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humble1
02-09-2008, 02:19 PM
I thought i posted this the other day, but cant find the thread.
Anyway is it worth it?
Are you happy?

sedge
02-09-2008, 08:22 PM
I thought i posted this the other day, but cant find the thread.
Anyway is it worth it?
Are you happy?


worth it? yes. Are we happy with it? Yes and no...... It is a great system, but it is not user friendly in my opinion. The biggest advantage with it is the scheduling and mapping. We looked at gopher and it i don't think would map. we had alocet, but the scheduling sucked. Real green is the real deal, but it has a learning curve for sure, and there are many things that you cannot do with, that you should be able to do with it.

would we buy it again....... yes, absolutely.

tgnb
02-10-2008, 11:19 PM
Absolutely and positively worth it!!!! Scheduling is cake, and the marketing capabilities are very nice and way cheaper than similar alternatives. This will be our fourth year with it and every year they come up with cool new features. I must say the company is incredibly responsive to customer feedback and suggestions. Some of the support guys are real pricks (two, in particular), but most of the crew there really do an awesome job and follow up very well. Overall, I'd give them an "A".
Sedge, if you send them an email about what you want the system to do, they might take care of it. They've done that for us at least a half dozen times.

humble1
02-11-2008, 11:45 PM
what is the cost of that bad boy

Rayholio
02-12-2008, 01:17 AM
I'm entering my second season with it. I like it... and I hate it. the program is super clunky. I hated it at 1st, and I've been warming up to it now.. please see my previous posts on other threads for details..

In a nutshell, It's expensive.. hard to use, and IT'S THE BEST THING ON THE MARKET... it supports almost anything you want to do, Does routing, call logging, and has marketing features that are awesome.. if you can figure out how to use them :) I can not imagine running a company with more than a couple hundred customers without this software.. and I demo'd ALL of the others last year.

Don't expect a highly polished product.. it's not microsoft. Do expect to pay out the nose.. it's practically impossible to have the software and not pay the $100 per month support fees.. which are not 24.7 and are not fast.. you place a call, then wait for them to call you back.. sometimes 24 hours later or more. You want software updates? you HAVE to pay the monthly support fee.. WHO makes a product, and then doesn't offer free bug fixes? especially when you pay like 7 grand for the initial product!

If you sign up for real green, you will have to chew your leg off to get out of the money trap.. you also have to buy their forms, and statement paper.. It's halfway reasonable.. but by no means cheap.

oh, and lets not forget that it comes in componants, and it CAN NOT do any routing, or worthwhile marketing without the mapping plug in.. which they'll sell you for thousonds.. and it's just a copy of microsoft mappoint.. Cheap bastards sent me an educational copy.. (cost them about $150.. and it's not even legal)

But again.. it's the best thing out there.. (wish I could afford to put together a programming team)

so.. I always like to say that it's like having to choose between John Kerry, and George Bush, when what you really want is reagan.

mrkosar
02-12-2008, 10:30 AM
what about the service solutions software? when i talked to one of their reps it sounded like their software did the same and their customer service, updates, etc...were free.

http://www.theservicesolution.com/

what differences are there? what is number 2 to real green in your opinions?

humble1
02-12-2008, 11:39 AM
what about the service solutions software? when i talked to one of their reps it sounded like their software did the same and their customer service, updates, etc...were free.

http://www.theservicesolution.com/

what differences are there? what is number 2 to real green in your opinions?

How much, price is a big reason i can buy realgreen systems 7 g doesnt sound to appealing

Rayholio
02-12-2008, 11:57 AM
I dunno about service solution.. The web site looks like they don't know how to program.... LOL and there are no pics of the software interface. not a good sign.

Believe me.. the 7g's hurts.. and the 1200 a year also hurts.. but anything else you buy will be getting replaced anyhow, because it won't do everything you want...

If I were you, I would use quickbooks, until you can budget at least 3 grand for software.. seriously.

ted putnam
02-12-2008, 12:18 PM
I looked into the service solutions a little...not much. When I was looking at it I noticed one of their customers, King Green (Atlanta,GA and Charlotte,NC) was posted on their site. That company was featured in a magazine article I read. They are a multi-million company so it seems to me they must be doing something right. I have no idea what the software package would run though.

lawnservice
02-12-2008, 12:54 PM
we use real green's LA3 software. Been using it for a number of years (we paid around $4000 as I remember which included 3 days in house training) We do not pay the fees for updates and/or support. We are very familiar with the product at this point and dont see the need for support (we can call if needed and they charge a per minute rate) As far as updates....we are satisfied with our current version which was last updated somewhere around 2004.

I have used Practical Solutions long ago (I worked for another company that used it). It is very similar to real green as far as capabilities go. As I recall when I looked into them for my company the cost was a bit more than Real Green back then. But it is a good product.

Also check out EverGreen Software - www.evergreensoftware.com
If I were to do it all over again I'd be inclined to go with them.

Of the 3 I've listed Evergreen seems to have the best customer support (meaning you'll get help when you need it...not hours or even days later) It is also expensive. For a two user program expect to pay around $170 per month. This price includes software, support and updates for the internet based version.

Nothing gets me more aggravated than calling a software company that I do business with for a code they require me to fill in to renew my customers and they tell me on the phone that they are very busy this time of year and I'll need to wait till they decide they have the time to call back and give me a 6 digit code (real green requires a code to renew your customers from one year to the next, they say it is to protect you....I think it is really to give them another opportunity to sell you something extra or maybe they just like the 'power trip' they get from making you wait by your phone until they decide to call back, i dont know?)

Paul Klose
02-12-2008, 01:13 PM
Product is great, product sucks, support helps, but takes to long. Want to get rid of it, but can't do without. Life using realgreen!....

The initial investment is scary for most companies out there. Ask yourself a question. Realistically, ask yourself how big are you going to get, 500, 1000, 2000, %$#$reen size. I know a lot of factors contribute to grow but here is something to consider. The initial setup is going to cost you. This is what our company experienced....

Payment for Realgreen Systems
Payment for Mapping Assistant
1 week downtime for onsite training
1 month data entry(initial, existing customers)
Constant communication back and forth because there initial training sucks
Designing custom forms
Once the initial setup is done you get your first update, those are real fun
By now i want to pull my hair out but at the same time i realize the beauty of the software. Have used other software before and Realgreen is the easiest and cleanest software to use*

*once initial setup is 100% completed

And a bonus, once you get to a size where you hve to have two computers running it, shell out another 3 grand to make it happen

lawnservice
02-12-2008, 01:24 PM
Product is great, product sucks, support helps, but takes to long. Want to get rid of it, but can't do without. Life using realgreen!....

The initial investment is scary for most companies out there. Ask yourself a question. Realistically, ask yourself how big are you going to get, 500, 1000, 2000, %$#$reen size. I know a lot of factors contribute to grow but here is something to consider. The initial setup is going to cost you. This is what our company experienced....

Payment for Realgreen Systems
Payment for Mapping Assistant
1 week downtime for onsite training
1 month data entry(initial, existing customers)
Constant communication back and forth because there initial training sucks
Designing custom forms
Once the initial setup is done you get your first update, those are real fun
By now i want to pull my hair out but at the same time i realize the beauty of the software. Have used other software before and Realgreen is the easiest and cleanest software to use*

*once initial setup is 100% completed

And a bonus, once you get to a size where you hve to have two computers running it, shell out another 3 grand to make it happen

:laugh: sounds all to familiar
Best time to be thinking about a new software package would be in fall in my opinion. Then you'll have all winter long (assuming you are in cool season turf country and have an off season) to get acquainted with it

humble1
02-12-2008, 02:41 PM
what about Clip?

Real Green
02-12-2008, 03:34 PM
Real Green software has without a doubt helped grow my company in ways I would have never imagined. As far as the support goes, I have never had a problem and from what I am reading I seem to be very fortunate. It is rare that it takes longer than 10 to 15 minutes to hear back from tech support. The marketing capabilities of the program are astonishing. Between up-sales of core aeration, grub control, liming, and power-seeding. I have been thrilled to pay for the multi-user version. There are plenty of other software systems out there and every single one has its pros and cons. But I promise you, Real Green software is the best decision you will make for the good of your company.

lawnservice
02-12-2008, 03:57 PM
what about Clip?

horrible reputation
very arrogant
very little support (assuming they return your call)

they may have changed, but I doubt it. Its been a long time since I looked at them. There was a time that all industry message boards were full of complaints about clip....but that was then

lawnservice
02-12-2008, 03:58 PM
Real Green software has without a doubt helped grow my company in ways I would have never imagined. As far as the support goes, I have never had a problem and from what I am reading I seem to be very fortunate. It is rare that it takes longer than 10 to 15 minutes to hear back from tech support. The marketing capabilities of the program are astonishing. Between up-sales of core aeration, grub control, liming, and power-seeding. I have been thrilled to pay for the multi-user version. There are plenty of other software systems out there and every single one has its pros and cons. But I promise you, Real Green software is the best decision you will make for the good of your company.

Just curious....how long have you been using realgreen?

Rayholio
02-12-2008, 04:42 PM
I'm always suspisius of the comments about 'real green' from 'real green' LOL

Victor
02-12-2008, 05:08 PM
I'm always suspisius of the comments about 'real green' from 'real green' LOL

I noticed that too Ray. :laugh::laugh::laugh:

humble1
02-12-2008, 08:40 PM
Real Green software has without a doubt helped grow my company in ways I would have never imagined. As far as the support goes, I have never had a problem and from what I am reading I seem to be very fortunate. It is rare that it takes longer than 10 to 15 minutes to hear back from tech support. The marketing capabilities of the program are astonishing. Between up-sales of core aeration, grub control, liming, and power-seeding. I have been thrilled to pay for the multi-user version. There are plenty of other software systems out there and every single one has its pros and cons. But I promise you, Real Green software is the best decision you will make for the good of your company.

I am a little skeptical on your responce based on your screen name* humm*
quick, what post emergent crabgrass killer can you tankmix with a broadleaf weed control product without any conflict?

Rayholio
02-12-2008, 08:53 PM
LOL that question won't work.. Real Green systems was built by big lawn care service company.. and they service around 10,000 customers.

so, I bet they could answer that w/o breaking a sweat :)

trimmasters
02-13-2008, 04:17 AM
Lawnservice, send me an email johnwbell@gmail.com, i might be able to help you out.

daveyo
12-09-2010, 06:52 PM
Can I get this thread going again? I am seriously considering using the realgreen software and want to know if the software is any more user friendly since this thread in 2008. I've been doing a lot of research so anymore input would be appreciated.

Rayholio
12-09-2010, 07:09 PM
Well.. it is to me... Heheh but that's probably just because I've gotten used to it. The software is still of the exact same design that it was in '08..

except now it's called 'service assistant'..

It's just that there's nothing better man... I've tried pretty much all of 'em :)

I like Real Green more and more.. but like most marriages.. they say the 1st couple years is the hardest... that was definately true with Real Green...

The monthly maintenance fees are still bunk imo... but whatever.. that's how they feed the monkeys thru the winter.

daveyo
12-09-2010, 08:13 PM
Thanks Rayholio, has it helped grow your business?, it seems they are a serious marketing company, are there prices in line with other marketing companies? It seems like I could really pinpoint my growth using the mapping and marketing strategies they use. Thanks.

sedge
12-09-2010, 11:02 PM
Well.. it is to me... Heheh but that's probably just because I've gotten used to it. The software is still of the exact same design that it was in '08..

except now it's called 'service assistant'..

It's just that there's nothing better man... I've tried pretty much all of 'em :)

I like Real Green more and more.. but like most marriages.. they say the 1st couple years is the hardest... that was definately true with Real Green...

The monthly maintenance fees are still bunk imo... but whatever.. that's how they feed the monkeys thru the winter.

Yes, best system out there bar none.

The newest version just came out i thought or is that the 08 one? Going to upgrade next month i think.

Maintenance fees? The only maintenance fees i was aware of was the tech support. Once you are competent, better to go with by the minute.

daveyo
12-10-2010, 12:09 AM
Yes, best system out there bar none.

The newest version just came out i thought or is that the 08 one? Going to upgrade next month i think.

Maintenance fees? The only maintenance fees i was aware of was the tech support. Once you are competent, better to go with by the minute.

I don't have the number in front of me but I thought they said $70/month tech support and $30/month mapping, do you guys use the mapping. How long does it take to become competent?

MacLawnCo
12-10-2010, 09:31 AM
not sure why anyone would buy it without the mapping. Their prices on printing are terrible - but you can export whatever data you want in nearly any format to send to any other printing co.

Rayholio
12-10-2010, 12:23 PM
Mapping is definately a must... Without mapping RG is a business management software.. With mapping is also becomes business marketing software.

In other words it changes from being a product designed to SAVE you money to a product designed to MAKE you money.. in the real business world these are two very different things.. and it makes a big difference in the real cost of the product.

daveyo
12-10-2010, 04:49 PM
Mapping is definately a must... Without mapping RG is a business management software.. With mapping is also becomes business marketing software.

In other words it changes from being a product designed to SAVE you money to a product designed to MAKE you money.. in the real business world these are two very different things.. and it makes a big difference in the real cost of the product.

Thats exactly what I'm looking for, a software package to MAKE me money, its good to hear I can export any file to a competitive printing company also.

From what I understand tracking and paying state sales tax isn't a problem with the software, but how do you guys manage your expense accounts? do you use Quickbooks or is it done all through RG? For example right now I use my Discover card for all my business expenses and use my bank account for the payments of all those expenses and then reconcile everything monthly on both accounts all done through Quickbooks. I appreciate the help guys, thanks, I just want to be on the ball a bit for the next time I talk with the rep.

Rayholio
12-10-2010, 05:43 PM
Quickbooks. :)

It will export to QB, but we've never been able to get it in a format that we like.. so we just take a report from RG and enter the needed numbers into QB manualy as needed.. usually monthly I believe.

daveyo
12-10-2010, 07:20 PM
Quickbooks. :)

It will export to QB, but we've never been able to get it in a format that we like.. so we just take a report from RG and enter the needed numbers into QB manualy as needed.. usually monthly I believe.

Thanks again Rayholio, I appreciate all the info.

Puttinggreens
12-11-2010, 01:17 PM
I'm currently using Qxpress and Quickbooks but have seriously looked at RealGreen several times.

I love the way Qxpress integrates with Quickbooks. I can schedule my jobs in Qxpress and mark them as complete in QX, yet easily print the invoices in Quickbooks.

Is this doable with RealGreen? Quick books is still needed with RG correct?

I really like my customized invoices in QB and it is probably my biggest hangup in not switching to Real-green. They are plain and simple to read for the customer.

Can any of you RealGreen users share your insight into:
1. the simplicity of invoices in RG
2. how much of the accounting is easily transferred into QB

Thanks for your help, I have been on the fence for two years.

Turfdoctor1
12-11-2010, 05:26 PM
I too am very interested in this thread. I currently do all my own scheduling etc. I have built an extensive marketing database of addresses, etc. I keep all my routes, etc., simply in excel. My accounting is done with Quickbooks.

Everything works for me. But, as we get bigger, things are beginning to get very difficult to juggle. We currently have ~700 accounts.

Things I wish were easier:

(1) Invoicing in quickbooks allows you to have a price per job. But, it would be much handier to be able to simply set a price per customer instead of per job.
(2) It would be nice to have software that tells me when it is time to do certain tasks--like microsoft outlook, but within the billing system.
(3) In terms of marketing capabilities, I slack on my upsales half way through the season when I feel swamped. It seems RG would help with that.
(4) It would be nice to have a mareketing list generated monthly with new home sales.

Everyone says RG will make you money. How? If it is simply upsales, no thanks.

Why is there no concrete info out there? They sent me a packet, but I just cannot warrant a purchase of that magnitude without knowing for a fact it will pay for itself.

americanlawn
12-11-2010, 06:36 PM
Tried it. We found it to be a rip-off. Will never use it. Our 2 cents.

I thought i posted this the other day, but cant find the thread.
Anyway is it worth it?
Are you happy?

Rayholio
12-11-2010, 07:52 PM
I too am very interested in this thread. I currently do all my own scheduling etc. I have built an extensive marketing database of addresses, etc. I keep all my routes, etc., simply in excel. My accounting is done with Quickbooks.

Everything works for me. But, as we get bigger, things are beginning to get very difficult to juggle. We currently have ~700 accounts.

Things I wish were easier:

(1) Invoicing in quickbooks allows you to have a price per job. But, it would be much handier to be able to simply set a price per customer instead of per job.
(2) It would be nice to have software that tells me when it is time to do certain tasks--like microsoft outlook, but within the billing system.
(3) In terms of marketing capabilities, I slack on my upsales half way through the season when I feel swamped. It seems RG would help with that.
(4) It would be nice to have a mareketing list generated monthly with new home sales.

Everyone says RG will make you money. How? If it is simply upsales, no thanks.

Why is there no concrete info out there? They sent me a packet, but I just cannot warrant a purchase of that magnitude without knowing for a fact it will pay for itself.

you should drop by sometimes and I'll show ya the software :)

1. The software prices in several different ways. for normal seasonal programs, it refrences the customers lawn size and multiplies that by a price chart that you generate... for example $5.00 per 1,000 sq ft.. This can scale.. so after so many sq ft, you can drop the price... that's only one option. it can also do flat pricing based on the service, or other things..

2. I've not used it much, but there is a full scale scheduler built in.. along with call history. A customer calls, or you call them.. you pull up their account and log what you talked about complete with time stamp. From there you can schedule follow up calls for you, or other employees in the system.

3. you design your upsale 'graphics' early on.. you can then select 3 of them when printing treatment notifications / invoices.. it only displays one ad per invoice. If they already have the aeration that you're promoting, then it will display the perimeter pest control.. if they have it, then it does the thrid one.. usually a generic message like "Summer Watering guide" All ads incude regular price, and a sale price.. customer can sign up simply by checking the box on the payment stub.

4. RG and several other services can email you importable files with new home owners in the area as often as you like. I've found these to NOT be price effective.. but it's possible.

Software will never go out and do apps for you.. and this isn't stock market cheating software... so I couldn't imagine how it could make you money in any way OTHER than marketing... and the reason that I count that as income is because the invoice messaging alone generates up sales.. and with almost zero labor.

Sure it will generate mailings complete with references of people who you service on their block, and a million other really very clever marketing do-dads that you just CAN'T get anywhere else.. but it's the laborless income generation that I'm really talking about.

The thing that I've really discovered with the software is that it can do just about anything. Being so powerful makes it aweful lacking in user friendliness... I think it could be better than it is... but the software is hard to learn. as far as things I WISH it could do.. Statement upsale messages. and a few other little things.. but it's the best available for now.

Puttinggreens
12-11-2010, 09:46 PM
So where do you track your customers financials? Quickbooks or RealGreen?

All book keeping is in Quickbooks?

daveyo
12-11-2010, 09:57 PM
I'm currently using Qxpress and Quickbooks but have seriously looked at RealGreen several times.

I love the way Qxpress integrates with Quickbooks. I can schedule my jobs in Qxpress and mark them as complete in QX, yet easily print the invoices in Quickbooks.

Is this doable with RealGreen? Quick books is still needed with RG correct?

I really like my customized invoices in QB and it is probably my biggest hangup in not switching to Real-green. They are plain and simple to read for the customer.

Can any of you RealGreen users share your insight into:
1. the simplicity of invoices in RG
2. how much of the accounting is easily transferred into QB

Thanks for your help, I have been on the fence for two years.

Puttinggreens, how do you like using qexpress with Qbooks? I am currently using the same setup with Qe gold. What version do you use? do you use the mapping feature also?

From the questions I asked RG they tell me through the mapping assistant we can generate specific marketing based around our current customers with a click of the mouse. Also with mapping you can tighten up routes and become more efficient. But can't that be done in QE with there mapping software? I don't know because I don't use it.

I also really like the way QE syncs with QB its very easy and theres no additional manual data entry.

From what everyone told me I don't think RG is very compatible with QB's which is big for me. I think it sinks in a different form not quite sure how that works.

daveyo
12-11-2010, 11:35 PM
http://www.lawnsite.com/archive/index.php/t-230390.html

Thanks to this thread I'm pretty sure I'm going with the upgraded QExpress. The fees are outrageous and support to me is huge I don't need to deal with support like that from anyone period. It seems like great software but once your on the hook there selling you everything on top of original purchase.

Its a shame because it does look like some nice software. I don't want to bash anyone or RG I'm sure it's a great tool for the business. Thanks for all your help.

azjojo99
12-12-2010, 11:33 AM
So where do you track your customers financials? Quickbooks or RealGreen?

All book keeping is in Quickbooks?

All my customer financials are in RG. Individual cusotmer payments are entered into RG, RG is also used to print statements for slow paying customers. I track my expenses with Quickbooks, and at the end of each month, I transfer over accounts receivable $, production $. When customers payments are entered into RG, I enter the total bank deposit amount into QB at the time of each deposit. Also at the end of the month, do an inventory adjustment into QB to track chemical expenses.

QB doesn't contain any customer information, just monthly totals of production, payments, A/R.

sedge
12-13-2010, 03:25 AM
Tried it. We found it to be a rip-off. Will never use it. Our 2 cents.

How so? If so, then you didn't use it long enough or to it's full extent.

Puttinggreens, how do you like using qexpress with Qbooks? I am currently using the same setup with Qe gold. What version do you use? do you use the mapping feature also?

From the questions I asked RG they tell me through the mapping assistant we can generate specific marketing based around our current customers with a click of the mouse. Also with mapping you can tighten up routes and become more efficient. But can't that be done in QE with there mapping software? I don't know because I don't use it.

I also really like the way QE syncs with QB its very easy and theres no additional manual data entry.

From what everyone told me I don't think RG is very compatible with QB's which is big for me. I think it sinks in a different form not quite sure how that works.

If they dont' have mapping, then forsure a no go. On top of that, we tried it and the customer service was almost ZERO, dropped it like the ex-wife, quick fast and in a hurry......

ted putnam
12-13-2010, 09:33 AM
How so? If so, then you didn't use it long enough or to it's full extent.



If they dont' have mapping, then forsure a no go. On top of that, we tried it and the customer service was almost ZERO, dropped it like the ex-wife, quick fast and in a hurry......

I can't say that RG is a rip off because I never used it. I also don't know how you could use it long enough to know without paying for it first. I was turned off by all of the "fees" and "extras" on top of the basic software. I went with Billmaster software instead. It has all the features I could want including mapping at a fraction of the cost of RG. Technical support has been "awesome" to say the least. When I have needed it, if help wasn't immediate, it was within 5-10 minutes of my initial call. As Larry would say, "my 2 cents".

sedge
12-13-2010, 12:13 PM
I can't say that RG is a rip off because I never used it. I also don't know how you could use it long enough to know without paying for it first. I was turned off by all of the "fees" and "extras" on top of the basic software. I went with Billmaster software instead. It has all the features I could want including mapping at a fraction of the cost of RG. Technical support has been "awesome" to say the least. When I have needed it, if help wasn't immediate, it was within 5-10 minutes of my initial call. As Larry would say, "my 2 cents".

We had it for 3 years and other then tech support i don't know what fees they are talking about.

If your not looking to up sell more services and just want to stay smaller and basic, then don't get it, but man, with all the features it pretty much blows everything else away.

That is only what we all have to offer is "2 cents" worth, lol, lol.

ted putnam
12-13-2010, 05:39 PM
We had it for 3 years and other then tech support i don't know what fees they are talking about.

If your not looking to up sell more services and just want to stay smaller and basic, then don't get it, but man, with all the features it pretty much blows everything else away.

That is only what we all have to offer is "2 cents" worth, lol, lol.

Yes, when I was talking about fees, I meant tech support. Mine is Free and from some of the comments I've read on here in the past, much more driven to solve my problem immediately. Not sure about RG's updates but mine are Free as long as I use the software. I was thinking you also had to buy your forms from RG. I might be wrong about that. Also, Billmaster can run multiple companies with unlimited customer counts.

Just because I or somebody else didn't go with RG doesn't mean we wish to stay "small and basic" as you put it. I have a friend who uses RG. We live just beyond being competitors. He loves it. He's no larger than me, been in business 2 yrs longer than me and has used RG 2 yrs longer than I have used Billmaster.

sedge
12-14-2010, 01:05 AM
Yes, when I was talking about fees, I meant tech support. Mine is Free and from some of the comments I've read on here in the past, much more driven to solve my problem immediately. Not sure about RG's updates but mine are Free as long as I use the software. I was thinking you also had to buy your forms from RG. I might be wrong about that. Also, Billmaster can run multiple companies with unlimited customer counts.

Just because I or somebody else didn't go with RG doesn't mean we wish to stay "small and basic" as you put it. I have a friend who uses RG. We live just beyond being competitors. He loves it. He's no larger than me, been in business 2 yrs longer than me and has used RG 2 yrs longer than I have used Billmaster.

One only needs tech support for a while and after that you can just go with by the minute support. They are very good and fast at fixing the problem.

How do they pay for their support staff if you don;t pay for it?

Forms can be bought any where.

I didn't mean that as a cut on staying small and/or basic. I am just saying if you run a more simpler service, less need for such a complex system. One can also run credit cards from RG, a huge time saver when you do your production.

ted putnam
12-14-2010, 02:02 AM
One only needs tech support for a while and after that you can just go with by the minute support. They are very good and fast at fixing the problem.

How do they pay for their support staff if you don;t pay for it?

Forms can be bought any where.

I didn't mean that as a cut on staying small and/or basic. I am just saying if you run a more simpler service, less need for such a complex system. One can also run credit cards from RG, a huge time saver when you do your production.

I'll have to admit that my system is not set up to accept debit/credit cards right now but at this point I haven't started accepting them. I am able to enter production and payments using a bar code scanner that came with the system. A huge time saver also. Something tells me that my system could be set up to accept and run credit cards in a snap. All I have to do is ask. The name of the company is Customized Business Software and the name of the program is BillmasterII. They have done pretty much what their name says, they've customized it for me in many ways upon my request. They start with a pretty comprehensive basic program and "tweek" it for you. Like I said, I've been extremely happy. It cost me a lot less than RG would have and I have absolutely no regrets. That's what's important, right?:)

Oh yea, I guess they are able to offer free technical support and updates because they are a small company that doesn't have as many mouths to feed. Also, it's quality programming that once you get past the learning curve and have it tweeked exactly the way you want it, there's really no reason to call them. I've had it almost exactly a year and I haven't had to call them for anything in at least 5 months.

sedge
12-14-2010, 08:13 AM
I'll have to admit that my system is not set up to accept debit/credit cards right now but at this point I haven't started accepting them. I am able to enter production and payments using a bar code scanner that came with the system. A huge time saver also. Something tells me that my system could be set up to accept and run credit cards in a snap. All I have to do is ask. The name of the company is Customized Business Software and the name of the program is BillmasterII. They have done pretty much what their name says, they've customized it for me in many ways upon my request. They start with a pretty comprehensive basic program and "tweek" it for you. Like I said, I've been extremely happy. It cost me a lot less than RG would have and I have absolutely no regrets. That's what's important, right?:)

Oh yea, I guess they are able to offer free technical support and updates because they are a small company that doesn't have as many mouths to feed. Also, it's quality programming that once you get past the learning curve and have it tweeked exactly the way you want it, there's really no reason to call them. I've had it almost exactly a year and I haven't had to call them for anything in at least 5 months.

So once you buy it, you can get tech support for free? For ever? What did that cost if I may?

ted putnam
12-14-2010, 09:35 AM
So once you buy it, you can get tech support for free? For ever? What did that cost if I may?

$3500. 10% down. Pay out the balance monthly at 0% interest. Free tech support and updates forever.

daveyo
12-14-2010, 12:44 PM
$3500. 10% down. Pay out the balance monthly at 0% interest. Free tech support and updates forever.

Ted, do these guys have mapping abilities?

turf hokie
12-14-2010, 01:05 PM
$3500. 10% down. Pay out the balance monthly at 0% interest. Free tech support and updates forever.

For that price I would consider it, are their limitations with this package? how many customers does it handle, etc?

ted putnam
12-14-2010, 05:03 PM
Ted, do these guys have mapping abilities?

Yes, It utilizes Google Maps. It can give you directions between up to 7 different points at once and there is a maximum of 25 points that can be shown on each page of map.

ted putnam
12-14-2010, 05:19 PM
For that price I would consider it, are their limitations with this package? how many customers does it handle, etc?

That was one of the first things that caught my attention. Much of the software out there had customer count limits 400,500, 1000 etc... You can run multiple companies from the program and each company can have an infinite number of customers. So if I wanted to run a pest control company and a janitorial service, I can run it from the same software but maintain them independently of each other. When I asked the salesman about customer limits he laughed. He said "why would there be any limit?" "Limits are for software companies that just want to get more money out of you later. There is no other reason there could be a limit on the number of customers software can handle."

turf hokie
12-14-2010, 05:24 PM
That was one of the first things that caught my attention. Much of the software out there had customer count limits 400,500, 1000 etc... You can run multiple companies from the program and each company can have an infinite number of customers. So if I wanted to run a pest control company and a janitorial service, I can run it from the same software but maintain them independently of each other. When I asked the salesman about customer limits he laughed. He said "why would there be any limit?" "Limits are for software companies that just want to get more money out of you later. There is no other reason there could be a limit on the number of customers software can handle."

now you have my interest, I talked to RG several years ago and they indeed had customer limits, the low end price would only handle up to 500 customer entries. I guess that has changed, I may be talking to them again over the winter.

thanks for the information, I will continue to watch this thread to see if anything else comes up that would push me towards the program

ted putnam
12-14-2010, 06:56 PM
Honestly guys, I'm not trying to "sell" anybody on anything. All I'm saying is that there are other good alternatives to using RG (maybe just a couple though and believe me, I searched high and low before purchasing). All I'm saying is that I feel like I made a pretty good decision and got the most "bang" for my buck. Again, just my 2 cents.

daveyo
12-14-2010, 07:31 PM
now you have my interest, I talked to RG several years ago and they indeed had customer limits, the low end price would only handle up to 500 customer entries. I guess that has changed, I may be talking to them again over the winter.

thanks for the information, I will continue to watch this thread to see if anything else comes up that would push me towards the program

I've been seriously looking at several companies including Qxpress and RG. I really do like RG but reading about their support with other guys or lack there of scared me. I did talk to a RG rep again today (he called me back from last weeks AC expo) and he said no he does not see that or ever heard of that being a problem.

Another concern with RG was fees after the fact of purchasing there product, again after speaking with the rep he was straight up on all the fees, $70/ month for support and $30/month mapping which doesn't include anything else, you want anything else you pay for the software then the fees. That goes for every piece:

1. Service assistant $3000 for software $70/month
2. Mapping asst. $2500 for software $30/m
3. measurement assistant $2000/year or .85/ measurement but there is a minimum you have to purchase I think $200.00. This service to me is pretty crucial I thought it came with the mapping but it does not.
4. Customer asst. $1000 I think then the fees, theres a lot to learn just about all the fees.
5. Forms you have to use all their forms and they add up pretty quick.

With that said it does seem like a great program and here is what they quoted me, I was going with qxpress for sure as you'll see in my previous post. But I talked with the rep and he cleared a lot of questions up for me that weren't true from what I read ( about prices). Plus he told me qxpresswas just bought out, so go figure.

turf hokie
12-14-2010, 07:48 PM
@daveyo,
On the proposal, it says "500 customer version" what does that mean?
And why would you think the measurement assistant would be so vital?
Are all training expenses included in the quote? seems like there may be some add-on costs there.

@Ted,
I realize you are not selling but you have made it seem like you are happy with the program and when you talked about the pricing it peaked my interest. Trust me I am not buying anything based on one man's opinion, but it does open the door...

daveyo
12-14-2010, 08:47 PM
@daveyo,
On the proposal, it says "500 customer version" what does that mean?
And why would you think the measurement assistant would be so vital?
Are all training expenses included in the quote? seems like there may be some add-on costs there.

@Ted,
I realize you are not selling but you have made it seem like you are happy with the program and when you talked about the pricing it peaked my interest. Trust me I am not buying anything based on one man's opinion, but it does open the door...

0-500 customers is one price, then it goes up in price from there i.e 500-1000 is more, and basically so on.

Measurement assistant could save me gas, driving time etc.. you know. Right now I use google maps which works if there isn't a lot of tree cover. Also I personally saw MA it's real clear and you can use a pic of the customers house to upsell.

No, training costs are separate from what they told me at least $700 depends on the flight costs.

brizine
12-14-2010, 09:38 PM
Measurement assistant is nothing more than go ilawn. They formed a partnership in 2009. I went with qxpress platinum with mapping in January and wish I would have done it years ago. I also looked at billmaster on the advice of Ted. Nothing but good things to say about my short
dealings with them. Qxpress and quickbooks just fit my business better.

daveyo
12-14-2010, 10:17 PM
Measurement assistant is nothing more than go ilawn. They formed a partnership in 2009. I went with qxpress platinum with mapping in January and wish I would have done it years ago. I also looked at billmaster on the advice of Ted. Nothing but good things to say about my short
dealings with them. Qxpress and quickbooks just fit my business better.

Thanks for that info brizine, I just checked ilawns out and thats exactly it. So I can go continue with my qxpress, add mapping and use ilawn, and i can grab mail carrier routes off ilawn as well. Thats good info, I really like using qxpress because it integrates with QB so well. I would like to know who bought out QE and what it means.

ted putnam
12-14-2010, 11:09 PM
I've been seriously looking at several companies including Qxpress and RG. I really do like RG but reading about their support with other guys or lack there of scared me. I did talk to a RG rep again today (he called me back from last weeks AC expo) and he said no he does not see that or ever heard of that being a problem.

Another concern with RG was fees after the fact of purchasing there product, again after speaking with the rep he was straight up on all the fees, $70/ month for support and $30/month mapping which doesn't include anything else, you want anything else you pay for the software then the fees. That goes for every piece:

1. Service assistant $3000 for software $70/month
2. Mapping asst. $2500 for software $30/m
3. measurement assistant $2000/year or .85/ measurement but there is a minimum you have to purchase I think $200.00. This service to me is pretty crucial I thought it came with the mapping but it does not.
4. Customer asst. $1000 I think then the fees, theres a lot to learn just about all the fees.
5. Forms you have to use all their forms and they add up pretty quick.

With that said it does seem like a great program and here is what they quoted me, I was going with qxpress for sure as you'll see in my previous post. But I talked with the rep and he cleared a lot of questions up for me that weren't true from what I read ( about prices). Plus he told me qxpresswas just bought out, so go figure.

WOW. Quite a shopping list you got from RG there...:dizzy:and still just a maximum of 500 customers? I've never used QB or QE before but I have heard many on here say good things about them. All I know is after reading this post of yours, I sure am glad I made the choice I made last year with my software purchase.:clapping:

sedge
12-14-2010, 11:31 PM
$3500. 10% down. Pay out the balance monthly at 0% interest. Free tech support and updates forever.

That is about what I was quoted.

The other I really like! I wonder when the real sunset will take place on the free tech support? They have to a limit or will do so at some point.

daveyo
12-15-2010, 12:02 AM
WOW. Quite a shopping list you got from RG there...:dizzy:and still just a maximum of 500 customers? I've never used QB or QE before but I have heard many on here say good things about them. All I know is after reading this post of yours, I sure am glad I made the choice I made last year with my software purchase.:clapping:

I want to take a look at the software you use just to check it out, I mean why limit myself at this point :dizzy:. But I like using QE, I'll just upgrade what I have now, use their mapping and incorporate ilawn. Brizine was right on with the ilawn call, thats exactly what I was looking for. Plus if I go that route I'll have more money to purchase the new equipment I needed.

ted putnam
12-15-2010, 12:21 AM
I want to take a look at the software you use just to check it out, I mean why limit myself at this point :dizzy:. But I like using QE, I'll just upgrade what I have now, use their mapping and incorporate ilawn. Brizine was right on with the ilawn call, thats exactly what I was looking for. Plus if I go that route I'll have more money to purchase the new equipment I needed.

It should be real convenient for you to check it out. They are based in Glen Rock NJ. Not sure if I spelled that right. (I noticed you were from NJ) Anyway, their website is www.customizedbusinesssoftware.com. If you're happy with what you are currently using, then it would sure save you money to stick with it. I outgrew what I had previously and had to upgrade to something more streamlined. Good Luck with everything. Hope things go well for you in 2011.

ted putnam
12-15-2010, 12:29 AM
That is about what I was quoted.

The other I really like! I wonder when the real sunset will take place on the free tech support? They have to a limit or will do so at some point.

I was told that they have customers they have had for close to 20 yrs that they very rarely hear from about problems but when they do...help is free.

sedge
12-15-2010, 12:49 AM
I was told that they have customers they have had for close to 20 yrs that they very rarely hear from about problems but when they do...help is free.

That is really something then!

I was qouted about $3,500 for the RG.

ted putnam
12-15-2010, 01:44 AM
I want to take a look at the software you use just to check it out, I mean why limit myself at this point :dizzy:. But I like using QE, I'll just upgrade what I have now, use their mapping and incorporate ilawn. Brizine was right on with the ilawn call, thats exactly what I was looking for. Plus if I go that route I'll have more money to purchase the new equipment I needed.

Just one other thing daveyo. I noticed on your quote sheet from RG that you were required to pay 25% down and the balance in 12 monthly payments that came to $340ish/month. I am paying $100/month+NJ sales tax for a total of $107/month after the initial 10% down. It worked out great because they would rather have a little bit each month and I felt more secure at the time that they weren't going to get all of my money quickly, then "ditch" me when I needed help. Now that I've been with them a year, I have come to realize they aren't like that at all. Anyway, Good Luck

turf hokie
12-15-2010, 09:00 AM
0-500 customers is one price, then it goes up in price from there i.e 500-1000 is more, and basically so on..

That is what I remember when I talked to them last time. For what we needed, without mapping or measuring, they wanted over 10k plus another 1500-2000 for the 2 day training. In the end we were looking at well over 10k for the program we needed to support our customer base. Just cant justify that expense....

MacLawnCo
12-15-2010, 09:11 PM
Ive been with qx for just about forever. Signed for RG in Feb. Ive only ran two rounds of fert through RG this year and then went back to QX as I was too frustrated learning the program.

Im not stupid by any means but using RG is one of the most complicated things Ive ever tried to learn. To make matters worse, as I learn about it more, it gets even more challenging. For example, in QX billing and posting to QB is a two step process with two mouse clicks. In RG, you have to perform multiple chores for each billing type - monthly invoice, regular invoice, and installment bilings. WTH???

Im actually talking with QX about upgrading my current version to Plat or Enterprise and actually gong through with my RG refund request. BTW, QX with mapping is less than $30 per mo support plan. (http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=326890&highlight=Real+green+refund)

Based on the questions Ive asked, it sounds like QX may be right on the heels of RG and chasing quickly. Did someone say they have been bought out?

daveyo
12-15-2010, 10:28 PM
Ive been with qx for just about forever. Signed for RG in Feb. Ive only ran two rounds of fert through RG this year and then went back to QX as I was too frustrated learning the program.

Im not stupid by any means but using RG is one of the most complicated things Ive ever tried to learn. To make matters worse, as I learn about it more, it gets even more challenging. For example, in QX billing and posting to QB is a two step process with two mouse clicks. In RG, you have to perform multiple chores for each billing type - monthly invoice, regular invoice, and installment bilings. WTH???

Im actually talking with QX about upgrading my current version to Plat or Enterprise and actually gong through with my RG refund request. BTW, QX with mapping is less than $30 per mo support plan. (http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=326890&highlight=Real+green+refund)

Based on the questions Ive asked, it sounds like QX may be right on the heels of RG and chasing quickly. Did someone say they have been bought out?

Yes the RG rep told me a lawn spray company bought QE out, whether its true or not I didn't verify.

I didn't check out pricing with QE mapping yet but that price is easier to budget for sure. I'm looking forward in using one of the mapping programs is QE easy to use? I was actually checking out one of QE webinars which is free.

Thanks for the info Ted I appreciate it.

sedge
12-15-2010, 10:29 PM
Ive been with qx for just about forever. Signed for RG in Feb. Ive only ran two rounds of fert through RG this year and then went back to QX as I was too frustrated learning the program.

Im not stupid by any means but using RG is one of the most complicated things Ive ever tried to learn. To make matters worse, as I learn about it more, it gets even more challenging. For example, in QX billing and posting to QB is a two step process with two mouse clicks. In RG, you have to perform multiple chores for each billing type - monthly invoice, regular invoice, and installment bilings. WTH???

Im actually talking with QX about upgrading my current version to Plat or Enterprise and actually gong through with my RG refund request. BTW, QX with mapping is less than $30 per mo support plan. (http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=326890&highlight=Real+green+refund)

Based on the questions Ive asked, it sounds like QX may be right on the heels of RG and chasing quickly. Did someone say they have been bought out?

I hear ya! I still struggle with the damn thing and we have had it for 4 years, my wife on the other hand used it for a day and was good to go.......;) Now figure that one out, either we are damn stupid or she is a genius.........:p

daveyo
12-15-2010, 10:52 PM
Ive been with qx for just about forever. Signed for RG in Feb. Ive only ran two rounds of fert through RG this year and then went back to QX as I was too frustrated learning the program.

Im not stupid by any means but using RG is one of the most complicated things Ive ever tried to learn. To make matters worse, as I learn about it more, it gets even more challenging. For example, in QX billing and posting to QB is a two step process with two mouse clicks. In RG, you have to perform multiple chores for each billing type - monthly invoice, regular invoice, and installment bilings. WTH???

Im actually talking with QX about upgrading my current version to Plat or Enterprise and actually gong through with my RG refund request. BTW, QX with mapping is less than $30 per mo support plan. (http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=326890&highlight=Real+green+refund)

Based on the questions Ive asked, it sounds like QX may be right on the heels of RG and chasing quickly. Did someone say they have been bought out?

Mac I just read your whole thread, did you get your money back? I can say for sure I'm not going with RG wow. I dont see why anyone couldn't market the same way through ilawns. I'm sure some procedures in the system may be different but I see the same results.

ted putnam
12-15-2010, 10:58 PM
Ive been with qx for just about forever. Signed for RG in Feb. Ive only ran two rounds of fert through RG this year and then went back to QX as I was too frustrated learning the program.

Im not stupid by any means but using RG is one of the most complicated things Ive ever tried to learn. To make matters worse, as I learn about it more, it gets even more challenging. For example, in QX billing and posting to QB is a two step process with two mouse clicks. In RG, you have to perform multiple chores for each billing type - monthly invoice, regular invoice, and installment bilings. WTH???

Im actually talking with QX about upgrading my current version to Plat or Enterprise and actually gong through with my RG refund request. BTW, QX with mapping is less than $30 per mo support plan. (http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=326890&highlight=Real+green+refund)

Based on the questions Ive asked, it sounds like QX may be right on the heels of RG and chasing quickly. Did someone say they have been bought out?

From what I saw on the RG quote sheet posted in this thread. A company rep is flown in, put up in a hotel and spends a couple days installing your program and training you. Did you not get the training?

My data was transferred online, installed online and I was given an online training session that took a couple of hours. After practicing with it for a couple of weeks I had most of the basic day to day functions down and was off and running. The worst part for me was taking my hundreds of customers and breaking them down into routes within the database. No flights, hotel rooms or "geek squad" members showing up on my doorstep. Is it really that complex???

sedge
12-15-2010, 11:14 PM
From what I saw on the RG quote sheet posted in this thread. A company rep is flown in, put up in a hotel and spends a couple days installing your program and training you. Did you not get the training?

My data was transferred online, installed online and I was given an online training session that took a couple of hours. After practicing with it for a couple of weeks I had most of the basic day to day functions down and was off and running. The worst part for me was taking my hundreds of customers and breaking them down into routes within the database. No flights, hotel rooms or "geek squad" members showing up on my doorstep. Is it really that complex???

Yap that is how they do it.

Routes with in the database? You mean you cannot just select a group on the map and put them all on a certain route? What happens when you get too many for a certain route and want to move the ones closet together for another route? Or if you want to make all new routes, can you put them all on the map and select and choose what route you want them on?

RG you just select and move, bam, just like that they are moved.

sedge
12-15-2010, 11:17 PM
Mac I just read your whole thread, did you get your money back? I can say for sure I'm not going with RG wow. I dont see why anyone couldn't market the same way through ilawns. I'm sure some procedures in the system may be different but I see the same results.

What's the deal with Ilawns?

Can you put all your people on a map and select whatever grouping you want to move them to routes or do you need to decide what route to put them on and move them manually?

MacLawnCo
12-15-2010, 11:49 PM
Ted, Im where I am financially in part because Im cheap. Damn cheap. One option RG doesnt mention often is that you can show up at their office and get the training in person. That way you arn't paying the bloated fees the tech incurs. I took that option back in May when I did my initial install. After complaining online here, Val allowed me back for two more days to retrain and cover much of what was failed to be told to me initially.

Sedge, QX allows you to build your routes that way too. GoIlawn isnt anything to do with mapping. Its just allow you to measure.

Dave, I can make qx tell me nearly anything I want very simply. In RG, you have to figure out what report and which options within the right report to tell you what you want - its not simple at all. After my 2nd two days of training just recently I vowed to give RG a 2nd chance. So, when one of my new plow drivers was having routing issues, I thought it would be a great idea to print out a route sheet with directions - shouldnt be that hard with RG and mapping assistant. But it was. I couldnt figure out which report to run to tell me what I wanted based on flag codes and services scheduled, let alone send them to the map to get the turn by turn directions. Can it be done? Im sure someone there can make it happen. But holy cow, I fought with it for over 15 mins and then gave up and did it the old way. I dont have time to dick with a cumbersome software that has to be caressed just right to get what you want from it. I have not officially asked for a refund as I am not 100% sure I want to go down that route but it sure is likely. If I could speak with Brian W (my salesman) every time I had an issue, I can promise you there would be no complaints from me. That man is a wiz - and he ought to be - he needs to convince you that their software can easily do what you want it to.

RGS, I imagine you are watching this. Here is what my thoughts are. Its no secret your system is powerful. It better be to have the huge players running it. But really, how much of that power does the typical user really need? I think a scaled down version with much simplified reports, etc would be so much better and as needs change, options can be opened.

daveyo
12-15-2010, 11:51 PM
What's the deal with Ilawns?

Can you put all your people on a map and select whatever grouping you want to move them to routes or do you need to decide what route to put them on and move them manually?

Mac is this correct? I believe my report from ilawns goes into an excell sheet which I can copy over into either QE or QB either one would work. From there I route very simply with mapping from QX. Now this is my thinking I haven't done this, if not I would have to manually input the data.

What I like is you can pull property reports that are within your routes or specific address. I pulled this from their site:

"A report may include: property owner, full address, county, assessors parcel number, mail carrier route, subdivision and land use identifiers, phone number, lot and building size, total assessed and taxable values"

This is all I would need then download into an excel spreadsheet ready to go.

sedge
12-16-2010, 12:04 AM
Mac is this correct? I believe my report from ilawns goes into an excell sheet which I can copy over into either QE or QB either one would work. From there I route very simply with mapping from QX. Now this is my thinking I haven't done this, if not I would have to manually input the data.

What I like is you can pull property reports that are within your routes or specific address. I pulled this from their site:

"A report may include: property owner, full address, county, assessors parcel number, mail carrier route, subdivision and land use identifiers, phone number, lot and building size, total assessed and taxable values"

This is all I would need then download into an excel spreadsheet ready to go.

so you have to route them on another program and then go back your other program and manually move them?

ted putnam
12-16-2010, 12:11 AM
Yap that is how they do it.

Routes with in the database? You mean you cannot just select a group on the map and put them all on a certain route? What happens when you get too many for a certain route and want to move the ones closet together for another route? Or if you want to make all new routes, can you put them all on the map and select and choose what route you want them on?

RG you just select and move, bam, just like that they are moved.

In mine you initially take the accounts you want to run together and assign them to a route and name the route. you continue on until you have the entire database broken down into routes. You are the only one that can perform this task because you are the only one that knows how you are going to run your daily routes. Once this is done, all you have to do is select the route you wish to charge and print invoices for, and within a couple clicks of the mouse you are printing invoices for route XX. As you add new customers you assign them to the route you wish them to be in. As the routes grow you can reassign customers, rename routes, add routes, reduce or expand routes for the most part with clicks of the mouse. If you wish to have the routes plotted on a map, simply select the route you wish to have plotted, go to maps and have them plotted on the map. Again... with clicks of the mouse. My wife says I am "technologically challenged", and I'll have to admit that I am but my software was and is very easy to learn and use.

I rarely use the mapping feature unless I get an estimate in BFE and don't have a paper map handy. This is because for 10 yrs I was a professional Firefighter in the city I do most of my business in. It was part of my job to know streets and block numbers at major intersections. Now, for me, it's just a matter of learning new streets as they are added. My current employees don't require a map because they both have worked for me at least the last 2 years and have been to almost every customers home at least 4 or 5 times if not more. The mapping feature will show its worth to me when I hire a "greenhorn" that has no clue where any streets are other than the one he lives on.:laugh: Hope this explains some...

MacLawnCo
12-16-2010, 12:15 AM
Dave, if it does, Im not using goIlawn to its fullest. Ive just been using it to measure/count different values on a prospect's property. That gets kicked into an excell sheet and then you store that info in the property size (or what ever else you measure) within each customer or marketing lead's file in your database - either QX or RG. If you havn't used goilawn yet, I can share with you a prop report I have on file for you to see what it is exactly. I dont think it does what you think it does.

Mapping assistant or qx mapping both us microsoft mappoint for their mapping and both put the pushpins at your clients or prospects locations and allow you to choose them as you see fit - either by selecting individually or a grouping in a given area.

sedge
12-16-2010, 12:27 AM
In mine you initially take the accounts you want to run together and assign them to a route and name the route. you continue on until you have the entire database broken down into routes. You are the only one that can perform this task because you are the only one that knows how you are going to run your daily routes. Once this is done, all you have to do is select the route you wish to charge and print invoices for, and within a couple clicks of the mouse you are printing invoices for route XX. As you add new customers you assign them to the route you wish them to be in. As the routes grow you can reassign customers, rename routes, add routes, reduce or expand routes for the most part with clicks of the mouse. If you wish to have the routes plotted on a map, simply select the route you wish to have plotted, go to maps and have them plotted on the map. Again... with clicks of the mouse. My wife says I am "technologically challenged", and I'll have to admit that I am but my software was and is very easy to learn and use.

I rarely use the mapping feature unless I get an estimate in BFE and don't have a paper map handy. This is because for 10 yrs I was a professional Firefighter in the city I do most of my business in. It was part of my job to know streets and block numbers at major intersections. Now, for me, it's just a matter of learning new streets as they are added. My current employees don't require a map because they both have worked for me at least the last 2 years and have been to almost every customers home at least 4 or 5 times if not more. The mapping feature will show its worth to me when I hire a "greenhorn" that has no clue where any streets are other than the one he lives on.:laugh: Hope this explains some...

It does, thanx!

So lets say at the beginning of the year or heck even in the middle of the year i want to tighten my routes let say. Is it possible to put all the customers on one map, then select a group of those closet together and make them a new group even if they all were on different routes last week?

In RG we used the mapping mainly to make the route the most efficant. Most of the guys could drive to everyone's lawn, just they might not take the shortest route and the shortest route from start to finish. the reason was for what i am asking above.

ted putnam
12-16-2010, 12:32 AM
[QUOTE=MacLawnCo;3825283]Ted, Im where I am financially in part because Im cheap. Damn cheap.

:laugh::laugh: Same here. And that is probably the main reason I didn't go with RG. I could see the writing on the wall. They own the dairy and are looking for cows. I felt like if I crossed that fenceline I was going to end up getting milked.:laugh::laugh:JMO

ted putnam
12-16-2010, 12:57 AM
It does, thanx!

So lets say at the beginning of the year or heck even in the middle of the year i want to tighten my routes let say. Is it possible to put all the customers on one map, then select a group of those closet together and make them a new group even if they all were on different routes last week?

In RG we used the mapping mainly to make the route the most efficant. Most of the guys could drive to everyone's lawn, just they might not take the shortest route and the shortest route from start to finish. the reason was for what i am asking above.

No, it is not possible to put all customers on one map unless you have 25 customers or less. Google Maps will only plot a maximum of 25 points on one map. Yes, you can reassign customers to different routes at any time in any order and make them a totally new route if that's what you choose to do. Google Maps will also let you plot up to 7 different points with the most efficient driving directions on a map between each. Most of my routes are tight enough now that a technician wouldn't really need directions except for getting to the first stop of the day. Most of them are in 1 to 2 subdivisions that are typically right next to each other. I have one route that is 27 stops on 2 streets. Once we get to the first stop, the truck moves less than 1/2 mile the rest of the day.

sedge
12-16-2010, 01:07 AM
No, it is not possible to put all customers on one map unless you have 25 customers or less. Google Maps will only plot a maximum of 25 points on one map. Yes, you can reassign customers to different routes at any time in any order and make them a totally new route if that's what you choose to do. Google Maps will also let you plot up to 7 different points with the most efficient driving directions on a map between each. Most of my routes are tight enough now that a technician wouldn't really need directions except for getting to the first stop of the day. Most of them are in 1 to 2 subdivisions that are typically right next to each other. I have one route that is 27 stops on 2 streets. Once we get to the first stop, the truck moves less than 1/2 mile the rest of the day.

ahh, so it doesn't have it's own mapping in terms of plotting customers. RG does for plotting and putting them on routes, but they use Microsoft maps for the actual day to day routing.

I can see why you don't really need it.

ted putnam
12-16-2010, 01:29 AM
ahh, so it doesn't have it's own mapping in terms of plotting customers. RG does for plotting and putting them on routes, but they use Microsoft maps for the actual day to day routing.

I can see why you don't really need it.


Sounds like a handy feature that RG has but how do they keep it their map current? Before the "crash" of 2008, our city was growing so fast, only the city planning commission knew what the names of new streets were at times. I can remember times that even dispatch couldn't give us directions to addresses on runs with the FD. We were constantly having to cruise our district, come back to the station and hand write new streets and hydrant locations on our wall maps.

daveyo
12-16-2010, 01:29 AM
Dave, if it does, Im not using goIlawn to its fullest. Ive just been using it to measure/count different values on a prospect's property. That gets kicked into an excell sheet and then you store that info in the property size (or what ever else you measure) within each customer or marketing lead's file in your database - either QX or RG. If you havn't used goilawn yet, I can share with you a prop report I have on file for you to see what it is exactly. I dont think it does what you think it does.

Mapping assistant or qx mapping both us microsoft mappoint for their mapping and both put the pushpins at your clients or prospects locations and allow you to choose them as you see fit - either by selecting individually or a grouping in a given area.

Oh ok, regardless its just a couple of clicks for marketing and manually putting in the data into QE. Yea that would be good if you could send that, thanks.

sedge
12-16-2010, 09:42 AM
Sounds like a handy feature that RG has but how do they keep it their map current? Before the "crash" of 2008, our city was growing so fast, only the city planning commission knew what the names of new streets were at times. I can remember times that even dispatch couldn't give us directions to addresses on runs with the FD. We were constantly having to cruise our district, come back to the station and hand write new streets and hydrant locations on our wall maps.

Not sure where they get their updated maps from, but we can manually place them even if there is no road. I think one can also do it longitude and latitude. It is really great for making your truck routes and keeping everything as tight as possible or even when you get a new customer you can place them and see what route works best.

ted putnam
12-20-2010, 02:02 PM
]I'll have to admit that my system is not set up to accept debit/credit cards right now but at this point I haven't started accepting them.[/B] I am able to enter production and payments using a bar code scanner that came with the system. A huge time saver also. Something tells me that my system could be set up to accept and run credit cards in a snap. All I have to do is ask. The name of the company is Customized Business Software and the name of the program is BillmasterII. They have done pretty much what their name says, they've customized it for me in many ways upon my request. They start with a pretty comprehensive basic program and "tweek" it for you. Like I said, I've been extremely happy. It cost me a lot less than RG would have and I have absolutely no regrets. That's what's important, right?:)

Oh yea, I guess they are able to offer free technical support and updates because they are a small company that doesn't have as many mouths to feed. Also, it's quality programming that once you get past the learning curve and have it tweeked exactly the way you want it, there's really no reason to call them. I've had it almost exactly a year and I haven't had to call them for anything in at least 5 months.

Not that anybody is interested, but.... I was wrong about this statement. While entering a couple new customers I picked up lat week, I came across a tab where credit card information including expiration dates could be entered so it does accept credit/debit payment.

Just goes to show that even after a year of use, I still am not aware of the full capabilities of the software I've been using.:)