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Crew Checklist

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by tazman, Dec 26, 2000.

  1. tazman

    tazman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 81

    Just wondering what people out there do when you have a crew. What do you use as a checklist for the Crew leader to follow. I know some of the software programs like Clip and LM have scheduling available, but does anybody use something else like word or excel formats. Just curious because we are bringing on 22 new properties next year and I want my Lead guy to have something to work from. I can't be around all the time and I need to make sure he does what I instruct him to do before he goes out. Any insight greatly appreciated.
  2. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    Tazman, If you know how to use Excel, you really don't need to use any of those fancy programs.

    Just set your chart:

    CUSTOMER(name,add,tel#)/ Time in / Time out / remarks

    I think thats what your looking for. E-mail me if you need help setting one up and I'll whip one up for you whith exactly what you want in it.

    Than you can have a checklist for diffent days, and it'll help teach your employees that they will be responsible and accountable for their times at jobs, etc.

    Let me know if I can help. I'm getting fidgety here at work cause we're not getting any snow!!

  3. tazman

    tazman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 81

    Guido, Thanks for the offer, I may take you up on it. I know it is probably pretty basic, just kind of wondering what kind of format people were/are using.
  4. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    When you get the time, think of some ideas of what you guys would want on there, and the format, and I'll throw one together and put it on my site. I'm sure theres other guys out there that could use it also.

    It'll keep me out of trouble too! ;)
  5. Vandora Lawn & Landscape

    Vandora Lawn & Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 386

    Take a look at the form clip uses, then just manually copy it. Clip basically has about 5 lines per job. Name, address, etc. They are listed together on a page like this.

    Route list for 6.12.01

    Job 1
    Name: Joe Hovermill
    Address: 123 Crap Street
    Balto, MD 21210
    Task: Mow & Blow
    Time in:
    Time out:
    Current Balance: $45.00 due on 6.30.00
    Payment Recieved: Yes/No Amount Recieved:

    Then Just repeat that for each job of the day. Add or delete whatever you need.

    Good luck.
  6. Turfdoctor

    Turfdoctor LawnSite Member
    Posts: 51

    I wrestled with spread sheets and such for three years. I could not make myself spend $1000.00 for somthing I believed I could do myself. Time crunch was killing me. I bit the bullet and bought clip. I run two crews. Honestly, it set doing nothing for six months since I did not have time to get it set up. Once I set it up, it saved me mega time! It is the best $ I spent last year! It schedules awesome, with route sheets that have detailed info for each property. It does not allow you to forget things or details! It helps me by giving my crews details that I don't want overlooked. You can do several things without a program like clip, but clip saves so much time. As you continue to grow, time is the one thing that you run out of. Their support is good to. IF you decide to purchase clip or any type of software, DO IT WHILE THE GROUND IS STILL FROZEN. It takes a couple of weeks to get comfortable with it and that is a lot easier to do when things are slowwwwwwww. I converted to it in mid stream, and don't recommend that. It also works well with quickbooks if you use that program. Good luck! Robert Stroud
  7. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    I've done this every way I could think of. Finally, about 2 years ago, I came up with the following system that I believe works wonders.

    I make each crew a notebook. The notebook has 5 dividers. One for each day of the week. Behind each day approximately 15-20 pages. One page per customer on that days route.

    At the top of each page it has the customer's name in Bold and underlined. Directly under that is the customer's address and their exact coordinates on the Thomas Bros. map (e.g. 624-E-6). This is critical for new employees or for employees reading this book who don't normally do this route. Next is a brief statement of what is to be done at the house. For instance;

    Mow weekly (M), Edge bi-weekly (E), Fertilize every 4 weeks (F), spray Weeds in Lawn (WL), Blow driveways and walkways (B), pull or spray Weeds in flower Beds (WB).

    That takes up the first 5 or 6 lines on the page. Then I put a bunch of blank lines with "Date" and "Work Done" at the top. The page has about 20-25 blank lines.

    Then on each line the crew leader is to fill in the date and work done on that day. So the page, over time, underneath the customer info, looks kinda like this...

    12/01 M, E, B, WB
    12/08 M, F, WL, B
    12/15 M, E, B
    12/22 M, WB, B

    There are several very good advantages to this system. First, you don't have to change the schedule every week or print up new pages. They use the same page each week for months.

    Second, in less than a minute, you can look back on the page and get a very good idea of the level of service that was done at each house each week. You can instantly tell if they are doing what they are supposed to each week.

    Third, it is extremely easy to add a new customer to the list. You just insert a new page into the notebook.

    Fourth, You have a written detailed explaination of the work that was done each week if the customer ever has a challenge, accusation, or question (e.g. "When was the last time you guys fertilized?")

    Finally, This is the method that takes the least amount of paper work and revision.

    Employees like this method as well. It's extremely self contained and they know exactly what is expected of them at each house.

    I should add also that I have my crews leave these notebooks at my house each night when they are done with work. The reason is twofold. One, it protects my information. I don't want these books to be laying in a truck somewhere where someone could snag it. And more importantly, if I want to add a new client or make changes to a page, the book is handy for me to work on at night.

    In addition to this, we also always leave a checklist on the client's door with every single visit. The checklist lists 10 or so services that we offer and we put a check next to the ones we did that day. At the top it says something like "Hi! We stopped by today and provided the following services;" At the bottom of the page is has our number if there are any questions. Clients love to get this. And it keeps your employees honest. If they mark something down that they didn't do, it will be obvious to the customer, and I, the boss, will hear about it.

    I hope this makes sense to you all. It works very well for us. I can't imagine doing it any other way now.
  8. Hardy Enterprises

    Hardy Enterprises LawnSite Member
    Posts: 116


    I like your system that sounds like a great idea. One thing that also might be better is to put it in a 3 ring binder so that if add a customer to the route you could place it in order in the binder. Then when you open up the binder all the customers will be in order that they should be done. Also I like to record all my times of when I get there and when I leave. At the end of the season I plot all the data in a speardsheet so I can see how production at each job was during the year. The time charts also helps in bidding on new jobs, because it can give you an average time it takes to do a certain size job.

  9. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    I agree with both statements Jay made. We do use 3 ring binders. I am sorry if I didn't mention that above. Yah, that's what makes it so easy to add new customers and change things around if I need to.

    And I agree to about the time in and time out thing. I know a lot of landscape companies do that. I just do not yet. I am more interested in how many houses they can do per day as opposed to how long they take at each house. Also, in this area, each yard takes about the same amount of time. And I know which ones take a little more because I used to mow them myself. But I agree, adding the time-in and time-out thing is a great idea. I just don't personally do it.
  10. I use basically the same type set up as Jim does. It can't get much simpiler than that. We track travel time at the beginning and end of the day.That usually accounts for some dump time and encapsulates travel. Travel in between is negligble. I want to know what that beginning, ending and dump time is , because it basically gives me the labor efficency rate I am looking for.

    We then enter the informaton in to our own designed Excel spreadsheet every day, and we have a running, current status of the account as well as records.

    Good to see a west coast, Oregon guy on here. We're only about 20 miles apart. Jim has to fight the traffic, I don't.

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