The Maids of Orange County is a premiere residential cleaning service based out of Orange County, California. The Maids of Orange County has 35 employees, of which 30 form the mobile workforce. The company also owns 12 vehicles and regularly uses 10 vehicles to commute to and from client locations each day. We had the opportunity to talk to Jerry Dino, President, and CEO at The Maids of Orange County.
Jerry, tell us a little bit about your company and your role there.
The Maids of Orange County has been in business for over 12 years, and we are a residential cleaning service company. We primarily deal with properties such as houses, apartments, and condos, and do all types of cleaning services that include move-in and move-out cleaning, construction cleaning, pre-party and post-party cleaning, as well as recurring services.
As the president and the CEO, I’m also the mover & shaker, thinker & doer of the company. I do many tasks that include aspects of marketing, sales, accounting, and bookkeeping, and assist with managing our staff.
Walk us through a day in the life of your mobile workforce.
On a typical day, we have 8 or 9 teams out at client locations. Each team comprises of 3 or 4 cleaners which include a driver and a team leader.
Every day, a team is assigned a start time to be at the office. The driver for the team will wipe down the assigned car and clean it before the shift. 2 of the team members will prepare their buckets and their supplies and load the car, while the team leader has a meeting with the office manager to review their day and go over any notes for specific customers. After that, they go about their day and visit client locations. The teams check in with the office as they’re finishing jobs to update the office of any changes or notations. At the end of the day, they come back to the office, unload their supplies, and leave the vehicles at our location.
What challenges do you face with your mobile workforce?
Managing 30 odd employees in a business like ours, where the services are almost entirely mobile, always comes with its fair share of challenges.
In the past, when we were trying to know the status of the team that was out at a customer location, and find out where they were at or how long they were going to be there, we had to call them. We were constantly disturbing them when they were cleaning a client’s home, taking time away from the job.
How has Automile addressed these challenges?
With Automile, we can see where the vehicles are on the map and when they arrive at a location, based on which we can estimate how long they’re going to be there. Having Automile just makes the process of getting a status on our employees more streamlined for us.
It also helps us when a customer wants to know how long our cleaners have been at their homes. Now we can check the app and confirm the time the cleaners were at any location.
I organize my teams based on different colors, and I use the vehicle tagging feature to assign specific colors for each team’s cars. We try to have the same teams use the same cars each time, so the colored cars on the Automile live map help with visibility, making it easy to identify the vehicles.
I use the notifications feature to receive text alerts when any of our vehicles go over a certain speed. When I receive a notification, I relay the message over to the team driving the car and politely ask them to slow down and drive carefully. I have also set up notifications to remind me about vehicle maintenance like oil changes when the vehicles have run 5000 miles.
What ROI have you seen since you started using Automile?
Automile as a product has been very reliable, and the customer service and help I have received is great.
There’s no question that Automile brings us value. By having Automile in the vehicles, we’ve definitely seen a difference in labor percentage, and it more than covers the investment we make in paying for it. Automile helps us save time by knowing where our teams are, and serves as a means of accountability and honesty for the team when they report their hours on the job.
Compared to the older solution we had, Automile is at a much more reasonable price point. The device is also easy to install, and the user interface is easy to use both in the office on the desktop app, and in the cars on the mobile app.
What made you switch to Automile?
Many years ago, when we were much smaller and had 3 cars, we had invested in a different telematics system for our vehicles to know where they were and to help with navigation. However, apart from requiring tedious installations of the dashboards inside our cars, the system itself was expensive, and it just didn’t work out as well as we had hoped.
What other software do you use at The Maids of Orange County?
Quickbooks Online– for our company’s accounting and bookkeeping purposes
Microsoft 365– to host and share files on the cloud
Our goal is to be completely cloud based as a company. We recently navigated our point-of-sales software over to be hosted on the cloud too.
Marketing to promote your business?
Most of the marketing we do here is digital. We do SEO, and pay-per-click on search engines. We also do some print advertising in community magazines.
What advice do you have for other businesses such as yours?
With most service business like ours, it is so important for the owner and management to recognize that the staff is our real customers. Too many times, companies put so much attention on the customer and not enough on the staff. We believe that if you take care of your staff, they will take care of your customers for you. And that is critical to the success of any service business.
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