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Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by marionlandscape, Jul 14, 2005.

  1. marionlandscape

    marionlandscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    how does everyone handle the scheduling issue?
    I currently use 2 white boards one for Landscaping and one for Mowing. with so many accounts it is getting hard to keep track of everyone. we have not missed anyone but I do see that becoming an issue in the future. most people are on a 7 day rotation then some are on a 5 day rotation and a few are on a 10 day. this company wants mowed on fridays and that company needs mowed on thursdays Now to make it fun lets throw in a day and a half of rain and after that 2 guys call in sick. what ways have you guys found to make this easier?
  2. TScapes

    TScapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 453

    I have used white boards, printed off calendars, notepads, napkins, magazines...... whatever works! Seriously though, scheduling can be very cumbersome, especially when you have customers that make requests (such as service days or special events). I use a combination of White boards and run off calendars. Each are labeled for each month and addressed accordingly. As for installations, enhancements or mulchings, etc., I have another job board that covers things that I can forcast out for a year or month in advance. The calendars and boards are selectively labeled for each crew. On my boards, I actually track their times each month, thus allowing me to continuously job cost each account and see what is slowing them down each day or week.
    The hard part is the weather.... if a crew leader makes an adjustment, we try to adjust the board and notify the cleint. I am a stickler for showing up on the same day every visit, thus showing dependability on our part to the client. We will make modifications on an as needed basis, but all my accounts are on 7 day cycles. I don't do 5 days or 10, nor would I b/c of the scheduling headache. My suggestion is to try to mark up a calendar for atleast one month in advance, that way you can look at it everyday and you won't forget someone.
    To each their own..... you only learn from trial and error and lots of mistakes can teach you a lot!! :blush:
  3. charlies

    charlies LawnSite Senior Member
    from earth
    Posts: 587

    lots of meetings. it is never the same, even with mowing only. jeez customers can be a p.i.t.a.

    we have always had a problem with equipment maintenance. we would start out the season staying on top of it, but by the middle to the end of the season, maint. was slipping quite a bit. we found a solution that helps with the schedule. four ten hour days for the mowing crews, one day of maint. by owners. this way we really have two alternate days (we don't work sundays) each week to allow adjustment for rain.
  4. z_clark

    z_clark LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 369

    We use Microsoft Access. You can make a database and make it do just about anything.

    Before using Access I had a folder for every day of the week, and 6 weeks worth of folders. I also had a piece of paper for every job with address and contact info, and other details about the job. I would file these papers (jobs) in the folders in the correct day. When Monday was over, I could go to the folder and bill for Monday, then put these finished job in next Monday's folder (if it was weekly service).

    best of luck! Problems scheduling aren't all bad! Could be worse! :dizzy:
  5. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,157

    When I had my own, I had an excell spreadsheet and a three ring binder.

    each day woudl have its own sheet of paper, so each work week had 5 pages. Date ont he top of the page and by each customer name was an open box for initials and a couple lines for any coments. LIke Saw chinch bugs, or its looking a bit dry, noticed screen on pool dech w2as cut whn we arrived. so at the end of the day I could make phone calls or just ad the notes to their monthly bill.

    My customers were all on monlthy payments so if I was there 4 times or 2 times(weather and season dependent) it did not matter. I would keep the past 4 weeks worth of pages in the binder. if I skiped a home for whatever reason, it was intitaled and then SKIP written and then it was highlighted. of if I skipped moweing but did another task again kept notes accordinlgy. As you get customers you can then bump the peopel from one day to th enext as your schedule fills up. I made my schudle also workable I could start at the top of the page, middle or bottom and the route still stayed the same. In Florida we got those 1/2 mile wide rain storms so I could skip a group of homes and come back later in the day.

    The dry erase boards is good too, but if you are in the truck, a dry erase board at the office/shop doesn't do you any good.
  6. harryhomeowner

    harryhomeowner LawnSite Member
    Posts: 140


    I sent you a PM.
  7. JimboII

    JimboII LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    I do it all with a word processor, infinitely flexible, 3 columns, each location uses 1 line, coded info: equipment needed, name, cut freq.: weekly, 1-10 as needed, 10-2wks as needed, 2 weeks, monthly, twice yearly. (as needed = seasonal adjustment some time in July), mower height, date due, example= **Smith, 2W, 3", 7/28, I have housekeeping, lawn care, cattle tending, snow removal, client vehicle maint. and washing, all on one document, updated nightly, reset each week and saved, and used for billing. One year I was audited, I hauled these puppies out and put miles to them and that resolved that.
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    6-Column Analysis Pad (some call it columnar pads).
    It's like a spreadsheet but without the computer.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Oh I forgot: You can buy it at Staples for a few bucks :)
  10. Lawn Sharks

    Lawn Sharks LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 394

    I would suggest Gopher software. Great scheduling stuff.

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