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Which software do you use?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by LawnBrother, Jul 13, 2005.

  1. LawnBrother

    LawnBrother LawnSite Senior Member
    from SW Ohio
    Posts: 867

    I do not use any green industry related software, but I am always looking for ways to save time. I would like to hear what you guys think about the different software out there, mainly that which relates to lawn maintenance. What do you use and how well does it work for you? I will be purchasing something by next year, so I'd like to hear some opinions! Thanks!

    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,426

    Before you spend a dime on something you don't necessarily need, assess what you want it to do for you and calculate what advantages in terms of time or money savings it will give you. If you are a relatively small operation, under 10 employees, you can just as easily use QB for billing, a 3x5 index card book with route cards to schedule, and a white board for any other projects you have comming up.

    My experience is that all software, no matter whose you buy is going to cost alot of money. And, it will require a support mechanism, which, will cost several hundred dollars a year, and, when it fails, your company will come to a screeching hault until support can correct what is wrong.

    QB Pro contractor edition will cost you $500.00 and you will get a $120 rebate if you already use it and upgrade. Index cards cost you $4.95 per hundred, and a binder cost $6.00. A white board cost $20.00.

    UPS, FEDEX and numerous other service related companies used paper flip cards successfully for 40 years or more without spending millions of dollars on technolgical wonders that cost you time, cost you money, and add stress to your life.

    From the stand point of money savings, forget it...Unless you are in a position to lay off workers when you add a software, all you will do is cost more money, and add alot of time inputting data, and I have done the math on this, and have the numbers to back up what I say. No software out there will allow you to make one entry for work done, revenue collected, you still have to double enter for everything you do, this taking more time than ever before.

    Now, I know the majority of those in this industry feel software is the saving grace of their business, the way of the future, the in thing to do. No software going is going to correct problems you may be having if your company is not managed right to begin with. As a matter of fact, if you are not operating at peak effciency, all software will do is take your focus off making more money and managing your people, and place that focus on learning how to best use your new expensive software. It is not that silver bullet you are looking for by any means. Where software relates to our business, we are sitting at a projection of 2.1mm for the season, employ 10 people and all we run is QB with a part time office staff in our fourth year of operation is the land of fruits and nuts.

    Now, one last thing. If you are in a position where you have an office person, and, you can mix the mess of running the stuff into their everyday duties, everything I just said in the last paragraph comes with a different equation and different rules, but you then need to factor in the time that person takes to do the busy work of data input, and, so on and so fourth.
    It comes back to what does it cost to run and what is it going to save you? What problems do you want to solve by using software?

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