How To Send Account History With Crew

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by gkell88, Oct 20, 2002.

  1. gkell88

    gkell88 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 55

    We have always sent Lawn History Cards with all applicators so they can see the history of the property. Notes, special problems etc.

    As you can imagine, keeping track of these 8'1/2 X 11 cards gets to be a pain. We are always looking for someone's card.

    Do you think there's a better way to do this?

    Appreciate your opinions,

  2. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    How many accounts are we talking about here? Maybe a 3 ring binder with those plastic document protectors would work. Arrange them alphabetically. You can keep one with each crew and update them as neccessary.

    Once the trucks start coming with computers in the cabs (which I think will be sooner than we think) This would not be a problem......we can dream I guess.
  3. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,969

    Maybe this way is old hat, or will be very soon. But I like having all my data from 1989 right at fingertips. Using proper programming, you can get all the info you want anytime you want it:

    - the history of any one property, either since I started it or last month or last year, or any time frame.

    - the history of a certain problem throughout client base: Who has ever had a dollar spot treatment? Who has had curative grub apps in the last 3 years? Or preventative apps last year?

  4. The Mowerdude

    The Mowerdude LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 372

    Gotta go with Grounds keepers on this one. I don't know how you'd really do it without going to a computer. All the things he describes above can be done with CLIP.

    I've been a CLIP user since 1995. Account history for all of my customers goes all the way back to 1995 or whenever that customer started with me.

    I can print them out, call them up on the screen, anything I want. It shows every job we've ever done and every check # the customer has ever written us. And on and on.

    CLIP is a little pricey, but worth every last penny. There was an advertisement awhile back in Pro magazine for CLIP. In it, another LCO made the statement that CLIP gave him his life back. I could not say it any better. It has really given me my life back.
  5. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 870

    Our software prints the history, date, applicator and property condition codes on the top of each invoice when the applicators are dispatched.
  6. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    That's cool! I need a laptop in my truck. Everything at your fingertips! That's really cool, and professional too.

  7. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 870

    A computer in your truck is great - if you're a solo operator.

    What gkell88 really needs is something like
  8. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,969

    Tell UPS a computer in the truck is not functional. Ten years ago, the portable computers (electronic clipboards) the UPS drivers used were able to be dropped down a flight of stairs, then just picked up to continue working with it. If driver had a new pickup, order came by modem (cell phone connection), and was stored in console until he got back to truck; he placed clipboard into console and new order was transferred to it.

    Today local telco repairmen and police cars have a notebook computer that connects them to a vast network of data and other resources. This reduces error by the person in the field being able to go directly to the source he needs, rather than a verbal or written relay that can be corrupted with mistakes each step of the way, and take a long time.

    13 years ago when I wanted to computerize business, there was no software out there to do near what I wanted, so I set up my own. 5-6 years ago, I inquired of most of the green industry software vendors if they could remotely dispatch - send daily route to a foreman's notebook via modem. No one could, so I set it up myself. Maybe some can do it today, but I haven't tried to keep up with all the different ones.

    Today I am solo by choice, but if I had 2, 10 or 50 crews, there would be a notebook computer in each truck. This would seem to many as micromanagement, but information and history are necessary in every business. And the smoother and more timely the communication of this data, the better everyone in the business can operate.
  9. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 870

    hmmm, was that a reply to MY post?

    If so, you didn't see the mobile computer on the website I was referring to.

    Also, I think you answered your own question in regard to software readily available for remote dispatch.
    (Perhaps when LCO's have a computer budget the size of UPS, we'll all do it that way.)

    IN THE MEANTIME, my original 2 posts are still the most helpful to the original poster.
  10. gkell88

    gkell88 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 55

    I assume you synch your laptop data into the main computer regularly. Do you use a particular software to enable proper synchronization? Is there a particular brand of lap top you prefer?

    I appreciate all the good responses.


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