View Full Version : Multi-tasking with crews???
06-05-2005, 08:05 PM
I am running about 12 guys. I am always finding it hard to keep on top of every job. I can't be in all places all the time. After a while I expect that the work get done but after a few drive by's at nite (especially our Commercial accts) I find that the quality of cut, straight lines, trimming, blowing looks great but the "finer details" such as weeding out a landscape, or pulling out a weed in there landscape around the sign (which is very noticable considering you drive past it all the time let alone all the workers) which I did in a few locations, looks pretty tacky, but yet they have written in there work log that they did perform this service.
Now what I expect and tell the crew leaders. Weed out landscape areas, weed wip the grass in cracks of cement, around building such as loading docks etc and keep an eye for detail. It is pretty much expected of us to maintain that for these accts.
How do you go about telling them without being angry that this is what I expect!!
06-05-2005, 08:26 PM
:blob3: i just give them a reminder " makes sure you guys get all the street cracks" my guys know now that very picky about the little stuff.
a lawn can look great after being mowed, but nothin worse when the grass in the street cracks is higher than the lawn
06-05-2005, 08:43 PM
I don't have a crews, but just a couple comments/questions.
Do you have your license to spray? I don't so I can't spray those weeds in the cracks, but I'm mostly a one man show so it's not as big a deal for me to hit them with the trimmer. But if I had crews going out without me like you do, I'd definitely get my license so I can spray that stuff to save the guys time (and save on labor costs), and so I wouldn't have to worry about them missing it.
But to more answer your question, I would make a point of taking the crew leader out and physically showing him the areas of concern, rather then just telling them about it the next day.
He may not know exactly what you're referring to, or may feel that the job was acceptable in his opinion. By taking him there to show him what you expect, and maybe even finishing the job yourself with the crew leader right there and then say "this is what is should look like when you leave" then there's no room for misunderstanding. Basically just better communication, and showing them by example of what you expect. Then be consistent in holding them to that expectation.
06-05-2005, 08:44 PM
Whats wrong with being angry when you tell them? Send them back on their time to do the job right. Pay them like they work. Shoddy work means shoddy pay. Make your "Crew Leader" go back and do it on his time. He is the one to oversee the work...right.
This is just a few radical solutions......
Or just let them know that the work is sub standard....go with them next time and show them exactly what you want.
06-05-2005, 09:25 PM
I choose to talk and show first and then if the prob is not rectified then it is time to be short and angry with the crew leader. i don't have a crew but was a squad leader of an infantry squad in the army for 6 years and i had great success and hardly ever needed to get mad.
06-05-2005, 09:56 PM
Do a walk thru as soon as the crew leaves and at end of day have them show up and hand pull every weed on the property. Let it be known that to falsify jobsite records will result in termination. Nutgrass doesnt grow six inches overnight. Crews dont care about the finer details they simply want the yard done enough to cross it off of the days schedule and go home.
If you can spray, have a walk thru with a pump sprayer as part of the routine service. I do this to both commercial and residentials and saves me lots of headaches. Weed big enough to get nappy before roundup kills it then it gets pulled... all else get sprayed: beds, driveways, sidewalks, curbs etc.
a pre-emerge mixed w/ the glyphosate helps concrete too but make sure it doesnt have dye in it as a lot of pre's do.
06-06-2005, 10:34 AM
I treat weed pulling / spraying as a separate job than mowing. I think you're right to assume that the cutting crew has a list of jobs to do that day and they just want to get them done. When I'm cutting lawns, I pretty much know my schedule and what time I'll be in which neighborhood. Pulling weeds is a time-killer, when you have x number of lawns to get done in a day.
I do all of my weeding at the same time. I'll take a morning every couple weeks and go pull weeds at all the accounts that need it....and I bill the customer for it. Some of my customers take care of their own weeds, some do not. Why should I do a quick, free service while I'm mowing for the ones who don't bother?
I have a couple customers who just let their weeds go and call me when it gets bad. I bring 3 people out and we pull weeds for 3 hrs.....and I rack up some hourly invoices. Why spend 5 minutes every week, and not have a system to bill for it? I wish they'd call me more frequently....so the home would look better, but either way I'm not doing "freebies" for people who don't take care of their landscapes, and I'm not going to overcharge the cutting price for those who do it themselves.
I need to have a system for billing all work....or I'll end up spending two minutes here, and 10 minutes there, which will add up quick, with no invoices to show for it.
06-06-2005, 11:23 AM
I find that the "finer details" such as weeding out a landscape, or pulling out a weed in there landscape around the sign (which is very noticable considering you drive past it all the time let alone all the workers) which I did in a few locations, looks pretty tacky, but yet they have written in there work log that they did perform this service.
How do you go about telling them without being angry that this is what I expect!!
I try to have site maps of our larger properties (office complexes, power centers, malls, etc.) and in situations like this, I highlight the problem areas for the crews and give them a detailed punchlist for that site. If you can, try to meet the crew on site to do this and utilize that time to do a walk thru with your crew leader. But I know you can't always do this, thus the reason for the map. Once this is done, I give them 1-2 visits (depending upon the severity of the infestation) and then do another visit. If there is still a problem, then it has to do with the supervisor. Either he doesn't understand (which can be corrected with training) or he don't care (get rid of him). Some people are great on production tasks, but can't seem to grasp the detail eye that you need. Those later ones are destined for laborers only, while you need to find someone with the eye for detail.
If we could clone some of ourselves, the problems we all have would be solved!!! :blob3:
06-06-2005, 01:11 PM
I have come to realize that telling the crew is not enough. Telling them one time is not enough either cause the will for get next week. What I have done is in the morning tell them hey you are going here and make sure you pull the weeds. Everybody on the crew hears it. I also make sure it is written on the route sheet next to the stop Walmart weed beds, weed eat cracks, and curb lines so the foremen see's and knows. If I drive by and see it was not done then I call and say go back and do it. All my guys get paid by the job so the faster they get done and the better job they do the quicker they go home. If they have to go back that is costing them time and money. So I would tell you let them know in the morning, write it in the route sheet and if they still don't do it make them all go back they will get the picture when they think they are all done for the day and come to realize they have to go do something that takes 5minutes and do it when they are at the stop the first time.
06-06-2005, 05:15 PM
Ya gotta walk throug every job with the crewleader and crew at the same time and actually show them and tell them what is required before a property can be signed off.If you go by later and that 1 thing or those 6 things are not done they don't get the $ for the work.When the work ic completed to company standards they will be paid
06-07-2005, 07:57 AM
Rarely do i spray when its not compensated for. Commercials do get invoiced for a full lot spray out and extreme case homeowner situations too but the normal week to week bedwork spray is just part of my service. This is of course a factor in calculating the maintenance bid and I do get paid for it one way or the other. I do more but then again I charge more.
Attention to manicure details and customer service justifies the rates i charge and usually (but not always) results in a better caliber of customer for me to deal with.
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