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In our last article, we covered the general components and values of GPS technology that are currently being used by Superintendents. In this article, we’re going to cover one of these components further—estimated working times vs. actual working times.

The first question one might ask is ‘What problem or problems are we trying to solve’ by looking at time worked. By “we”, I really mean the Golf industry collectively.  After talking with many Superintendents, so far as I can tell, there have been several problem-sets surrounding labor management. A few of these problem-sets are:

  1. No clear knowledge of exactly how much time and/or money is being spent on specific types of jobs per quarter, per half year, and/or per year.
  2. Conversations with committees, GMs, and owners can sometimes be strenuous due to lack of insight and understand by both parties.
  3. Generating new ways to exceed golfers’ expectations.

Former Superintendent Darrin Batisky, now with Bayer, has been working on the labor management question for some time. In 2009, he wrote an article published by the USGA titled Plan Your Work, Work Your Plan – Know what it costs. Darrin’s central theme was that Data = Knowledge = Power. His point being that “Having access to accurate and reliable data is critical to make daily decisions, as well as guide the development of future programs.” As a result, a data collection program was implemented at Darrin’s club and he was able to learn a great deal about specific types of jobs and ultimately make necessary and smart adjustments as a result of his efforts.

The reason to look at the work Darrin started in 2002 is because this is seemingly a problem-set that Superintendents have contemplated for some time. Darrin is a great example of the efforts that have contributed to the progress and solutions to effective labor management.

 

Automated Data-Collection: Using Reports To Compare Estimates vs. Actuals

The work done by FAIRWAYiQ and taskTracker have digitized and automated the data collection process— with the taskTracker system handling the estimated working times and the FAIRWAYiQ system generating the actual working times by employees. The integration of both systems allows Superintends to compare and contrast estimates vs. actuals to determine where adjustments can be made and, as Darrin noted in 2009, use as a guide to develop future programs. Here is a week’s sample of a report generated by the integration between FAIRWAYiQ and taskTracker:

 

 

The report shows us things like an overage of time/money being allocated to ‘Mow Collars’ and an efficiency in the task ‘Set Up (Detail)’. In a case study with a club in Florida, FAIRWAYiQ worked with the maintenance team and identified up to 1400 additional hours of uncovered time over the course of a year that can now be used to beautify the property in other ways.  The reporting features between FAIRWAYiQ and taskTracker allow Superintendents to have more specific and productive conversations with their committees and owners and are able to tell a story to justify the future programs they’d like to see implemented.

Golf operators and maintenance teams are focused on producing a great customer experience, but the means in which that is achieved has started to evolve in Golf. As properties continuously move towards a business-like operation, GMs and Owners are becoming more attracted to data-driven approaches. The difficulty for most Superintendents is finding the time to accomplish such rigorous data collection procedures. The integration between FAIRWAYiQ and taskTracker is helping Superintendents meet those changing demands with the intent to give Superintendents more knowledge about the day-to-day operations on the property.

For more information on the EliteiQ integration between FAIRWAYiQ and taskTracker, please visit here: EliteiQ by FAIRWAYiQ & taskTracker