View Full Version : lawn buisiness software

G. Ramey
04-06-2011, 07:14 PM
I started to upgrade my old Quickbooks to a newer version and almost had a heart attack from the sticker shock. If I'm going to spend that kind of money I think I will go ahead and upgrade to a dedicated lawn service program. Maybe something with some routing software included. Do any of you guys know of a good one? Preferably less than $300.

04-06-2011, 07:42 PM
No, I had quick books 2002 and loved it until last year I had a scare! my laptop stop working and I lost a week of info..luckly I salvaged the situation thanks to honest customers. now i have QB 2010 simple start and like you im avoiding the sticker. but QB DOES SUCK NOW AND IT BUGGY..LET ME KNOW IF YOU FIND SOMETHING

04-06-2011, 08:23 PM
groundskeeper pro, it's about 350.00

04-07-2011, 09:43 AM
Service autopilot, Hands down the best I have seen, plus it doesn't matter if your commuter goes down, since it's cloud based
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04-07-2011, 01:08 PM
This would be less than $300.00, it is what I use, works perfect, automatic online backup every 24 hrs. thru Quick books.

04-08-2011, 04:09 PM
groundskeeper pro, it's about 350.00

Grounds Keeper software seems great. Not sure why the will not incorporate a way to email customers their bill.

04-09-2011, 09:27 AM
Service autopilot, Hands down the best I have seen, plus it doesn't matter if your commuter goes down, since it's cloud based
Posted via Mobile Device

How much does it cost. When I go on the site they don't say. Like when somebody is selling a car on the side of the road. Why not just say the price? Saves a lot of time.

04-09-2011, 04:27 PM
On service autopilot site go to the contact link and then you will see a pricing link.
Posted via Mobile Device

04-09-2011, 08:35 PM
How about a route mapper? Anybody know of good software where I can enter all of my addresses, and it will find the fastest possible route for me to finish them?

04-10-2011, 01:04 AM
Funny how lawnpro does all of this, But it's sure takes a beating here.....

04-10-2011, 08:56 AM
Autopilot does mapping too.
Posted via Mobile Device

04-10-2011, 09:57 AM
Ya checked out lawn pro, sure would be nice if you could mark a client permanently that they wanted emailed bills only. Then when you go to print out your monthly bills it would automatically email bills for those clients and print out bills for the others.

04-11-2011, 12:49 PM
Our product (Octopus) does almost everything I've seen requested here so far, and at a fraction of the price of the other options out there. We've taken an active position with our users when it comes to development; we've spent a lot of time consulting with onsite service companies in developing Octopus, but in the end you guys are still the experts on what features you need in order to make your lives easier. To that end, we're constantly evaluating and considering user submitted feature requests for inclusion in our almost weekly system updates.

For example, Scott Barnes just posted a great idea in this forum thread about having a flag to indicate that a customer prefers e-mail invoices so that when you're sending your Invoices for a period, the ones for those customers are automatically e-mailed, while the rest are queued for printing. We already have the ability to email quotes and invoices directly from Octopus, but Scott has proposed a great idea to make that functionality even better, and I think we'll include that in our next round of Invoicing changes over the next few weeks.

If you'd like to try Octopus out we have a 30 day free, no strings attached trial. You can check out more about the product and sign up at http://www.octopusapp.com. Use the discount code 496LAWNSITE15 to get 15% off your first 3 months if you sign up.

We look forward to serving you and hearing any feedback you might have about Octopus. We're excited about making the best service business software available.

Don't hesitate to get in touch with any questions, or just ask here in the thread.

04-11-2011, 05:45 PM
How would you compare your system to Q express, use-ability and integration with Quickbooks?

04-11-2011, 07:04 PM
Hi zturncutter,

The first major difference between Octopus and QXpress is that QXpress is, for the most part, a desktop application. You have to be concerned with installing and upgrading software, and making sure that your data is backed up and safe. In contrast, Octopus is a web application — you simply access your information via a web browser; you get access to new features and updates as soon as they're live, and your data is backed up for you automatically multiple times throughout the day.

Also, QXpress Standard doesn't offer most all of the functionality that the company claims to provide. You have to upgrade to Gold or even Platinum to get access to these features. With Octopus you get all of the core functionality no matter which plan you choose, and can also choose from a constantly growing set of addons that provide additional functionality — this way you only pay for the features you actually need.

I do notice that QXpress is now offering an Online hosted service as well, including all of the features from their desktop product. Octopus also provides most of these features, however having been recently developed, rather than ported over from old desktop software, we've had the benefit of coming up with some new and innovative ways of doing things.

We spent a *lot* of time consulting with on-site service companies to get a sense of how people would like to interact with the software. Our goal was to ensure that the most important features of the system were easy to use, but still flexible and powerful as well. The feedback we've received so far would indicate that we've succeeded in our goal, but of course we want to keep getting better, and continue to work with our users to implement new functionality and make their experience better any way we can. In my opinion, we can't be beat where usability is concerned.

We do also have continuous two-way QuickBooks integration. Currently we support integration with the desktop versions and will soon have support for QuickBooks Online.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

04-11-2011, 07:17 PM
I am currently using Quickbooks Pro 2011, the desk top version, wanted to try the online version but it does not support the online customer payment feature which my customers use quite a bit. I am also considering using the new check scan and deposit feature they are offering. Would there be any integration problems that you could foresee with my particular situation.

04-11-2011, 07:22 PM
Another question, would the cloud backup have my entire company file like I am paying for with Quickbooks to do every evening on there servers?

Green Feet Lawn
04-11-2011, 08:45 PM
How about a route mapper? Anybody know of good software where I can enter all of my addresses, and it will find the fastest possible route for me to finish them?

Microsoft Streets and Trips. Plug in all addresses, pick a starting point and ending point and optimize stops. Bingo!

04-12-2011, 01:01 AM
How much does it cost. When I go on the site they don't say. Like when somebody is selling a car on the side of the road. Why not just say the price? Saves a lot of time.

it varies depending on what program level btu i think its between 30-120 per month. ITs worth every penny

Everything is cloud based. your computer goes down, you get a virus, watched too much porn, fire, flood, left your computer at home, at a relatives house and got an important business call, computer gets stolen, blown up, you get deployed to iraq, and any other situation you can think of on here....guess what....doesnt matter....no data lose. full access from any internet connection regaurdless if you own the computer or not. Its not a matter of IF it will go down, ...its when

he has it backed up on 3-4 servers, in fire proof climate controlled rooms..... i doubt you have that kind of security at your home

its the only program that i found that you can upload FILES to a customer....so if i type a word doc, or im doing a excel spread sheet for job costing.....upload it to the customers file, save it forever, view it from any computer.

YES you can buy quick books or any other program for $300 and it will work. But not like his system does, not with all the back up, security and peace of mind that i will never again loose my data.

While there are alot of reasons to try one program or another.....this is a major one that people over look.

04-12-2011, 01:04 PM
"Let me know if you have any other questions"

Ok I did..

04-12-2011, 01:18 PM
Sorry for the delay zturncutter - it's been a busy morning.

Octopus will integrate just fine with QuickBooks Pro 2011 Desktop Edition — I don't foresee any problems there.

Octopus will synchronize your Customer and Invoice information in both directions with QuickBooks. Because QuickBooks is a comprehensive accounting system that you're probably using to keep track of expenses, payments and other information external to Octopus, you'll want to continue having your QuickBooks information backed up independently. The good news is that we don't charge you to backup your Octopus data — it's just something we do automatically, and for free, because it's the right thing to do.

Sorry again for the delayed reply. I'll try to keep a closer eye on this thread.

And for seabee24: Octopus is also a cloud based service. There really isn't a reason to not be using cloud based business management software these days — the benefits far outweigh the diminishing list of drawbacks. Also, we too provide the ability to upload and attach files to customer records. Oh, and our plans range from $9 - $79/month

04-12-2011, 01:42 PM
Thank you, I am going to give it a try and register in the next day or two, need to get back to work now.

04-12-2011, 01:51 PM

That's great — don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or need any help getting set up.

Don't forget about the discount code: '496LAWNSITE15' for 15% off your first 3 months.

04-13-2011, 04:36 PM
When trying to integrate with Quickbooks I am getting an error - Authentication failed, any thoughts ?

04-13-2011, 04:50 PM
New error message, error during sync, validation failed, E-mails address must be a valid format.

04-13-2011, 06:32 PM
Thanks for the updates zturncutter.

Just to clarify, was the Authentication error a problem with your QuickBooks username or password? I'm assuming you got that figured out since you were able to initiate a synchronization before running into the e-mail problem. Let me know so I can be sure that isn't an issue.

As for the e-mail validation problem, our QuickBooks Importer has a sophisticated two-way synchronization algorithm that makes sure your customer list is up to date in both directions. What happened here is that one of the e-mail addresses in QuickBooks was in a bad format (for example "bad.email@some%where.com"); when Octopus tries to import these malformed addresses it complains. This protects you from trying to automatically send Quotes and Invoices from Octopus to bad e-mail addresses that won't go through.

Our QuickBooks Integration feature is currently in Beta (and free to use) while we iron out some of these little bugs. Our development team is working as I type this on a fix for the e-mail problem discussed above. We greatly appreciate this kind of feedback on new features like this — it's the only way to perfect them!

If anyone has any questions about any of this don't hesitate to let me know.

04-13-2011, 06:50 PM
I think it was my screw up, I did not have the Quickbooks web connector installed on this computer, new laptop. After I installed it I got the other message.

04-20-2011, 01:14 PM
I sign up for the trial with octopus and notice that as I set up a work schedule - there is no way to have the day routed for me, it only shows a dispatch map? Is there something i'm missing - i'd like to have turn by turn directions routed for me as i add jobs?

04-20-2011, 01:38 PM
Hi StopTrafficLawns,

Thanks for signing up with us. Our Dispatch module is currently set up to simply map your jobs in order to more efficiently assign them to your employees.

We are in the process of adding some enhancements to Dispatch, including schedule sheets that display relevant job information and a map that can be downloaded or automatically emailed to your employees. We are also working on routing intelligence for proposing turn-by-turn directions from jobsite to jobsite, and expect to have that included in the schedule sheets in the next couple of weeks.

Also, feel free to make use of our Support feature from within the application — everyone on the development team monitors the support system, whereas it's mostly just me that monitors a whole bunch of forums and mailing lists, and I'm bound to miss a post here and there.

Green Feet Lawn
04-20-2011, 10:49 PM
I just signed up.
I cannot import my customer list from QB. I am receiving "Error parsing file: Could not find names in file"
When I try to update my phone and address in the Company Branding section, I click update and it starts updating but does nothing but say updating.

04-20-2011, 11:08 PM
Green Feet, be careful. After many error messages and e-mails I finally got Quickbooks to sync somewhat. However thier service item list was added to mine and most of my customer list on my computer went from last name first to first name first, what a mess.

Green Feet Lawn
04-20-2011, 11:27 PM
Ugh!!! I was also using the workorders. Tried entering a new work order and it froze on new job!

04-25-2011, 01:25 PM
can anyone suggest good software that integrates use with a smartphone like an android or iphone?

04-25-2011, 03:10 PM
Service autopilot
Posted via Mobile Device

04-26-2011, 05:13 PM
Sincerest appologies to anyone who experienced issued with our system since Thursday of last week. Here's a brief explanation of what happened to us, and thousands of other internet based businesses.

Our business, along with many other startups big and small out there, have chosen to go with the largest cloud hosting service available — Amazon Web Services (AWS). We've chosen the service because it's robust, secure, scalable, and has a 99.9% uptime.

Last Thursday April 21st at around 1 am an Amazon data center in North Virginia that constitutes a large portion of "the cloud", and that services an enormous number of businesses on the internet experienced network difficulties that quickly degraded into a full scale outage. This was an unprecedented event for Amazon, and countless businesses accross the internet, including Octopus, were affected by the outage. Major news agencies have covered the event, and continue to cover the story now.

Our systems were back online and operational by Friday afternoon, but any strange or inconsistent behaviour, including stalled and reset requests between early Thursday and Friday afternoon can be attributed to Amazon's downtime.

There is an enormous amount of pressure on Amazon right now to ensure that this kind of outage doesn't happen again, and trust us, we're making as much noise as we can. That being said, these kinds of things are inevitable from time to time, and present an opportunity to improve. We trust that Amazon is utilizing it's vast resources to ensure that the same kind of issue doesn't reoccur.

From our end it appears that everything is back to normal. There has been no data loss, and we haven't observed any strange behaviour over the past several days. If you are still running into any unexpected behaviour, or have any additional questions, please contact support or myself directly via e-mail.

Thanks for your patience everyone,

04-26-2011, 09:58 PM
For those of you that are using Service Autopilot, did you have any problems the end of last week ?