3 ways to make the morning commute profitable

| By: Craig Fulton

Welcome to the second installment of our Booked up and Billable series. Last time, we shared how to overcome time-tracking objections. Now, we're turning our focus to making the morning commute profitable.

As a business owner, it's your job to make sure you're getting the most out of your employees. You tear down productivity barriers and keep your ear to the ground to unearth new ways to help them achieve more. This requires a lot of attention to detail and effort.

To help you grow efficiencies within your team, we're going to share a quick and painless way to up tech utilization. We say tech, but this could apply to any position within your business that requires travel to a customer location.

If you're like most companies, you require staffers to check in to the office before departing for customer appointments. But why do we require this?

Think about it.

If your tech always has morning client appointments, and he goes straight from his residence to the client location, that travel time can be booked as billable time.

By strategically sending employees to client locations starting nearest to them and ending closest to your office, you can immediately increase their productivity, and actually cut down on travel costs for you, your employee, and the client. It's a win-win-win trifecta!

An added benefit to this strategy is that your tech doesn't have to travel all the way to the office before his workday begins, meaning you’re giving him back some valuable minutes in the morning to grab an extra cup of coffee, catch up on the news, or whatever else moves him.

Give it a shot, and track the results. You'll soon see for yourself that this is a tactic that keeps on giving. You might even find that your techs become more excited about taking on early morning appointments. To get started:

Explain your strategy to your techs

Position this "making-the-morning-commute-profitable" shift as a benefit that will occasionally enable them to leave their houses a little later in the morning. Confirm their locations of origin, and then explain rules around the new setup and when you plan to launch it.

Please note, this should be seen as a special privilege. Under-performers should be suspended from the program until their performance improves.

Meet with your dispatcher

Explain what you're trying to achieve, and that early morning, on-site visits should be doled out the first available tech who lives closest to the client. Discuss which techs are eligible, how far their service areas should reach (based on their location of origin), and then explain rules, ask for feedback, and then test it out.

Survey customers and employees

This dual-pronged approach is important. While your techs might be loving this new approach, if the customers aren’t getting a good experience, adjustments will need to be made. And vice versa, if the service radius's are causing headaches for some techs, it might be time to redraw the lines and try again.

If implemented correctly, this should help everyone get more of what they want. Customers should receive faster service, you should enjoy higher tech utilization, and techs should get a few extra minutes in the morning to do what they please.

Fixing inefficiencies is a small step toward business growth. The next post in this series will focus on why finishing time entries ASAP matters. Be on the lookout for this and other time-tested techniques to help your business generate more billable time (and profit) without adding a single employee!