Found Great Scheduling Program

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Ric, Dec 13, 2006.

  1. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,957

    Yo

    Since I have Microsoft Office on my computer, I am not sure if XP Outlook has this feature.

    I just found out Microsoft Outlook has a great Calendar that can schedule reoccurring events. You can view or print your schedule as a Daily, Weekly or monthly. These reoccurring events can be scheduled any way you wish. BTW the program is so easy to understand even a dumbie like myself needed no instruction. For those of us in the Fert & Squirt business that do service at different intervals a good schedule is most important.
     
  2. scweedman

    scweedman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 500

    The groundskeeper program i just bought has a scheduling area. i'm going to check out the outlook.
     
  3. sclawndr

    sclawndr LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 326

    You should consider a real lawn maintenance program like Qxpress, CLIP or similar. Microsoft products have security issues and in the case of the weed and feed business, don't have the ability to address all the recordkeeping issues that are more important than scheduling. You'll recover the cost of one these programs very quickly when you see all the features and marketing tools you get.
     
  4. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,957

    yo

    I just found out only MS office 2000 or newer has this feature.

    I also Helped a local guy set up a Mowing schedule to do both weekly and 10 day mowing accounts using the Outlook calendar. So it has many applications. BTW he works a small area and doesn't have large travel issues.

    scweedman

    I have Groundskeeper Pro and was pulling my hair out trying to make the scheduling feature work for me. I Wanted a weekly and Monthly view of my schedule and Outlook gives me that as well as a Printed hard copy. Groundskeeper doesn't offer the weekly view or weekly print out. Try and do a 48 day schedule on Groundskeeper and you end up with accounts scheduled on Sat or Sunday at some time. With Out I can enter 6 weeks and the accounts comes up on the same day of the week forever. I use Groundskeeper for invoicing Etc for two years. But Now that I have Outlook will be looking at going back to quick books the 1st of the year. QB is a more professional accounting program and I guess not as easy to use unless you have an understanding of bookkeeping.

    sclawndr

    I never use Clip, But at $ 1,400.00 Plus Quick books it is a little out of the price range of what I want to spend. Although Clip may have a Per K & Per acre chemical cost feature (I Don't Know) I also use Excel to keep my Chemical costs current. Once set up I only punch in the current price of a product as it changes and excel extends to the Per K and Per acre cost of that Chemical. I also tie in my cocktail mix so I have my total cost of treatment per K & per Acre. Since my Cocktail mix changes from season to season I also have each mix cost factored as well as a year cost Per K & per Acre. This does take time to set up, but once you do it, Chemical prices are changing so often it is worth while.
     
  5. sclawndr

    sclawndr LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 326

    I guess it depends how many customers you have. If you've only got 50, anything will do. But serious weed & feed companies have 500-5000 and for that you can't use Excel and Outlook. Most states require a running 3 year record of every application made to a customers yard - including what was used, how much was used, EPA registration numbers, weather conditions, applicator ids, etc. Industry specific programs like CLIP and QXpress make those tasks very easy.

    And last, if you're in business and not using QuickBooks or similar, you're not really in business. You need to be able to accurately track income and expenses, accounts receivable and look as professional as you can while you're doing it.
     
  6. Shades of Green LService

    Shades of Green LService LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,011

    Groundskeeper Pro Has Every thing you need, Scheduling, Routing, Contracts, Pesticide record Keeping,Expences, etc.... They Have a Free Demo on their Web Site.:drinkup: :drinkup:
     
  7. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,957


    sclawndr

    It is not the Size but how wiggle the worm that counts. Not what you make but what you keep that is important. I have been there and done the 20 employee thing so I speak from experience. I will agree Quick Books is a professional accounting program and captures a lot more information and presents it in a way that allows you to manage that information. I still use QB for all expenses and import sales totals from Groundskeeper. I like the Groundskeeper invoice system but dislike the management of A/R and aging of accounts. I was only using Groundskeeper because of the Scheduling feature which I did out grow.

    However Most posting or reading here are one to 4 man operations that don't need the expense or information that Clip provides. In my own case I am now Part time because I am 66 years old and semi retired. 1st of the year I will go back to QB for invoicing as well a expenses. However only because I have found Outlook for scheduling. It fills the need of 99% of the Small businesses reading this post.

    BTW How much commission are you making from Clip to push their product???
     
  8. SidelinePropMgr

    SidelinePropMgr LawnSite Member
    Posts: 106

    GOPHER! Try it for freee on me
     
  9. hoyboy

    hoyboy LawnSite Senior Member
    from Chicago
    Posts: 346

    Software is like anything else in life. You get what you pay for. To those of you advocating Outlook...yes, you can make it work. You can also make a 21 inch mower work, or trim the sidewalks with a pair of sheers, or sweep the entire property with a corn broom. But it's no way to grow a business.

    I use Clip because I feel it's the best. Others will argue for Lawn Monkey, Slice, or a host of other upper end products. They all have their quirks. It's like arguing between a Lexus or a BMW. They all have their strong and week points. I'm not real knowledgeable about Gopher, but my impression is it's more a lower to mid-range product, which is fine for many company's. But come on...trying to make a case for Outlook is like riding a skateboard compared to the others. Yes, it will get you from point A to point B, and may be fine for the part-timer. But for those of you looking to establish a growing and thriving business, you will need a strong software to grow around.

    Think of it this way. You may only have a few customers now and switching software really isn't a big problem. However, if you are growing and see yourself having several hundred customers in the future, then I suggest switching now while it is still easy. It will be a real pain in the rear to switch when you have a lot of customers.

    Just my opinion of course.
     
  10. sclawndr

    sclawndr LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 326


    Actually, I looked at CLIP but chose something else. This is a typical repsonse - someone suggests the right way to do something and gets blasted for it. Whether you have 1 employee or 20, accounting is accounting and proper record keeping is proper record keeping. In many respects it takes as much effort to manage 100 customers as it does 1000. While I would be the first to agree that it's what you keep that counts, it's also true that there is no substitute for doing things the right way. As I said in the original post, if you've only got a small customer base and don't want to grow, anything will do. If you have any thought of growing though, you need to always be looking for things to make that growth possible and easier to manage.
     

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