mapping from microsoft

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by yergus, Oct 19, 2002.

  1. yergus

    yergus LawnSite Member
    Posts: 146

    i am looking into the mapping program from microsoft but before i spend $600.+ i want to hear from those who own it. is it worth it?
    was the money worth the program? what is your recomendations.
    thank you in advance
  2. KirbyKLC

    KirbyKLC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

  3. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 870

    Microsoft Streets & Trips ($39) seems to do all that Microsoft MapPoint ($500) does, I really don't know where the price difference comes in.

    Our Mapping software is fully integrated with our customer softeware and it is invaluable.
  4. Strongmd

    Strongmd LawnSite Member
    Posts: 167

    the main difference between mappoint and regular mapping software is that mappoint will accept data from excel or link with clip to automatically route for you. I've even made a list of about 100 plowing accounts and it routed them for me. I think I paid $260, one year ago now, do you guys have your $$ right?
  5. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,712

    Are you using MapPoint integrated with another program or by itself. I've been trying to find someone using it with Lawn Monkey or QXpress to no avail.

    I'm only guessing that it works pretty much the same with all programs. Tell me more.
  6. Strongmd

    Strongmd LawnSite Member
    Posts: 167

    It works equally well with excel or clip. Actually, it's much more convenient with clip because the data is already there. You can do route sheets using mappoint. Additionally, on every customer's main screen in clip, there are two buttons, one to just get a map of the location, another to get directions to the location. I have mappoint installed on my harddrive rather than using it from the disc. This is awesome because it automatically imbeds itself in all other microsoft programs. There is a mappoint button in word, excel, outlook, etc. I refer to mappoint every day.
  7. Mykster

    Mykster LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 668

    Try They have different versions for software. You'll have to check to see if they one for your area.
  8. eslawns

    eslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 712

    I must be backward. I use a map book. I can't say I've ever had a "need" for mapping software. BTW, CLIP has a field where you can enter the map location for crew purposes.
  9. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,712

    Books are fine for many people and many tasks. However try this scenario.

    My wife is in the office scheduling appts for customers who she has no clue about where they are in relation to one another.


    I send 2 trucks out every morning now for sprinkler winterizations. Each truck has 10-14 stops per day. Although from memory I can route them in the order I want my guys don't remember where all these stops are. A lot of my money is spent sitting in the truck reading a map.

    I don't have hard numbers but I know that this past spring I bought a bunch of application accounts that were in towns I already service. They were not necessarily on streets I already serviced even though they turned out to be in communities I serviced. I spent enough time looking at the map, planning my route that it cost me several applicactions per day.

    With the cost of labor what it is and repeating the map reading many times per day times 2 men for 6-8 weeks the $ add up. Take away scheduling less than optimum created by my wife and the few hundred looks attractive.

    Then remember we have been servicing sprinkler systems all year long on a rather random demand type basis and the dollars get bigger.
  10. eslawns

    eslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 712

    Please explain to me how looking at a computer generated map is any different than looking at a book.

    I can put jobs in CLIP in the already routed order, and open a book to the page where they are, and as I leave one job, glance at the book for the location of the next job. I had a contract with our city where I needed to do this with sometimes 30 or more small lots a day. There was never a problem because I used a book.

    Also, there is a book in our office. My wife schedules jobs also, and she can read a map. She enters the map location into the proper field in CLIP and doesn't need to worry about it again.

    As far as crew people go, do you think that they would spend less time reading a computer map than a book?

    Don't think I'm trying to criticize you or your operation, because I'm not. Some guy at the Expo in KY a few years ago was hawking something like this software. It was web based, and slow. I could find 3 addresses before he could get 1, and the page had to load each time. I was on the same page after the first one, just needed to find the grid where the specific street was.

    I'm pretty open minded and want equipment and technology to make my work as efficient as possible, but I could not see this helping me at all.

    BTW, my wife is reading this over my shoulder and says you are probably right. She reminds me that not everybody is a former Platoon Sergeant, with an ability to navigate in the dark with no terrain features. Which begs the question, why not go to a GPS based system? It probably wouldn't cost much more than the type you're interested in now.

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