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11 Top Software And Digital Landscape Resources for 2017

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“All I know is that I know nothing… about quality landscaping and gardening.” -Socrates

There’s always more you can learn, even if you’re already an expert. If you’re already a lawn and landscape ace, satisfying multiple customers, you’re probably still on the lookout for ways to improve. Landscape software can help you do just that with features like:

  • Design landscape images with templates and 2D or 3D imagery
  • Manage dispatching and track employees in the field
  • Manage invoicing and billing from your mobile phone
  • Integrate work orders with QuickBooks or Paypal
  • Track client history and work orders in an easily accessible, electronic system

I’ve checked over the web, and through the many reviews on Capterra’s landscaping software directory, to bring you landscape programs, and landscape resources, that can make your lawn and landscaping business even more top-notch.

Landscape Business Software

There’s some overlap between landscape software and field service management software. After all, a lot of the same things field service management software covers—dispatch, billing and invoicing, employee tracking, work history—is also useful for landscaping companies. For this list, however, I went with programs designed with landscaping-industry specific functions like groundskeeping, irrigation tracking, and landscape design. Entries are arranged alphabetically.

Arborgold

Arborgold is a landscaping management software program designed with the landscaping and lawncare industries in mind.

Arborgold VP of Sales and Marketing Donna Garner commented on the benefits this offers customers: “The business logic of our product is different. Arborgold’s differential is that we’re hyper-focused on meeting the needs of tree, lawn and landscape companies. The unique scheduling needs of landscaping companies are different.”

Where a maintenance professional like a plumber or an HVAC repairman goes out when equipment breaks, lawn and landscape care professionals schedule based on different criteria like type of service, and job location.

They also have a greater interest in the renewal contracts that come with providing yearly service. “A lot of landscape companies want to offer the same services every year to hundreds, if not thousands, of customers. With Arborgold, you can do that in minutes.” It cuts down on data entry time, and makes finding repeat business easy.

Arborgold’s features include field service essentials like invoicing and billing, dispatching, work order history, and contract management. They also offer landscape-specific features like a measuring tool that can determine a job’s square footage, a definite help in creating estimates. Arborgold also offers a 2D, cloud-based drawing system that lets you create basic diagrams of the landscape, another helpful feature when courting customers. Having an image ready when you bid on a project might be the difference between landing a job or not.

Arborgold offers four pricing plans:

  • Sprout: $59/month for one user, $  for each extra user
  • Entrepreneur: $99/month for one user, $  for each extra user
  • Premium: $149/month for one user, $ for each extra user
  • Ultimate: $179/month for one user, $ for each extra user

Asset

Missouri-based landscaping company Bluegrass Landscaping and Maintenance tried to design their own landscaping software. After realizing the task was over their heads, they turned to Asset to manage their landscaping and snow removal business.

Bluegrass credits Asset with helping them to successfully implement the software program “during the worst snow year we ever had.” Given that most software programs, in any business, fail in the implementation stage, this is high praise. Customer service, no doubt, was a factor, as Bluegrass cites Asset’s “extensive directions, training sessions and videos.” Proper training can mean the difference between money wasted and money well-spent when it comes to software.

Asset also offers a sophisticated reporting feature that lets you track everything from financial statements, to whether or not you’re meeting your sales and marketing goals. If you happen to have an upsell/cross-selling strategy that works for your employees, keeping an eye on your leads can be a lucrative proposition.

Scapersoft

Scapersoft is another landscape management program designed specifically for lawn and tree care professionals. Along with the standard features (billing and invoicing, mapping, inventory tracking), there are functionalities specialized to landscapers’ needs, like a weather tracker and a lot-size calculator. Scapersoft also integrates with QuickBooks, and their invoicing features Paypal links. Payment and accounting just got easier.

Scapersoft averages 5/5 on Capterra’s software reviews. Customers love how easy it is to use, and also single out customer service (it’s always a good sign when reviewers like their customer service rep enough to mention them by name—happened twice in Scapersoft’s reviews). If you’re a small business, one review suggests that Scapersoft is worth a look, saying “low rate pricing packages great for small businesses.”

Scapersoft offers four pricing options:

  • Starter: $9.95 a month for one user and up to 15 customers
  • Lite: $23.95 a month for two users and up to 250 customers
  • Pro: $36.46 a month for unlimited users and unlimited customers

WintacLawn

If you’re interested in Arborgold’s ability to schedule recurring jobs, WintacLawn is another program to check out. They also offer the ability to create recurring assignments, and also adapt existing schedules with new recurring requests (should a customer decide to up the number of times a week the lawn needs attention). Also useful, WintacLawn integrates with Quickbooks, and you can also upload .csv files.

Thanks to a current reduced-price offer (as of this writing), WintacLawn’s pricing is $25/month for the first full office user, and $10/month for each additional office user. If you’re looking to add mobile-only users, they’re only $3/month each.

Landscape Design Tools

Realtime Landscaping Pro

Realtime Landscaping Pro is a landscaping design program that lets you draw your ideas in virtual, 3-D imagery. While it may look like an early version of The Sims, the product’s depth is a definite plus: you can choose from a gallery of 11,400 objects and 5,500 plants. Realtime Landscaping Pro also takes your designs beyond flora and into features like decks, patios, pools, and driveways. Perhaps best of all, Realtime Landscaping is easy enough to use whether you have landscape design experience or not. Realtime Landscaping Pro sells for $99.95, but updates only run from $30-40 each.

SmartDraw Landscape Design

If you’re looking to create digital images of your landscaping ideas, SmartDraw Landscape Design is another great idea.

SmartDraw comes in three versions:

  • Standard: $297, one-time payment
  • Business: $397, one-time payment
  • Enterprise: $697, one-time payment

Features depend on which version you get, but all three offer great value. Standard comes with more than 40 visuals, from landscape templates to flyers. With the Business edition, you get those diagrams, as well as more generalized business images like flowcharts and mind maps. The Enterprise edition adds to those features, with project management software features like kanban boards, integration with powerpoint, lean diagrams, and more.

Plan-A-Garden

Looking for a free landscape design tool? The folks at Better Homes and Gardens are making good on the second half of their name and offering you the chance to improve your outdoors with indoors technology. Unless you have a laptop.

You can choose between 18 different backgrounds, or upload your own photo. You’ll have a picture of over 800 plants, over 60 features (trellises, arbors, other words you only hear in restaurant names), and six textures (brick, meadow, lawn, and others). It’s drag-and-drop, and painfully easy to use, as is evidenced by my own design below:

Beer pong table, peeing cherub, a giant rock: let’s play guess my gender.

Landscape Templates

Edraw Max Garden Design Template Software

Edraw Max is a simple, free option to make 2D, overhead landscape design images. Available for Windows, Mac, or Linux, this program includes multiple design templates and features.

 

Low-water Use Landscape Design Templates

The San Diego Water Authority has assembled ten landscape design templates. The best part? They’re great for water conservation. Six of the templates are a little specialized (I have no idea what “Southern Coastal” means), but four of them are more all-purpose, like the ones for empty-nesters or families with kids. Now that’s classy.

Plant More Plants Landscape Templates

This Virginia-based site offers four free rain garden landscape templates, all with an eye towards Chesapeake Bay sustainable homes. Even if you’re far away enough that you think Old Bay is a place, the focus on saving water makes these worth a look.

Drought Landscaping Resources

The people at UC Davis have put together what would amount to a small press kit of resources about what to do in the case of a drought. Given that those aren’t native to California, these are worth your time. The page is designed for both professional and amateur landscapers alike, and features links and ideas about how to manage water in difficult times. The Drought Resources List is particularly helpful.

Other digital landscape resources?

If you know of a landscape program or resource that I missed, please let me know in the comments below! Better yet, if you’re a fan of a landscaping software program that your business uses, leave a review of your program. It’ll help potential buyers determine what’s right for them, and will help out the vendor, too.

Looking for Field Service Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Field Service Management software solutions.

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About the Author

Geoff Hoppe

Geoff Hoppe writes about business intelligence and field service management for Capterra. His background is in education and higher ed, but he’s interested these days in how small businesses can use software to be more agile and efficient. When he’s not reading and writing about software, he’s probably reading and writing about history, music and comic books, finding new hikes throughout Virginia, or following the Fighting Irish.

Comments

That was a really interesting read. Advancements in software and digitization have revolutionized every industry. Such resources not only boost productivity and quality, but make it easier to follow industry best practices and ensure compliance.

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