Top 3 Challenges in Scheduling and Dispatching Your Landscaping Crews

TOP 3 CHALLENGES JOHNNY HAD IN HIS LANDSCAPING COMPANY BEFORE IMPLEMENTING NETDISPATCHER

 

Your Crew Waiting

This used to be Johnny’s crew. Waiting on work orders and time sheets.

GETTING THE CREWS OUT THE DOOR
Every day, the crew members would start their day from the office. Since everything was on paper, the crews had to come into the office and collect their work orders for the day. Johnny’s business used to be very regular, crew leaders even had their daily schedules memorized. But it all changed when the company grew and more customers kept coming in. Schedules started changing and crews multiplying so they had to be able to react faster. That resulted in crews checking in each morning. A time clock was introduced and it made crews drive to the office. It was a big mess. “I am losing money, every time they drive to the office and every minute they spend here sipping coffee!” Johnny thought. Even the crews hated it with all the papers they had to fill. They specifically hated being interrupted mid day when trying to finish a site. It was typically something that the managers missed that morning. And it happened a lot.

 

EVER CHANGING EXCEL SCHEDULE AND THE DRY ERASE WHITEBOARD

Old Whiteboard Johnny Used to Have

Old Whiteboard Johnny Used to Have

Another major issue Johnny faced, was keeping up with the changes and add-on work. While he enjoyed the fact, that his crews were able to sell more work, they systematically kept missing invoices. Higher volumes meant, that most days started having changes and more items that needed to be invoiced. Things started to fall in between the cracks, papers got lost, invoices were missed. Johnny’s crews were more busy than ever, but it didn’t show in the numbers. Johnny felt he didn’t have to tools to change it. More excel spreadsheets and whiteboards just didn’t cut it anymore. His process was great, but the tools were not.

His managers were busy all day long. Trying to keep up with changes and trying their best to keep everything organized. A sick day would ruin everything, not necessarily because the crews didn’t know what to do, but because each manager had their own way to keep up whats going on and how to process work orders. More invoices were delayed and many missed. On a good month, Johnny sent out about 350 invoices on average, but the cycle was too long. Sometimes invoices went out 4 to 5 weeks after the job was completed. His money was tied to the process. He had to change it and fast.

 

Stacks of Paper Johnny Used to run the Company

Stacks of paper Johnny used to run his company with.

INFORMATION FLOW AND THE PAPER

They. Had. A. Lot. Of. Paper. And stacks of it.

Crews going out had work orders, time sheets, material lists. Accident reports, you name it. It used to work ok, but when Johnny’s company grew, so did his costs. He started needing more and more office staff to handle everything. Sometimes he felt they’re in the paper process business and not landscaping. There was less and less time to do what everyone loved to do, serve the customers and their properties. Quality started to suffer and items were getting missed. This had to change.

Paper is a flexible tool for many cases, but in Johnny’s landscaping company, they had to retouch the information many times until an invoice went out. Keying in the same data over and over again was frustrating, created errors and was slow. The same paper process meant, that each crew was spending more and more reporting and making sure everything is documented. Once a week they would bring the stack of paper to office for billing and payroll, hoping not to have lost any of the details. The flexibility of paper became a nightmare at the office. Handwriting was hard to read, missing items, materials or missing customer billing details made them call back to crew leaders and eventually miss invoices. Sometimes they ordered materials, which never got connected to a customer job. In Johnny’s mind, the process they were running, was perfect. All he had to change is get rid of the paper and start using better tools to make things more automated and key in items once. He started looking.

“It would pay off really quickly. In a smaller organization, one guy is wearing a lot of hats and this will organize all those hats. It makes sure, that they’re not missing billings, and it makes sure they’re not missing appointments either. “ President & CEO, Ryan Foudray, Prescription Landscape Inc.

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One thought on “Top 3 Challenges in Scheduling and Dispatching Your Landscaping Crews

  1. Pingback: These Are the Challenges Johnny Solved in His Landscaping Company with NetDispatcher | Field Service Management Automation

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