William Schwartz was having trouble keeping track of how much time his crews were spending on jobs. As the staff at Schwartz Lawn Care in Springdale, Connecticut, grew from six to 40 seasonal employees, he had to find a better way to keep track of his crews.
That’s where software came to his rescue. After researching and purchasing a new GPS and job ticketing system in April of 2017, he says he has a better handle on how much time his residential maintenance jobs really take to do.
1. Pick the right features.
Not all software is created alike, Schwartz says. For a company his size, paying for all of the bells and whistles wasn’t necessary. He says he and his operations manager looked at six or seven different options before settling on the right one for them.
“We didn’t need the ability to track 40 trucks,” he says. “We really just wanted to know, and be able to show, where our guys are and how much time they’re spending on a job.”
Schwartz says it was getting too tough to make sure everyone was turning in paper forms at the end of the day, so it’s one less thing for his crews to worry about, and one less thing for him to organize.
2. Get your team on board.
Having the software is only the beginning, Schwartz says. “You have to get everyone on board with the idea that this is going to make things easier. It’s not just for us on the management side, it’s for everyone.”
He says a few of his employees didn’t like the idea of constantly being tracked while on the job, but Schwartz says they’re starting to come around. They’ve realized it’s actually less work for them at the end of the day since there aren’t paper forms to fill out before they can go home.
3. Don’t wait.
Schwartz says he wishes he had implemented his new software earlier in the year so that his crew members could all be trained on it as seasonal employees came on board. “If I had moved on this sooner, it would have saved a lot of extra individual training later in the year,” he says.
He says it also would have given him some more time to get familiar with the tracking software before he tried to explain it to his staff. “It takes more time than you think to train yourself,” he says.