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Behind the Scenes of a Locksmith Business: Overcoming Dispatch Challenges (Locksmith Fix Part 1)

Operating a business is no easy task, add specialization to the business like Locksmithing and you find find yourself with some challenges.In this blog we are going to deep dive into a locksmith business and look at the challenge to overcoming dispatching locksmiths to jobs.  

Pete Slauson, owner of Country Lock and Key, and his team, comprising Haley, the dispatcher, and Javon, the locksmith. The team talks about the dispatching issues that their company has been experiencing and explores methods to improve communication between dispatchers and technicians working in the field. Pete acknowledges that conflicts often arise due to communication problems between dispatchers and technicians, stemming from the dispatcher's lack of understanding of locksmithing and technicians' inability to communicate effectively. To find a solution, the team comes together to discuss the issues, share ideas, and put in place effective systems.

During the meeting, Javon suggests that technicians take the responsibility of communicating job-related issues with dispatchers, such as long job times or unforeseen challenges, to ensure that dispatchers can adjust the schedule accordingly. Haley agrees and emphasizes the importance of evaluating the job beforehand to anticipate potential issues and avoid delays. The team's dedication to finding solutions to their dispatching issues is apparent in the video, and they encourage viewers to consider implementing similar communication strategies in their businesses.

Haley sheds light on how they schedule jobs and estimate their duration. They verbally give a half-hour window but schedule the exact start time in the schedule. For lockouts, it usually takes a half-hour for the technician, and for a re-key or deadbolt installation, it takes an hour to an hour and a half, depending on the number of locks. The dispatcher estimates the time based on the average time that the technicians take to complete the job, informed by the technicians themselves. They assume 10 minutes per lock for re-keying, which is the only documentation they have for the times. However, Javon admits that the accuracy of the time estimation is only 60 to 75% correct, and there are still problems that occur. To improve accuracy, the team could use technician skills to assign the job and try to gauge them in the same area. For a simple re-key, they assign it to the closest technician.

Haley mentions that they don't have an accurate list of technician skills anymore, and if there are multiple jobs, they give a half-hour drive time for the technician to reach the next job. If the job involves MX13 or Medeco, the technician needs to wait until the keys are cut in the shop before they can complete the job. Finally, Pete talks about how technicians often show up to a job and realize that they don't have the necessary equipment to complete the job. This situation occurs occasionally, and they don't have a solution to prevent it from happening.

The team hopes to facilitate improvements by discussing the problems openly, sharing ideas and putting in place effective systems. Pete emphasizes that this video will be published, regardless of the outcome of the meeting, to ensure transparency and accountability.

Javon suggests that technicians should take responsibility for communicating any job-related issues with dispatchers, such as long job times or unforeseen challenges, to ensure that dispatchers are aware and can adjust the schedule accordingly. Haley agrees and emphasizes the importance of evaluating the job beforehand to anticipate any potential issues and avoid delays.

This shows the team's commitment to finding solutions to their dispatching issues, and it encourages viewers to consider implementing similar communication strategies in their businesses.

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