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Service Autopilot Road Map to Success With Mike Callahan

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Should you make special exceptions for a new hire?

Video Transcript:

Mike Callahan here I want to make a quick video, I saw a question on Facebook and it really drove my attention here I’m gonna actually grab my phone and read this but a gentleman had a question- a great employee is thinking of coming back to our company but and he says he wants to be able to stop for coffee each morning the gentleman went on to say that he didn’t want this employee to stop but what do you think of would you allow this? Well the answer is absolutely not you wouldn’t want to make that exception. When we’re going out to build a business in my opinion is we want to go out and define each role and not necessarily put a person’s name on it. So the first partis as we define that role we are going to go in and create a standardizing operating procedure SOP and that’s going to be the foundation to everything in the business so whether it’s a crew lead a technician the standard operating procedures for the crew itself which I’m going to suggest as a morning coffee break is definitely out of the question unless it’s a state-mandated break or a lunch break where they’re on their own time but what I’m gonna suggest is you do not allow a new hire to come back because they want to be able to stop for a coffee break on your pay that tells me right there immediately that there probably are not a good fit and they may be the best technician or lawn-mowing crew leader you’ve ever had but maybe they’re just really not on the right seat on the right bus if they’re trying to come back there’s a reason why this gentleman left on his own or you got rid of them. I would not make exceptions to get a new employee in and if they had already gone and left your company now are coming back there’s a reason. On a high level outside of the initial question is the goal of when we start this business for predictable results you really want to go in and create each position with nobody’s name on it and explain what the role is and the responsibilities and then once we’ve created that organizational chart with all the rules we go out and hire to the specific skill set in a cultural fit if part of your culture is not stopping to get coffee in the morning which I hope it isn’t this gentleman right off the bat is a bad cultural fit so when you’re going to make a new hire you want to make sure the gentleman is a cultural fit. As we’re continuing this process we’ve built out this organizational chart with each position and roles and responsibilities and skill set and a cultural fit we’ve gone and hired these people. Now if Dave leaves let’s say and we have to replace him we haven’t built a specific set of rules or skill set around Dave we built it for the actual crew in the production rates that need to happen so that’s the first thing. The next thing is where I find it really really dangerous here if you get in its this mindset I’m hoping you have a nice generated estimating systems based on how many minutes or hours you think it’s going to take or eventually this is the ideal is based on production rate on square footage linear length number of small meeting large units whatever that is as soon as we start to get away from a processing system that’s built on estimation of production we’re hurting ourselves so it doesn’t matter how good your budget isor how good your budgeted time is your pricing because all that is foundationally built on your estimating sales system so your foundational blocks are building up so your estimating system is going to create a budgeted time a price and hopefully a cost before profits you know your projected net margin in if your production based estimating system has a standard operating procedure that doesn’t include morning stops at the coffee shop you’re going to be in big trouble. It’s interesting we have a gentleman when we did piece rate pay and Callahan’s they’ve always complain that he couldn’t get his budgeted time to the east side of town or shop was on the westside of town and basically what he did is he took five minutes off the normal route and went to Dunkin Donuts grabbed his five minutes of coffee not back on but what inevitably it did is it created compounding effect so it was a two-person crew so five minutes driving there five minutes of Dunkin Donutsanother five minutes back onto the route that we had already predefined and systematized but basically that five five and five is 15 minutes times two guys he lost 30 hours or 30 minutes I’m Sorry of budgeted time so if his first job that he got to his budgeted for 30 minutes inevitably he was he was literally a whole job behind before he even started. So coffee breaks instituted by the company absolutely not it’s actually pretty ludicrous in my mind and since you weren’t going along with that I think you need to stick with your gunsare but you need to create a standardized process with accountability throw some GPS in the truck and it’s not antagonistic you’re not beating up those crews you want to work together as a team for productivity with rewards to create the right behaviors in the right decision making. If this guy’s coming into start a new job and that’s his first question absolutely bad cultural fit and he’s gonna erode your bottom line profits. We need to define the roles with structure and what’s included in each one of those rules and then we goto hire and we want to make sure there’s a culture will fit and then we have standardized production rate based estimating system that foundationally builds the success financially for that business and through accountability and transparency we force those crews to buy into that or not even really force them we get them to buy into it as part of our culture and we’ve got that alignment we’re driving production with quality so it’s kind of a two to three step process but we need to have those conversations with those crews that when they go to the extra stop the Dunkin Donuts to grab that coffee that they in essence lost 30 minutes of production and a very easy based example probably more than that. Let’s just say your cost to operate wassay $30 an hour cost you that to operate that cruise cost you $15 every time they’ve got out lost non-billable production so let’s just say we’ve got a 40 week season so 15 times 40 weeks 600 times five days a week that coffeestop is costing you $3,000 an unbuildable stop by them literally spending five minutes driving there five minutes and driving five minutes back now what happened in our company it was even worse is the gentleman not only did that but it put in five to ten minutes behind then you hit rush hour traffic which caused an extra 45 to 50 minutes of delay on top of what we’d already budgeted for the time. It’s very interesting to see how one exception for a really “good employee” can literally start to erode your bottom line and I don’t know about you but I’m not willing to take $3,000 of my profit basically and donated to a crew to go out and get coffee in the morning it’s probably a hell of a lot cheaper to go out and go to Dunkin Donuts and bring them coffee every morning if that’s something they absolutely need but I’d recommend having your handbook that that’s not part of it a great person to talk to is Jason Cup if you’re doing that he’s an excellent gentleman that that handles HR in handbooks but I would define the expectation and make sure you have some GPS in those trucks. I got a question Randy Ward wants to know can you share your defining roles at use of Callahan’s Lawn Care for mow crew etc yeah so actually Randy good seeing you too buddy but basically the define rules we broke out at Callahan’s was the owner was the top that was myself underneath that I had a gentleman ranthe day-to-day operations he called him our operations coach because the operations coach in our opinion was more of a teaching learning not beating the guys down to the girls down it was a teaching moment so it was our operations code so we the owner the operations coach above the crews we had we called them head crew leaders it was more of a management role but they still did some in the field work so was it basically an evolution from had a crew leader to ahead crew leader but they still in that role could get on the road and do things and do some management as well as it was a combination of moving up to that coach obviously we had the sales and kind of the office as well but if we’re talking just in the field we had the crew leader and then we had the technician he always ran to people crews we run a large property 30 40 acres we’d have two two-man crews come in in the morning and then disperse their crews and build the route density around the initial stop. We always believe that two-person crew is most effective for production when you get into a three-person crew there’s a lot of that extra non-billable overhead labor on that truck as well as in efficiencies it seems like that third guys I was slowing down not to grab the extra weed wacker blower or a coarse case there you finally back the property smoking a cigarette. Now were a third person on the crew can make sense though is in your south or southwest market where they may be doing bed maintenance while the other two people are mowing or out in the southwest where you’re going out like Scottsdale or Phoenix Gilbert where you may have more landscape maintenance it’s not necessarily like the north or northeast market that I’m in so there is some exceptions but I would say the rule of thumb when we work with companies in my company the two-person crew was exceptionally more profitable. Scott- I use paychecks for Human Resources ito set up hand book so I know it’s legal absolutely great and paychecks it’s great they’re actually located up here in Rochester New York this is their founding place here Tom Golisano one held a company and quite the philanthropist too as well but yeah paychecks is a good resource as well but if you’re looking for industry specific the person I do recommend is Jason Cup because he does know the nuances of our industry and he checks with the local and state laws so Jason’s done some handbook work for me and has never steered me wrong. Paychecks is also very great option there as well. Comments or questions drop them below but I know as we’re starting to get into the crazy season here gonna try to post on daily basis I’ve been running around crazy just got back from Savannah Georgia with quality driven software hanging out with Randy and Martha Ward good time catching up with you guys Jonathan Potoschnik of the Lawn Care Millionaire Scott Howard of SA Debbie Sardone of Cleaning Business Fundamentals you name it all the heavy hitters were in Savannah last I shared a lot but I learned just as much. You still got some time to get out of your comfort zone and go out and outlearn your competition before the season gets crazy and speaking of which actually shameless plug March 9th and 10th if you Service Autopilot or you’re looking at your Service Autopilot the Simple Growth 2 day Implementer Event that’s usually held live we’ve done one in New York Tampa Dallas a couple of places were actually doing that live remote on the computer from your office so 9th and 10th 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern and if you’re too busy to see it you can actually sign up and get six months of the recorded 16 hours of workflow and training how to set Service Autopilot from the ground up huge value there off you’re on my email list you’ll be seeing that coming out the next day or two and we’ll do some Facebook live so we can Q&A we’re gonna be covering but that’s gonna be a massive event that if you’re going to grow and scale a service business lawn care home cleaning we’re gonna breakdown Service Autopilot to shrink the size of that system down to five to six screens of success for optimize workflow and productivity and then you can go out and delegate that and either work on it like Michael Gerber and not in it or in my instance becoming that absentee owner so pretty interesting just to see a lot of people using that platform and how they’ve used that five to six screens of success to delegate and create predictable systems. But question today is define those rules don’t make an exception for a new hire especially the one it’s the left and come back and then foundationally before you do anything you want to build the foundational pieces right from your production area based estimating system to the estimating the follow-up and then the delegation of the jobs with clarity and transparency with budgeted time and cost before profit and if we’re not sticking those systems the estimate was built on you may be a very profitable company but if you got three or four crews out and you’ve just got one coffee break over that forty week season the example I showed you on the phone here it was a three thousand dollar bottom line hit because somebody wanted to stop for coffee every morning. So I’ll answer your question directly no, absolutely do not make that exception and I don’t think this gentleman’s a good cultural fit by the sounds of it either. We’ll see you tomorrow on Facebook live