How to make it easier?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by matt spinniken, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. kblandscape

    kblandscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    In my opinion, You nailed my situation on the dot:drinkup:. 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" . :hammerhead:,.

    I know I know, Service Auto Pilot.

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

    There is my morning Vent! :weightlifter: Back to work!
  2. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    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.
  3. McFarland_Lawn_Care

    McFarland_Lawn_Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,402

    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!

  4. McFarland_Lawn_Care

    McFarland_Lawn_Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,402

    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.
  5. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    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.
  6. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    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.
  7. NC Greenscaper

    NC Greenscaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 446

    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
  8. McFarland_Lawn_Care

    McFarland_Lawn_Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,402

    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.

    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

  9. JesseN

    JesseN LawnSite Member
    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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