Alerting crews and time management

Alerting crews and time management

Departments - Ask the Experts

This month the experts help with weather notifications and full to-do lists.

September 24, 2013
Lawn & Landscape

Q: How do operations approach weather delays? We are a residential maintenance company that can’t work in the rain (or heavy rain at least). How do smaller companies that do residential maintenance (say less than $5 million in sales) deal with the weather?

A: Because of a very wet spring/summer so far in many areas of the country, lots of landscape contractors are having trouble handling this problem, both with crews and customers. Following are several approaches for your consideration:

1. Set a policy for crews to get a blast text or email on rainy mornings, instructing them not to report to work, thereby reducing labor cost when crews report to work and are told to go home. 

2. Have crew chiefs contact crew members and instruct them about what to do.

3. Have a contingency plan, other than mowing, that could be done on wet days for some or all of the crews to perform. This gives crews income and the company a chance to complete tasks, like mulching, weeding and trimming.

4. Remember the importance of carefully managing residential maintenance customers when rain makes it difficult to perform mowing services and provide quality results. I suggest a policy notice to customers that let them know the plan and allow them the chance to respond. 

Rick Cuddihe
LaFayette Property Maintenance

Q: I find myself working evenings and weekends because it seems like I never have enough time in the day to get everything done. How do I manage my time better to get more done?

A: Effective time management is just a formal way of saying that you make good choices about how spend your valuable time. Your time has a price tag, and sometimes it’s been heavily discounted because you are working on too many things beneath your “hourly rate” or “value” to the company.

For example, if your target annual income is $120,000, then your net hourly rate, based on 2,000 hours of work (40 hours per work x 50 weeks per year) is $60/hour. If you are working on a task that is worth $25/hour, then you are robbing your company of $35 for every hour.

So, pay attention to what you do and ask yourself if you are using your time wisely.

There are at least four major things that drain your time daily: the consistent distraction of email, open-door policies leading to too much accessibility, unstructured and unnecessary or run-on meetings and poor time/priority management. Manage your time with the following essential strategies:

  • Prioritize your tasks
  • Delegate
  • Focus on your areas of strength
  • Say “no” more
  • Keep a strict schedule
  • Make decisions quicker
  • Manage interruptions better
  • Avoid duplicating efforts
  • Stop procrastinating

Jonathan Goldhill
The Goldhill Group


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