Video Transcript

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back to callahan’s corner where you
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asked the questions we answer them live
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right here on facebook so had a question
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that was submitted on the facebook group
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i can actually pull my phone up here and
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read it um
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but feeling for this gentleman i have
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been there before
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uh but basically to put some context
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this gentleman has left his business for
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eight
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weeks because of some medical uh issues
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and came back to
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a little less than uh pretty much a
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disaster on his hands um
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so definitely not here preaching on a
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pedestal by any means i have been here
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um and it’s part of the reason why you
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can see some of the magazine articles
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behind me in lawn and landscape magazine
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uh where i like to share on callahan’s
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corner in the magazine and snow magazine
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some of the trials and tribulations
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we’ve been through some of some of the
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things we got lucky enough to get right
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and well some of the things
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similar to this gentleman’s question um
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we didn’t get right off the bat so a
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little context
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my lawn care business uh and snowmobile
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business upper northeast
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in uh upstate new york uh 25 years
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obviously from the early years through
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high school through college
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um well up to 19 or 20 crews plowing up
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before
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we exited through acquisition so i
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definitely can speak to this candidly
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but i think that
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this hits home whether you are not
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planning to be out of the
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out of the mix on a day-to-day basis or
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you actually
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uh want to be more of the michael gerber
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work on it uh not in it or you just want
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to leave for
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three four weeks or at least 10 days for
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a vacation and not come back
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to an utter disaster um you know in your
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business so
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what i’m going to do is read this
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question and then i’m going to actually
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flip the screen open and give you some
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ideas on how to actually tackle this or
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at least at least some foundational
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pieces of this so
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tom writes in here i come into work at
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six a.m for the first time in eight
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weeks
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my wife has been coming in for me
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uh due to a surgery so first of all uh
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tom kudos to your wife if you haven’t
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give her a big kiss and say thanks and
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take her out to a really nice dinner
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uh because most people’s spouses would
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not go into their service business
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to have their back for eight weeks so uh
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you’ve done well there for sure
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um but what he finds out is uh i find
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the back side of his deck his v2 ride is
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all
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um effed up and is unusable his skag
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cheetah mower sounds well
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less than the desire well i’m going to
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clean out some of the ab the uh the
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additives here
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um and his bone dry of oil numerous
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pieces of two-stick
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equipment are not running just problems
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at least the end of the season
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is six weeks away um so time i’m feeling
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for you here brother uh we’ve all been
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there
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um and we’ve been through i don’t know
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maybe six or seven people who actually
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ran my business
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um when i actually left and finally
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became an absentee owner but these are
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things that
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uh not only if your wife’s helping you
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but if you are going to leave for a few
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days or a vacation
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or anything like that or you got the
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unexpected and let’s let’s face it guys
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and girls here
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um i enjoyed my time on the truck but
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there was a point at that business that
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i was
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um in a very risky situation
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if i blew out a knee or hurt my back or
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something like that and couldn’t go into
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the shop every day
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that business probably would have
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crumbled or at least seen some of the
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issues that tom’s seeing here
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so what i’m gonna do is pop my screen
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open here
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and show you uh kind of what we’re
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looking at so this is a
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form uh that we used right in my
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business we called it a kpi
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lawn mowing daily job costing report or
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basically it was just
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really it was a touch base of what was
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going on so
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the premise was the company manager
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whoever was bringing these folks in
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was ultimately responsible for the
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things that were set in play
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for the crews so the uh operations
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manager would go in and fill this form
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out
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in their mobile phone the product we use
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with service autopilot but i don’t care
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if you’re using a google form
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pen and paper whatever it is there’s
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some key items that i’d recommend
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uh checking it out so we’ve got the name
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of the person completing the form the
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date
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and the address of the shop which shop
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they’re at uh this came into play
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sometimes with snow removal we had
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pieces of equipment
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scattered across the city and if you’re
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looking into how we did that
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check out lawn and landscape magazine or
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snow magazine we broke that down as well
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um but the next thing is they listed the
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crew the crew leader
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and the crew leaders start and stop time
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from the shop so was the crew leader on
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time was the crew leader
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uh when did they leave so now we got
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some accountability
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who was the crew technician when did
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they start and stop we ran two main
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crews
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on all of our setups fertilizing was one
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person
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so this was a setup particular to us but
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if you have more crew leaders
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you could put that in there highly
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recommend sticking to two-person crew
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three-man crew gets a little wonky
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unless you’re doing very big commercial
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with minimal drive
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time now we’ve got our quality control
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manager if any
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and our quality control manager start
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and stop times if they went out in the
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field and we’re doing training
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or something actually producing
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production
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otherwise the generator lady who’d fill
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this out up here is
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the actual manager they are responsible
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for these things ultimately and it goes
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up that chain of command now the crew is
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going to have their own
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form clocking in and out of all the jobs
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in an area at the end of the day to fill
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out a form
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um if things needed attention but what
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we’re doing is putting the start and
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stop sign at the shop so we know what
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their payroll start to stop for a double
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check
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the budgeted hours for the day so how
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many hours did we give that crew
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to do the work including drive time what
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was their actual so we’re creating
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accountability for that production
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manager whoever’s getting them out
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in the morning at night to have a
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conversation with them
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did you hit your budgeted times with
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quality control and then eventually
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the next morning that would be put up on
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a big dry erase board for accountability
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for everybody
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total sales for the crew so how many
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dollars per
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hour so if we had 10 hours and we had a
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thousand dollars
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of sales for that mowing crew we would
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take the 20 hours and divide that into
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the thousand hours
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or the thousand dollars and have a
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dollar per man hour um
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rate now as we evolved this form got a
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little more complex where we would do
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actual verse budgeted
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uh production man hours or dollar per
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man hour gross uh
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grossing uh oil check for equipment uh
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tom right in his thing said hey
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came back in and the mowers are bone dry
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well tom i can’t tell you until we
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started doing something like this
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there’s different renditions of this i
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can’t say how many engines we blew so we
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went in and then we created an automated
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processor equipment and asset management
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but this is a piece of form that before
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we got to the automated equipment and
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asset management for
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tracking repairs and reoccurring
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maintenance preventative
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um this was something we did on paper
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and then on a form and then we automated
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it
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then um so they’re filling this out for
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each crew end of each
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end of the day overview and completion
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so did we have the gas receipts
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uh done so we didn’t have gas at our
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shop but literally
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30 seconds down the road we had a gas
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station right there so it was easier for
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us to have
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someone come in the beginning of the day
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before everybody got there gas the
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equipment upload the trucks and do a
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spot check on all the equipment based on
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what came out here so are the gas
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receipts attached once again in the
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mobile phone
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take a quick snapshot of it they’re
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attached to the form total gas expense
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per crew route sheets scanned or
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attached so
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um basically at that point in service
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autopilot they’re clocking in and out of
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the mobiles
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but if there was ever a case where we
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had an issue in the office
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we couldn’t get them printed i mean
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couldn’t get them in the mobile
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occasionally we’d have one printed out
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so we would scan that through a mobile
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app and attach it to the form
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so everything was one solid place
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equipment condition of pictures
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confirmed the assigned or loaner
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equipment
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is present and conditioned so we would
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go in and state the two weed whackers
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let’s do blowers maybe a stick edger
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what’s going on are they present and
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take pictures of them so we have a
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walking audit trail of what those look
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like
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um so just like tom said all his
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handheld equipment was destroyed well
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we could figure out where it happened
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and when it happened because we got
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accountability so even if you’re laid up
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in bed
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you could sweep through all this in two
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to three minutes a day and know exactly
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what’s going on
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equipment that needs repair and pictures
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uh so before we automated that process
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we would go in and have them fill out a
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manual tag on the piece of equipment put
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in the area of the shop
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where we hung the broken equipment um
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and they confirm whether the assigned
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equipment or loan equipment
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need a repair and take a picture of it
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and we’d have an electronic versus a
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hard copy on the actual equipment so
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we’ve got a checks and balances so our
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full-time mechanic that came in at night
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would have a basically a work order
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waiting for him and then daily notes
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so include all the employees that were
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late or no show
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enter the details um employ it and fill
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it in on their employee record and
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service autopilot it well
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and then where it says choose files you
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could upload it from a laptop or
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i recommend using a mobile and it’s all
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in one but but tom this is
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the foundational pieces when we had the
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same exact thing that you’re going
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through right now
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to start building so yes there may be
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six weeks left in the season
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but what i’m guessing is um
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you may want to uh you know eventually
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take your wife out to a little vacation
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there
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a nice dinner and not have to worry
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about the phone ringing things being
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chaotic
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so in order for us to work on it and not
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in it like michael gerber or
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potentially become an absentee owner of
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30 days in a pop like i did in my
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business
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um now that was only four weeks
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obviously he’s had eight weeks here
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um these are some of the foundational
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things i recommend building the business
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for accountability
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and then we start building on them but
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we need to have the accountability for
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the crew
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ultimately landing on the crew leader
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and then as you scale your business
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we’ve got a production manager
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business manager that is also
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accountable so we’ve got
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checks and balances that manager is
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checking with the crews
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making them accountable and then the
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manager is reporting it out to the
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business owner and that
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seemed to basically alleviate the issues
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you got going on here now as the
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business scales
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i recommend somebody coming in at the
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end of the day after everybody left or
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before everybody comes in
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loading those trucks checking the oil
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doing an internal check
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and then have the crews do a double
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check on that uh that redundancy is
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gonna save you that three to four
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thousand dollar engine
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with equipment and uh labor on that so
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comments or questions drop below
10:06
callahan’s corner you drop
10:07
the questions here and we answer them
10:09
live right on facebook we’ll see you
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again tomorrow callahan’s corner
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um but tom hang in there man been there
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done that a few times
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um it’s easier than it looks
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uh here you just need to really just
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start it out on pen and paper
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or form and then automate it eventually
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but those are the kind of steps that we
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took
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and building clarity and accountability
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to it
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was the key to success um and obviously
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none of us know
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we’re gonna go down for six to eight
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weeks hurt um these things happen so
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it even if you think this could never
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happen to me it’s not if but when
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so these are this is the time right now
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if you’re thinking about it
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block off an hour or two tonight or over
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the week and start piecing together
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either form online
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or even a hard copy form until you get
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that
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automated and electronic on a mobile so
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comments questions drop below callahan’s
10:59
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11:00
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