Action Tree Service Leverages SingleOps to Become Largest Tree Care Service in Okanagan Valley
Action Tree Service has grown from a modest stump grinding company into a full service tree care company within the past 20 years.
The implementation of SingleOps has allowed for Action to accept larger, more complicated jobs because of the streamlining of data.
“I figured I was going to retire and do some stump grinding. I couldn’t have been more wrong, you know?”
Action Tree Service, located in Kelowna, Canada, is sort of like the region’s hospital for trees, but it wasn’t always that extensive. Tony Wilkinson recalls what led him to start the company, “I figured I was going to retire do some stump grinding. I couldn’t have been more wrong, you know? We started out as a small company, just doing the stump grinding.” Tony explained, “We were getting a lot of calls for tree removal because people didn’t really understand the difference between stump grinding and tree removal. And I’m a go-getter, so it didn’t take me long to realize that there was an opportunity to grow into a full-service tree care company.”
Tony purchased Action Tree Service and along with it came a solid list of contacts that allowed Tony to get a feel for the competition in the area. He explains, “I did all the stumps for every tree company in Kelowna, so, I really got a great cross-section of who was doing a good job and who wasn’t.” But the establishment of his business didn’t come without hiccups.
“I’m not a millennial, so I went through the primary advertising element for our industry, which was the yellow pages in the beginning, right? But we hung onto that too long and Google started becoming a bigger presence than I was willing to admit. And so, we lost some market share and we had to catch up a little bit.”
“We have a niche, we’re the guys with the big crane…”
Action Tree Service found a way to separate themselves from the competition in Kelowna via a crane and now they’re practically a household name. “We have a niche, we’re the guys with the big crane and we do the large tree work in our area. Even though it’s not conventional tree work, because we’re doing it with cranes, the end of the result is the trees are gone, right?”
At first, the use of the crane by Action Tree Company wasn’t accepted by industry officials on the grounds that it was unsafe. Tony challenged the work-safe process by demonstrating that using a crane to remove a decaying tree is much more safe than asking his crew to climb said tree. Rotting trees are unstable and even the most knowledgeable arborists don’t know what is inside the tree unless they do a core test. Not only is the crane safe, but also, it saves Tony’s crews a lot of time, making for happy customers and happy employees.
Tony beams, “We challenged the safe-work procedure and beat it!”
The addition of the crane along with more contemporary advertising methods laid the groundwork for Action Tree Service to blossom into the largest pruning and tree removal company in the region. With all of this growth came an excessive amount of paperwork; everyday the paperwork was becoming more and more of a hassle. Tony recalls, “I was like heating the office with the paperwork, it was such a huge amount, and hours of invoicing. I couldn’t keep it up anymore. I just said, this is not working.”
“SingleOps allowed us to organize ourselves so that I didn’t lose an entire day of my life every week invoicing.”
Tony Wilkinson, CEO
“That’s frickin’ amazing, man!”
Tony started researching software companies that could help him create a more efficient business process and eliminate some of the chaos that he was currently facing. His company implemented a new software and within one day Tony realized it wasn’t a good fit for his company. Tony says, “I got cranky right off the start, so basically we were there a day, and I said, ‘It’s not gonna work.’”
“We had already done some pre-work with SingleOps just to say, ‘here’s who we are,’ and I just called up. I basically switched to SingleOps on day two,” Tony explained. “We take SingleOps to a little different of a level, we’ve got a full time office manager and so when I go out, she sends all the quotes to my truck through an iPad, and my route is made, I just have to stick to a schedule. Every time I do a quote, I call it back to the office. My most quotes in a day so far with SingleOps is 28. That’s frickin’ amazing, man!”
“SingleOps allowed us to organize ourselves so that I didn’t lose an entire day of my life every week invoicing. Before, I would have to sit down and regurgitate everything a second or third time. Hours and hours and hours on a Sunday. And there was a high probability someone didn’t hand in their paperwork. We had a huge year last year; biggest ever, we did 35% more than usual. There was a growth pattern there because of SingleOps.”
“Without SingleOps, that job would have been a mess.”
In 2018, Action Tree Service accepted their biggest job to date. Tony recalls, “It was an emergency job, we were hired by the city to do emergency work for two months. I believe there were 57 job dates that we had to generate invoices for. I mean without SingleOps, that job would have been a mess.”
“We’re at the level now where we’ve gotten to be the company that everybody refers to. I mean, if you’ve got certified arborists on-site it’s basically a hospital for trees,” Action Tree Service has grown substantially from its humble roots and SingleOps has been there to support that growth every step of the way. “If SingleOps were to shut down today, I would have a difficult time figuring out what to do. I probably wouldn’t do what I do anymore.”