10 days til the crazy time.

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by David Gretzmier, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    10 days left of the relaxed working days. you know, 8-10 hours a day, 5 a week, the 40 -50 hour weeks? We will finish the rest of our commercial and early work here in the next 6-7 working days, and try to convince some others to let us put up before halloween.

    I figured out we have 63 8 hour "working days" of work commited for a 2 man crew starting November 1, and 10 days of "iffy" clients ( not called or committed yet, but have done it before). How do you do 60-70 days of work before thanksgiving? 3 crews this year, it looks like. I had planned on 4, but Just don't have the trained crew foremen in place, and it appears I will only need 3 crews.

    closed my 8th new customer this year today, which is the most ever before November 1. Hopefully this trend will continue and I'll have plenty of work for my 3 crews when they finish all the rehangs.
  2. worx

    worx LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 252

    David it sounds like you are in a good position of frustration....hope it continues for ya.
  3. Christmas Pro

    Christmas Pro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    David, I know what you mean, getting ready for the crazy rush is quite tedious...my warehouse is overflowing with lights and I still have more coming in. This year will be a bit different as its the first year I've actually stocked LEDs in my inventory, previously we've just done special orders as needed.

    In terms of installs I'll have 4, hopefully 5 crews going full time this season, I've got two crews going now, but we've mostly been doing our large commercial jobs and a few vacation houses up at the lake, 99% of my residential customers never let me install very early.
  4. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    Do most of your guys do on the job training, or do you use videos, then on- the- job? I feel as though each year it has been easier to find help, but less time to train them. this has gotten harder as the business has grown, and undertraining seems to be leading to massive overtime. I have no doubts about getting it done, but it sure would be nice to put guys in front of a TV for 8 hours and then send them out.
  5. Christmas Pro

    Christmas Pro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    I guess I'm kind of lucky in that my other business is a window cleaning business, and all of my crew leaders work for me year round, so I have a skeleton crew of window cleaners working in the winter and the rest of my employees I move over to doing christmas light installs. I will be training one of my last years seasonal workers to become a crew chief, so I can have 5 crews.

    As to actually training my crew cheifs, employees and seasonal workers, we do a two day training/refresher course, where we sit together and have a Q & A session to go over all the installation methods (I have a manual of my installation methods lined out for them), and then on two seperate days we do two completely seperate practice installations on different houses. one day we do my house, and the next day we do my parents as they have some tricky rooflines. We spend at least 8 hours on each install to make sure everyone gets to experience all aspects.

    This has worked well to help my crews hit the ground running the last few years, The downside is that obviously this is paid training that just costs me money, and it doesn't do any good for those seasonal late hires that always occur.

    I have often thought of making some kind of instructional dvd or dvds, as it would save an enormous amount of time, but I've not done this yet.

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