15 AUGUST 2018- It is crazy to think in 2018, with all of the technology at our disposal, there are still people in service industries that fail horribly or don't even attempt to schedule their work. Equally crazy is how these people actually stay in business! It's amazing how often we hear from new customers about how difficult it has been to get someone to even come look at a project never mind put together a proposal and then do the work. And we experience it too, trying to find a truck repair business to deliver when they say they will is like pulling teeth these days.
Part of the issue right now, if you can call it an issue, is today's economy. It's booming! Service businesses across the spectrum are "straight-out." As anyone else is business knows, "sometimes you're flush, sometimes your bust." Almost everyone is flush these days, which is great, but it leads to problems of reliability. New businesses especially think, "oh man, there's all this work out there, we need to grab it all up!" This is true, but your operations manager needs to be able to critically look at available resources and determine if and when it's possible to actually accomplish the work. This leads to an honest conversation with your client about a realistic timeline. In that sense, will you miss out on some work? Of course! There are always going to be those customers that need or think they need their project done yesterday and will wade through 47 contractors (taking weeks to accomplish) until they finally find one that can start that day.
When the economy drops off or is "bust", which it will based on historical trends, those seeking service will always call back the contractors that called them back, was honest with them, and showed up when they said they would. The folks who said "ya, ya we'll do it," and then had every excuse under the sun as to why they didn't show up, or finish the job, etc. will be hurting. In our 36 years we've been through a national economic crisis or two. We have learned that by thoroughly analyzing our resources, planning accordingly, and keeping an open dialogue with our customers we can weather the ups and downs of the market. By doing this we have also been able to retain somewhere in the vicinity of a 75% repeat customer base.
"Plans are useless, planning is everything."
- General Dwight D. Eisenhower Supreme Allied Commander WWII (34th POTUS)