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Business Software Update?

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by cbservicesllc, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. cbservicesllc

    cbservicesllc PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,384

    I know this has been brought up before, but I’m looking for the latest opinions, not stuff from two years ago.

    I am looking for a good piece of software that doesn’t kill my budget (I’m fairly small). I already use Quickbooks, so I could care less about accounting (but it would be nice to integrate with QB). I am looking for a scheduling and routing software that I can use with Android tablets (I already have them, so no iPads) for my employees. I want them to be able to see route notes for the job, clock in and out, and even add notes or have prompts for them to assess. I would also like the ability for these times and dates to be reflected to the customer on their invoice. My higher end clients appreciate this and I believe this helps me to retain them season to season.

    A customer portal online where they can see service history, invoices, and pay online would be AWESOME! The complicated part of this (maybe) is that I am the office guy and I’m out in the field. A lot of these vendors claim to lessen the need for office staff, but that doesn’t mean zero office staff like the situation I am in. I need something that works well for two lawn maintenance crews, one fertilizer/herbicide guy, one irrigation service tech, and four plow trucks for snow (I told you I was small). If I need to have two vendors, one for lawn/irrigation, one for snow I guess that works, but one solution is preferable.
    I currently use Service Auto Pilot. I had all the hopes in the world for it, but unfortunately the latest update doesn’t seem up to par. The system seems very laggy no matter what browser or internet connection I’ve used (I’ve tried several). The snow dispatching also leaves A LOT to be desired. When you start at 10pm for example and the clock turns midnight, you have to manually set the date back. The system should figure out that the route needs to be completed once it is dispatched regardless of date. They have acknowledged their snow system sucks, but I’m not sure that I want to wait for it to be fixed. They seem to be understaffed and some of the staff really appears to not know the system.

    I know it seems like it, but I’m really not that high maintenance, I just want something that works. I’ve set the bar high for tracking and relaying that info to my clients, but as I get more clients, this is harder to do.

    I’ve also looked into Real Green (expensive), Arbor Gold (expensive), Crew Tracker (expensive), Hindsite, Jobber, QXpress, Clip, and Groundskeeper/Blizzard Buster. Any opinions or experiences would be appreciated!!!
  2. Herm Witte

    Herm Witte Senior Member
    Messages: 546

    We use Clip XE and have for ten years or so. It works well for us and has the ability to do what you want. Your comment (expensive) about some of the products out in the marketplace troubles me. You are requesting a product to do what an employee (office staff) might do. You quickly will spend more than the cost of a good program for part time
    Staffing. You spend what, thousands of dollars on various equipment needs, I urge you to look at the business end (office) in the same manner. Best wishes.
  3. cbservicesllc

    cbservicesllc PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,384

    Thanks for the message. Does Clip have the ability to see your guys with tablets or phones on a map?

    I have to refine my comment about "expensive" a bit. $200 a month for SAP is one thing (and that's what I currently have), $600 initial and $80 a month for Clip is another; but 10K, 15K, 20K, 30K on an INITIAL investment for software (CrewTracker, Real Green, Arbor Gold) is WAY different. That's a huge one time capital investment vs. paying an employee even full time over the course of a year.
  4. Herm Witte

    Herm Witte Senior Member
    Messages: 546

    Clip does not at this time (that I am aware of).
  5. UrbanMeadows

    UrbanMeadows Junior Member
    Messages: 2



    We just switched over to a new system that does all our employee tracking, work orders, gps tracking, routing and it also has a client portal.

    We have been using it all winter to track all our employees in snow removal and have been doing all our invoicing with it as well. We have it installed on all our blackberrys and iphones. The amount of information you get back is amazing!

    Check out their website www.viaesys.com.

    We were skeptical at first, but man we were wrong. Its worth every penny!