How many times have you ended your day wondering, “Where did the time go?” You and your crew worked diligently on the task at hand that the day just flew by. Or perhaps your crew spent time on other activities such as safety meetings, moving materials, or delay from waiting on other trades that less time was spent on productive tasks. This is where a time card app will be invaluable.
With a time card app, your crew can accurately measure the amount of time they are spending on specific activities. No longer will you need to wonder “where did the time go.” You can pull up a report to figure out exactly where the time went. Which activities were the time suck and how you can improve productivity in certain areas. To find out how to be more productive, you need to know how you are spending your time.
How can a time card app help?
The only way to get accurate information on how your crew is spending their time is through time cards. Examine your paper time card closely. Is there a space for employees to add multiple time entries per cost code? How is easy is it for your employee to record the data? Once employees record the data on their time card, how do they deliver the information to the office team and management? Does that involve more data entry? If there are challenges with capturing the data from the field and entering it into the office, this can cause huge hurdles in the ability to gather valuable and accurate labor information.
A mobile time card app can help overcome those initial hurdles. With a few clicks, employees can record their information directly on their mobile device—in real-time. Even without internet connectivity, a mobile time card app allows employees to record their time, activities, and breaks. Information entered offline will upload to the cloud once internet connectivity resumes.
Employees can capture the tasks they were working on, the number of production units used, and other details of their day. By capturing this information in a time card app as they are doing it provides a higher level of accuracy over paper time cards. When employees complete paper time cards at the end of the day or the end of the week, the details can be a little fuzzy. With a time card app, employees no longer have to wonder, “How long was I working on rough in on Tuesday?”
Most importantly, all this valuable labor data syncs to the cloud. There is no need to reenter the information manually.
How do time cards translate to productivity?
Time card apps provide such great detailed information on the amount of labor and production units used throughout different phases of the project. Now, what do you do with the data?
Project managers use the data from time card data to analyze the labor productivity on a project slicing and dicing the information to see labor hours by phases and cost codes. Project managers can track productivity by labor hours as well as tracking units per hour. By viewing estimated versus actuals (hours and production units), the project manager can determine labor efficiency on a project. If the project were to progress with similar labor efficiency, the project manager could forecast if he will need more labor to complete the project.
Why should you track labor productivity?
Tracking labor productivity is central to proactive project management in construction. Bringing labor productivity to the central of a project will empower management make better strategic decisions on how and where to push to achieve more effective results.
Labor productivity provides real-time information on how the project is progressing. Analyzing labor productivity down to phases and cost codes, project managers can hone in on exactly where the hurdles are in a project. Was it a specific floor that took longer than estimated? If so, maybe the design hampered the labor productivity. Or perhaps productivity improved when a few crew members were changed. This will help determine the problem areas or problem people on a project.
Most importantly, tracking labor productivity improves a subcontractor’s overall profitability. Estimators can fine tune estimates based on specific areas of the job. Perhaps estimators were overestimating the time for pouring concrete on bids. Your company can then lower the bid amount to submit a more competitive bid. Or perhaps the number of hours needed on demolition were underestimated. Then, Estimators can then increase bid amount to protect project profits. Detailed time card information by cost code allows companies to fine tune bids to help us win more projects or increase profits.
You want more information from your crew to make better strategic decisions. But, you know that you cannot handle more paperwork. Time card apps provide a great level of detail to show where time is being spent to track labor productivity. When you can track labor productivity, you can more closely track your profits.