PDA estimating software market research

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by tx_angler, Nov 4, 2004.


Would you purchase PDA estimating software if it existed?

Poll closed Dec 4, 2004.
  1. Yes

    38 vote(s)
  2. No

    4 vote(s)
  1. tx_angler

    tx_angler LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 278

    Please read this entire thread before responding to the poll

    In a previous life I spent 20+ years as a computer programmer and consultant working for many Fortune 500 companies. Since most programming has been outsourced to offshore companies I started a lawn business. One of the first things I noticed was a need to create accurate estimates that were repeatable so I developed PDA software for my own use. My current PDA version is fairly unstable and lacks the "bells & whistles" of a commercial product but works for my purposes. Now I can train an employee how I want an estimate done and they can do the estimate. If I go to check the accuracy of their estimate, the totals are almost identical.

    I've seen many threads here about the lack of PDA software and am considering a prodution version of my PDA software if the market/need exists. The product will be used for estimating only and will not compete with the add-on product that Team Gopher is developing for their accounting system.

    If there is a market/need for this product I'll probably recruit 5 or 6 folks from Lawnsite.com to assist with design and testing of the product prior to roll-out. With that said, if you are interested in helping to define requirements and testing let me know.

    In order to be a tester you will need to own (or purchase) a PDA, have access to the Internet to download software AND, most importantly, have a method of estimating other than "I just look at it and know what price to charge". Before you jump at the idea of being a tester you must understand there ain't no free lunch. The testers that are chosen will be required to invest a substantial amount of time to help with design and testing, but the upside is your estimating method will probably be incorporated into the final product. At this time, the product is still in the concept stage; therefore no pricing or release date is available. Additionally, the final product will only run on a device with a Palm OS, sorry no Windows CE version will be available.

    This picture is a screen print of my Lawn Estimate Screen. I'm certain that if I develop a commercial version this screen will change dramatically.


    Before everyone starts knocking my estimating methods, the customer NEVER gets to see this screen and we do make adjustments for unforeseeable things like retaining walls, ditches, corner lots, etc.
  2. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    I feel that if there was an all around program for schedules (routes) and something that did with estimates I would jump on it.

    I have been wanting to use a PDA for use for schedules and then just upload into the computer but I have never been able to find anything
  3. grassrootsinab

    grassrootsinab LawnSite Member
    from up here
    Posts: 215

    When I started expanding my lawn business, I bought a Palm m130 to run Documents to Go so I could keep my billing and route information on an Excel spreadsheet. It would be awesome if you had an estimation AND billing software on the PDA format.

    My old m130 (3 yrs old) is starting to go (the screen is looking worse for wear) and I am looking at upgrading before next spring. I find the PDA more user friendly than a laptop when on route. I think your idea is GREAT!!!
  4. Pecker

    Pecker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,454

    Actually, for me it depends on whether it is something I could afford as a small operation. . .and if it were better than the one I built for myself using Excel. Also, I'd only be interested if it were compatible with Pocket PC 2003 since that's the one I use.
  5. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,307

    This is what I want more than estimating software. i want to be able to scroll through a customer list when I finish cutting. Click on that customer, check what service I performed (cut/trim, clean up, fertilize, bed weed control etc...), the program knows what I charge for that service and stores it. I would do this at each stop daily and then when I got home I would plug it into the puter and up load the info. At the end of the month I press the print button and the bill gets sent out in the mail.

    They have this stuff for cows (dairy farms), why don'y they have this for lawn guys?
  6. tx_angler

    tx_angler LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 278

    I'm going to bump this thread one time and if there isn't much more interest I'll drop it and move onto more productuve endeavors.

    Thanks guys.
  7. billc

    billc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

    All Ferris - CLIP Software does this with both PDAs and web-enabled cell phones.
  8. redoak77

    redoak77 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 291

    I would definitly be down for something like this. I have been mowing for 4 years and i keep track of all my account in Docs to go and memo pad. I havnt been able to justify cost of comp program yet but would love on for my palm. I think it would be great for large companies.
  9. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    what is the going cost through to getting the CLIP and software add-on for PDA. I use quickbooks and it would be great, but last time I checked I thought that it was expensive
  10. lampeslawnservice

    lampeslawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 323

    I would take one if it would print out a statement or invoice at the end of each job. Just think no more stamps. Now that would kick Add. I even thought about making my laptop mobile if it weren't for the heat.

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