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Steve
10-12-2007, 11:01 AM
Have you ever had a problem with employees taking cash from a customer for cash jobs? Maybe extra side jobs?

How did you handle it and what do you do to keep it from happening?

S.P.Martin Lawn Care
10-12-2007, 12:54 PM
Good reason to include a no compete clause with a penalty into the employer/employee contract.

Steve
10-12-2007, 01:02 PM
What would you do then next if you had such a contract? Would you just fire them or are there other steps you would suggest taking?

S.P.Martin Lawn Care
10-12-2007, 02:25 PM
Being a believer in progressive discipline, I would warn the employee that should it happen again, as Donald Trump would say, you're fired.

11-12-2007, 09:36 PM
I tell them when they are hired that I dont employ people that are doing side work, that if they take a nickle from a customer that they will be fired. Thats my equipment and I dont even lend it out. I time track everything and use nextels to check where they are in their day. I will note the time I talk to them and where they said they were. At the end of the day I cross ref- the times and where they said they were, it better check out.

StartALawnCareBusiness
11-12-2007, 11:12 PM
This thread opens up discussion of something I've thought quite a bit about lately.

I'm a huge geek when it comes to GPS technology.

Would you ever think about putting GPS trackers in your crew vehicles to track their movments? I actually think this is a pretty good idea especially if you have concerns that they might be taking on side jobs or taking too long for lunch.

Keith

Steve
11-13-2007, 08:10 AM
Keith,

Do you feel if the employees know they will be tracked, they will be less inclined to steal money from you?

Would you suggest any ways of handling an employee you found was stealing cash?

StartALawnCareBusiness
11-13-2007, 12:16 PM
Luckily, I've escaped this type of problem.

We're talking about two different problems in this thread. One is having an employee do side jobs for cash. The other is outright stealing cash.

If a lawn care customer paid an employee an extra 10 bucks for a side job after the main job was complete (let's say blowing out a carport with the backpack blower) and the employee kept the money, that could probably be overlooked the first time with just a warning.

However, if an employee was doing whole jobs and pocketing the money, I think that would have to be an immediate firing offense. It might even warrent a police report?? That's harsh but it would be the same as directly stealing money from you.

I'm interested in the GPS tracking idea more from a standpoint of effciency. The data lets you know the exact amount of time each job takes. It also let's you know travel time. At the end of the day, you also have a visual indication of the tracks between customers.

On a few occasions on larger jobs, I have attached a gps to my mower. This gives a great indication of overlap efficiency. It's amazing the recognizable areas of lowered efficiency you can pinpoint when you analyze a visual overview of your day's work.

Steve, GPS data is simple delimited text data. Let's discuss methods of importing data into your Gopher software for instant analysis.


Keith

Steve
11-13-2007, 12:55 PM
Quote[/b] ]Steve, GPS data is simple delimited text data. Let's discuss methods of importing data into your Gopher software for instant analysis.

No doubt that would be awesome. Good idea.

Quote[/b] ]On a few occasions on larger jobs, I have attached a gps to my mower. This gives a great indication of overlap efficiency. It's amazing the recognizable areas of lowered efficiency you can pinpoint when you analyze a visual overview of your day's work.

How accurate are these handhelds? I just can't even picture what kind of a reading they could give you when mowing.

StartALawnCareBusiness
11-13-2007, 01:37 PM
Accuracies to within a few feet are not uncommon.

They are not really usable while mowing. It is end-of-day analysis that really comes in handy. For residential jobs, the benefit comes more from knowing exact start and end times of jobs and routes from one job to the other.

However, greater benefits come from contract jobs and open area jobs. Think about the job Moseley Creek posted. How many different individual areas needed to be mowed? In a contract like that, it is easy to miss an area...then your contract supervisor calls you after the job is finished bawling you out because an area was missed. With GPS, you can see, on screen, all areas that are complete and which ones were missed.

Were those duplexes? I don't remember but let's say they were. Let's say she has three mowers running. One employee is doing a duplex in 12 minutes, another employee does one in 14 minutes, and the third guy is taking 20 minutes per duplex. Imagine having track data on each machine and being able to figure out why it is taking the third guy 8 minutes longer than it should. Decreased effeciency is a serious big deal on a $100,000 contract.

Keith

Steve
11-13-2007, 01:52 PM
Quote[/b] ]However, greater benefits come from contract jobs and open area jobs. Think about the job Moseley Creek posted. How many different individual areas needed to be mowed? In a contract like that, it is easy to miss an area...then your contract supervisor calls you after the job is finished bawling you out because an area was missed. With GPS, you can see, on screen, all areas that are complete and which ones were missed.

Were those duplexes? I don't remember but let's say they were. Let's say she has three mowers running. One employee is doing a duplex in 12 minutes, another employee does one in 14 minutes, and the third guy is taking 20 minutes per duplex. Imagine having track data on each machine and being able to figure out why it is taking the third guy 8 minutes longer than it should. Decreased effeciency is a serious big deal on a $100,000 contract.

That's a very good point! I am impressed with the level of analysis. I wonder how many other lcos are taking advantage of this technology to improve their efficiency.

AMW Graphics
11-13-2007, 02:02 PM
We used GPS w/laptop for plowing, worked great.
Easy to see where all your jobs are, where your bulk salt pickup locations are, etc.

You can also "prove" you were there if there is any question.