Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by ipm, Oct 5, 2002.

  1. ipm

    ipm LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 264

    How does this software compare to others?? $$$ etc. I am going to have to up-grade soon and it will be an additional $1,000 or more. Do any of the other programs route?? Any comments or suggestions app.
  2. Tvov

    Tvov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,157

    A friend who runs another company in my area uses CLIP and swears by it.

    I seem to do fine with QuickBooksPro, but it doesn't have any routing feature.

    I have no idea if this helps you....
  3. KLMlawn

    KLMlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 443

    I didn't choose CLIP, Lawn Monkey or any of the other high end systems, basically because at the time, price was an issue. I wanted and needed basic functions ... routing, scheduling, estimates, accounting, payroll tracking, etc. I chose something much less expensive and have been happy to date.
    One thing I did hear from many users about the larger investment systems, which turned me off to them, was that the either give you limited update and technical support and/or want to charge for them even after you have spent $1000 + for the main program. If you have difficulty or your office staff needs help or instruction in using and opperating these programs, you are often forced into sending them and yourself to seminars for anywhere from a few days to a week at a substantial cost in order to learn how to use the program. If there is an upgrade, it usually entail another payout, although it is usually less than repurchasing the whole program another time.
    This is jsut what I have heard, from other users and the companies themselves.
  4. kppurn

    kppurn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 426

    Which program did you go with? Right now I'm looking at Quickbooks Pro along with Qxpress. My main concern is ease with invoicing on a monthly basis and of course the accounting.
  5. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,597

    There is a lot of software out there. I think if you know what you need - now and in the future, it will make your decision easier. I have seen this topic a lot and I wll say the same thing I have said before... I have seen others, tried others, including QuickBooks, and none of it compares to CLIP - the company, the software, the people.

    I would definitely search here though because a lot of good discussions have taken place comparing software.
  6. thfireman

    thfireman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 541

    Which program do you use? Sounds like just what I need.:)
  7. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    If you think you'll ever need to schedule work by date and time, Clip will not do it. QXpress will do it. For the most part I'm happy with Qxpress and have no regrets about not choosing Clip or the others.
  8. rfuller

    rfuller LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I've been developing some billing/routing/scheduling software for a friend of mine. It handles invoicing ok and I've started to develop the routing function. For routing to work correctly though you have to enter latitude/longitude for each property to be mowed which seems kinda awkward but I don't know of any other way to make it work. I've used Precision Mapping to get the lat/lon on many of his properties and the routing function works very nicely. You can specify a starting location for each mowing crew and whether you want them to start at the farthest location and work back, or the closest location and work outwards.

    I've been writing this to be simple enough for him to use without my holding his hand through the whole process and am wondering if anyone else would be interested in giving it a try... given that it's at best in "beta-test" mode.

    Oh, and it doesn't "age" accounts receivable or receive payments on account yet.
  9. tailoredlook

    tailoredlook LawnSite Member
    Messages: 142

    I use gopher $299 for the basics no matter how many properties you have. Only downside no a/p only a/r.
  10. CMerLand

    CMerLand LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 393

    Ive used CLIPPRO for years and love it. Any specific questions you have about the program feel free to ask here on outside this forum and Ill be happy to share my experiece with CLIP. I'll address some of the issues that have already been raised in this thread.

    HBFOX: CLIP will certainly schedule work by Date and not sure what you mean by time. In fact CLIPs biggest assets are its routing and scheduling routines. You can set up jobs years in advance and forget about them until they pop up on your route sheets. And then they stay on those sheets until the job is done and posted. With the newest version, you can set up variable scheduling quick and easily by looking at the calendar (as in move all mowing jobs to 10 day schedule starting at this date until this date) as welll as relational scheduling as in (I just finished my last fert app round 1, dont let me schedule its next app for at least 30 days from today)

    If you mean your want to schedule Mrs Jones at 10 am on October 10th no I dont think CLIP does that (YET, if enough people told them they needed this feature they'd get to work on it.) But then again, most lawn companies cut by route not by appointment. We aint no hair salon.

    RFuller: Are you charging your friend to develop this software and if yes what is it costing him for you to figure out how to get the system up and running. Not implying that there is anything wrong with trying to build a better mousetrap, but sometimes its not worth it to reinvent the wheel. I dont change my oil anymore on my three trucks, because in the hour Im spending under the truck I could be earning $ 50 $ 80 or $ 250 an hour on top of what my mechanic is charging me to do the oil.

    For the record (I dont use this feature) but CLIP links directly to MS Streets and can print out line by line directions from one job to the next. REAL important when you make the HUGE step of not riding the truck everyday and have to trust your employees to do the driving. CLIP will also track the drive time for you, just another advantage.

    KLM: While its true that you may have to use support (some free time is included after purchase) and that the support time can be costly, it is true of most software packages including Quickbooks etc. CLIP does not "force" you to go to there seminars to learn the program, but they will "encourage" you to read the darn manual that comes with the program. The biggest problem Ive heard from others that have bought but dont use CLIP is that it was too complicated and too hard to set up. But when I started to talk to them about how they were setting up the program, I found that they were getting bogged down trying to get every single bit of information figured out into their system.

    Quick example: I created one job for lawn maintenance, which includes the standard services of mowing, edging string trimming and blowing, and that job would be billed for $40.00. I record the time in and time out and the # of guys on the crew and boom Im done.

    My friend created 6 jobs for this same service visit.

    1. Cut lawn with 48 inch mower.
    2. Cut lawn with 36 inch mower.
    3. Cut lawn with 21 inch mower.
    4. String trimming.
    5. Edge sidewalk.
    6. Blow off walks and driveway.

    When trying to create such a detailed yet bulky system HE quickly gave up on CLIP so imagine how quickly it would be discarded by an employee.

    All I need to know about that job is that it takes me 30 minutes to earn my $ 40.00. I figure my guys are smart enough to use the biggest mower that will fit on that lawn, remeber to trim, edge and blow and write down a start and stop time.

    Anymore questions feel free to throw them at me.

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