Hey! It’s Jonathan.
The question is how many lawns per day should my landscape crews be mowing?
I cannot answer this question, but I can tell you how to figure it out for yourself. The reason I can’t answer it is that there are too many variables that factor into it. We all have different clients with different properties and are all located in different types of areas.
In my market, we’ve got everything from small residential properties, to 1 to 2 acre residential properties, to small free standing commercial properties, all the way to hundred acre commercial properties such as the EDS and Frito-Lays of the world. So, lots of variants make it impossible for me to answer that question.
Most often, when I receive this question, it is in regard to smaller properties. You’re probably not bidding the 10 acre commercial property.
What you’re actually asking is what should you expect of the guys you hire? Well, you should expect a little bit less from them than what you are able to do. Generally, this is true having employees in any facet of your business. You hire employees to replace you as you move up in your own company. That is how you grow a business and take it to the next level.
Generally, they’re not going to do it as well as you did. You’re the boss…you’re the owner. There’s a reason you’re the guy running the company and they’re not. That’s not always true, but generally, you’re the guy that’s inspired to work late, work long hours, and you’re super motivated. This is your baby. It’s not their baby. They’ve got a family and they have things going on in their life.
The basis of figuring out how long each lawn should take a crew to complete and how many yards they can do in a day is to put it back on you. How many can you do in a day?
The absolute, most efficient way to do a property is to have 1 person do the property. I am speaking solely of the utilization of people, not utilization of assets.
How many can you go do by yourself? Because, just by yourself is the most efficient. You will have no down time because you will not have to wait on another guy to complete his work.
Once you figure out that it takes about 40 minutes to do the job by yourself, divide that by the number of people you have on your crew. Keep in mind that there will be some efficiency lost because your guys won’t finish at the same time.
The job takes you 40 minutes and now you introduce 2 people into the equation. Theoretically, you should be able to do the job in 20 minutes…2 people times 20 minutes is 40 minutes. That won’t really work that way because they won’t finish at the exact same time. 1 guy will finish in 18 minutes and another guy will finish in 22 minutes because one was mowing and one was edging and weeding. You’ve just lost a couple minute of efficiency.
Another issue to consider that effects efficiency is that your crews may not have the passion for the business that you do. They probably won’t be as fast as you. Immediately adjust it down. Maybe their performance is going to be 10% less than yours. That’s going to affect the time.
You will have to actively manage your crews to make sure they are staying on task and sticking to the routes and routines that you have trained them to do to keep at their most efficient.
Then, when you start using software to track how long it takes them at and in between each job, they become even more efficient. They know they are being watched and you will be able to stay in front of a crew if their time slips from one week to another.
When they know they’re being watched and when you track their time, you can drive more efficiency into the whole thing. As long as they are staying within a certain time frame…not too slow, not too fast…all is good.
First, you start out making some assumptions based on what you can do. Then, you start tracking it. You track what they’re actually doing and then, you get out there and watch them doing the job. As you watch them, you help them become more efficient. You can start setting benchmarks by square footage. You can then compare your crews that are doing similar properties to see how their times compare. If there is a time discrepancy, figure out why. You start looking at your business like that and then you can start really getting these efficiencies in there and you can figure out what to expect of all your people.
Hope that helps.