February 28, 2024

From Tribal Knowledge to Institutional Knowledge

Last month, when I posted on LinkedIn that I have been traveling around the states, one of our first customers, John Needles of R&S Property Services, commented on the post that I would be welcome to Philadelphia to visit their yard. 😀

I was in New York at the time, so I booked a Greyhound (lol yes, you read that right)

I don’t like driving - I can’t use my phone while driving, plus, coming from India, I am not used to driving in lanes at 60 miles per hour while reading road signs and without blaring horns. Greyhound is actually alright on a lot of routes, you should try it some time.

Here’s a photo of a Greyhound station in Milwaukee:

Fast forward, I am in their office, sitting in on their weekly meeting with production managers and they are going through the special requirements for different sites. On some sites they were prioritizing bed work - weeds and pruning; on others, it was about getting through the mowing.

They were still staffing up at the time but since spring had come early, the landscapes had started growing. Their approach - keep everything under control with the limited resources available.

After the meeting, he said something very telling 😮:

"I started the maintenance division for our company 2 years ago and in that time we have acquired 100+ properties. I know what the sites need and the little extras the customers would appreciate. If I could put that down for my team to pick up and run with, that would be huge."

Sounds familiar? 🤔

Account Managers across the country would say the same thing about not being able to share everything they know about the sites with the production guys.

Site information is tribal. It stays in pockets and doesn’t spread evenly throughout the team.

The urgent stuff that needs to be done right away gets shared and the rest gets buried. This leads to a host of problems:

1️⃣ Leaders/Business owners looking to offload client relations to new recruits can’t seem to succeed at it since context transfer is incomplete.

2️⃣ The level of customer service promised isn’t delivered. Subcontractors and crews may miss tasks.

3️⃣ Handovers aren’t clean, crews need multiple clarifications on what needs to be done on site.

4️⃣ If there’s churn i.e. Account Manager, Production Manager leaves - vital knowledge about the site is lost.

How is this solved? 🤔

Institutionalize a culture of documentation on job site maps. Million dollar insight right here!

By doing so:

1️⃣ All the data has a context of “where”. You just need to note an issue, the crews will understand where it is.  

2️⃣ Every stakeholder in your organization can access information anywhere, anytime.

3️⃣ Job site data stays with you even when your employees choose to leave. It’s institutionalized.

4️⃣ Property Managers are visual creatures. When your site inspection reports are on the map, they make it easy for the Property Manager to understand what’s going on. By making a part of his job easier for him, you strengthen your position as his go to guy. This pays off when the contract renewal season comes.

Imagine a site walk with me if you will.

Your Account Manager is walking the site and documenting issues on the map using notes and photos.  

He shares those notes instantly from his phone with the crew leader.

\The crew leader gets those issues sorted and adds photos of jobs well done to your notes.

The AM exports these notes in the form of pdf reports and shares with the PM.  

The PM is happy. Your issues are sorted. Business runs like a well-oiled machine. ⚙️

So close yet so far! 😬

John knew what he had to do about it - he had to sit down and document everything. Being a Siterecon user, he also knew which tool he had to use for it.

Tribal knowledge would be institutionalized. Accessible to everyone and for posterity. That’s how we have grown as human civilization. Transferring knowledge to our peers and down the generations to win over the planet. No other species is able to do that as efficiently as we do.

Easier said than done though…we all have tasks that we need to take care of but never get to.

How do I even start with this? 😵

If the following questions are popping in your head like bubbles in a freshly poured mug of beer, then you’re onboard the right train of thought.

Are you wondering:

How do I get my team to do this?

What is the guarantee that it’ll work?

How long will it take for me to implement this new process?

The answer lies in the following 4 steps -

1️⃣ Start small. Spend 20 mins a day in the morning documenting site information on SiteRecon. You will cover all your sites in 2 months.

2️⃣ Make it a point to open SiteRecon when you visit a site to take pictures and notes.

3️⃣ Share the maps with others in your team while handing over tasks and expect them to respond on the map.

4️⃣ Institutionalize the habit by requiring everyone to follow this practice. Use job site maps and site photos during production review, train new recruits to do it, make sure people leaving the team complete handover of their SiteRecon data to their peers.

Support from SiteRecon 🤜🤛

Site inspections will be a focus for us this quarter.

We’ll be working closely with our customers to establish an airtight process of documenting job site data.

1️⃣ Setup the mobile app and reporting mechanism to match your SOPs

2️⃣ Training on best practices from us.

When I say I’m your wingman, I mean it!

If you’re interested in doing this, and I mean seriously interested, book a call with our experts.

CLICK HERE

We have set up site inspections on SiteRecon for teams across the country and no two processes are the same. Yet, they are all able to use the same tool, it doesn't matter if you are the biggest private landscaper in the world or running a $500k lifestyle business.

What matters is what you resolve to do today.

Resolve to dedicate 20 mins to this every day. Sit back and relax while this boosts everything - customer satisfaction, upsells, retention and gross margins. 🔥🔥🔥

In a meme

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