Currently, when a customer approves their quote and pays their deposit (if required) or discounted prepayment (if qualified) their job is immediately placed into our scheduling queue. The queue itself is a highly detailed database that takes into account the estimated duration of the work and all the jobs sold previously, counting weekends, and holidays. It shows us a number based solely on the “math” of those numbers but can not take into account any of the numerous variables that can affect how long each job takes (such as equipment malfunctions, labor shortages, faster-than-estimated completion, etc.). So when we look at the sheet, it tells us a total based on the hard numbers alone, and that’s how we know how far out we are “on paper”. That number itself is more of a guesstimate than a solid metric.
From that point, we have 4 stages of scheduling. This may sound excessive, but we’ve found it to be the most organized way of keeping track.
STAGE 1 : “In Queue”
This is for recently approved jobs. We have no dates for these jobs yet, and even if we did, it would likely change before we actually get to the date. Henceforth….
STAGE 2 : “Planning Stage”
This stage allows us to move jobs around to see what works best. As a general rule, we just go “in order”, but that’s not always the most efficient method. For instance, if we have a half-day job in Fort Gibson that’s 50 days old and we have another half-day job just a block away that’s only 20 days old, it makes more sense to group them both together on the same day. This is actually a benefit for you, as we do our best to get to everyone as quickly as possible. Even if your job is a full day or longer, we may be able to group it with an older job across the street that only requires 1 or 2 guys to complete, thus moving you up in line a bit. Generally speaking, we do not give out “Planning Dates” because they are very subject to change and it keeps us from having to call several people on a daily basis as their jobs move around in the lineup.
STAGE 3 : “Tentative Stage”
Stage 3 is where things start to get more solid, so forgive the name. Usually, by the time we’re about 3 – 4 weeks out from a date, we will contact the customer (if they haven’t contacted us) with their Tentative date. By this time it’s much less likely that the date will change (although it’s still certainly possible). If the date does change, however, we contact the customer as soon as possible to inform them.
STAGE 4 : “Confirmed”
Currently (as of 10-30-2020) our policy is to call customers to CONFIRM their tentative date the day or evening before the job. We are basically just calling to verify that nothing has changed with your availability or access to the property. So just remember, if you have received a tentative date and have not been contacted about a change, that’s the date you can count on.
This probably all seems very complicated, and in a sense it is, but from the customer perspective, it’s easiest just to remember this : If your job was recently approved (within 2 – 3 weeks) we likely will only be able to give you a very vague range of dates (think along the lines of “early or late December”). If it’s been longer and we haven’t contacted you, give us a call or send an email and request your Tentative date. We should have it available by then, just keep in mind, it’s subject to change, and from that point on if it DOES change for any reason, we will notify you.
NOTES : Some jobs fall outside the constraints of this system. Emergencies and urgent rush jobs will be given special consideration when scheduling. When at all possible we will accommodate these unique situations on a case-by-case basis. For instance, if “Customer A” has an Elm Tree in his front yard that he wants to prune for clearance while mowing and his job is 50 days old, and “Customer X” calls in with a Tree broken in half and tottering over their 4-year-olds bedroom, well… Customer X is going to be put in front of everyone else, regardless of age or wait time. Occasionally we have to make decisions like this, and we’ve been very fortunate thus far to have understanding customers who care about the safety of complete strangers.
We do not offer a paid “rush” service when we are scheduled out as far as we are now. We do not feel like it’s fair to customers who’ve been waiting patiently in line to be bumped back even further simply because someone else has more money to spend. If you have an urgent need that you feel justifies placing your job ahead of others, please explain the circumstances in detail to your Client Solutions Manager (Ronnie Hicks or Matt Smith) and if the job meets specific criteria it will be scheduled accordingly.