Landscaping Scheduling Software: Streamline Services and Optimize Tech Routes

September 2nd, 2020
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Manual scheduling works well for some landscaping businesses. For example, landscapers who specialize in one or two services and only book a few large jobs a year. However, for many landscaping businesses, owners and their staff are juggling projects, emergency calls, and recurring customers on a weekly (if not daily) basis — some of whom schedule 50+ jobs every day

You can refine your manual scheduling methods to keep business organized, but when you have dozens of jobs a day and are tasked with choosing the most efficient routes for technicians — and you’re juggling reschedules during inclement weather — things get confusing, and human mistakes are often made as a result. 

Route efficiency and customer satisfaction are two critical components to running a smooth and successful operation, but once they’ve established a customer base, most landscaping business owners find:

  • They need a better way to keep track of the number of customers they acquire and retain as they grow — this is especially true for landscapers who depend on volume-based, recurring services. 

  • They want a faster way to reschedule rainouts. 

  • The processes to pinpoint the best technician routes take time, and they’re prone to error. 

  • They need a tool to optimize their business processes and ensure they’re scheduling jobs in the most organized way possible, because without that well-maintained schedule, they can’t continue to run smoothly and keep customers happy anyway

While manual scheduling does save you the expense of a landscaping scheduling software, the need to manually reschedule also eats up resources.

In this article, we discuss the specific pain points landscaping companies experience that many landscaping scheduling software can counteract. Then we dive into detail about how ServiceTitan’s landscaping business software helps to streamline scheduling by: 

  • Finding the fastest routes for your technicians — cutting your teams’ drive time down by 15 to 40 percent — preventing wasted time and gas money.

  • Shaving rescheduling time in half, while  providing necessary details to choose the most well-equipped technicians for each job.

  • Keeping internal and field teams organized to ensure everybody is on the same page, and no detail goes overlooked.

  • Penciling in necessary reserve time to prevent accidental overbookings.  

  • Ultimately boosting customer satisfaction by improving organization — so your team never misses a job and always shows up on time and prepared.   

Want to see ServiceTitan’s scheduling features in action? Schedule a call with our team to learn more about how it works.

Common Problems Encountered with Manual Scheduling 

1. The Manual Approach Becomes Disorganized as Businesses Grow

When starting out, landscaping business owners and office staff generally rely on spreadsheets, calendars, and job boards to schedule — which can suffice when businesses have fewer clients and services. However, these tools don’t actually assist in the scheduling process themselves, and they can become messy and disorganized as your customer base grows. 

2. Lacking the Ability to Schedule “On-the-Go”

With manual methods, landscape business owners have little flexibility or freedom to schedule on-the-go, and they’re forced to rely on somebody else within the office to make all of the scheduling decisions — especially in emergencies or last-minute reschedules.

3. Overbooking, Underbooking, and Rescheduling Technicians

When using these tools to build a schedule, many schedulers have trouble booking technician time appropriately, resulting in overbooking some employees and underbooking others. 

Rescheduling is challenging since every tech has a different skill set, and with landscaping, certain trucks are outfitted with equipment to handle particular jobs, so not only do landscapers have to account for time slots, but they also have to consider which techs they’re sending to which jobs. 

If teams aren’t recording job details when making their schedule, it tacks extra time to look up specifics and leaves room for hiccups like sending the wrong tech to the wrong job when rescheduling services. This can be even more detrimental to customer satisfaction when sending techs out for emergency or demand services — the last thing business owners want is to send an unprepared tech to a customer experiencing an emergency.  

However, the two biggest troubles landscapers run into with manual scheduling include: choosing the most efficient routes for techs and rescheduling jobs efficiently (without sacrificing customer satisfaction).      

4. Managing Routing Efficiency and Weather Delays

When landscapers have a high volume of jobs to complete each day, the efficiency of driving from job to job is critical. However, it’s not hard to see why teams have trouble choosing the most time-saving routes for each tech when they’re busy juggling all their projects and other services.

More projects and techs also means more time spent rescheduling when business is derailed by inclement weather. And since landscaping is largely weather dependent, it’s not uncommon to have to reschedule an entire day’s work over a rainy day. When there are dozens of jobs to reschedule, it takes time and resources to go through each job manually.

Consider this scenario as an example:

A landscape company has a team of 7 techs, each scheduled for 15 jobs (small and large) throughout the day. The entire day gets rained out. 

Luckily, they have a reserve day set aside for rainouts, so all that’s left to do is move the jobs from one day to another and contact the customer.    

Moving the job from day 1 to day 2 and sending an email, or calling, the customer takes their team about 30 seconds — which is rather efficient timing. So, if the business has 105 jobs to reschedule at 30 seconds a job, that translates into roughly 53 minutes of rescheduling. 

Now, if it takes a minute, that’s nearly two hours spent rescheduling just one day’s work. For businesses in rainy climates or areas with frequent weather changes, this time adds up quickly. 

This doesn’t even account for landscapers who don’t have a free day set aside. Rearranging an entire schedule to squeeze a day’s worth of jobs back in overloads your team, creates stress on employees, and leads to lower quality of work and reduced customer satisfaction.  

Not to mention, jobs in the landscaping industry have a much higher frequency (or timeline) than other service jobs. Meaning, landscapers and their internal staff have more jobs overall to schedule and manage than teams in other field service industries; therefore, they have more opportunity to make a mistake.  

How ServiceTitan’s Landscape Scheduling Software Solves These Problems 

Through our experience at ServiceTitan, we’ve had the opportunity to work with numerous landscapers — some small business owners with simple services and a handful of clients, and others with dozens of services who serve hundreds — and learn about their pains associated with scheduling jobs and maintaining organization. 

By talking directly with landscapers and lawn care business owners, we’ve been able to develop a software solution with the right tools to reduce scheduling stress, optimize technician routes, and accommodate weather shifts without impacting or disappointing customers. 

What follows are the key features and capabilities that help landscapers handle scheduling and job management.

Note: Do you specialize in lawn care? Check out our lawn care software solution.

Optimize Technician Route: Reshuffle Jobs in Seconds

One of the most beneficial features of our landscape scheduling software is our Optimized Technician Route feature. Schedulers appreciate this tool because it takes all of the jobs assigned to a technician and shuffles them into the optimal order, eliminating the need to manually map and rearrange appointments. 

Not only is our Optimized Technician Route button time-saving, but it also counteracts concerns with inefficient mapping, as it’s shown to cut down on drive time by 15 to 40 percent. That way, teams can feel confident their schedule is put together in the most ideal order. 

Map It Provides Context for Rescheduling  

For starters, our “Map It” feature makes rescheduling simple since it shows the location of the job needing rescheduling in relation to all of the other work orders already booked out. 

This allows teams to see the next time they’ll have field workers in the area to determine the best time to reschedule the service. Plus, this affords flexibility in scheduling, which can go a long way with customer satisfaction. 

What makes our “Map It” feature more useful than other scheduling tools is the context it provides for the scheduler. When you pull up the map, you can easily see the details of each job (i.e. what type of job, what techs are scheduled for it, and how long it’s expected to last) so that you can determine which days work best for both your customers and employees.  

And to keep all teams up-to-speed in real-time, we color code our ServiceTitan scheduler, and jobs are labeled by progress so project status is checked with merely a quick glance.  

Mass Reschedule Updates All of Your Jobs With Just a Few Clicks

Most landscapers keep a reserve day, usually Saturdays, so they can have some leeway when bad weather hits and be flexible when emergencies occur. 

On rainy days, most landscapers find themselves moving a full day’s schedule to their reserve day, and our Mass Reschedule tool lets schedulers do that in a matter of minutes. 

Mass Rescheduler works by highlighting and moving jobs of a certain criteria from one day to another, so it’s rather easy to use. Just select the jobs you want to move by location, job type, or business unit, the date you want to move them to, and you’re done!  

Why spend hours scheduling when you can automate your processes and delegate your resources and employees’ time to more profitable tasks? 

Adjustable Capacity Planning Prevents Overbooking 

It’s especially important for landscapers to preserve their reserve time since work is highly dependent on whether it rains or shines. Without the necessary breathing room to make up for bad weather, projects can fall behind and the quality of work may suffer. 

Many landscapers aim to give themselves 10 to 20 hours of “extra time” per week, but with the inaccuracies of manual processes and the sporadic need to reschedule jobs, reserve time is often accidentally sacrificed to allow for scheduling adjustments.

Our Adjustable Capacity Planning tool maintains free time by working it in with the week’s scheduling, and this prevents teams from dipping into this reserve and booking too many additional landscaping jobs.  

Arguably, however, the more significant benefit of the Adjustable Capacity Planning is its ability to prevent overbookings and overwhelming individual field technicians. 

This tool automatically calculates your total bandwidth based on how many jobs are on the itinerary and how many technicians you have available. It’s even more helpful than other capacity planners because it actually shows the exact breakdown of the capacity calculation and allows managers the freedom to make quick manual schedule changes.

Without a tool like our Adjustable Capacity Planner, time management is left to guesswork, and with that, efficiency suffers. Exact calculations allow you to make most of every minute. 

ServiceTitan’s Landscaping Business Software to Optimize Scheduling and Customer Management

Our landscape scheduling features eliminate many of the headaches that come with booking and mapping jobs, and give business owners a variety of time-saving tools to improve internal and field operations. 

Our Map It and Mass Rescheduling features make it quick and easy to pencil in emergency services, recover after rainy days and missed work, and make the best rescheduling decisions when jobs need rearranging. Additionally, the Optimize Technician Route button reorganizes jobs so technicians can navigate from customer-to-customer efficiently, while the Adjustable Capacity Planning feature keeps teams operating within their (practical) limits.   

But more than just a scheduling software, ServiceTitan is a complete business management software that simplifies everything from dispatching and invoicing to timesheets and time tracking. 

In addition, we also offer a QuickBooks accounting software add-on to sync the service and financial side of your business. And while you can use our landscape management software on desktop, you can also use it on your mobile device. Business owners enjoy running their business remotely with our mobile app (available on iOS and Android). 

Want a tour of ServiceTitan’s landscape software? Schedule a call to see it in action

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