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Integrated Software for a Professional Landscape Company
After eight years on another platform we switched our $5MM+ landscape services business (construction & maintenance) to Asset this spring. We have found Asset to be extremely powerful, flexible, thorough and forgiving (making corrections/fixing user errors is integrated into every phase of the software).
There are many incredible features and not enough space on this review. The most impressive aspect about the software is its ability to help answer business questions in real time without having to search for the details. The information, all of the information, is easily available thanks to the smart integration of the entire business process. The data analysis capabilities are staggering and easy to use. The software has incredible filtering capabilities that allows information to be appropriately grouped, reviewed and analyzed in a multitude of ways. Identifying problems to fix and successes to replicate has never been easier.
The software is robust yet the user interface is simple and targeted based on each User's position in the organization. Our teammates did not get into this industry to sit behind a computer and they certainly didn't want to become accountants or data analysts ' the software ensures they don't have to be.
Commitment to the implementation plan and accepting that this is change are two keys to success. Include (Asset) provides substantial training resources including a highly structured implementation plan, weekly 1-on-1 training (180+ hours), homework exercises, testing, 85+ on demand training videos, a superb help menu and a test system to let you explore/practice in the software before your system is ready. However, the company must have a champion who has the authority to manage the multi-month implementation/training process.
This software is amazing but it requires the organization to commit to understanding how to best implement it into their business, dedicate the resources necessary, and most importantly be open and committed to changing aspects of its business. If your organization doesn't want to change - don't waste your time this software is not for you. As a company who has recently gone Live, we can attest that the hard work was more than worth the effort. Each day we are becoming a better run company in all phases of our business rather than just achieving incremental improvements in the problem areas that demanded the most attention. I wish we did it sooner.
Incredible Power and Flexibility and totally integrated
Pros: the software is very flexible so that a company can use the features that best meat their needs. With all of the modules integrated, it allows us to create the proposal in the system and then never have to add additional information through the life cycle of the job, all the way through the billing! With the iCREWtek tool, our managers in the field have the tasks for the day on their smartphones allowing them to monitor work, attach photos and update the tasks when done. This saves an amazing amount of administrative work for our office. We track many details on each of our jobs and use the system to automate mass mailings to clients. With the job user fields, we are able to track all needed data right in the system and we have eliminated all outside spreadsheets. We also track all trucks, trailers and equipment in the system along with the maintenance of these items. All employee data for HR are also tracked in the HR module and we do extensive reporting. Closing the accounting books at the end of the month takes less than a day! This is due to the integration of all modules in the system with the culmination in the GL. There are also automated customer email alerts to keep them posted on their job progress. This can be controlled at the job or task level, and it can be overwritten for exceptions.. The customer service is always there to help you with your questions and issues. They have good turnaround and are knowledgeable about the system. There are also videos that you can view when looking into adding a new feature of the system. It allows for training just when you need it.
Cons: the software is very flexible. Yes this can be a con because it requires someone to take the time to understand the system to take advantage of the features. However, Include has a great implementation plan for the software and they use videos to introduce you to the base features (minimum setup) and then they use one-on-one time to consult on any features you may need that the basic configuration may not address. The system does job costing at the job level and not at the task level. This may not be an issue for many customers but we do a lot of small tasks that we like to Job cost. With that said, we have created a way to use the system for extracting the data and report this in an excel spreadsheet.
Do NOT buy this software!
· We are a medium sized landscape company in the Midwest. We were looking for software that would tie our systems together, so we could get rid of double entry into different programs and that our data would 'talk' well through the business process.
· Starting out we were SOLD that Asset was a one stop shop. It was supposed to do everything from taking a new lead all the way through recording the payment from a sold project. While it does do that to some degree, it is extremely difficult to navigate, not intuitive, and overall it is not worth using.
· We were told we could not really demo the software because it required a great deal of training to operate properly, this should be a RED FLAG in your mind when you are looking for software. Nowadays if you cannot do a trial run and find how it works for you, then you should be very cautious about moving forward with that software. It is like going to test drive a car, but the salesperson tells you that they need to drive in order to show you how it works.
· The software package is expensive. Asset Software, Software Network License, User server, Annual Maintenance, Support Pro Unlimited, Include Learning Management System. It adds up to a lot.
· We invested over 18 months of time with our office staff to try and get the software ready to be used. This time investment was sizeable and is not to be taken lightly as it probably exceeded the initial purchase price of the software. It works so poorly that we are going to take the loss of the time and money spent so that it does not completely cripple our business.
· We may have continued to limp through the software IF customer support had been adequate, but due to the lack of willingness to change and an incredibly long response time, we decided to cut our losses and move back to our old systems.
· We are currently moving back to QuickBooks and we are looking at LMN - Landscape Management Software.
They (attempt) to do it all. Jack of all trades, master of none. There are some bright spots to the software, but they are overshadowed by the Cons. At this point the Cons so far outweigh the Pros there is nothing I can put in here that should sway you to buy the software.
Navigating the software Disjointed. You have one main software piece that is called CX that has different modules (programs) you open to do different aspects of the business, these separate programs require you to click Functions, then Refresh, in order for the different modules to talk to each other. All the modules have continuity issues, for instance when entering data in some modules the enter key goes to the next row, sometimes it does not. Sometimes a report is printed with a green circle button, sometimes it says Go. The tab key will sometimes go to the next 'cell' and sometimes it does nothing. All of these smaller issues could be remedied, but it exposes the bigger problem...the company only has 6-7 employees TOTAL! This leads into... Support Almost any support issues takes DAYS to respond to, and a larger part of the time they give a non-answer or are not helpful, except for one customer reprensentative who was incredibly helpful. You must email any support issues to them and cannot call and talk to anyone...except for sales, which picks up practically every time you call. The owner of the company is not easy to work with, when there are parts of the software not working the owner gets defensive instead of trying to be helpful and solve the problems with the software they created. This was the major determining factor in our decision to stop using the software. Productivity (Lack of) Productivity grinds to a halt when trying to operate a design/build/maintain type of landscaping business in Asset, do not even think about performing snow removal services in it! We expected learning curves and slowdowns at the beginning, but after 2 years of working in the software (18 months of implementation and 6 months of running it 'Live') there was no hope for improvement in efficiencies in sight. You are not able to easily add more sales staff with this software, it is mind numbing how cumbersome it is. There is no clear flow of work that would help guide a salesperson along in the software. A linear sales process is non-existent due to jumping back and forth from different programs to try and find the information someone would need to put together a proposal. Another example of the drain on efficiency was that in-house payroll went from around 4 hours to complete using QuickBooks to 30 hours to complete with Asset. Asset does not email direct deposit stubs like QB, it does not automatically fill in payroll tax forms like QB, and it does not do a lot of things that QB automates. Originally, we were told Asset does not need QB because Asset does it all, but then when we brought up some of the issues to Asset support they told us that they are not Intuit and they cannot do as much as QuickBooks does. Another reason to not use this software is that it added on average 5-7 hours a week for each office staff member using Asset, this was opposite to what we were sold on that it would reduce office staff time working on the 'backend'. iCrewtek Mobile 'solution' is inflexible and does not allow us to include necessary crew information, like customer name. iCrewtek does not allow for alphabetizing crew name list, it is not intuitive. and we were told it would not be updated anytime soon. Also, we used our old pay clock system to double check iCrewtek and found the employees would be losing hours due to the clunky navigating of the iCrewtek software.
Great Fully Integrated Software
We are a large commercial landscape firm based in Dallas, and have been using Asset since 2002. We selected it after evaluating several other products. We looked at several listed here but the problem is integration! One competitor to Asset doesn't do payroll, another one has to be customized and oh by the way that is another $25,000, another made you run your business like they set it up NOT FLEXIBLE!!! Asset has several ways to look at things, bid projects, etc., it is a tool. The mobile device used for time cards was huge, that saved us one person that was doing data entry alone.
Asset is the perfect software tool for running a landscape business. It is flexible, powerful, and like I said, fully integrated. We don't need to add third party products to manage any of our core operations. Before we used Asset, we filled the gaps using Excel spreadsheets. Eliminating those spreadsheets has saved us many thousands of dollars every year. We find that Asset is easy to use, and has functions that are missing altogether in other tools. There is definitely a learning curve, but it is well worth climbing. Include focuses on the landscape industry, and that focus is reflected in its product development. The product continues to evolve, and does it gracefully. Our data has continuity. For instance, we can easily review detailed client history from any point in time. Include is innovative. They were integrating mobile components when we started with them in 2012, having them long before an iPhone was even around. And to this day, that innovation continues. It is nice to know that our investment can survive the test of time. Reporting is powerful and configurable. Asset has project based financials that roll up into branch and profit center financials. All of these tie to our corporate financials, giving us real insight into what is happening in our business. In real time.
Bottom line, Asset is a product that we build our business with, that will not grow obsolete over time, and that we will never outgrow. We love it. It's been a great investment. We have added several team members in sales as well as office staff that have used other software products and they can't believe how easy it is for them to learn and use over what they use to struggle with.
Great software for Landscaping Companies
Commentaires : Everything in one place. They are always quick to respond to my questions and requests and are happy to do one-on-one training.
Asset is a great system with a lot of capabilities. It has a customer database, invoicing, accounts payable, accounts receivable, employee manager, scheduler, payroll, vendor manager & payment portals all in one software. I like the ability to create proposals, invoices and email them to clients easily.
It's not the most up-to-date software, however the training provided more than makes up for that. I'd like the ability to make more customized alterations to the software.
Not a user friendly or intuitive software, but you get used to it
Commentaires : Integrated information for all our systems
Truly integrated for all our systems - sales, estimating, job costing through production and accounting are all in one place.
Reports are difficult to use and manipulate. Report Builder is very difficult to use. We frequently need to export a report to Excel to get what we want. Modules do not all look or act the same. I hope that iCrewtek will work for us soon, we have not implemented it do to many issues
Asset started off strong, but has slowly plummeted into the ground.
With asset you really can pull ANY report or find any information that you need. The problem is you have to jump through 1 million hoops to get that data.
The biggest problem is that it is not an open source platform and will not talk to any other software programs. The landscape industry as a whole, must evolve and this is a huge opportunity for Include to be ahead of the curve.
Powerful and Flexible
Commentaires : Asset is an incredibly powerful system designed to manage and report high volumes of data that delivers insight to improve our bottom line. We invested in Asset in 2010 with the goal of managing all of our data with one system so we could get a clear view of our performance. This would allow us to amplify things we do well and quickly course-correct where we are not doing so well. It took significant time and effort to transition onto the system and understand its many nuances. The payoff, however, has been well worth it. We are a multi-divisional landscape contractor and maintenance company, with a range of service lines. We use the system to estimate and generate proposals, dispatch work schedules, manage purchase orders, jobcost, bill, run payroll, and run financial reports. We are in the process of implementing iCREW-Tek to allow us to capture all field labor hours with the use of smartphones. We are now able to see the profitability of 12 maintenance service lines and 8 construction phases of work and the many key performance indicators and metrics that help guide and improve our business. The system continues to deliver increasing amount of capability due to its strong development and support team. Asset Client Care does not make you feel like a number. They have a highly responsive team committed to answering questions and follow-up questions until the issue is closed. They also operate in a spirit of helpfulness, friendliness, and always trying to improve their product and processes - can't ask for much more than that.
Asset's Team has become part of our Team
Commentaires : We went live with Asset in January of this year (2015) and had been training/implementing since about October 2014. Though the process is nothing less than a huge learning curve, I can honestly say that the experience has been a pleasant one. Making the change from our 2 software systems plus other small add-ons to fill gaps to just using one system has been a huge undertaking. What I like best about Asset so far is the team. I haven't had a single experience that has been less than pleasant. Training was great during the implementation process, but when it's really counting is now as I am learning new things everyday and looking for reports and ways to extrapolate information from it. I have worked with the Asset team more times than I can count when I have requested help customizing reports. My requests could be as small as looking for a field in report builder to as large as asking them to help me customize a report to show me what I am looking for. My requests are always met with a happy demeanor and I am never scared to ask for more help. Additionally, I have reached out to a few other contractors using Asset for how they use the program to accomplish the same things I am trying to accomplish and I have received lots of help and insight from them. Overall, the class and professionalism of the team at Asset and the other contractors using the program is very high - and when taking such a big step in your company - This is of the utmost importance.
iCREWtek helps tremendously with keeping track of hours and materials Easy to fix mistakes Keeps a history of all jobs and hours
Slow sometimes Not always user friendly Easy to make mistakes (but also easy to fix)
Has Potential but Training System is Broken
Commentaires : Our company is a full-service landscape contracting company with a residential design/build focus. Annual revenues are $3-5 million. We were/are searching for an all-inclusive software system to handle our complex projects from new lead through to AR/AP. We chose Asset because all other industry specific programs (BossLM, Dynascape, RealGreen, etc) require ancillary accounting software and most did not include any kind of inventory/catalog system. Since I wrote this initial review, the team at Include has worked hard to improve their implementation and support services. As we begin our third season using Asset, we have been able to continue to work closely with Include and continue to better understand how Asset can work with and improve our business. While Asset remains a very robust and sometimes intimidating system, if you are dedicated to the success of your company, there is no other software that is as all-inclusive or as capable as Asset. The best part? Asset grows seamlessly with our business and is endlessly adaptable to the ever-changing needs of a growing business.
Pros- massive amounts of data, however, you want to see it. Real-time updates to everything and anything, easy views for production planning, sales pipelines, budget vs. actual, strong CRM component, strong accounting functionality, ability to create custom tools to control estimating and production. Overall, a very robust system that can, if set up correctly, provide accurate and very useful information for every user from the crew leader to the business owner.
Cons- massive amounts of data. Building a system this large and complex would be cumbersome even with the best training and unfortunately, in my experience, this is where Asset and Include have stumbled badly. ALL training was done via a GoToMeeting style webinar which limited the trainer's ability to navigate efficiently in our system. The structure of the training was not adequate and the instruction was severely lacking in explanations based on our needs. We were often told "that's how most people do it" but not given a REASON why. Training was also done once per week; one hour at a time. This gave our staff very little chance to ask questions or "live" in the system with a trainer available. Each component has a different trainer, who are all independent contractors for Include. They often contradicted each other's instructions and frequently could not answer questions about other components that directly impacted what they were trying to teach; they could tell us it was wrong but could not say how to fix it. Now we are LIVE on a partially functioning system and Asset is unable or unwilling, at this time, to take the necessary steps to help get our ship righted. I've voiced these complaints before and finally lost my cool during a remote training session on 4/7/15. I've contacted Customer Service, again, and the ball is in their court. I will post to this site again with updates and outcomes.
Very good experience with this software
The software is very user friendly. I like the ability to use the sort function to drill down to the information that I am seeking. I use the analytics function for reporting. The GL explorer also is a plus for reporting.
The report writer is difficult to create reports. Some inconsistency in the modules -Schedule Manager All Tasks vs History to set a custom query. All Tasks does not have the option to use the "like%".
We are huge fans of the Asset software!!
Commentaires : It reduces the need for separate software or files for allot of things.
The software fits almost every departments needs. It is built for business growth so we have no worries that we can out grow the software.
duplicate entries. not customer friendly enough for our clients. not all great features are carried through each module.
DON"T WASTE YOUR MONEY
Commentaires : We're a medium sized, full service landscape company in the southeast. We researched a number of software solutions and decided to go with Asset. We chose Asset mainly because of it's all-in-one capabilities...combining accounting, operations and payroll was very attractive. After using Quickbooks, Excel spreadsheets and other softwares, we were looking forward to all that Asset promised. Unfortunately, we discovered that the software fell well short of what was promised. The estimating module lacks customization, scheduling requires endless data entry for each service function and the man hour budgeting must be manually entered. As a whole, we found Asset woefully cumbersome to operate and the modules lack integration - all that money and you still have to enter data more than once. Despite the fact that we invested over 40k in the software, training was still underway (over a year), and the software was never fully installed, we finally gave up.
The system is glitchy, cumbersome to navigate and NOT at all user friendly. The functionality is antiquated, extremely inefficient and lacks any real mobile ability. The entire package is outdated and falls well short of other softwares at a significantly lower price point. It simply can't perform the way it's promised.
Asset software review
Commentaires : Customer service is fantastic. They help with any problems. We are 3 years in and have had no crashes or system shut downs.
Works with all aspects of my business and I don't need any other software.
Their Point of sale product needs work.
Everything a company needs in real time.
Commentaires : All of the estimating is entered into Asset eliminating errors in a spreadsheet.
Asset has separate modules. I like that employees only have access to the modules that fit their individual job role.
Long Time User
Commentaires : We have been using Asset for more than 12 years. I was not involved in the selection of the software so its hard for me to compare it to others directly. I love Asset because it can do anything you want it to - from initial contact to final bill and everything in between. It is a very powerful business tool - this is not just quickbooks on steriods. It is a real enterprise-wide software that can help automate, streamline and consolidate information. It will give you a better view into your business. Not unlike any other major software implementation your success with it will depend on your company's discipline to adhere to your processes and use it in the manner in which it was intended and set up for. Garbage in - garbage out. Customer service and training have steadily improved, and everyone I work with is very professional and has a true desire to help and does. The usefulness of the archived webinars and online help varies greatly by topic. Overall I have been very happy with the company, its people and the software .
Commentaires : my company is a multi million dollar landscape and service company. We bought Asset after many hours of review of other integrated software programs. Given the complexities of our needs we relied on their sales team and main office to assure us that Asset could handle each scenario we requested... Being SOLD, we agreed to spend over $60,000.00. It turned out that after months and hundreds of hour of trying, (each of Asset techs would give contradicting answers) it was so convoluted and counter intuitive that we chose to loose our investment and NOT implement Asset. They would not refund a penny. Stay away!!!
Réponse de l'équipe de Include Software
il y a 7 ans
Gary - we would welcome having your company work through the implementation process as designed. We believe your company still to be a good fit for Asset, but employees need to buy into changing from their current ways and the change has to be supported by key people within your company. Please feel free to contact me directly 443-440-6212. Nanette
review of Asset
Commentaires : This software has allowed us to fine tune our business and standardize our business practices. Additionally, the support team is very responsive and accessible.
Réponse de l'équipe de Include Software
il y a 5 ans
Thank you Dorian for taking the time to write a review. It is much appreciated by everyone at Include Software.
User of Asset for 14 years
Commentaires : Our Company has used Asset for 14 years, We have it to be user friendly. The people at Include have been quick on response, service and upgrades. We been able to increase our utilization of their product each year with ease and our plan is to continue on that path.
Industry specific, informative, the tools to manage your business and improve your profitability
Commentaires : captures tremendous detail; provides tremendous information; report writer could be more robust. System provides plenty of information to measure efficiencies and profitability. Good integration of CRM, system provides the whole package.
Commentaires : We implemented Asset Jan 2008. We have been very happy with the performance and improvements to the software over the years and appreciate the flexibility of the system!
Commentaires : I enjoy the level of detail and various ways of viewing information that Asset provides. The new job cost module is awesome!