Real time service company scheduling systems are important during the heat of battle. You are racing against the clock to fit in all your customers both regular customers and call ins, while trying to squeeze in the emergency calls. Yes, I know exactly how it is. I founded the Car Wash Guys Franchise. Car Wash Guys.com
What we learned over the coarse of many years was that on the routes our crews would schedule work, then we would have 1-800 call ins through an outsourced call center and later we added online ordering. You can imagine the conflicts with each crew doing some 6-20 stops per day and cleaning 60 cars and a couple of fleets in the order of 100 additional units to be cleaned.
We had regular customers and modification of schedules for rain days, 4-day work weeks or fewer particular days in a month for every other week customers or weekly customers who would not allow for more than 4 washes per month so they could average their own budgets. Can you say nightmare along with growing pains as we set up our units in 110 cities in 23 states? Yes that is what we thought.
Of course over the years we kept adding to the system to make it more robust and introduced a sales call tickler system with contact management software so teams could make so many sales calls per week while in the area. We became more efficient and crushed the competition into oblivion (in a nice way).
Our teams had trouble with all the sales and walk up inquires and some had glove boxes full of 50 different pieces of paper (all different sizes) with names and numbers all over the place at the end of a week and it got overwhelming. I hope Bill Gate’s is not reading this, as we have finally adopted his anti-form and anti-paper paperless officer theories now. Today all the personal contact managers are integrated and the system works fine. Think on this in 2006.