Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DFW Area Landscaper, Oct 29, 2004.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116

    I have been using Excel for scheduling. Running into some problems. I'll explain what I'm doing and see if anyone has a suggestion.

    I use one workbook in Excel with several worksheets. I have several worksheets labeled as follows:

    Monday Mow A
    Monday Mow B
    Tuesday Mow A
    Tuesday Mow B
    Wednesday Mow
    Thursday Mow
    Friday Mow
    Fert & Weed Apps

    All of my customers are required to provide advance notice of intent to cancel. All customers from last year and the first half of this year are required to provide 10 days, all the new customers are required to provide 30 days.

    Anyway, the problem I am having is when a customer cancels service. I have been making a mental note to remove them from the schedule after the time is up. Obviously, I want to get all the cuts out of them that I can, but I also don't want to mow them after they're officially cancelled because then I won't get paid. I can see where this may start to cause problems as the size of my operation grows.

    Any advice?

    DFW Area Landscaper
  2. pwarren4

    pwarren4 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 89

    Since you are using Excel is it safe to assume you have Outlook as well?

    If so, just create a task with a reminder to remove cancelled customer's from the schedule.

    You might even want to consider using the calender in Outlook to maintain a schedule. Then you could use the recurrence options with start and end dates to add/remove customers automatically.

    Then Excel would just be your records keeping - math computing resource.

    Just my .02 - What ya think?
  3. JustMowIt

    JustMowIt LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 367

    We use ACT which is a generic piece of software that is used mostly for salesman to track contacts. We have customized it extensively & added 36 fields for each week of the season. Each field in ACT is searchable, therefore we can generate reports and work logs. Example

    Lawn Customer Monday wk#15 Crew#8:

    Searching these fields will give me all the active customers on Monday wk#15 on that crew, then I print a work log for that truck.

    When a customer quits, we change them to past customer & remove all remaining week numbers, that way they will no longer print on the work logs.
  4. ofishil

    ofishil LawnSite Member
    from TX
    Messages: 123

    I say the same thing as the guy above.... Use Outlook. Not outlook express but microsoft outlook. I think thats what it is called. It has recurrence or something like that that you can type it in once and say every 2 weeks to automatically put it in. And if they cancel you can remove it just that one time.
  5. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,213

    How many customers are you trying to track???

  6. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    Glad to see you are still around DFW. I use Excel to keep track of my accounts for payment purposes, but I use a printed out mow sheet to keep track of mowing schedule. I hand alter that in the field and once a week (Sat) adjust for cancelations.

    example Client Address Oct 1 Oct 7 Oct 14 Oct 21

    Miller 124 Elm Ave

    Then on the First I mark what I did, Mow, trim, whatever.
    If someone cancels and the last mow is the 14th, I block out the 21st.

    Now when I am mowing I know for the entire month and I have a database to fall back on with what was done each week incase they claim I didn't do some trimming or whatever.

    I have a similar sheet that I use for Invoices vs payments and I photo copy checks and match them in the client file.
  7. bushtrimmer

    bushtrimmer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 351

    We use Excel for scheduling also. When there is a special note, like we left the gate open or watch out for something, there is an extra column for that. For temporary customer or one that cancels, there is an explanation of that in that column also.
  8. kickin sum grass

    kickin sum grass LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 628

    try getting some business specific software and forget about these worries. I use qexpress from alocet along with quickbooks for the financial part. It takes all these problems away. If mrs jones cancels and the last cut/app or whatever is on the 15, then you go and tell it to schedule until the 15th and after that it will not appear. Also the reports you get from both these programs I use are priceless to running a profitable business.
    It will automatically pop up the work for the day, then you can click to complete it, reschedule if needed, cancel if needed. Then, like today for example, when it is time to invoice I click print invoice, set the date range and watch em pop out the printer. You can also have the option of printing out invoices to leave at the door or print once the job is completed.
    Let me tell ya that once I started using these programs I wished I had done it long ago. I tried to modify excel, access, outlook, and many others, but never again.
    There are many programs out here above what I mentioned before: groundskeeper, gohper, reel green, just to name a couple.

    Just my experience......

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