Guest Contributor: Derrik Shakespear, busybusy
Digital timecards have developed into so much more than just a timecard. With additions like real-time GPS updates for employees and equipment, safety sign-offs, automated daily reports, easy & accurate job costing, employee scheduling, and accounting software integrations, it’s easy to see why timekeeping apps are in use on almost every jobsite in America today. A common phrase in the construction industry is “Technology Stack” because software has become so specialized you can’t use just one platform to do everything. Rather than a single solution to handle everything, it’s often a combination of software products that provide your company with the best experience and the most accurate data.
And when it comes to accurate data, labor is the largest variable cost on almost every jobsite, so investing in a tool that helps you get the best labor data immediately improves your ability to hit your project budget, make accurate estimates, and increase profit.
Below are four things a good labor tracking tool should help you do.
Job Costing and Schedule
Contemporaneous historical data sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s critical to future forecasting and estimating. Using historical job costing data from 10, or even 5, years ago is already outdated. Digital timecards with GPS integration and real-time project budget updates allow for quick and clear communication from the field to the office. As delays occur, they can be incorporated as well, making project management considerably more accurate.
Tracking against a schedule helps indicate when a delay is occurring within a specific task. Whether the delay is because of material, manpower, errors or weather, it can be documented in the notes and tasks. These items are included in the daily report and other historical reports to refer to at any time.
Accurate data like this creates accurate job costing, and is significant for future estimates, overage tracking, extras, and change order justification. Eliminating the questions surrounding change orders assures you can both request and get paid the correct amount.
Knowing what your employees are doing is phenomenal, but what about the equipment they’re using? At any point in time, knowing what equipment is available, who used it last, and on which project helps you make more knowledgeable business decisions. These decisions allow you to know how efficiently your fleet is being utilized.
A few things equipment tracking shows you:
- The last operator who used it & last location
- Operator hours per machine, per project
- Equipment hour-meter tracking
With newly found equipment details you can also understand why a job underperformed or overperformed. If you know why it underperformed, then you‘re more likely to avoid that failure in the future, or better yet, you can duplicate that success again. Often, clients who use good equipment tracking software are able to make immediate decisions while the project is still going, allowing a pivot before it’s too late.
Equipment is way too expensive to not know how well you’re using it each day, month, and year!
Flexibility for every team
Digital time tracking should be flexible. Each organization or jobsite has different rules. Your digital timecard software should be flexible enough to adapt to every jobsite and crew.
This could mean an individual clocks-in and -out with a smartphone, or a supervisor can manage time for their entire crew. Supervisors should also be able to swap crews between tasks easily to ensure accurate job costing and equipment tracking. This allows for reliable job costing data that estimators, project managers and owners will love.
For some instances where they don’t want crew members to use personal smartphone devices, a punch-clock-style kiosk platform is exceptionally useful. With kiosk-style software, you can transform a tablet or smartphone on the jobsite into a kiosk for all crew members to utilize as they come in and out for their day or as they take breaks, lunches, and even swap between tasks. The flexibility to change from kiosk to a supervisor’s mobile device allows for accurate tracking and job costing throughout the day.
Finding an app that allows you to track time all three of these ways is critical to a good labor-management experience because, as we all know, no two projects are the same.
Integrations to Existing Software
Digital timecard tracking should improve your organization’s functionality, not slow it down. That’s why having a flexible import/export feature with the time tracking software in your accounting & payroll solution is an insurmountable benefit you can’t ignore.
Digital time cards decrease overhead time spent on collecting and compiling timecards and provide the data needed to improve your bottom line through more accurate estimates based on all the data collected for both labor and equipment.
Looking at how digital timecards can improve your organization’s efficiency, equipment utilization and employee tracking could be the next step to saving you time and money.
Derrik Shakespear is the Chief Revenue Officer for busybusy, the #1 most reliable time tracking app in the construction industry. Time tracking, Daily Reports, Safety Sign-Off, Equipment tracking all in one easy to use app. busybusy immediately improves profitability on each project while also helping communication between the field and the office.