POOL MAINTENANCE, NORTH AMERICA
Gallagher Pools and Spas is a pool and spa installation and maintenance company based in Westminster, MD. With 20 technicians, it services much of the state, including the entire Baltimore metropolitan area. Gallagher Pools and Spas implemented OptimoRoute’s planning and scheduling software to make its planning process simpler and more efficient, and better manage its workload – especially in the busy high season:
- Planning is automated and 2x faster than manual planning
- Mileage down at least 8,000 miles a month
- Overseeing the entire day’s operations means that workloads can be balanced on the go
- Fair and flexible pricing, so the number of licences goes up and down according to the season
“I’ve been able to reduce hours, which reduces payroll, and gives employees more time at home with their families – accomplishing the same amount of work in less time. That was one of my goals and that goal was reached with OptimoRoute.”
2x quicker planning
Dynamic and responsive (thanks to live features)
Better distribution of work
Monthly mileage down by 8,000+ miles
About Gallagher Pools and Spas
Gallagher Pools and Spas is a family-owned business that has been around for more than 40 years. Based in Westminster, Maryland, the business performs a range of services – including pool and spa installation, openings, closings, and regular maintenance services.
Annual number of pool openings and closings
Number of vehicles
Ballooning Overtime Hours and Little Work-Life Balance for This Busy Pool and Spa Business
You could say that Randy Gallagher, owner of Gallagher Pools and Spas, has grown up in the pool industry. He started working at his father’s pool and spa business as a teenager – and now owns and runs the business with his wife.
He is passionate about the pool maintenance industry, his business, and about giving his employees the best experience at work possible. However, the inherent seasonality of the pool and spa market makes planning balanced and efficient schedules a challenge. Gallagher was struggling with manually planning the workload for his 10 work crews: 600 pool openings at the start of the season, along with fulfilling around 275 weekly and bi-weekly service contracts, followed by 600 pool closings at the end of the season. Unhappy that his technicians were working up to seventy hours a week, and burdened with being the business’s only scheduler and dispatcher, Gallagher turned to OptimoRoute for easier planning, and more efficient and balanced schedules:
My ultimate goal – given that we are seasonal and very busy in the spring and fall with openings and closings, and busy all summer – was to try and do the same amount of work in less time, to give my employees a better quality of life, because if you’re working 70 hours a week it’s tough to have a life.
OptimoRoute Makes Planning Faster and Simpler – to Take the Load off Business Owners
For Gallagher, the fact that OptimoRoute is an easy to use scheduling software is critical – because he’s happy to admit that he isn’t the most technically savvy person at Gallagher Pools and Spas. And, even though OptimoRoute is such a powerful, capable product, Gallagher’s planning and scheduling process is now simpler than it’s ever been. It also takes half the time that manual planning used to take Gallagher, every day – regardless of the time of year:
It’s this stable, simple, predictable planning process that makes the OptimoRoute implementation worth it – we get a whole lot of functionality, with a really small amount of input.
By using OptimoRoute, Gallagher hasn’t only halved his planning time. The routes and schedules that are produced are more efficient than what was produced by manual planning. The business saves up to an hour of drive time per day for each employee. In peak season, when Gallagher Pools and Spas has 10 crews on the road, this represents a reduction of thousands of miles a month.
Another positive change for Gallagher is that the daily routes for the business’s technicians no longer depend on his institutional knowledge of the approximately 4,000 square miles of the state that Gallagher Pools and Spas covers. With decades of experience under his belt, Gallagher assumed that his familiarity with the region’s suburbs, roads, and client locations was enough to produce daily schedules. However, this also meant that he was the only staff member who was able to create schedules – which made taking time off and vacations challenging for this owner/manager/sole dispatcher! Now, Gallagher has two colleagues who can take over planning and scheduling when needed:
One guy has a similar amount of experience as I do, he knows the area and routes and everything involved. The other is a newer employee, who is completely new to the pool and spa business and doesn’t have nearly as much local knowledge. But it doesn’t matter. That’s where OptimoRoute is so beneficial, because anyone can perform the planning, you don’t have to know the area like the back of your hand.
A Dynamic and Responsive Tool That Increases Capacity
OptimoRoute is the robust piece of planning software that Gallagher needs to better manage the business’s uneven seasonal workload, while improving his staff’s work-life balance. Live tracking features allow him to oversee the operations throughout the entire day and respond to issues as they happen – especially vital during the high season when he has 10 vehicles and 20 technicians in the field:
I can easily and quickly open the map to see who has what work left – and reroute some jobs to other crews. The benefits are threefold: it’s a big cost-saver because of overtime, it saves employees’ time, and makes sure that all of the orders for the day are getting completed.
For pool and spa businesses, it’s common for staff to drive their work vehicles home at the end of the day – and OptimoRoute is capable of creating routes that start and/or end at employees’ homes. Gallagher says that the ability to customize start and end locations “is a huge time saver and cost-saver”. It gives each employee at least six hours of additional free time every week. On the other hand, the extra time also represents an increased capacity for additional work. This powerful OptimoRoute feature saves him approximately one hundred miles per week for every driver that prefers to go directly home at the end of the workday.
How to Survive Seasonality: OptimoRoute’s Flexible Pricing Structure Is the Perfect Fit
OptimoRoute’s flexible monthly pricing structure, where the number of drivers can be changed at any time, is another characteristic that won Gallagher over. With a workload that fluctuates according to the season, Gallagher never has to pay for licences that he doesn’t need. In the winter months, he simply reduces the number of drivers that he’ll use for the few pool closings that still need to be performed. Then, as the weather gets warmer, he gradually adds drivers needed for the increased demand: for pool openings in the spring, and regular maintenance and servicing during the summer:
A lot of other products out there lock you into a contract period for a certain amount of users. OptimoRoute’s flexibility to change the number of drivers and save that monthly fee at any time is huge for a pool business, or any seasonal business.