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Online Scheduling Services

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by zimmatic, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    To both of you - how many service techs do you have that you use with HS? I have been leaning towards HS, so that my employees can upload the sales receipts or invoices, which is one less step I have to do at the office. Currently, they do all their jobs, then I get a stack of paperwork to enter back into QB. But sometimes I won't see them for close to a week, so then I get a big stack of work orders to convert to invoices, and sales receipts to enter. With 6-10 jobs per day in the spring/summer, and 10-20 per day during blowouts, thats a lot of paperwork to enter. And prevents me from either working in the field, or playing in the mountains.
  2. Irrigation Contractor

    Irrigation Contractor LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 389


    We run 5-8 techs which is why I just cannot see doing this business without it. 2 years ago we decided to make sure each tech had a netbook, laptop or tablet that wireless internet. The netbooks were trouble until we got each tech a small "MiFi" hot spot which is what we use for my techs that carry full size laptops to run the centrals etc. I used to worry about the Verizon bill and tried to use HS without wireless, but having each tech find a hot spot anytime we needed to make a schedule change became a total waste of time.

    The tablets are great also, each tech uses their devices to store station descriptions and as-builds along with e-mail. Using the technology that is available to all of us has not only increased production, but better customer service and significant profits.

    My office manager, service manager and myself all have HS on our office computers so we know where each tech is and how their day is progressing. We ALL know this business and how a small item can turn into a day of work and vice versa. We can make decisions on whether to dispatch more assets or call customers for potential cancellations.

    ONE OF THE BEST FUNCTIONS OF HINDSITE is the integration with Quickbooks. At the end of the day, we import ALL of the work orders to QB which includes a spell check feature. All of the parts we entered in HS are in QB with accurate pricing. HS makes it easy for the techs to enter other labors, all the parts, AND a description of the work performed. HS comes with "quick comments", but you can also enter any additional comments. Example, Replaced broken rotor head on zone # is one of them. All the tech does is click on the comment, then enter the zone #. Our invoices are very detailed and has almost eliminated the phone calls, "I want to dispute my bill, what work was done" etc.

    Anyway, I went on way to much and I apologize. I really like HS and would not know what to do without it. The owner of HS has an irrigation business, so anything you can think of and more is already in place. HS is scheduled to write an assessment for us that will allow the techs to enter the backflow test results paperless which will transfer all the numbers to the office template to complete the forms. Good Luck
  3. muddywater

    muddywater LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,813

    I dont know how qxpress is even in business. What company these days doesnt have an app? I am looking to dump my qxpress as well. They got bought out a few years ago, and some corporation is just trying to suck the profit with no innovation or research and development.
  4. hunterpreferred

    hunterpreferred LawnSite Member
    Posts: 181

    To Irrigation Contractor, To save money on your Verizon bill and devices, why not just use smart phones. All of my techs use the Android app and it works pretty well. Before the was developed I was using a Netbook and a extra charge feature to make my phone a wifi hot spot. Now everything is on the phones, one device and no extra charges except for the data plan.
  5. Flow Control

    Flow Control LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,267

    Our techs use both a newtbook and their smart phone. We find using the smart phones on such services as winterizations and backflow testing to be easiest. While more involved services that need detailed notes we prefer the netbooks.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. Flow Control

    Flow Control LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,267

    Hey guys I signed up for a online appointment service called bookeo. I had a hard time finding a solution that met my needs. We are in specific towns on specific dates. Anyone interested in viewing what it looks like send me a pm. If you work in a smaller area most likely you will have a easier time finding a service provider then I did. We service 8 different counties so we are spread out quite a bit.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. Irrigation Contractor

    Irrigation Contractor LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 389

    We just purchased 2 Samsung Tablets running to Droid App for Hindsite and they have been great so far. We had 6 Netbooks that still worked and the WiFi's came up due to the need to have better service than the internal cards in the Netbooks that were troubled. So I completely agree with you that is the way to go. The Mifi's work and we will phase them out over time. I hate to just put up equipment that is fairly new and working fine if you know what I mean? :hammerhead:

    My guys all have different roles and some are managers. I have a couple of guys that use Dell Laptops because they run Central Controls from them and it is just much easier to use a laptop than something small. They also have allot of station descriptions, estimating files etc. that they need, so they prefer to have a full size unit.

    Verizon is now getting heavy into business accounts, so over the last few months we have combined everything and I am working on the transition as contracts end. My pricing was cut 40% which was almost $5K per year in savings, so anyone running Verizon Business should contact one of their commercial account reps.

    Hindsite is building us an assessment for backflow testing to reduce the paper work. I will let you guys know how it turns out.
  8. Flow Control

    Flow Control LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,267

    I'm curious of the backflow assessment, I created ours a few years ago and would like to see yours. Ours I believe just goes over: brand, size, model, type, serial, each test result for the different devices, pressure and I need to add meter serial to it to accommodate new requirements.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. zimmatic

    zimmatic LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 411

    Do you have mappoint on the desktop and the netbooks to use with hindsite for driving directions or just employ a garmin?
  10. pmservices

    pmservices LawnSite Member
    Posts: 23

    I'd never use an online scheduling service to do winterization. I'm doing between 20 to 30 per day with one compressor by managing very tight routes. A zip code would never cut it as I only service 2 zip codes with an 8 mile radius. Even within a single zip code you could be running back and forth across town all day long if you let the HO do their own scheduling. Maybe I'm lucky, there are about 5,000 systems in this area. I likely could only do 10-15 day if I was zig zagging all day. Just keep the cell phone at your hip and your schedule in a small 3ring binder and add them in on the fly so you can plan your groupings tighter.

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