Help me understand how the guys with efficient routing

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DFW Area Landscaper, Aug 25, 2006.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116

    do it?

    We are in the process of overhauling our routes for maximum efficiency. Assuming we are prepared to part ways with clients who insist on Th/Fr service and we can't offer it in that area, how do you it?

    Suppose, for example, that you want to schedule XXX amount of revenue per day, per crew.

    Crew #1 starts in the western part of Community A and works east on Monday. On Tuesday, they pick up where they left off and continue working east. Same thing on W-Th-F.

    In theory, this is great. But what if, over the next 6 weeks, you have 5 clients on Friday cancel, and you pick up 8 new clients who are in the part of town that you are servicing on Mondays and Tuesdays. Now you have 8 lawns too many in the west and too few lawns in the east.

    If you put some of the new lawns on Friday, then the daily revenue is balanced. But you are defeating your efficiency of routing because you still have to sit at all those stop lights to get from the east end of town to the west.

    The only real solution is to move 5 clients from Monday to Tuesday, move 5 from Tuesday to Wednesday, so on and so forth all the way through Friday. It would require making 25 phone calls to clients. Seems like a lot of work and then you can pretty much count on getting into conversations you'd rather not be having (switch from weekly to bi-weekly, skip it this week, etc.)

    Just wondering how others handle this.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  2. Tn Lawn Man

    Tn Lawn Man LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 479

    You will be surprised that when you switch to routing by geograhic location instead of the old way you were doing it how adding or losing a few accounts will actually change the route so much that the customers day is changed.

    For example, most of the time it will change a Tuesday evening mow to a Wednesday morning mow or vice versa.

    Also, I toldl my clients that I cannot guarantee the day they will get mowed. I only guarantee that they will get mowed between Mo-Sa.

    When I did this I only lost one or two accounts.

    Go geographic and you will be happy you did.
  3. Tn Lawn Man

    Tn Lawn Man LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 479

    Also, I don't make phone calls before my guys go out....too many clients and it will take to much time.

    The client should always leave me access to their lawn so that I can show up when I am need to.
  4. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Oddly enough, I route my crews by what equipment they need...not by location...and charge accordingly.
  5. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,309

    Me too....
  6. Tn Lawn Man

    Tn Lawn Man LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 479

    Can you go into more detail? I fit everything on one trailer.
  7. Oxmow

    Oxmow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 483

    I have overlapping of routes from front of the week to the end of the week.

    This because commercials are done at the first of the week and residentials at the end with wednesday being the breakover. Industrials are scattered throughout.

    New residentials are told they get thur-fri times and sometimes on saturdays of the week goes awry.
  8. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    hmmm...I thought I was one of the very few.
  9. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    I am running a lot less accounts than you. But, what I do is route by geography and when people drop off, advertise more there to fill up the day.

    Say the crew can do 20 accts in a day in the Monday area and you have 16 accts. well that is pretty close to a full day, just advertise some more there and fill it up. Same if you lose 2 or 3.

    I run geographic only unless weather screws stuff up. Then we run geographic until we finish and start the next geographic and continue on until caught up.

    All my prospective clients are told what day of the week we cut in their area as soon as we find out where their property is. I have very few who are concerned. Most are shocked / excited that we have a set day. In 3 years I have never had a client request a specific day of the week.
  10. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    We run multiple trailers and crew...for instance, one trailer and crew has a 52" WB, a 61"WB, and a 61" Z with 2 20" small mowers...another trailer has 2 60" Z's with a 72" Z, another trailer has a 60" WB and a 72" all depends on the day and where we are mowing with that crew...and I have additional equipment as well, a school project has 2 Z's dedicated with a WB for those days as well

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