What Data do you track daily?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by tinman, Jan 9, 2005.

  1. tinman

    tinman LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ga
    Posts: 1,348

    What Data do you track daily? Just making sure I do not miss anything. I know trip times, mowing times, all expenses,. I especially want to hear from the extemely detailed guys/girls. Thanks
     
  2. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Posts: 1,796

    Are you recording your mileage? Seems like that one has been comming up lately.
     
  3. tinman

    tinman LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ga
    Posts: 1,348

    yes, I keep up with that also.
     
  4. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    yep I;m one of those detail freaks and we record the following faithfully every day of the year. I was given some good advise a few years ago by my fatherinlaw who told me "you have to know your numbers like your name if you want to succeed". His advice has been invlauable.
    1- record the start time when the wheels start turning
    2- start/stop time for every job every day, no matter how consistent the elapsed time is from month to month.( I want to be able to roll these numbers up from time to time and see how productive we are in a given month.)
    3- any materials used on the service call (weed spray, plant fert etc)
    4- what was done on each job beyond mow/trim (things like sprayed weeds/fert flowrs/trim or nip a few plants etc)
    5-elapsed time for breaks/lunch
    6-mileage start/stop(we use a separate mileage log as thats what the IRS wants)
    7- screwups/problems we did not plan on (we use this info to hopefully reduce these unplanned screwups in the future)
    8- employee start/stop times including lunch/breaks

    THis may sound like its tedious and takes allot of time each day but actually its a piece of cake and takes only about 5 total minutes a day to record this detail.
    Now at this time of year, and before we do our renewals, I have summaries that show me each accounts history and if we need to make pricing changes

    I also record daily the time we/I spend on business errands, paperwork/equipment maintenance/estimates etc. Since this stuff is all part of the business, this elapsed time needs to be included in the numbers for profit analysis. Sorry for the long post but since you seem like a person who wants the details so here they are...If you do this recording faithfully every day, I think you will be ahead of allot of guys in this business who frankly dont know their numbers.
     
  5. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    GarPa has a great list. the other things that we track is shop time or repairs to the equipment. Also any time at the computer. (billing, sales work)

    OH and don't forget to track the time spent on Lawnsite. There has to be a way to write that off as education. J/K
     
  6. msparks

    msparks LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    I agree, you need to record the information and put it to some type of software, so you can see how you are doing.

    I haven't done this in the last 3 years. I had no idea until the end of the year if I'm making money or losing, where I'm spending, when I can save more and so for.

    The more detailed your records and transactions the easier you can see the total picture of the pie.


    I found a simple program for less then $50. This will help me tremendously. I looked at trying quickbooks, money, and quicken. But it was too complecated and not easy to use like this one.
    Business tracker

    Hope this helps
     
  7. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    MS have you played with this software yet?? Let us know when you start to load it and start setting it up. Right now we use spreadsheets that the acountant provides but they dont have the data arranged in the order I would prefer. Keep us posted on how you like this relatively inexpensive software(I too dont care for Quickbooks...too many bells and whistles I dont need or want)
     
  8. msparks

    msparks LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    Hey click on the demo program and it will take you through exactly the program as it looks. The guy spent some time developing the demo as he will walk and talk you through each screen.

    I have setup the program and have started using it, it's not very glitzy like money and such, but it's way easy to understand and use. Pretty much idiot proof. I also like that I can add my own stuff in there besides what he has listed. Like when I pay for certain things over and overI will make a special expense for that (Like my cell phone bill, I keep that separte from my home telephone expenses)

    And if you don't like it, get your money back, you have up to a year to decide.

    If you have any questions let me know.
     
  9. msparks

    msparks LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    Hey still using the program,

    Actually they have a separte program designed for homebusinesses and internetbusiness call (internet tax helper)

    I actually setup an afiliate link for both of them.

    www.homebusinesstaxhelper.com

    I put my own personal testimonial becuase I believe in it so much. You know I'm a cheapskate and for $50 for the "pro" version you can't hardly beat it, especially when it works so well (and is easy to use).
     
  10. HK45Mark23

    HK45Mark23 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 200

    Personally I keep track of every thing.

    I record the start and stop time of every piece of equipment. I have a sheet that my crew and I use to record the machines name and purpose (such as S-T/E-E for Shindaiwa Multitool Trimmer/Edger Edger or S-T/E-T for Shindaiwa Multi-Tool Trimmer/Edger Trimmer or JDM for John Deere Mower or L for Lastec or S-B for Shindaiwa Blower) and the start time (which is received from an atomic clock) and stop time.

    At the end of the day the crew manager calculates the hours and min on every machine converting minutes to hundredths of a hour.

    He then transfers this information to another sheet that is dedicate to just one piece of equipment and is used only for maintenance purposes. This sheet has all the maintenance scheduling according to the manufacturers suggestions.

    He then makes sure that all maintenance items are performed on or before the scheduled time. If that the maintenance would come due before the end of the next operational day then the maintenance is performed that evening as to prevent the equipment from ever exceeding the manufacturers recommended maintenance schedule.

    I also use the collected information to calculate time studies for specific landscape maintenance items, such as edging, trimming, blower sweeping and mowing. I have actual measurements of my accounts. I then can calculate through the year by using the actual recorded start and stop times how long it takes to perform any specific task. With this information I can also calculate the feet per minute information and I can then determine what the true cost of operation per foot and per hour is. With this information I then adjust for the next year to compensate for actual time and cost such as gas and labor to insure that I keep in check with inflation. Not only do I account for the operational cost inflation but I also increase the profit according to inflation. Note that inflation rises on average 6% annually.

    Also no one goes home until all paper work is finished and all equipment is cleaned, re-fueled, totally serviced including all servicing and maintenance required to date“.”

    There is no putting it off maintenance till the morning or leaving it until the weekend. This way no maintenance or paper work ever piles up. This prevents the equipment from suffering because of some one being tired or lazy.

    I spend too much on the equipment to neglect it. The equipment is too valuable and feed each of us to just neglect.

    This is why I am as critical as to how my equipment is handled. If abused the crew member liable for the damage pays for it. If it is just normal wear and tear that is understandable, but no abuse is ever tolerated. Abuse and negligence are grounds for immediate termination. I will also garnish of wages and even commence legal proceedings if necessary to recoup any losses.

    I cover liability professionally with insurance but my employees are responsible to me and the company for their negligence and incompetence. Accidents are understandable, but if some one is accident prone due to negligent or abusive behavior then they will pay the company back for any damages they have caused.

    I keep track of all expenditure. I keep all receipts. My personal receipts are always with in 30 dollars on my personal balance sheets. I have the receipts and can account for every penny on the company balance sheets.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg.

    I do this on the investment properties and janitorial service also.

    I have a pattern of how I expect the work to be performed that maximizes efficiency and that this concept not only encompasses lawn care but janitorial.

    I require that they work be performed at a specific level of expertise. Such as you maybe can cook a burger at home on a grill, but at McDonalds you will cook it their way not your way, this is how I operate.

    I have a signature look that supersedes the quality of all the other LCOs in my aria.

    I insist that any one working with me not only perform at my level of perfection implementing my techniques but in doing so they are using ear, eye and respiratory protection and are using them properly.
     

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