Finding a software company that is continually looking to improve and update its landscape business management software product is important. After all, a company that is continually improving its product and its processes, is a company that cares about its users truly getting the most out of what it has to offer.
Landscape company software is a big investment and landscape professionals expect it to continue to be relevant for many years to come. That’s why it’s important for landscape companies to align with a software company that is not becoming stagnant over time. Find a company that is continually evolving.
This has always been the case with Include Software. We have always looked for ways that we could be better and, in turn, solve our clients’ specific problems. It’s no different for this upcoming year and we already have some exciting changes being implemented as well as more ideas in the pipeline.
Here are a few key things that you can expect in terms of updates for Asset landscape business management software.
While all of our clients use Asset to run their businesses, many of them also integrate its mobile companion, iCREWtek with their production team in the field. These users will be happy to know that our mobile app, iCREWtek, is now available for Android devices. While it has been available on Apple iOS devices for several years, it is now available in the Google Play Store. We currently have a record number of crews using iCREWtek and it continues to grow exponentially.
Another iCREWtek tool is a new Crew Locations map, which gives a visual of where crews are located. Each crew is pinpointed and hovering over the crew display will provide a task description and log-in information, including which team members are involved. This gives a view of all crews in a single glance. It gives a “command center” type of feeling or perspective, which can be especially useful in a snow event.
Production Forecasting Analytics
The production forecast tool works in conjunction with the Schedule Manager Variable Schedule Editor, which has also been enhanced. This analytic allows users to take advantage of data from the Variable Schedule in order to create a forecast of labor and billing. This analytic is in pivot table format and allows an unlimited number of row/column arrangements.
In other words, users can now get projections for tasks that have a varying number of visits, hours, and costs based on the time of year. These can be easily formatted to meet their needs (ie: by profit center, by crew, by job, etc.). If the number of occurrences/visits is not spread evenly throughout the year, this tool provides and consolidates this data.
Simplified Proposal Updates
Some of our most exciting updates in 2018 are coming to our proposal manager tool, which is the feature of Asset that produces proposals. In response to users who wanted to simplify the process of proposal updates, we are adding new capabilities which allow users to make changes to one part of a proposal and then have it automatically update in other areas. This makes the process more consistent and less time consuming when users are going through a lengthy proposal.
Highly Controlled Level of Detail
Another big change to proposal manager is the ability to make more changes at the group level. This includes the ability to enable price overrides, hiding and excluding subtotals for project groups. This allows for additional flexibility in creating proposals. Users can create a greater level of detail behind-the-scenes but can override details in terms of what information is presented to clients. This change came from user feedback asking for the ability to make an easier to understand, and easier to read, presentation.
We now have document integration that will allow users to incorporate documents and other files seamlessly into the client record. If users need to pull up a word doc or a google doc, or even an image, for the client they can just click on the client in Asset and it will take them to all of the files associated with that client.
This furthers the case that Asset is the only program you need. If you are on the phone with a client, you can click on their contact record and are immediately pointed to the folder that holds all of their documents. If the calls were regarding a specific term of their contract, for example, you would be able to access the contract and all other documents in that particular client’s folder. It eliminates the struggle of browsing through all network files to try and find documents.
New Videos in Our Library
We are also constantly looking for ways that we can better educate our users and get them quick and helpful information. One way that we have done that is to incorporate the use of artificial intelligence into our process to help guide users to information that will solve their questions.
We have also added quite a few new short instructional videos to our library in order to assist our users on any number of questions they may have. These videos are all focused on a specific topic in an easy “how-to” format for users to view.
It’s important to mention that in addition to industry and business trends, product updates are often user-driven. In a lot of cases, we don’t just arbitrarily make changes to the software based solely on what we think is best. A lot of changes are coming from direct feedback from clients. They also come from challenges we have noticed during the training process. As we walk clients through the software, we’re always looking to see that it is a seamless process. If there is a hold-up somewhere or something doesn’t make sense then we set out to fix it.
These are just some ways in which we’re always looking to be better for the people that we serve. Because we work so closely with our clients, we are able to maintain a strong grasp of their needs, and that’s something we value. Clients feel comfortable starting a dialogue with us about ideas and changes and we are responsive to them.
We would like to encourage all Asset users to always feel open to suggesting features they would like to see in the future. We welcome those thoughts and suggestions as we continually look for ways that we can meet your needs.
Whether you’re new to Asset and just exploring what it has to offer or you’ve been with us for many years and are interested in the product updates on the horizon, we invite you to reach out and share any questions or feedback that you might have. Continuing to serve you to the very best of our abilities relies on the dialogue we share with prospective clients and existing clients, like you.
If you are an existing Include Software client and have further questions about these updates or anything else we can help with, give us a call at 800-475-0311. Or, if you’re here because you’re considering Asset and what it can do for your landscaping business, contact us for a free demo.
Image Sources: T. Lake Environmental Design