Jon Haber is the marketing communications coordinator for ExakTime, a construction time and attendance company. For more information about the PocketClock or other ExakTime timekeeping solutions, visit www.exaktime.com.
Tracking software that runs on your mobile device eliminates guesswork in payroll costs.
Imagine this scenario. Crew A and Crew B leave their boss’ office Monday morning at the same time and return that evening at the same time after a hard day of work in the field. Crew A traveled to three separate paint jobs throughout the day, prepping, sealing, caulking, spraying and rolling paint. Crew B also traveled to three separate jobs, which included framing, drywalling, sheering and roofing.
When payday rolls around, Crew A members rush to finish filling out their timesheets because they use handwritten paper timecards. When they finish scribbling down estimated work shifts, each member turns in a perfect 40-hour timesheet to the payroll manager. Their timecards say they worked five days that week and exactly eight hours per day (including a 30-minute lunch). To top it off, no one knows how long it took to complete each job throughout the workweek—they simply fill in the timesheet quickly to get a paycheck.
Crew B, on the other hand, does not use paper timecards. In fact, these crew members do not write down work shifts or job activities at all and do not have to turn anything in on payday. Crew B is tracked with time tracking software that runs on their foreman’s smart phone. The foreman tracks the entire crew throughout the week while work is actually happening, so no one is forced to remember time and attendance numbers. He tracks job activities, travel time and even records field notes on his mobile device.
When payday rolls around, the foreman wirelessly sends his time records to the payroll manager. When the payroll manager opens up the time tracking software, the numbers are automatically populated for Crew B. The payroll manager can see that many men in Crew B worked between 35 and 38 hours, and none of them worked 40 hours—having this accurate information results in reduced labor costs.
Mobile Time Tracking Software Advantages
On Friday morning when timecards are due, it is not easy to remember the time spent on a job that was done last Monday. With the uncertain economy and a construction market that is more competitive than ever, business owners cannot afford to throw away thousands on undelivered labor every year.
To avoid this, mobile time tracking software is a viable solution. Foremen can carry this software with them to track crews while they are working, which eliminates the guesswork.
Many time and attendance companies offer mobile time tracking software that can run on mobile platforms. Other companies offer mobile solutions designed specifically for the rugged outdoors.
This type of mobile time tracking software runs on ruggedized PDAs—which are ideal for construction sites—and on popular smart phones. This software can travel anywhere with any crew and can track up to 1,000 workers, job activities and jobsites. Each worker can track his own hours on his smart phone, or a foreman can track an entire crew from one device.
GPS Tracking Capability
If you are trying to track mobile crews traveling in trucks between multiple jobsites all day, you will need mobile time tracking software. Paper timecards are often inaccurate, illegible and a mess to deal with and archive.
But with any mobile time clock, it is essential that the platform include a GPS functionality. GPS will validate that your workers are at the correct location when they clock in and out or change their work activity. By verifying employees’ work locations, businesses can produce more results with fewer resources and reduce unnecessary payroll expenses.
GPS tracking also verifies accuracy and consistency. It helps ensure that your workers are only paid while they are working at the jobsite and that every worker is tracked equally.
By creating a geofence (a virtual perimeter) around jobsites (with a radius of about two miles), mobile time tracking software will alert business owners if a worker tries to clock in before he gets to the jobsite or after he leaves.
Most bookkeepers dread collecting paper timecards at the end of each payroll period. They have to track down workers, decipher scribbled numbers and manually enter data into their accounting software on their computer.
“Guys were working side-by-side, and they would have different hours from each other,” says Jerry Stubbs of Jerry Stubbs Construction in Spanish Fork, Utah. “It took my bookkeeper extra time to enter the numbers, read the timecards and track the workers and timecards down on the right day.”
With mobile time tracking devices, supervisors or foremen can wirelessly send in their time records from the field. This includes employee time punches, their job activities and job locations.
Bookkeepers also do not have to process payroll. Instead, they can open their time tracking software on their computer and see the time records populate in seconds.
Mobile time tracking with GPS can give you a more efficient workforce and, in return, a healthier bottom line.
Construction Business Owner, April 2011