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Keeping records

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by btammo, Nov 22, 2008.

  1. btammo

    btammo Member
    Messages: 51

    I am curious how each of you keep your plow records and if anyone has an example. I searched and only found one sample, but not quite what I am looking for.

    Basically what I do now is keep a composition book in each truck and each driver writes in what they did at each location and how many times during the day. This is Ok until it is time to invoice and then it is a pain going through each book at the end of the month. It is very tedious and I DREAD the end of the month, except for the money.

    I would like everything on one page so it is easier to look at for invoicing. We have alot of accounts and it is hard to keep a paper for each account in a clipboard....I dont know.

    Just looking for some help. I need to change my old system.

    THanks
     
  2. flykelley

    flykelley 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,124

    Hi Batammo
    I have a three ring binder in each truck, with a log sheet. the log sheet has location, time in, time , out, lot conditions, amount of deicer used. I made it up on my computer, will be happy to email you a copy to look at or use if you would like. Send me a email flykelley930@mac.com with lot ledger in subject line.

    Regards Mike
     
  3. edmioduski

    edmioduski Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    I make a grid sheet with excel and list EVERY account we do on the sheet, make a bunch of copies and every truck has a folder with 20 or so sheets. First column is Account Name, 2nd column is plowing, 3rd is Salting, 4th is shoveling, 5th is Sidewalk Deicer, Each column has two prices. Whether it's overnight or Daytime. All my guys have to do is circle and go to the next account. I list every account that ALL of my drivers do on one sheet so that no account gets missed. If someone breaks down all the other drivers have a list of everyone's responsiblities so that everything gets done. Each sheet has a place for date and start time and drivers name and shotgun passenger. I keep the quoted prices on the sheet so that when I'm doing billing the price is right there so I don't accidently under/overcharge the account. Just as a second thought. I've plowed for 13 year and have always had the luxury of cell phones. I have no idea how plowers worked before cell phones.
     
  4. BMWSTUD25

    BMWSTUD25 Senior Member
    Messages: 630

    hey, Im Just a two man operation so my way may or may not work for you but what I do is insert a table into a word document. First column is location, second is the time they must be done by, third is price and then Plowing Shoveling and Salting, and then Plowing shoveling salting again if needed. I leave a few extra blank lines at the bottom for write ins. Each of us has a sheet clearly marked with what we each do and then as we do it we just highlight the boxes for each location that are done. Example we only shovel and plow 101 Main st so in the shovel and plow boxes they get highlighted and thats it. Works for us and at the end of the month i have multiple sheets each with the date on top and i go through and bill accordingly. Also all of my accounts fit on one sheet so this is a big plus!!!!!!
     
  5. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762


    If you use quick books i have a simple easy solution to your problem....

    i had the same thing..mulitple sheets , mutilple trucks, multiple drivers.... mulitple storms, and yeah its a pian in the as.

    so here is what you do , in quickbooks , there is a way to enter services done using the "time tracker" after every storm you go into the time traker, and enter the work completed in a time sheet format, you could do this after ever storm , or all at once at the end of each month ....

    HERES THE BIG KEY.... under the time spent or hours.... you MUST PUT ONLY 1 hr.... so even if your crew was there at 2-6 AM, you just put 1 hour.... if you do not it will take your service rate and multiply by the number or hours.... even if its a per push account

    so then when you are ready to invoice them , all you need to do is go into the invoice section , and select the customers name... a pop-up box will appear with ALL OPEN time sheets that havnt been billed out yet ,... select them all , and the computer will do the job for you....

    I know this sounds alittle strange, and like more work , but really your entering the same information, the difference is , instead of you flipping thought 10 different route sheets for the month to firgure out every time burgerking was plowed/salted..... and having a papperwork mess

    you just enter the time sheets the same as your guys wrote them down , one sheet at a time... and the computer will figure it out

    your invoics will look the same
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2008
  6. ultimateinc

    ultimateinc Senior Member
    Messages: 143

    edmioduski i use pretty much the same sheet it works ok but at the end of the month i got about 12 sheets from all my guys but i guess it works could i take a look at yours ? ultimatelandscapinginc@yahoo.com.
     
  7. btammo

    btammo Member
    Messages: 51

    Thanks for the information. What do you use before you type it into quickbooks? That is where my problem lies. I do a similar type thing in Microsoft money, but it is the problem of getting it from the truck to the computer in the least manual way. Maybe I am misunderstanding your post as well. If you can email me what you have I could take a look at it as well. Thanks again man.
     
  8. btammo

    btammo Member
    Messages: 51

    Oh and i dont use quickbooks, but would be willing to buy it if life would be easier. I use Microsoft Money for small business and i really am not in love with that software. Probably will buy something else once I can figure how to transfer information from one to the other.
     
  9. flykelley

    flykelley 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,124

    Hi Guys
    If you are looking for software go to www.gopher.com I bought their software this summer to do my billing and so far I really like it. They have a free trail period.

    Good Luck Mike
     
  10. BSDeality

    BSDeality Senior Member
    Messages: 736

    I used to be a big advocate of Gopher myself. However I was tired of the run-around with them and their "new update soon" line of BS and it would be months til it was resolved. Gopher does work well for the single guy/truck operation. I will give them that. its very affordable and excellent in what it does. However it is very limited. If you plan on expanding in the future to even another truck consider something else. There is(or was) no seamless integration with quickbooks. That was the biggest downfall as QB is really a dire necessity in any small business. Your accountant will love you forever if have it. there really is/was no great way to run multiple trucks/routes/drivers/etc.

    I use Qxpress platinum now, its expensive, but it makes my life 100% easy. Its automatically linked with quickbooks. End of the storm I highlight the jobs that were completed and hit 'done' it automatically completes them with the prices and I then can generate invoices automatically. Literally a couple clicks and you're email invoices to people with no real effort. We bill out after each storm (or two sometimes) to keep it fresh in peoples minds. With gopher I used to hate billing out frequently because there was no integration with QB and I would have to manually re-create each invoice again in QB. Now with Qxpress its done automatically.
     
  11. SilkKnitter

    SilkKnitter Junior Member
    from ZONE 5
    Messages: 20

    Unfortunately that is the best way to keep the records. But, only if you and your employees do it and do it right. If you want to keep the records on the computer then simply make an excel layout or find a program that you like to plug in your data.
     
  12. btammo

    btammo Member
    Messages: 51

    Yeah I fiugre i do it about the same as most. I tried making something per customer for the month, and per storm for the month. not sure which one I like least. If I have it on a per customer basis, sometimes trucks over run routes and pick up a plow from on of the other trucks if they are done etc....if they dont have that customer sheet, then its better chance of getting lost. Per storm i guess is better. Oh well, it was worth a shot to make my life easier. :)
     
  13. Sno Biz

    Sno Biz Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 55