Jun 09, 2020
Gone are the days of when construction time tracking was used to just calculate hours for distributing wages to construction crews. Today’s construction and service companies have dropped the excess paper and pen system for modern, advanced time tracking solution software to record more than just hours logged on the job.
Early adopters of mobile time tracking solutions have already learned that construction time tracking software has provided them with valuable insight into staff productivity, job progress and capturing accurate costs in real-time.
Before we dive into why it’s essential to have a time tracking solution for today’s modern construction and service business, here are four major issues construction time tracking solves for contractors and project managers:
- Eliminating human errors from illegible hand writing.
- Poor scheduling due to inaccurate time tracking of hours and job reporting.
- Time theft from logging incorrect hours and no geofencing capabilities to verify accuracy of hours.
- Overpaying employees due to time theft, which lead to higher costs and inaccurate estimating for future jobs and loss of trust from customers.
Now that we’ve identified the main issues time tracking solves, we can look into the main areas of how it can really help you build a more effective and efficient construction and service business.
4 Benefits of Construction Time Tracking Software
- Determining Productivity
- Providing Added Value and Better Transparency for Your Clients
- Eliminating Double-Entry and Extra Paper Work
- Minimizing Lost Revenue
With labor costs being one of the highest expenses for any business, monitoring and analyzing one of your most valuable and expensive assets only makes sense for budgeting and evaluating profits. With a mobile time tracking solution, you can analyze how productive your construction crew is by reviewing the time spent on working on a task. Overworked hours may identify gaps in the process, lack of motivation to complete a task or perhaps even underestimated time by the project manager to complete the task.
Figure 1: An example of Labor Costs by Job Numbers shown in Jonas Construction Software.
Figure 2: A report showing Estimated vs. Actual Costs and Hours Spent Based on the Customer in Jonas
Providing Added Value and Better Transparency for Your Clients
Perhaps one of the most valuable reasons for using a time tracking solution is to be able to present realtime information to your clients on the time spent on their project at any given time. This information is the perfect complement to your construction daily log, which provides a summary of your daily progress and events which transpired throughout the day.
The combined information of time tracked and progress logged is an added selling feature you can present to potential clients during the bidding process. For current clients, you can strengthen your business relationship by promising complete transparency throughout the project. And finally, gain peace of mind for yourself that your time tracking solution and daily logs can be a single source of proof and information if any legal disputes were to occur in the future.
Figure 3: An example of a Daily Log Entry for an employee in Jonas Construction Software.
Eliminating Double-Entry and Extra Paper Work
A single-entry point for your labor hours into a fully integrated software solution that connect to all parts of your business is also critical to ensure the back office and field are in sync for the most accurate reporting on your payroll, accounting, job costing, work orders, and equipment tracking. Turning into a paper-free environment has helped many businesses cut costs, increase storage space and saved administrative time spent on rekeying information from paper to the computer.
With handwritten notes, project managers run into the issue of dealing with illegible writing, inaccurate times and even time theft. On top of that, hours still have to be keyed in from paper to your electronic spreadsheet or construction accounting software to complete payroll. This can add up to essential time lost every week that could be allocated to completing or getting ahead of other administrative office work.
Figure 4: An example of time entry on the job from a mobile device in Jonas
Minimizing Lost Revenue
Having a log of hours for time spent for numerous projects makes for better planning and estimating of future jobs, which leads to better rapport and trust shared with clients and your business. Time tracking applications provide all the data necessary for project managers to identify errors in time estimations. If you’re working with a time tracking solution that is also fully integrated in a construction management software, you have the benefit of getting all your data in real-time to identify any possible issues immediately, rather than once the project is already completed and you are over budget.
Now that we know how beneficial a construction time tracking solution can be for your business, let’s talk about what you should look for in your construction time tracking solution. With so many solutions available in the market, it can be overwhelming to differentiate which solution best suits your business.
Here are three main items you should check off when consider a construction time tracking software:
- Does the construction time tracking solution integrate with existing software you already use to maintain your business? Since the time tracking solution is primarily used for payroll purposes, you’ll want to ensure that it integrates with the payroll and accounting software you’re using. This may also be a good time to evaluate if you need to upgrade to a fully-integrated construction software that connects all areas of your construction and service business. If you want to plan for expansion and growth for your business, you’ll want a software that can grow with your needs as well, and a fully integrated construction management software may be the solution you need to plan ahead.
- Mobile- and User-Friendly Software One of the main reasons construction and service businesses don’t move forward with a selecting a time tracking solution is due to concerns over a steep learning curve or resistance to adopt new technology from their construction crew. A user-friendly interface can certainly help combat any opposition from construction crews.Moreover, you’ll want to ensure the software is compatible with a variety of mobile devices from Apple and Android to cater to the multiple devices available on the market. Lastly, even though the software is mobile with online capabilities, you’ll want to ensure your construction time tracking software can be used offline for project areas where internet access is not always available.
- GPS Functionality As a mobile application, GPS functionality should be included in your construction time tracking software to verify check-in and check-out times at the location of a project or service site. Since the construction and service industry relies heavily on field work completed outside of the office, project managers and owners can’t rely on numbers alone to determine the time spent on a job. With location tracking capabilities, you don’t ever have to doubt where and when your construction crew and contractors are when they enter and exit a project site or service job.
Figure 6: An example of Projected Profits by Job Number in Jonas Construction Software.
By implementing an effective construction time tracking solution, project owners and project managers can rest assure projects and jobs can continue to run smoothly without having to be physically present to monitor daily progress and productivity. With new challenges developing every day for the construction and service industry, mobile capabilities and strong communication between the office and field are becoming more relevant and necessary for today’s modern construction and service business.
Watch Now: How to Capture Real-Time Costs and Improve Field Processes