Hi guys, was wondering if anyone knew of some software out there like Acculynx but something more affordable for a smaller business. We are a smaller growing company that could really use something like this but $250+ a month really adds up and seems like too much for us. Especially since our roofing season is only 6-8 months up here in Canada.
I’ve looked at everything I could find. I was very underwhelmed by Accu-Lynx, especially any tools (or better said, lack thereof) to handle insurance work. I developed our own custom data base 3 years ago. I tried Accu-Lynx and couldn’t get it to be anywhere near efficient as what we use now. I’ve taken a serious look of developing our system into something that could be sold. That still may very well happen.
Here’s the problem of making it low cost. For most users, it frankly only makes sense to have this type of product reside on the cloud. When you look at all the licensing fees, it is difficult to make one license sell for less than $90 a month and that’s pushing it. It is so much easier to support if it is in the cloud. No issues with distributing DVD’s. No issues with it being pirated. So much easier to implement fixes and upgrades (no downloads required).
If you find something that is robust while cheap, let me know, I’d be interested in looking at it. Otherwise, you’re probably left with developing something yourself (or having someone develop it for you which obviously isn’t going to be cheap either) or living with a lot of limitations. Just looking at converting what I have to something that could be marketable and using an existing CRM product such as Sugar would have development costs of $150,000 to $200,000. Developing using something like Access, SQL or some other system to avoid the licensing would likely cost more than half a million. That’s why the monthly fees for these products are costly.
I tried acculynx last year after basically handwriting everything my first year and using accounting software for invoicing with typed estimates my second year. One scary thing to consider is if a cloud based software has their servers go down, you are screwed. This happened for a week long period with acculynx that was really bad timing for my business. So now, I am entering my 4th year of sustainable and profitable business, yet my search continues. It’s almost embarrassing to admit. (Dad) has the right idea but it takes studying and time to build your own and whether or not it’s worth a darn is to be decided. I do insurance claims mainly and there is a proper way to do these claim jobs for the best results. I haven’t found a software worth paying for that addresses the claim process very well. Believe it or not home depot and eagleview teamed up and made an online deal that is based on material price of the depot and labor in your area. you can edit and build estimates. that’s as far as i got with it so i have no real opinion of it, but it’s free.
I have in excess of 500 man hours in the one I put together. We use Pictometry images to get our own takeoffs, I don’t trust Eagleview in the least. We sketch the roofs in Xactimate and create our estimate from there. At this point is where our custom database comes in. We enter the data from Xactimate and our contract documents. Out db automatically calculates all the materials, prints out an order sheet, auto creates the roof crew work order, handles the insurance and customer invoicing. It also automatically calculates all the cost out data such as profits, sales commissions, etc. I’d estimate we would need to hire at least 1 1/2 more people if we didn’t have this database and did things the old fashioned way.
I have test driven just about all of the roofing software and they all suck to me. They are not designed by roofers I can tell you that. I do not want to line-item a damn estimate lol. I may as well type/write it.
I do have a shade tree background in Access, ASP, and Visual Basic along with web & graphic design. Mostly a hobby. If I had the time or capital for a side venture I would probably make a damn mint.
A/C, Plumbing, and Electricians probably have a hundred options! The irony is that the lack of a plug-n-play software to run your business is what [potentially] makes roofing so lucrative. That and the many many dynamics of course.
I’ve posted this before. Contact Phillip Walker at Claim Express. Their website is www.claimexpress.com .
I have been searching for a complete CRM and more software for years that is geared towards what I do as a PA. I want all my pics, contracts, forms, estimates, claim notes, etc in one area. Although their system is designed for roofing contractors with way more on the back end with job capping, doc mgmt, invoicing, etc…stuff I don’t need, I do like the stuff I do use. In addition, we inspect a lot of properties that do not have present damage. I have the ability in this software to show those properties as different colored pins to let me know what my exposure is at a glance for a particular storm swath. I paid a set up fee and $50 per month but I am a single user. Not sure what their tiered costs are for multiple users. It’s worth the demo. I believe they give 30 day trials.
This is one of those cases where I avoid schilling products, but… With my experience, ( and it is not all in Roofing, as my focus as a GC is in remodels,) there are some things I had to consider. Try to find a program that is simple. As a business owner, you are likely pretty astute, but you likely have a couple of fellas on your crew that might use the system that aren’t quite so savvy. So, in the world of Software, I like the KISS principle.
The one thing that frustrated me was the fact that I found systems that made me feel like the way I do business is wrong. If I have a way that works for me, I want to find something that somewhat mimics the way I currently do business, or at least the way I would like to do it. I respect the people that put in hundreds of hours to make adjustments to the big systems until they have what they are looking for.
I worked in Sales Force, Microsoft Dynamics, Sugar, and others, and all of them drove me nuts. Mind you, I am not amazingly qualified in the tech world, but I can muddle through. I guess it is the ADD in me that just wants to get into the system and get back out. As a phone Jockey, making a phone call too no less than 5 different screens just to say I made a phone call and to re-schedule a call.
Really though, I am finding that everyone is different. Some people love the in depth mapping of former customers and integrated this and that. For others, it is overwhelming.
With smartphones today, the other thing I like is the ability to work off my phone. My suggestion, is to make a list of must haves, ( there is one floating around here somewhere) and then a list of the nice to haves, and then do some research. There is CRM and project management software out there, somewhere that will fit the bill for you.
I have small business of flat roof in Everett. So will this software is helpful for small contractors or company. Some insurance companies also offer reductions insurance rate up to 33% for installing green roofs. The marketing of green roofing systems and green technologies has never been so common and researched, with new strides in sustainable home, many motivation programmers offered by government to alternative green building area, by this we can save on your home insurance plan, raise your health and take part in a healthy environment.
Maxcon Software is $75 per user and and was built by an ex roofer. By the way he just won the largest lawsuit for defamation of character against State Farm $14.5 Million. Maxcon also has other great products all in one spot. They also offer a 30 day free trial & their set up in HTML 5 so they are usable on all internet platforms including mobile devices. If you want the best for less you have found them. For more info contact Bill@maxconsoftware.com for a free product demo. Let him know Jason referred you.
Jobber - www.getjobber.com is a good one. I actually had it for a month, and even though I just
canceled my subscription…I imagine a few people would like the system. Simple
design / easy to use. I’m trying acculynx right now. They have an I-phone app. also.
One good thing is more and more keep popping up.
Try looking at Client Runner. We had Acculynx and it was to expensive and complicated. CR is $250.00/month for up to 10 users. It does all the basic that any CRM will do and it can be customized. You can also give it a test run.
Personally guys, with all due respect, use these android and Apple Applications that are the best of their kind. You can bluetooth or sink your “take offs” to and from your office, over to your hand held device. I’ve sold millions for manufactures and sold multi-millions in commercial roofing systems and residential homes. If you’d like to integrate your books into “square it”, feel free. It’s yours for a wrenching $.99. Less than a buck!
If you don’t believe me, try “Square it” one time and you may love it’s instant design creation capabilities as much as every roofing contractor I’ve showed these apps to. No need to find your measuring tape anymore lol. Yes, it’s quite affordable .99 cents. Android or PC users click the top link and iPhone/IMac users like myself use the bottom. Keep it simple gentlemen, this business isn’t rocket science.
Apps are coming up next guys. The site wouldn’t allow me to send links due to spam. Feel free to email me and I’ll send you the google links. Better yet, respond to this message