Software for pesticide applications?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by walker-talker, Apr 25, 2005.

  1. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    I am not referring to scheduling of invoicing, but rather to the SOS (Statement of Service). The pesticide records that you have to leave at your clients house and keep on file for x amount of years (3 years here in the state of Kansas). I have found I spend a good portion of the day filling out those records and figuring up exactly how much of what was applied for that visit. Sure I could do it at home the night before and I do use 2-part carbonless copies to make it easier, but I have been thinking about taking it further and computerizing it all (at least most of it). My wife is a computer progammer and I just been thinking of a simple software that would keep a database of clients and the size of their lawns. I would have a seperate database of different types of chemicals, epa #'s and label rates. I know there would be some stuff that I would have to record on the job site, such and wind direction, speed, temperature and my signature, but been thinking of ways to save time here and there. Am I reaching for too much? Am I being too lazy? I would like to take it a step further and incorporate it in with my scheduling software. I guess it would be a glorified excel sheet.

    What are your thoughts of the matter and would you be interested in using a program of such OR already using a program similar?

    For those interested, I included a copy of what I am using now.

    sos(GOPHER).jpg
     
  2. I also am a computer programmer and database designer.

    I am not an uber-guru but I am good enough to have written my own scheduling, invoicing application and integrated it with MapPoint.

    Over the winter I explored a pesticide tracking system similar to what you describe and after some work on it I gave up and stayed content to keep the paper system I have now.

    The big problem I find is that I don't see any time savings doing by hand at the stop, or keying it in at the office.

    Of course my approach may be flawed, and the techno-guru's may disagree. But with my level of skill, its how I see things.

    What is your wifes language of choice, mine is VB.NET. Perhaps we can compare notes if our programming languages don't conflict.
     
  3. spcfoor

    spcfoor LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 261

    That looks really good. I think you could very easily make an spreadsheet from what you have.
     
  4. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    I just asked her and she it it was the same, Visual Basic.Net. She said she in now programming in Access, but I think that is fairly new to her.

    I don't think the idea would save a lot of time unless you used in conjuction with a scheduling software that already had your routes entered and the applications to do and if your applications were fairly standard....as is mine. For example, Lawn Application #2 consist of Dimension .10%, N-P-K, 3-Way and Iron. If you had a lot to do....maybe in the neighborhood of 50+, it might be more worth the troubles.

    Now if I ever achieve my goal of 500+ clients....it would be a big time saver. Most of the time is taken to fill out the top portion, the date, name, address, city/state/zip square foot and then the calculation of the quanity of material used according to the size and label rates. I had thought about making address labels to put of the SOS instead of writing everything out. I've just recently had some ideas bouning around in the head and now speaking out loud. I like the idea you have incorporating it into MapPoint. For $700 I can purchase MapPoint add-on to Lawn Monkey (my current scheduling software), but feel that's a steep price for no more accounts than I have.

    Thanks for the input!
    Matt
     
  5. Lux Lawn

    Lux Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,267

    Matt
    Sounds like you are on to something with your idea...I give you lots of credit you are always looking for ways to improve your business.How are thing going for you so far this year?Did your advertising pay off for you?

    Would it be possible to use the form you posted?Because it looks better then what i'm currently using.
     
  6. Access is my favorite database so far. I know that Oracle and SQLServer are more powerful, but for smaller applications Access works great.

    In my operation, our (Typical) Round #2 is fert and SpeedZone weed control. However there are cases (perhaps 10 -15%) where when I get to the lawn, I need to do something different. Those exceptions make it real hard to do it all in advance and capture some time savings. If want to be able to keep flexibility you need to do it after, and it requires work and you spend the same amount of time whether you do it by hand or key it in the computer.

    The real trick to any program is to model the program so that it works with the business model of the company using it.

    Your scheduling/invoicing software doesn't print the customers known info on the form for you? Access can do that easily if you want to automate that.

    MapPoint is really nice, and a stand alone "North America" version is about $150, but its usefulness is declining because the maps have not been updated since 2002. Microsoft has a server based version that they charge an obscene amount of money to use, but the maps are very up to date.

    It is very easy to integrate MapPoint into a VB.Net or an Access database with VBA. If you want some code samples, I would be happy to share.
     

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