For busy service providers, scheduling crews efficiently is what keeps customers happy and improve the bottom line. But many smaller companies don’t have a scheduling system in place; or at least, not one that’s streamlined and accessible to everyone who needs it. Here’s how a company providing cleaning and organization services can use Teamup as an effective scheduling system.
Scheduling for cleaning services
Contracted cleaning services are a large global industry, growing at a rate of 6% annually. While there are many large companies who provide cleaning services, typically in the commercial sector, there are thousands of smaller companies that provide cleaning and organizing services, as well. North America is the largest segment of the industry; in the U.S. residential cleaning market, there were over 12,000 businesses operating in 2020. The demand for cleaning services has only grown since then, as COVID-19 created more demand for stringent cleaning and disinfecting in offices and homes.
Factors that affect cleaning crew scheduling
As the scheduler for a cleaning company, you have to keep multiple factors in mind as assign and schedule jobs:
- Scope of the job: Some jobs may require more time and specialized skills, influencing the overall schedule.
- Client preferences: Clients may request certain timing or particular crew members, or have other preferences that put more constraints on scheduling options.
- Job location: It’s important to minimize travel time between assignments for each crew, to reduce downtime and fuel costs.
- Crew skills: Matching the right set of skills with the requirements of each job can be a bit of an art, but getting it right ensures high-quality services and makes work more satisfying for crew members.
- Specialized services: For specialized services, like eco-friendly cleaning or organizational help, match crews with the right expertise for the job.
- Workload distribution: Avoid overloading one team while leaving others with lighter schedules.
- Resource availability: Make sure that the needed cleaning equipment, supplies, or vehicles are available when needed.
Along with those factors, you’ve got to handle seasonal fluctuations, changes in crew availability, and last-minute or unexpected client requests. That means knowing the availability of all crew members and when someone has PTO or a sick day. Crews need some buffer time for issues or emergencies, but you don’t want to schedule too much. Profitability gets lost in downtime.
It’s also important to build in flexibility and stay synced with updates to the schedule, from either the office side or the crew side. If a client requests additional services at the time of the job, for example, it’s great if the crew already there can accommodate them. It’s more efficient than scheduling and sending another crew at a different time. And it makes the customer happy!
The need for systematic service provider scheduling
To manage these factors adeptly, you need a good system for scheduling and availability. You might be able to get away with pen and paper, a spreadsheet, or an ad-hoc method when managing only one or two crews. But as the company grows, the systems have to evolve into actual systems. Otherwise, what was slightly inconvenient or messy on a smaller scale will reach levels of chaos. That’s when scheduling errors happen, customers get upset, and crew members get frustrated.
You can avoid that scenario by creating a flexible, customizable system that makes scheduling easier, faster, and more consistent.
How to build a scheduling system with Teamup
Set up color-coded crew scheduling
Cleaning services can have high turnover. Avoid frustration by structuring your calendar by crews rather than individual crew members. Use color-coding to create quick visual recognition when you scan the calendar.
Make availability visible
You still need to keep track of sick days, PTO, or changes in individual availability. If a 6-person crew is down to 3 people, you’ll have to adjust the schedule accordingly since their jobs will take longer. With customized access, you can allow crew members to put in their own time-off requests.
Give appropriate access to everyone
Secure, customized access is easy with Teamup. You can allow each crew member to view their team’s schedule and add requests to the PTO calendar. They can get the info they need for each job, without any risk of messing up the schedule.
Capture and share key information
If you have checklists for different cleaning jobs, you can upload them to the calendar. Crew members can view event details, job location, instructions, and any uploaded files right from the Teamup mobile app.
Sort and assign by multiple factors
Use custom fields to make scheduling easier. Set them up to capture key factors that influence how jobs are assigned. Then sort by those factors to make quick decisions about assigning jobs or to handle admin tasks like invoicing, requesting feedback, or scheduling follow-up services.
Keep crew updated anywhere
Teamup’s mobile app (iOS, Android) stays synced automatically. Make a change to the calendar from the office, and crew members will stay synced with access to the latest info.
Enable on-the-job documentation
Crew members can add notes and upload photos in the event comments, to ensure good documentation and proof of services for each job.
Good scheduling for good service
For service providers, a good scheduling system is what enables good work. You can assign jobs, view availability, keep crews updated, and manage administrative tasks from one place. See this guide for more details on how to set up a color-coded crew scheduling system for your business.