Clean and Clear is a local family owned cleaning company based out of St Paul, Minnesota. The company offers full interior and exterior cleaning services for residential and commercial properties, including window cleaning, gutter cleaning, and pressure washing. The company services over 500 clients every year and are the proud winners of Angie’s List 2016 Super Service Award and Thumbtack‘s 2015 and 2016 Top Service Provider Award.
We had the opportunity to speak with Keegan Couillard, Owner of Clean and Clear.
Keegan, how did you start Clean and Clear?
I am the President and the owner of Clean and Clear, and started this company 4 years ago. In the beginning, I had a 1996 Honda Accord with a ladder in the back seat and drove around servicing customers’ properties. When I first ventured into this industry, I only knew the basics of window washing and taught myself everything else through online research.
My day-to-day duties at the company include working in the field with the technicians, training office managers, working on bids, and scheduling appointments for our technicians.
What does a typical day for your mobile workforce look like?
Our technicians typically report to work at about 7:30 am. They load up their trucks, get gas, and get their work orders for the day before they start visiting customer locations. The time our technicians spend at a job depends on the size of the project, but each crew typically works at 4- 5 houses a day. A bigger project could mean that they work on 1 house a day. Once the work is done, the technicians are either assigned new jobs that are on the waiting list, or the vehicles are brought back to the office parking location at the end of their shift.
What typical challenges did you run into that made you invest in a telematics solution?
At the beginning of this year, I knew our company would be growing. So, I looked at different aspects that we needed to address for our business, including knowing the whereabouts of our vehicles at all times.
There was a specific instance when a customer called about our technicians who had not made it to the job site on time. I had no way of knowing where the technicians were, or why they were running late, and the only way to find out was by calling them on their cell phones. This hasn’t been the most convenient form of communicating with our technicians since most of their work time is spent on ladders or on roofs.
I also needed a convenient way of tracking mileage on my vehicles for tax purposes.
Did you compare and contrast Automile to any other solution before making the decision?
Yes, I did a lot of research and tried out 3 other telematics solutions, but I was not satisfied with their offerings. They were either mainly catering to larger fleets, or the price just wasn’t right for me. The companies also took over a week to reach back out to me after I had called in.
How has Automile helped you solve your challenges?
I use Automile mostly on the mobile app, and it is convenient to be able to track my vehicles when I am driving between customer sites.
I like that I can easily categorize trips as personal or business or other, which is important to help with accurate tax reporting for my business. It is also helpful to be able to identify frequently visited places as well as get notified when the vehicle is entering a specific zone.
It is great to get speeding alerts if and when my technicians are driving over the speed limit so I can take the right measures to help our technicians understand the implications of it. Lastly, when a vehicle reaches certain miles, I can schedule maintenance reminders and get ahead of it.
What ROI have you noticed with Automile?
Automile is a great fit for the price and for what is being offered, and its customer service is great too— both their Live Chat feature and on-phone support team are consistently very responsive and helpful. It saves me a lot of time and hassle.
Automile more than pays for itself with the tax deductions I get on our vehicle mileage each year.
How do you market your business?
We are growing the business by leveraging multiple ways including word-of-mouth, customer referrals, email marketing, Google SEO and AdWords, and apps like Thumbtack, NextDoor, Yelp, and Angie’s List.
Keegan, what other technology solutions do you use to run your business?
- vCita– For online job scheduling and creating forms for our website
- Google Calendar– To help with scheduling jobs for customers along with Microsoft Spreadsheets
- Quickbooks– For business accounting purposes
- Housecall Pro– For customer relationship management (CRM)
- Automile– And of-course Automile to track business fleet location and vehicle mileage
What advice do you have for other business owners?
When I started out with my business, I realized my resources were little. But what has made me successful is the concept of MVP (Minimal Viable Product)— it is important to not spread oneself too thin and go in too many directions. Staying focused and seeing what works with minimal resource and pivoting at the right time is important. This will help minimize the overall risk.
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