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Field Service / Routing Software ?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by JimLewis, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. ldcxyz

    ldcxyz LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    I guess i should of explained all of the details, which would include office hours in both scheduling and filling out paperwork.
  2. txirrigation

    txirrigation LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 977

    I used Hindsite for a while, honestly google calendar is the best. You can set up other users, and the master can set appts. for the other users. It keeps it from cluttering the calendars, and guys only see what they have to do.

    Pinched for time, I will go into more detail later.
  3. Sprinkus

    Sprinkus LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,107

    Oops, wrong hindsite.

  4. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,839

    Yah, that's what we have been using for a few years. It's great for scheduling appointments. But that's only 1/20th of what HindSite does.

    I like what Hindsite does. I just don't like their pricing structure. Namely the per-month fee.

    So for now, we continue to use Google Calender and just paper invoices. Works fairly smoothly for us. At the end of each service call, my techs take about 2 or 3 minutes to write up an invoice, then they go collect a check or credit card, then they are on to their next job. Then at the end of the day or after a couple of days, they drop these invoices w/checks back at the office. It takes the office maybe 2 minutes to type the invoices into Quickbooks using drop down menus and enter the check info. and put the checks in the drawer for deposit later.

    Then the invoice goes in a drawer for future reference. 99.5% of the time, we'll never refer back to the [more detailed] paper invoice again. But it's there if we ever need it.

    The whole way we do it works pretty smoothly. But there's some add'l data and info. that HindSite provides that would be pretty cool to have. That's the biggest reason I was interested in it.
  5. txirrigation

    txirrigation LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 977

    Tried and True. That is what we do. I have a spread sheet with the common parts, valves, etc; and they make a tally in each box to keep count of parts.

    I charge a flat fee for 1/2, 3/4, 1', etc. It is easier to keep track of than tracking each T, 90, coupler etc.

    There is an additional space for misc parts to be written in. I get a credit card # up front before I will send someone to a repair. If customer is not there and we cant service the system I charge $$ for a missed appt. If the customer has a problem with giving a # up front I refer them to someone else.

    Did I mention I hate repairs, but it seems the way I treat repairs lets the customer know I mean business and get stuff done.

    They also have to sign a waiver explaining that just because we serviced one part of the system does not mean I will take ownership of the whole system.
  6. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,839

    That's pretty much exactly how we do it, except that we don't take a CC up front. The difference, I think, is that I really do like irrigation service work. It's one of the most profitable parts of our business. We get $110 to show up (covers first hour) and then $70 an hour plus materials (with a really nice markup on them). And I'm trying to keep 2 guys busy just doing irrigation service/repair FT 40 hrs. a week. So if I demanded the customer give us a CC before, I don't think we'd get as many appointments. We wouldn't be able to have as many techs and take on as much work. We can't afford to lose them.

    But we do insist on payment on completion. We really prefer the client to be home when we do the work, and most of the time they will accommodate us. But if they can't be there, we make sure to get a phone number where we can reach them so that when we are done we can get a payment (CC over the phone) as soon as the service is completed. We will also usually call and get an okay if it's going to be more than an hour worth of work to fix the problem.

    I think you're a little over-worried with the waver thing. We've had a FT 40-55 hour a week service tech. for many years doing several calls each day. I've almost never had a situation where we did some repair work and then the customer wanted to blame us for something else. I mean, there have been a couple of times (maybe 5, over several years) when, after we left, something else quit working. And customers wanted to try to blame us for that. We just politely explain that it was pure coincidence and that we weren't even working with that part of their system. It almost always works out okay, after a little tension. On very rare occasion, we've had to go back and fix something we didn't break just to save our reputation and avoid getting a bad report on Angie's List or the BBB. But that's happened like 2 times maybe, over several years. No big deal. I'd rather have that small % than make everyone sign a waiver.

    The overwhelming majority of our service calls go really smoothly.
  7. Dirt Plumber

    Dirt Plumber LawnSite Member
    Posts: 13

    We have used Hindsite for a couple of seasons, it has some great attributes. Although it would be better if you could run some accurate reports, ( heads repaired, hrs billed for each guy, total visits, etc. We are trying to run reports but some are bizarre, or worthless.
  8. jlouki01

    jlouki01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 453

    Qxpress. You can rent it for less then 50.00 a month.

    Been using it going on 5 years now.
  9. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    Same here. But it does no where near what Hindsite does. Forget the rental program. I bought it, not leasing it. Never needed to use their "support". It's ok, but it won't do what I would like it to do, to ease up all the paperwork.
  10. Without A Drought

    Without A Drought LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,019

    we just started using a program called asset. the thing is massive and very cumbersome. it has an iphone app that allows the phone to be used in the field.
    i hate it so far, but i figure i'm just using it wrong. i see the potential. when i eventually get it figured, it'll handle every step from proposal to billing, with inventory broken down per truck and what's in general stock (not that i keep much).
    I gotta set aside a few days this week and dive into it and get it set up so it'll work right for me in the field.

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