Deciding which crew should be going where can be a headache. Most schedulers’ desks are cluttered with post-it notes, and others have messy white boards covered with notes and arrows. Here are some tips on how to streamline your scheduling system.
The Service Proz app was made for small service-based businesses. Once the software is set up, the app’s many features will increase productivity and billable hours. Sign up for a free trial of the app, or contact us today to schedule an app walk-through.
1. Check the map.
There’s no point to zig-zagging across town. A good scheduler will assign jobs to crews that are relatively nearby. This can be accomplished by setting up zones within your service area, either by zip code, by location of streets and waterways (ie, east of I-75, north of Bixby River), or by distance around landmarks (ie, 10 miles around City Hall). You might want to take your crew’s habits into consideration, such as the location of preferred lunch spots.
The Service Proz app feature called Zip Codes and Zones will help reduce your business’ fuel consumption. You can set up zones by zip code and assign crew members to certain locations. Your scheduler will then only have the ability to code a work order to crews that are able to work that zone.
2. Group projects that will require similar equipment.
Carting around heavy equipment costs your company money in gas and in wear and tear of company vehicles, not to mention unnecessary time and manpower. A scheduler can assign a crew jobs that will require similar tools. A good rule of thumb is to write up a detailed work order, complete with a list of special items needed, so your scheduler knows exactly what needs to be accomplished on site.
Adding details about projects is simple using the Service Proz app. When writing up a Work Order, project managers can type details in the description field and include photographs of the site. Schedulers can access this information when planning the crews’ schedules, and the crew can also view the project details prior to the job.
3. Know your team’s limits.
Unless you’ve hired Superman, your crew can only work so many hours a day. Think about the project from start to finish when calculating a crew’s time. This includes loading and preparing the service vehicle at you facility at the start and finish of the day, along with loading and unloading equipment at the job site. Travel time to each destination needs to be accounted for, too. Schedules can also be padded with an extra 15 minutes at each site in case the crew needs to speak with a client.
The Capacity Calculator tool on the Service Proz app allows managers to determine how many jobs your crews can handle, based on the number of hours each project requires and the number of hours a crew can handle that day. The Service Proz app also manages personnel, so the scheduler knows when field techs are out sick or on vacation.