How Investing Early in Technology Helped Al’s Lawn Care Grow Over the Generations



Jennifer Rankin is a long-time user of Ideal. With over 35 years of experience working in a dealership, she’s seen firsthand the successful impact that Ideal has had on her family’s lawn equipment dealership in Lutz, Florida.

Her parents founded Al’s Lawn Care Products & Service back in 1985 and have been using Ideal since 1986. It’s been an essential tool that Jennifer has grown up with over the years and now in her role as General Manager.

As a retailer of STIHL, eXmark, Snapper, and other high-quality lawn equipment, Jennifer and her team are proud to provide services that big-box chain stores simply can’t match. And in a world where businesses are constantly searching for ways to streamline operations, Ideal has been the go-to solution for Jennifer and her team.

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She’s personally experienced how Ideal has evolved and kept pace with the constantly changing demands of the outdoor power equipment industry, innovating its dealership management software to meet dealers’ needs. Most recently, Parts Locator has been the latest feature in Ideal that she’s been utilizing to the fullest extent.

We caught up with Jennifer to learn more about the growth of her family’s dealership over the years and how the Parts Locator tool has helped them easily locate the parts they need to keep their customers mowing.

What are the different ways that you’re currently using Ideal?

Jennifer: “I couldn’t imagine using a different company – between customer service and easy usage, it’s just wonderful.

We use Ideal daily from work orders to invoicing people to POs to placing our orders to everything that operates our business – we use Ideal for.”

We use the reporting side more in the sense of products that are being sold at faster paces than others, especially for our springtime orders that we do, to see what we should be housing a lot of based on what goes out the door.

The reporting side we also use for account balances, and with customers that do charge with us, we can see where they’re at and where they’re not at.”

What’s your favorite feature within Ideal?

Jennifer: “Parts Locator – my favorite new item that Ideal has. We use that a lot.

It is wonderful, especially in the time of the world we live in now, where getting things is difficult and you can’t just pick up a phone and order a part that you need.

If someone’s down, I can find where it’s at and if it’s not local, I reach out to those dealers and see if they’ll ship them to me so I can get my customers back mowing.”

What has been the impact of using Ideal at your dealership?

Jennifer: “Starting in the DOS system and then moving over into the Windows system, it’s just been a night and day difference between what you can do for your customers and how you can watch your company – just from a computer system that tracks everything you sell, what your profits are and such.”

What has been your experience with Ideal’s customer support?

Jennifer: “Ideal is not only user friendly, but it also covers everything that needs to be done on the dealer side of having a system.

It just makes life a lot easier to have a customer service that, if you do get stuck with something, you can pick up the phone and call or send a message. They call you and then you can get everything you need done.

We are extremely spoiled with their support team.”

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