"There are always big jobs and small jobs going on at the same time, so do I send two crews to the big job to get it done quicker and send other crews to the smaller jobs? Or do I send one crew to each job knowing that the big job is going to take one crew a couple of days?" Whitney says. "A lot depends on what's going on in each individual job and what we have coming up. Maybe it's best to send a couple of crews to the big job so we can knock it out and get those crews on to other work. Maybe it's best to get that big job done for that customer. If a job is out of town I have to make sure to keep enough people in town to do the work around here.
"Scheduling is definitely tricky," Whitney says. "You have to be careful when scheduling because you can't get too booked up because then you burn the guys out and they won't want to come and do everything."
He says this year Arrow Striping is trying a new approach to getting crews and equipment ready for each day, hiring two mechanics to work in the shop. The two will come in at night and fill vehicles with fuel, make sure vehicles are loaded and ready to go with what the crews need for the next day's work.
"We're trying to streamline the process and make it as easy as we can on our guys so they don't have to spend more time than they need to in the shop," Whitney says. "The mechanics will work a full day on Sundays and about four hours a night each Monday through Thursday getting things ready. They also will be available to help out with striping if we need it."
Arrow Striping makes every effort to take Saturdays off, and even when work is plentiful Whitney says they can do it through effective scheduling. He says that in 2007 the company ran seven days a week through the entire season, but last year they were able to schedule work so that there was only one month where they had to work Saturdays.
"It's all in the scheduling and getting things streamlined," Whitney says.