Efficiency tip: Fuel ahead

PHOTO: ©istock.com/shaunl
Photo: ©istock.com/shaunl

Since implementing an end-of-day flowchart to facilitate how crews wrap up and prepare for the next day, Peninsula, Ohio-based Suncrest Gardens has saved about $30,000 to $35,000 per year for the last two years.

“Every dollar counts,” says Kolin Atkinson, systems director for the full-service firm with a garden center that runs about 20 three-men crews. “We look at those small gains as little wins.”

Posted at the shop in English and Spanish, the five steps of the flowchart are:

1.    On the way back to the facility, call the field supervisor or account manager for instructions to prepare for the next day.
2.    Unload tools and equipment.
3.    Fuel up the trucks.
4.    Load the trucks for the next day.
5.    Review the assignments to be completely prepared for the next day’s work.

It varies for how long each team goes through those five steps, depending on their routes and projects for the day ahead, Atkinson says. “It eliminates commotion and some action from our staff,” he adds.

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