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  • #16
    Bob E
    where did you get the post its made?

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    • #17
      For mowing, we used one man on the front lawns with a 48" mulching walk behind, we had another doing the side yards, and a third on a rider doing the back yards. We had 2 men weedwacking and one with a blower.
      WOW! So a 5 man crew made things work smoother than a 2 or 3 man crew?

      This way, when there is a system failure, you know who did the task and who is falling behind.
      Would this be something that was analyzed after each mowing? So if one person was faster than another, you all would ask them why they are slow? You all must have been a very competitive group getting things done as fast as possible!
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      • #18
        If you used a smaller crew, you would take 2 or 3 days to finish the task.
        The goal was to finish as efficiently as possible to move on to the next site.

        As far as analysis, you would know who was doing poorly by 11 am that day. Sometimes we would change task for that person, or sometimes there were conditions beyond their control. Usually it would work out because the person who had to go back and help out a slow worker would 'motivate' him to move faster (people generally don't like to have to do someone elses work after they finished their own).

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        • #19
          Very interesting! How did you transport such a maintenance team? Did you have quad cab pickups or what did you use?
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          • #20
            Some crews has 4 door deisel duellies, others had 4 door international rack bodies. It was a large operation that I worked for.

            Now I am starting a small lawn business with the goal of being super efficient with one or 2 employees.

            I love this website. It is very helpful. I hope everyone takes your advice on marketing, which is JOB #1.

            Thanks.

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            • #21
              As you look ahead, do you think it would be better to go for a 4 or 5 man crew now or 2 crews of 2?

              When does having a 4 or 5 man crew make good business sense? At what point in a business should this be a goal to achieve?
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              • #22
                I think a larger crew makes sense when you only go to one or 2 stops per day. On the projects I previously mentioned, the large crews went back to the same property every day. They would only had one site to do, but it was so large that it took 5 days to do it.

                When you do many stops per day, a 2 or 3 man crew makes sense. What you have way is the cost of overhead per man. When you use smaller crews, the vehicle costs per man obvioulsy increase.

                The down side of a larger crew is that you have some guys " float" while others are working. You need to have a supervisor with the crew. When you have a 2 man crew, there is more of a natural balance of the work load (nobody is going to do more work than the other guy on the crew).

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                • #23
                  When you use smaller crews, the vehicle costs per man obvioulsy increase.
                  Can you tell me a little more about what you mean by this?

                  I was thinking that the costs would decrease because the windshield time spent between jobs would be multiplied by less employees.

                  So for instance if it takes 10 minutes between jobs. If there are two men in the vehicle, that is (2men x 10min) 20 minutes of unbillable windshield time.

                  Vs.

                  10 minutes between jobs with 5 men = 50 minutes of unbillable windshield time
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                  • #24
                    As I said earlier, I wouldn't use a 5 man crew if I am doing more than 2 stops for the day.

                    Regarding the truck costs the man crews, you have to buy a truck, trailer, equipment, insurances, fuel, etc., for each crew. Lets say you spend $24,000 for the equipment and truck with a 4 year life span, that works out to be $6,000 per year. Also assume that insurance and fuel is $8000 per year. That works out to be $14,000 per year per each truck in the field. Now take the $14K and divide by 2 men ($7,000 per man/year )and divide by 3 men(about $4,650 per man/year. What you now have to determine is if you are going to make up the difference of $2,350 per man in Windsheild Time savings. You have to run the numbers.

                    Windshield Time will kill you. That is why I want to develop a pricing structure that rewards customers who are next door or accross the street from each other. Since I am saving $ on Windshield time, I want to share some of those savings with them by reducing the cost per cut by a dollar or two. That can also work as their reward for referrals, although I will offer additional incentives for referrals.

                    If you go to a 3 man crew that works efficiently and fairly amongst themselves,that should be the most efficient crew as far as overhead expenses. Also, you save on capital expenses because you share the truck and equipment purchase costs over 3 men, not 2.

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                    • #25
                      Isnt it amazing how much really goes on under the surface? So often, these decisions are made on a gut feeling or just at the spur of the moment without thinking about why the decision is made.

                      There are a lot of figures to consider!

                      Windshield Time will kill you. That is why I want to develop a pricing structure that rewards customers who are next door or accross the street from each other. Since I am saving $ on Windshield time, I want to share some of those savings with them by reducing the cost per cut by a dollar or two. That can also work as their reward for referrals, although I will offer additional incentives for referrals.
                      It also makes you wonder how to make more money per customer. As we saw in a previous discussion, one member was saying he made more money last year by selling more to his customer base than trying to mow more customers.

                      Upsells seem to be something that is so often overlooked in efforts to gain more customers.
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