ASK THE EXPERTS is presented in partnership with PLANET’s Trailblazers On Call program. Trailblazers are industry leaders who volunteer their time and expertise to give back to the industry.
Q. We are no longer using a subcontractor for our lawn treatments but instead doing it in-house. I am looking for a custom lawn care report sheet that my lawn tech can leave behind with our clients. It should have the basic info: our logo, client name, address, account number, date, what chemicals were put down (weed control, grub control, broadleaf weed control) with check boxes, and even wind speed and direction. I’ve seen these used by companies like Scotts LawnService and TruGreen, and one copy goes back to the office, and the carbon copy stays with the client.
A. You submitted a question about ideas for a lawn care application sheet that can be left with a client when you make an application to the lawn. What I think you are looking for is an invoice. Creating this can be time consuming and can be expensive if you have it printed locally. There are numerous service company software programs that can help with this part of running your business.
If you are using one of the current lawn care software programs, such as Real Green Systems Service Assistant, these types of forms come with the software package and through their printing division. You can contact them through PLANET or call (800) 422-7478. You may also want to call Focal Point Communications. They have a website, growpro.com that may be helpful for you.
Harold Enger, Landscape Industry Certified Manager & Technician, Spring-Green
Q. We are a full-service landscape company. I run the landscape maintenance division and I am curious about scheduling/billing programs used by other maintenance contractors. We currently are using QXpress combined with Qbooks and are not completely satisfied.
A. We use Asset by Include Software and have used it for more than 10 years.
Pros – It is a fully integrated program, meaning it will handle everything a landscape firm needs, including accounting, estimating, proposals, sales management, inventory, payroll, scheduling, billing, job costing, etc. Everything is integrated, so you do not need to enter data more than once. Include is very involved in PLANET and knows our industry very well.
Cons – This is not an inexpensive product and it requires some dedicated staff time to learn and run it properly.
Kurt Kluznik, Landscape Industry Certified Manager, President, Yardmaster
We use Include Software.
Pros – It’s an all-inclusive software and has production and payroll tied together. You can use handheld devices to track the crews in real time, eliminating the use of paper entry.
Cons – It’s very detailed, and the learning curve will take some time (they are currently trying to simplify the system).
Miles Kuperus Jr., Landscape Industry Certified Manager, President, Farmside Landscape & Design
We discussed using Outlook for her operation because of the size of her company. We use a variety of tools, including Google Calendar, Dynascape and Clip. Unfortunately, we have not found one tool that will do everything we want it to do.
Bruce Allentuck, President, Allentuck Landscaping Co.
We work with Clip and now Q Clip. I don’t know of any one software program that can meet all the needs of any one company no matter the cost.
Chris James, president, Chris James Landscaping
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