Question: What’s the best investment you ever made in the service department?
Answer: Our best investments have always been in technology. Over the last few years, we have worked on phasing-in laptops in the service department. With seven locations and 50 technicians, we purchased many used on eBay and have continued to hand them down from management level to the shop.
Most of our techs have their own laptop at their workstation. However, there are three or four who mainly do equipment setup and don’t have laptops. Techs can use their laptops to clock in and out of jobs, add comments, order a parts package and have it delivered directly to their workstations, and visit manufacturer websites. They don’t have to leave their areas other than to go to the bathroom.
Before, when a tech would walk away from their workstation, they would end up running into and talking with another employee. We had a parts room with three or four computers and it always became a meeting room. Techs would get frustrated about having to wait to use the computer.
We also now have a tool database that they can access through their laptop that lists our tool inventories at all seven locations. They can search it by the service manual code or functionality. It helps them quickly locate the tool they need to get the job done.
Now our techs have access to more data and tools at a faster rate. Not only does it make their jobs easier, but it keep the customers happy. They can easily quote customers on pricing, and being quick to answer their questions often gets us a sale or service order.
Parts & Service Department Manager
Finch Services Inc. in Westminster, MD
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