Field Service / Routing Software ?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by JimLewis, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,170

    So, how do you guys enter the fittings, since the suppliers change numbers daily? You want to make your %, but not screw the client.
  2. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    We used Hindsight for a full year in 2010 It was expensive and took twice as long to fill out a service report than our simple worksheet did. It got worse when we canceled service and 4-5 months later tried to access some old info and were unable to do so. I lost all the field records for that whole year. Nothing we billed for as that all went to QB but we track all kinds of field info to refine our bidding process and that info is just gone.

    I keep thinking at some point I will have accumulated all the info I will need and won't need to do this anymore but I keep finding information that helps us tweak the estimating process. We do upper end resi maint so it can get complicated.

    We used Qxpress for a short time but that was way to cumbersome.

    I have recently found this app "Sign My Pad Pro"

    It looks promising for us as we have a very comprehensive worksheet tailored for the work we do it only takes about 2 min to complete. This app will allow us to complete it digitally and e mail or sync it at the end of the day. Unfortunately it has no accounting component so we will still have to enter the numbers into QB but we already do that. I have to get a pad to try it out.
  3. zman9119

    zman9119 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 852

    We are currently looking at that software package for our company too (since we do more than just irrigation; sadly a $10m company being ran off a FUBAR access database...). It does not look "that" user friendly and that is my concern and we have some very computer stupid users, plus I believe you have to use a 3rd party program to be able to do take-offs with it.
  4. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,170

    So, what you guys are doing is trying to minimize time, that's cool. My question would be: is the cost of the software/hardware making you any more money than the old tried and trued method of yellow pads and typewriters? :dizzy:
  5. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,750

    I got a typewriter so old, it doesn't have a key for the number one :)
  6. zman9119

    zman9119 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 852

    Right now for our irrigation department we use Hindsite. Yes the software makes us more money as everything is entered on the site and saved until it is synced versus waiting 3-4 days before the tech comes back to the office and trying to get paperwork and trying to read it, etc. Plus it allows us to look up past history and allows our untrained office staff schedule calls versus having to have on our us in the office all day doing that. It has made my life easier.
  7. Irrigation Contractor

    Irrigation Contractor LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 423

    It is for sure is making more money for us. I could write a book on all the benefits of using Hindsite.....for us at least. (4-6 service techs)

    - customer history of all services performed
    - contact info for homeowner, superintendent, manager, landscaper, maintenance staff etc.
    - all parts are entered by the office and prices checked quarterly
    - complete on site time records for disputes
    - if I pay a tech 10 hours he is billing 10 hours
    - work orders from HS to QB with automatic spell check take minutes instead of hours (40 - 80 invoices a day used to take up hours each day of office staff)
    - we were able to save on the cost of one office worker last year $$$
    - automatic mapping and routing
    - having all techs schedules on my screen, office managers screen and service managers screen to check status at a moments notice is a huge plus
    - same schedule updates each time the techs time-in and time-out to a job (allows to track each techs progress during the day making emergency calls easier to dispatch)
    - when the office receives a call and is scheduling a service the customers account balance immediately shows up on the display screen avoiding possibly performing work for overdue customers
    - Also gives the office a chance to decide on whether to question the caller or not as to the status of the account
    - no need to call or text a tech when changing or adding his schedule (techs schedule updates each time he syncs his Netbook)
    - EVERY part we use is at their finger tips and HS allows the tech to create an estimate on site if needed
    - if a tech need to pick up another techs job for any reason it can be done in the field and all the information is in ALL of the techs Netbooks. If it was paper work....what would you do? Yes we used to do that and paper work was constantly lost and never turned in
    - support is included and we are very happy with them
    - Saves a bunch of trees that need to be irrigated!!!! LOL

    Anyway, if you have at least a couple techs it will easily pay for itself. If you are considering HS, call them and request a online demo and make up your mind then.

    Good Luck
  8. mitchgo

    mitchgo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,955

    Maybe I'll ask my boss to start selling his software. I asked our programmer and he told me since my boss paid him to make our specifically designed for irrigation and landscape lighting program, that it is my bosses and not his.

    It will typically take me 30-45 minutes per day to complete invoicing. We have many automated messages that we just click to put on the invoice stating what we did .I've been known to write novels to the customer- But I like to be detailed and state things such as
    * Replaced 2 rotating sprinkler heads on zone 4 ( Back Lawn) that were leaking. Along with that I also installed smaller nozzles on a few of the other rotors on zone 4 that were over watering. Having done this will ultimately save water and apply water more evenly to this lawn section.

    There is no way in hell I would write that out on a paper.

    I love computers and they are a 1000% advantage compared to a paper company- time to get with the times
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012
  9. zman9119

    zman9119 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 852

    Anything that automates processed usually makes them easier.

    Switching from my irrigation world to our landscape maintenance department... We have 2 people who all they do retype proposals from our 6 account reps to be sent out, that our sales reps have already typed into their proposal form. We have one person that all she does is enter our hand wrote "dailies" into the computer for our 16 maintenance crews to track hours and their payroll (she doesn't even do the payroll either, just types in hours!). We have one person that all she does is take the written work order and type it into QBs to bill the customer. If using software could eliminate 2-3 of those 4 positions, then I think it is worth it easy.
  10. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,170

    All good business sense, the only lag I could see (and it happened to me), is the parts house has raised it's prices and neglected to inform you, thus the caveat, "bill from the invoice". Easier said than done when you want to bill and have not gotten the invoice.:dizzy:

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