Originally Posted by The Lawn Crew
The Real Green program is changing. They are calling it Service Pro. Not sure if they still sell Lawn & Pest Assistant 3. You may want to ask for how long they will support Lawn & Pest Assistant 3. You will need to secure a code from Real Green at the end of each year so that you may "reset" the programs for the following year. If they will not support the program, you will need to upgrade the program which can be expensive because of not only the upgrade but also the data conversion.
The program is not intuitive in any way. It is difficult and frustrating to learn. It comes with 6 months support. After that you can pay for monthly support, pay per support call, or choose not to have support. So, you are not forced to pay for support forever.
Their invoices look nice but are not a necessity. The invoices can be printed on plain 8-1/2 x 14 paper.
You will need to not only enter all of your customer information, but also the "programs" you want them to have. You will need to create a description for each service, i.e. Spring Lawn Application, and provide a written description of what that entails. Once you describe all of your individual applications, you combine them in any way you want to make a "program". This "program" is added to any customers having that "program". You can create many different "programs". It is time consuming. If you are planning to utilize it for 2010, the sooner the purchase the better.
I would suggest if you plan to purchase that you begin creating a description of each application or job you perform in Word and saving it to get a jump on the software setup. Bring this to your training and get it going ASAP.
I'd forego the mapping software. I suggest buying Mapoint. Type in all of your customer's addresses and have it route the whole list. Then pick the list apart into sections of amount of customers you can service in a day. This will enable you to route your work efficiently with low cost.
I strongly recommend you buy a portable navigation unit. The Magellan Maestro works excellently. It will enable you to takle the route from Mapoint and get to each house quite efficiently. The navigation is nice because you have many choices of getting to where you need to go. It takes the hassle of navigation completely out of the equation.
Real Green is versatile, you can do a lot with it. You may not use all of it's capabilities. You use what you need. They always offer seminars to help you learn more about the software.
Everyone here works hard and wants a good value. I think Real Green delivers. Yes, sometimes it is frustrating learning the program. You must have patience because you will eventually get the hang of it and make it productive.
I hope this has helped...
After reading your post, I am less interested in RG than ever... Qxpress offers many of these features, but I never got around to learning how to do much of it. I thought RG was more "plug & play"
When I demoed RG last Winter, I was surprised to learn that you need Quickbooks or similar to do the accounting side of things. I had figured for the price, it included those features
You can lease Qxpress Platinum for $68/ month w/ support minutes included, or buy for ~$1,200. Adding mobile feature requires a pda phone & $195/year. Adding routing cost's one time fee of like $50o including Mappoint license.
I guess whatever you buy, it's not worth paying for features that you will never use.......