Let’s face it. Getting your lawn care crew out in the morning in an efficient and effective manner can be quite the task. There is the loading of the trucks, the fueling up, the rush hour traffic, and on and on. Not to mention just getting the guys to stop dragging their feet and getting them into “work” mode.
I know when I started my irrigation business that getting my guys out in the morning was one of my biggest stressors. If they arrived at the first job site late, the whole day would be off. Over the years, I have visited many different field service businesses and have picked up little tips and tricks from them along the way as to how they get their guys out the door in a timely manner each morning.
How many times have your guys gone to a job site to find out their mowers are low on fuel or the blades needed to sharpened? And how much time does this take to correct before they can actually start working? This is lost money because you are paying your guys to do maintenance work, when they could be completing jobs for customers.
Instead of scrambling in the morning to ensure all equipment is good to go, have your guys refill, sharpen, and restock at the end of their shift each day. This will allow them to get right to work the next morning, and not waste yours, theirs, or the customer’s time.
Have your guys stock all trucks and trailers the night before as well. This will cut down on both the scramble to get out on time and on the forgetting parts or materials because of the scramble.
And while on this subject, make sure you are organized both in office and out in the field, so any and all equipment, parts, materials, etc. can be found quickly.
You can also invest in trailers or trucks with cabs that are already pre stocked. You can stock them full of enough supplies to last a week and restock each weekend. This will ensure your guys have every part they could ever need, without having to run through what each individual customer will need.
Keep trucks and gas cans filled and ready to go each morning. This will eliminate the time wasted in the morning having enough fuel to last your guys through the day.
While this may not be accessible to everyone, installing gas pumps at your office location is not the worst business decision you could make. Think of how long it can take a crew to get gas in the morning before their first job: they are filling up tanks, grabbing coffee, deciding between a donut or breakfast sandwich, and going to the bathroom. This could easily add up to 15 or 20 minutes.
Lawn care software will be one of the most beneficial tools to make your crew more efficient in the morning, as well as throughout the day.
First and foremost, it can help to route your guys so they are doing work in the most efficient order possible. You can have them start from the farthest location in the morning and work their way back to the office throughout the day to avoid the driving back and forth between sites.
You can also use field service software, to track goal hours vs. actual hours. Your technicians can see how long a job should take vs. how long it is taking them and learn how to be more efficient. And if you’re like the businesses we surveyed for the 2013 Green Industry Benchmark Report, you’re looking for ways to make your business more efficient. In fact, behind more sales, improving operational efficiency was the second-most popular business desire respondents selected.
Lighting a fire under your guys’ asses in the morning is never easy. However with these simple tips and tools, you will be able to cut down on inefficient time and get them on the job site working a lot faster.