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  #11  
Old 11-29-2012, 11:29 AM
kblandscape kblandscape is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by TuffWork View Post
I know others will say service auto pilot already does this, but I have been looking for a cheaper simpler alternative to scheduling and it just isn't there. Our schedules have these headings across the top:

Address

Height

Instructions (push mow all, ride front/ push back, mow front only, if it's a call in it says TIME so they can time it and we know how much to charge, etc.)

Mowed (Y/ N)

Amount (if not billed for some reason - this will change next year)

Collected? (Cash/ Check/ Invoiced)

Frequency (W, EOW, Call in)

Contact (Customer Name)

Phone


These are the things I need from a scheduling software. That way I can stop using excel, and stop having to double check and recheck the list because every time someone calls to switch from weekly to EOW somehow it doesn't make it to the permanent schedule. Why not have one that does "week 1" and "week 2" and automatically adjust frequency, keeps lists of call-ins, etc. This doesn't have to be as complicated as it is. It was easy when I had 30 customers, but we now have close to 200 and it's a huge pita.
In my opinion, You nailed my situation on the dot. Ive been searching for three years, when I think I found a program, it sucks. Let me know what you find!! I keep going back to Excel and double check everything. I now have a GPS in all of our trucks, which helps on how long they were their and if they even went.
Customers change their minds, They want weekly, then back to every other week. I get some calling me saying, "this week my grandson is going to mow our lawn, can you come back next week" . ,.

I know I know, Service Auto Pilot.

It is just that my awesome bookkeeper is a Diehard quickbooks user!

There is my morning Vent! Back to work!
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  #12  
Old 12-01-2012, 02:59 AM
Duekster Duekster is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: DFW, TX
Posts: 7,971
Quote:
Originally Posted by kblandscape View Post
In my opinion, You nailed my situation on the dot. Ive been searching for three years, when I think I found a program, it sucks. Let me know what you find!! I keep going back to Excel and double check everything. I now have a GPS in all of our trucks, which helps on how long they were their and if they even went.
Customers change their minds, They want weekly, then back to every other week. I get some calling me saying, "this week my grandson is going to mow our lawn, can you come back next week" . ,.

I know I know, Service Auto Pilot.

It is just that my awesome bookkeeper is a Diehard quickbooks user!

There is my morning Vent! Back to work!
I love Quickbooks so I want something that works with it to reduce paper work. I need to get GPS on the trucks for the reasons you mentioned as welll as many others. It would be nice if it all worked together.
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  #13  
Old 12-01-2012, 08:23 AM
McFarland_Lawn_Care's Avatar
McFarland_Lawn_Care McFarland_Lawn_Care is online now
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sedgwick, Maine
Posts: 1,105
Folks, I know what you are saying, but I'm also a hardcore QB fan and still use Service Autopilot for scheduling. They have a program that you download and it automatically syncs all your quickbooks data with the Service Autopilot data AND vice versa. So say you receive a payment out in the field and enter it on the SA mobile, it will sync to your QB program back at the office. Then it also works the other way, if you enter a customer or a payment or anything at the office, it will sync it and add it to SA. That is the way we do it. We use SA for scheduling, keeping track of tasks and jobs that need to be done (billable and non-billable) and then use QB for financial tracking etc. My wife is not a fan of SA but that is mostly because it takes awhile to learn all about it and our internet provider isn't as fast as we would like (live too far in the country). lol Anyways, just thought I would let you guys know that you can still use QB just the same.

Good luck and I hope you find something that works great for you!

Jason
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  #14  
Old 12-01-2012, 08:29 AM
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McFarland_Lawn_Care McFarland_Lawn_Care is online now
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Location: Sedgwick, Maine
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I have thought about gps, but the mobiles are sweet - SA gives a list of properties with any notes for each one, they hit start when they get there and hit end when they leave. They can also enter any notes for us to see at the end of the day. Then they go to the next one it lists etc. Great for responsible time tracking on properties. If someone wants to skip that week for whatever reason they hit the Skip button and put in a note with the reason etc. Then at the end of the day, all jobs are automatically entered on invoices with no typing from me and then I just hit print at the end of the month. It DOES take a long time and patience to setup correctly, but I have high hopes.
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  #15  
Old 12-02-2012, 07:56 AM
Duekster Duekster is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: DFW, TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McFarland_Lawn_Care View Post
Folks, I know what you are saying, but I'm also a hardcore QB fan and still use Service Autopilot for scheduling. They have a program that you download and it automatically syncs all your quickbooks data with the Service Autopilot data AND vice versa. So say you receive a payment out in the field and enter it on the SA mobile, it will sync to your QB program back at the office. Then it also works the other way, if you enter a customer or a payment or anything at the office, it will sync it and add it to SA. That is the way we do it. We use SA for scheduling, keeping track of tasks and jobs that need to be done (billable and non-billable) and then use QB for financial tracking etc. My wife is not a fan of SA but that is mostly because it takes awhile to learn all about it and our internet provider isn't as fast as we would like (live too far in the country). lol Anyways, just thought I would let you guys know that you can still use QB just the same.

Good luck and I hope you find something that works great for you!

Jason
SAP does look nice but since they also run a lawn care business in my area so I am not about to sync up my books.

There are other programs that do what SAP does. They may not do them the exact same way and what is better is a matter of debate.
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  #16  
Old 12-02-2012, 08:10 AM
Duekster Duekster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McFarland_Lawn_Care View Post
I have thought about gps, but the mobiles are sweet - SA gives a list of properties with any notes for each one, they hit start when they get there and hit end when they leave. They can also enter any notes for us to see at the end of the day. Then they go to the next one it lists etc. Great for responsible time tracking on properties. If someone wants to skip that week for whatever reason they hit the Skip button and put in a note with the reason etc. Then at the end of the day, all jobs are automatically entered on invoices with no typing from me and then I just hit print at the end of the month. It DOES take a long time and patience to setup correctly, but I have high hopes.
Advantages of Truck Mounted GPS are many....

Asset Tracking in addition to time tracking.
Reconcile fleet gas card time date stamps with vehicle location.
On Board Computer monitoring - service, speed, driving habits and more.
Remote door unlock.
Engine disable after hours.
Fuel use MPG
Travel logs for IRS
Geo fence (In out Logs)
Powered by the truck.

Connect a Garmin Device for
Traffic and route optimization
Two way paging messages.

Same or lower cost data plan than a phone.

Someone could technically be at a bar and clock in with a phone. Or they can clock in while at a fast food joint then arrive 5 mins later at the job.

I know you can do some geofences with phones too.

For the same amount of money give me the truck mounted device and the basic 9.99 add a line basic phone.

For Techs that do irrigation work and such yes, smart phones make sense. For mowing crews, no the GPS in the truck makes sense.
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  #17  
Old 12-02-2012, 06:39 PM
NC Greenscaper NC Greenscaper is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Coastal North Carolina
Posts: 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by McFarland_Lawn_Care View Post
Folks, I know what you are saying, but I'm also a hardcore QB fan and still use Service Autopilot for scheduling. They have a program that you download and it automatically syncs all your quickbooks data with the Service Autopilot data AND vice versa. So say you receive a payment out in the field and enter it on the SA mobile, it will sync to your QB program back at the office. Then it also works the other way, if you enter a customer or a payment or anything at the office, it will sync it and add it to SA. That is the way we do it. We use SA for scheduling, keeping track of tasks and jobs that need to be done (billable and non-billable) and then use QB for financial tracking etc. My wife is not a fan of SA but that is mostly because it takes awhile to learn all about it and our internet provider isn't as fast as we would like (live too far in the country). lol Anyways, just thought I would let you guys know that you can still use QB just the same.

Good luck and I hope you find something that works great for you!

Jason
Jason,
Do you use QB payroll? If so, does the SA program link employee times to QB timesheets so the crews are paid.

We have to manually input each crewmember's timesheets each day which is used for payroll and invoicing the customer's with their invoice.

Thanks, Gary
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  #18  
Old 12-03-2012, 09:44 AM
McFarland_Lawn_Care's Avatar
McFarland_Lawn_Care McFarland_Lawn_Care is online now
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sedgwick, Maine
Posts: 1,105
Gary,
No, we use an outside payroll company. Each Sunday, I simply look at their times and enter their hours on the payroll website - boom done. So unfortunately I can't help you with that, not sure how their times sync in. I can see it would be tough if their times were related to how much was invoiced.

Duekster,
Ya, I can see some of your points - each business setup a little differently and it's tough since you are in the same area as SA is working! Most of those features we don't need in such a rural area like here and even after that, the crew still needs a phone to make/receive calls in the field. "Someone could technically be at a bar and clock in with a phone. Or they can clock in while at a fast food joint then arrive 5 mins later at the job." If that was a concern, I would have a lot bigger problems on my hands to deal with. lol

Jason
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  #19  
Old 12-18-2012, 08:20 AM
JesseN JesseN is offline
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Baton Rouge
Posts: 21
Anyone try or hear of the service SKEDS? Hvac buddy said he has used it for 6 months and loves it. I have yet to migrate over to a single software. Currently piecing everything together and using a lot of excel and Quickbooks online
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