As office manager at Winder And Company, Inc., Amanda Lewis knows scheduling flexibility is just part of the job within the business-to-business industry. The fleet-washing company serves southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas, including clients such as Walmart and O'Reilly Auto Parts, and has to be available whenever its clients need work done—even if that's after regular business hours. Learn how Lewis makes it work for the business's staff and clients, while still protecting its bottom line.
Biz 417: Being a B2B company impacts Winder And Company’s hours and operations. How do you address this?
Amanda Lewis: Well, it’s an ongoing battle. Our biggest issue is keeping help for our hours. The fleets are only sitting on the weekends, and we have to find someone who is willing to work part-time only Saturdays and Sundays. Scheduling issues are definitely our biggest struggle.
Biz: So what do you do to make sure the business can tackle those weekend jobs?
AL: When we first started out, it wasn’t a big deal because we had a few full-time people that worked during the week and on the weekends, too. But now that we work on a larger scale, we need more people. We have a high turnover rate, and a lot of people will use us just for the time frame they need to get caught up on their bills. I’ve learned to stay on top of it and constantly be hiring.
Biz: What was the biggest lesson you learned as the business has grown?
AL: It’s important to advertise for help in multiple places. There were a few times when we didn’t do that, and it really hurt us. I used to take our job ads down, but now I just constantly bring in new hires and never turn away help. You also want to keep up a good reputation with quality work. Otherwise, clients will go elsewhere.
Biz: What tools do you use to find and hire part-time employees?
AL: We use Craigslist ads, the Missouri Career Center and OTC—they have an online portal. We try to get college students because they are typically taking classes during the week, so it works out well for them to be working on the weekends. I just never say I’m not hiring because I’m always looking for work.
Biz: You also have an after-hours crew. How does that work?
AL: Our full-time, salaried employees usually do the after-hours jobs. I make it work by switching their daytime hours to nighttime hours for that particular day. We do a lot of work for Walmart, and we don’t start until after nine o’clock, so I just won’t bring them in until then. Then they’ll work until midnight or one o’clock.
Biz: Do you find that your strategic scheduling keeps your full-time employees happy while still satisfying your clients needs?
AL: Yes, that’s what’s nice about having them on salaried pay because I can always move around their hours; it’s not one set schedule. We only have a few employees that do that, but it works well.