By Steve Toburen
My business mentor told me over 40 years ago, “Steve, all I do is rent people… to people.” It’s true. The cleaning and restoration industry is all about people.
You must master the logistics of your technicians (people) delivering a service to your customers (people). This is a huge step forward in building a critical mass business (a company that will operate with or without you, which translates into personal freedom for you!).
A cleaning job (or restoration loss) may have hundreds of details that require two-way communication between your techs and your office staff. This communication was easy when you “wore all the hats” as a solo owner/operator. But when you try to get off the truck, things get complicated.
When details get overlooked (or ignored), customers get mad, efficiency suffers, and profits nose dive. Even worse, with a few keystrokes, your irritated clients can share their frustration online with thousands of your prospective customers. And let’s not even think about what happens with your high blood pressure.
Steve’s solution: The Production Day Sheet
I developed a one page “Production Day Sheet” that my office staff prepared for each crew the night before. It was then paper clipped to their stack of job folders. (A job folder contained the work order, a stamped comment card, an “after care” information sheet, promotional literature, a refrigerator magnet, and the tech’s business card.)
Note: The Production Day Sheet information can also be delivered electronically if you have online communication between your techs and office staff. The important thing is to follow a consistent format. After all, everyone (including your techs) does better with a routine.
The Production Day Sheet includes the following outgoing (office to techs) information:
- Who is assigned to the crew and which truck to use,
- A checklist of special tools, equipment, and/or chemicals not normally stocked on the truck which must be loaded,
- Client name, address, and any special directions,
- Access information (i.e., “neighbor to let in,” “key hidden,” etc.),
- Special precautions (i.e., pets) or concerns (What was spilled?),
- Previous history with client (Did we burn her lawn last time?),
- Possible additional service options for the tech to bring up (i.e. tile and grout, upholstery, etc.).
Remember that a two-way flow of information is essential in a smoothly run critical mass business. This is why my Production Day Sheet also allows techs to share incoming (techs back to the office) information including:
- Total job amount,
- Any additional service options sold/performed,
- Whether payment was received,
- Customer concerns or issues with job,
- Commitments made by tech that will require company follow up,
- Restoration equipment left on loss (and when to schedule pick up),
- Equipment or vehicles that will require repair or maintenance (with specifications of what needs to be done),
- Any supplies or chemicals that need to be reordered.
My employees liked knowing what was facing them for the day and exactly what to load before leaving the shop (no more “Steve, nobody told me to…” phone calls). Our office was able to provide prompt follow up with the “incoming feedback” they received daily from our techs including equipment repairs and reordering chemicals. Our customers (and adjusters) appreciated the consistently great service and attention to detail our Production Day Sheet delivered.
And me? I loved the fact that our Production Day Sheet meshed my office staff and front-line workers into a smoothly functioning cash-flow machine. With everything humming along effortlessly (usually) I achieved personal freedom — working only when I wanted while the profits kept coming in 24/7.
Implement my Production Day Sheet concept in your business and let’s keep on transforming our cleaning and restoration industry. As I always say, “We’re all in this together!”
For your own copy
Steve Toburen started and ran a world-class cleaning and restoration firm for over 20 years. He is now the director of training for Jon-Don’s Strategies for Success program. Toburen also founded HomeFrontSuccess.com, a resource portal with training programs for contractors working in customers’ homes. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.