How far behind are you?

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by mbella, May 17, 2005.

  1. mbella

    mbella LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    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.
     
  2. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    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?
     
  3. Billpa

    Billpa LawnSite Member
    from pa
    Posts: 103

    Mike,
    I’ve never had a problem with a customer when I tell them I’m 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 it’s not the greatest thing to call and tell them but most understand that it’s 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
     
  4. JRAZ

    JRAZ LawnSite Member
    from NW
    Posts: 143

    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.
     
  5. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Posts: 1,579

    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.
     
  6. neversatisfiedj

    neversatisfiedj LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,028

    I'm behind because the damn versa-lok plant (Binkley) is behind in production.
     
  7. Drafto

    Drafto LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 442

    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
     
  8. mbella

    mbella LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    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.
     
  9. mbella

    mbella LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

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

    Drafto LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 442

    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
     

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