone to adopt the changes, the results will speak for themselves.”
Janet feels that there is always a learning curve doing things for the first time, particularly things that use new technology. She believes it is important to set realistic expectations and start off slow in a controlled environment for best results.
“Getting the team excited and comfortable about the new developments are extremely important for success,” says Janet.
The Greenery started considering robotic mowers in 2017, and the first one went out into the field about 2 years later, Janet told the attendees. Through her research, prior to purchasing, The Greenery was focused primarily on safety, but price also factored into the equation. Once the process was worked out, The Greenery worked on rolling them out on a widescale.
Janet shared that in the end clients should be very satisfied with the result. Whereas traditional mowing crew comes by once a week, automowing is done three times a week – leading to very well maintained lawns. The clients will also be pleased with the quieter, less intrusive robomowers.
Neighborhoods are often quick to adopt the idea of robomowers as it gives the perception that the community is more environmentally friendly and forward thinking. Putting The Greenery logo on the mowers has been an added bonus for branding the company – a suggestion that Janet shared with the attendees.
The panel encouraged attendees to all go back to their market and figure out which properties they service might be good candidates to try out autonomous mowers – keeping an eye on the future and where the industry is headed.
The Greenery, Inc. continues to transform the landscape industry with the benefits of our robotic mowers for our landscaping clients. In addition to robotic motors, the Greenery stays in the forefront by incorporating new technology in the field like battery operated equipment and PGRs as well as with the most current, best in class, software to run operations and integrated support systems.
The Greenery’s battery operated robotic mowers are now used at many of our resort properties and HOAs that require quiet, nondisruptive service such as near tennis courts, swimming pools, bocci courts, hotel rooms and spas. We also use them to support our strong safety measures on difficult steep sloped areas and on lagoon banks.
As Chief Technology Officer at the Greenery, Inc., Janet leads the vision to implement the technology-related strategic operations for The Greenery including both internal systems and client-facing technologies. She has implemented and integrated internal platforms to simplify the processes and provide better visibility to field data as well as supporting operations to improve products and services. Janet serves on the 2022 Lawn & Landscape Technology Conference Advisory Board.
To learn about the benefits of robomowing, read The Greenery’s blog from 2021: https://thegreeneryinc.com/4-ways-robotic-lawnmowers-improve-your-lawn-and-your-life
To read Lawn and Landscape’s article about the panel, click here: https://www.lawnandlandscape.com/article/adding-autonomous-to-your-services/
To see other insights from the conference, check out this video from Lawn and Landscape: https://www.lltechconference.com/.