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  #51  
Old 12-18-2009, 10:23 AM
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phasthound phasthound is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ted putnam View Post
Not sure exactly why, but my wife would like a Mac. The computer I presently use is about a n 8 yr old Dell. We didn't want to take a chance on getting this new software and adding one more thing to something that could go any day so...yesterday I bought a new Toshiba laptop at Best Buy 18 months, zero interest. I will have the new software downloaded onto it today. We figured the laptop will be more convenient. I'll be able to take it out to my desk in my shop or use it in my home. I was shocked at just how inexpensive computers have become. I bought the Dell before you could even buy them retail and it was very close to $3000 at the time. It looked like you could get a very nice PC for $11-1200 now.
You're going to enjoy the difference in performance over an 8 year old machine! I was thinking about getting wireless plan for my laptop, but was leery about losing or damaging it when taking it in the field or on the road. So instead, I just got a net book for only $40.00!
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  #52  
Old 12-26-2009, 10:11 PM
The Lawn Crew The Lawn Crew is offline
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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...
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  #53  
Old 12-27-2009, 11:24 AM
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Heidi J. Heidi J. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayholio View Post
if you get away for 8 grand, you did pretty good really.. I think a lot of people have to upgrade (replace) their pcs when they get set up.. that's why I included that in the price...

on the forms what I'm saying is RG doesn't use standard quickbook forms or allow you to move totals, ads and such around to suit whatever form you have.. IF you want to upsale on your invoice, or IF you want to use the layout that looks professional, you're either going to have to get custom printing, or buy it from realgreen.. You WILL NOT be walking into office max and buying any forms that work with the software.. It was worth mentioning, for those who don't like to be 'held hostage' by one company..

Again, it's not a problem right now, as realgreen is plenty affordable on thier forms, and I'm happy to be using them.. but if they decided to double their prices tomorrow, I would HAVE to pay the extra.. or my billing, and invoicing image would go down the toilet, because my only other option would be printing on plain white paper..
I had a demo, and was not impressed with RG compared to my current software. When the salesman was packing up, after I told him I was not interested, he was kinda of a jerk. I didn't tell him I would never purchase it. Just at that particular time, there was nothing, besides support that my current software didn't offer. After his attitude, I will never buy RG.

I have enough on my plate, I do not need to be monopolized by a software firm. RG just goes around the country purchasing other lawncare software from companies, and raising their prices, so you have no choice but to use their software. Ray is right, when they raise their prices, you will have no choice but to pay them..

After paying that much for software and support, I would be pizzed if I could not get an immediate answer to my question.. But I suppose they already have your money, so what can you do about it

Just my 2 cents..
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  #54  
Old 12-27-2009, 11:52 AM
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LIBERTYLANDSCAPING LIBERTYLANDSCAPING is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Indiana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Lawn Crew View Post
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.......
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  #55  
Old 12-27-2009, 12:19 PM
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humble1 humble1 is offline
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Location: MA
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does anyone use clip?
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1-Z-plugger
1-lawnsolutions aerator wb
1-Bluebird 48 tow behind
1-Z-Spray Int
1-T-3000
1-Permagreen Mag
4-backpackmistblowers
1-Four Wheeler with 50ft air blast mist sprayer
1-F-250 4x4 supercab p/u
1-E-250 van w-enclosed trailer
1-E-150 van
2-landscape trailers
a ton of backpack sprayers
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  #56  
Old 12-27-2009, 11:27 PM
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Rayholio Rayholio is offline
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I think that 'the lawn crew' sees things a bit differently than me..

I have the new software.. "Lawn & Pest Assistant".. It is EXACTLY the same software as LA3, right down to the bugs.. To get a little technical.. they used some kind of wrapper to move it over to dot net from .. uh.. Can't remember the name of the language.. but a REALLY old and limited database oriented programming suite.. So.. the new software is not 'new'.. They did not rewrite anything.. If you move from LA3 to LPA, you can expect a slightly different font.. that is all.. Which is a shame, because it could really use some re-writing for user friendlyness and a few of the minor bugs that existed ONLY because of the limitations of the OLD programming language.

On support.. If you choose to get your support 'pay as needed' rather than monthly fee, you will NEVER.. EVER get any updates or bug fixes for the software without paying hundreds for each one.. Say you've missed 3 updates, and you suddenly need an update.. you pay for 3 updates.. not just the one you need. They have designed it so it is literally cheaper to pay the $100 per month support, than it is to not have that support. BTW if you did not have a support subscription when the new version came out, then you got to buy it again at full cost.. if you had a subscription.. then it was a $600 install fee.. still pricy... but nothing like the thousonds...

On Mapping, for me it is a must have.. RealGreen basicly wrote a plug in that manages information from map point, and charged me thousonds for it.. total price gougeing... BUT as I say, I wouldn't have the software without it.. I am a marketing go-getter... and the mapping module allows me to send out extremely professional mailings with references included automatically.. "Check out these other happy customers on your street:" I'm tellin' ya.. It makes a difference. Of course routing, and planning are in on it too.. You will have limited palm usability without it as well. bottom line, mapping is one of the things that sets RG apart from the competition, and it would pay for itself at 3 times the price.

RG makes good software.. but they're lacking in empathy. The company was founded with profit being the #1 goal.. Not making the best product, or helping service companies.. but profit.. plain an simple.. If you can handle a little price gougeing, then your gonna reap the benefits of having the best software available.. at least for now..
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  #57  
Old 12-28-2009, 06:52 PM
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Josh.S Josh.S is offline
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FYI the new Real Green software is "Service Assistant".

The main and pretty much only difference between Service Assistant and Lawn & Pest 3 is that Service Assistant uses a SQL database, LA3 uses a FoxPro database. To the end user, there really is no functionality difference between the two database structures the way that they are currently being used. SQL is a little faster, and will be more capable than FoxPro in the future versions of SA.

If a user is on support, and wants to upgrade, they have to pay to have their database converted because it is time consuming (takes a full day). That cost a few hundred.
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  #58  
Old 12-28-2009, 08:24 PM
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Heidi J. Heidi J. is offline
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Location: Bay City, Michigan
Posts: 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayholio View Post
RG makes good software.. but they're lacking in empathy. The company was founded with profit being the #1 goal.. Not making the best product, or helping service companies.. but profit.. plain an simple.. If you can handle a little price gougeing, then your gonna reap the benefits of having the best software available.. at least for now..
SNIPPED FOR SPACE:

You hit the nail on the head.. money.. money..money

I wish the people who made my software were still around. But they were bought out by RG. It's too bad too, because they only charged me $600.00 a year for support. They also solved any problems I ever had. They were also really cool about a local computer firm I barter services with, doing my installs. But.. RG bought them out and many others so you would have to pay more. Sad..
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  #59  
Old 12-29-2009, 02:17 PM
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ted putnam ted putnam is online now
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I've been working with Billmaster for about a week now. I'm still learning of course, but I'm very happy so far. John has been very helpful in customizing(really just tweeking things) to my specific needs. They offer free support and updates and offer easy terms on payment.
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  #60  
Old 12-30-2009, 10:20 AM
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a plus bob a plus bob is offline
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Called real green for help at 10:18 am lets see how long for call back .This is a very busy time for them.
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