Green Drop is one of Canada’s largest residential service companies, providing residential lawn and tree care services subscriptions. Beginning in 1980 with one truck in Calgary, Green Drop has grown to 10 business units throughout Western Canada and the US. In 2018, they launched their home pest control services company Buzz Boss, which now operates in 6 locations throughout Western Canada.
“What we do is make it beautiful outside for our subscribers,” says Vice President Brian Gibson. “We make sure that they have a thick, healthy, weed-free lawn -- and with the Buzz Boss side of it, we make sure there are no mosquitos -- so that people can enjoy being outside.”
The forward-thinking team had been collecting user data for some years, and were eyeing AI as a way to harness this data to propel their business forward. Then, in 2020, Green Drop secured the chance to work with Amii through a Young Presidents Organization (YPO) competition. They were chosen for their enthusiasm and the readiness of their data, as well as Amii's determination that approaching their challenges with an AI lens could unlock new opportunities for business success.
At the beginning of their engagement with Amii, Green Drop did not yet have a place on the AI Adoption Spectrum. At the end of their engagement, Green Drop arrived at the Exploring stage.
“When they asked me ‘What is your understanding of AI’, my mind immediately went to chatbots,” says Gibson. “After going through and spending time with it, I realized that AI is much more.”
The Green Drop leadership team began their engagement with Amii’s ML Foundations 1, a six-hour class aimed at building foundational knowledge about AI & ML using real-world examples and applications. Laying a common foundation for teams as they are beginning to explore AI in their businesses is critical, as it ensures that everyone involved shares a common language and understanding of the concepts.
Following the class, they met with the Amii team for an AI Planning and Initiating (AIPI) session. Spanning three afternoons, the session examined Green Drop’s current data and the possible opportunities to use this data to make predictions using AI. They then scrutinized, prioritized and refined these ideas, eventually drilling down to four viable business cases. These business cases can now be used as a blueprint as they pursue the Initiating phase on the AI Adoption Spectrum.
“The process was excellent. The ML Foundations course set us up with the proper tools to have a good discussion. And the Amii team led the [AIPI session] really well. For having people in the meeting from our team who have had some tenure with the organization -- who had certain thoughts and assumptions -- [Amii] really helped us look at things objectively.”
“The more we discussed our data with Amii, we began asking ‘Are we using the right information?’. We operated on a lot of assumptions. Working with Amii made me think that we should be looking at our data with a clean lens.”
Through the AIPI, the Green Drop team landed on four questions to potentially pursue:
It is important to begin AI adoption with quick-win projects to build the skills and confidence necessary for larger, more complex questions. These four questions were determined to be ideal starting points for Green Drop due to their relative simplicity and low risk level.
“There’s a lot of great questions that we can ask our organization that in the future that would change the way we do things,” shared Gibson. “Which packages would sell better in different situations? Should we wait until it’s a sunny day to press send on an email campaign?”
This type of engagement requires a willingness to share ideas and brainstorm, which the Green Drop team did energetically. This set them up for success, along with organizational buy-in and their willingness to explore options instead of being stuck on one specific idea.
With the Green Drop team’s newly established shared vocabulary, they are now able to have meaningful conversations about AI. They now also have the knowledge and tools necessary to engage in self-directed idea generation and evaluation.
What will be next for the team? In the fall, they will look into taking their next steps along the AI Adoption Spectrum. As they move towards Initiating, they will need dedicated staff resources and further analysis of the available data in order to turn their idea into proof-of-concept development.
Check out our Industry Solutions page for more information on how Amii can help your organization begin to understand and adopt AI.
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