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View Full Version : How far behind are you?


mbella
05-18-2005, 12:01 AM
I'm curious, how far behind are you? This is my second full year on my own and I am uncomfortable calling a customer and explaining that I am behind. Right now, I am a few days behind. If we are going to start a job later than anticipated, I call the customer and explain, but I hate it. However, I have learned that it is inevitable.

Green Pastures
05-18-2005, 12:18 AM
Do it now.

Do not put it off.

The sooner you call and be honest, the better off you'll look in the customers eyes.

Customers have to be told that we are in an extremely weather dependent business. Sometimes we get behind due to bad weather.

If you don't call and don't show you look like an idiot. Calling shows concern and interest in the job.

What are you waiting for?

Billpa
05-18-2005, 12:18 AM
Mike,
Iíve never had a problem with a customer when I tell them Iím a little behind, I just try to make sure it wont affect them in any way such as an upcoming event at their house. I know itís not the greatest thing to call and tell them but most understand that itís hard to always stay on schedule when your working around weather and so on. I guess it would depend on the person though, some people are just looking to be upset over anything.

Bill

JRAZ
05-18-2005, 02:40 AM
We issue an approximate start date & approximate length of time in our contracts for all jobs. Somethings we get held up on are vendors or weather or a guy calling in sick etc... Currently, we are "off schedule" about 3 days where I ideally want to be. We were supposed to start a good sized job Monday but will have to start Weds afternoon. Nature of the beast this time of year.

kris
05-18-2005, 07:58 AM
Mike ..I don't think a few days is anything to worry about ... just try to never over promise. I would much rather tell a customer a later start date and then phone them and ask if we could start earlier.

Just a note on our contracts .... the start date has a leeway of 30 days either way.

neversatisfiedj
05-18-2005, 11:49 AM
I'm behind because the damn versa-lok plant (Binkley) is behind in production.

Drafto
05-18-2005, 09:46 PM
Just curious......how do you guys explain to all your cutomers your whole schedule pushed back? I think the best way to bump a schedule is too bump one customer. If I am supposed to be at Mrs. So and So's and it rains that day, she gets pushed out to the end and I still start Mrs. Do Do's on the day I was supposed too. I have learned that it is easier to make ONE call to one customer to explain. Also, I think it is hard trying to explain to customers that it rained two weeks ago and you are still behind, the way I do it, only one person needs explaining, and 10 times out of 10 they understand that it rained on that day you were supposed to be there and that is the way it is. Just my 2 cents.

Dan

mbella
05-18-2005, 10:46 PM
Drafto, I don't do it the way you do it. Right now, my hardscape crew is booked into August. I wont bump somebody from May to August. I inform the customer of the start date. I also inform them that inclement weather or delays between the time they sign and the date of construction will result in a delay in the start of construction. I love the people that think that rain only effects them AFTER you begin their project. I think I handle it fine. I just get uncomfortable making that phone call.

mbella
05-18-2005, 10:47 PM
Mike ..I don't think a few days is anything to worry about ... just try to never over promise. I would much rather tell a customer a later start date and then phone them and ask if we could start earlier.

Just a note on our contracts .... the start date has a leeway of 30 days either way.

I completely agree. I did that this year. I saved a one week window. However, that window closed and we are behind.

Drafto
05-18-2005, 10:58 PM
Drafto, I don't do it the way you do it. Right now, my hardscape crew is booked into August. I wont bump somebody from May to August. I inform the customer of the start date. I also inform them that inclement weather or delays between the time they sign and the date of construction will result in a delay in the start of construction. I love the people that think that rain only effects them AFTER you begin their project. I think I handle it fine. I just get uncomfortable making that phone call.

Mbella - I wasn't critisizing the way you or anyone else does it, I didnt' mean to come off that way. The way I should have stated it is "what works best for me". I also dread the phone calls, maybe thats why I got it down to making only one.

Drafto

mbella
05-18-2005, 11:01 PM
Drafto, I don't do it the way you do it. Right now, my hardscape crew is booked into August. I wont bump somebody from May to August. I inform the customer of the start date. I also inform them that inclement weather or delays between the time they sign and the date of construction will result in a delay in the start of construction. I love the people that think that rain only effects them AFTER you begin their project. I think I handle it fine. I just get uncomfortable making that phone call.

Mbella - I wasn't critisizing the way you or anyone else does it, I didnt' mean to come off that way. The way I should have stated it is "what works best for me". I also dread the phone calls, maybe thats why I got it down to making only one.

Drafto

No problem. I didn't think you were criticizing me, only informing me what you do. You didn't come off in a bad way at all.

kris
05-19-2005, 08:01 AM
With Hardscape its really hard to catch up ...there is only so many skilled guys with us to build walls etc and you can't usually beef up the crew or those unskilled guys are just standing around... with softscape we can gain allot of time by beefing up the crew size . I Put a nine man crew together yesterday and dug,hauled away the spoils, planted,watered and mulched 85 -2 in caliper trees ... 7 of those 9 were finished work at 3pm. Wish we could have days like that everyday!

mbella
05-19-2005, 08:45 PM
Great point Kris. I like to have two to three guys on a hardscape crew. If we are laying a lot of sq.ft. of pavers then more on the day we lay, but usually two to three.

kootoomootoo
05-19-2005, 10:17 PM
2-3 weeks behind ......partly weather partly customers adding extras to the job so good and bad......turning away work.......same deal....cant send guys out and say ...build this wall and lay 300 sq ft of pavers while your at it.