There is a blissful simplicity in the concept paper time cards. Paper + pen = get paid. In a perfect world scenario, an employee creates a time card. The foreman collects, reviews, and approves the time card. The foreman sends the time card to the office for processing by Accounting for payroll and Project Manager for project tracking. Rarely does construction time tracking go so smoothly.
What really happens is pure chaos. Construction time tracking with paper time cards results in a mad scramble to get payroll processed. Missing time cards. Incorrect information. Manual time entry. There are often lots of back and forth phone calls, emails, and even driving in order for the Accounting team to process time cards and payroll in a timely manner. Does this sound familiar?
We have worked with many construction companies and the mad scramble happens each payroll period. Let us help you move out of the paper age and into the digital age by replacing paper timesheets with construction time tracking software.
The three-pronged approach—technology, process, and people—can help you ditch the paper time sheets for good.
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Construction Time Tracking and Technology
Traditionally, purchasing, implementing software was such a challenge. There needed to be adequate hardware and infrastructure, and the process of upgrading software required tremendous manpower. Then, after all that work, the software was only limited to office workers. That is little value when construction happens at the jobsite—away from the office.
Cloud-based systems have opened up the world of software for construction companies who had limited IT investments. The costs of implementing and maintaining software is now minimal. Most importantly, combining cloud-based systems with the capabilities of mobile devices, have allowed software capabilities to extend to the field—where construction actually happens.
Mobile devices are relatively in expensive. You may think that your budget may not support supplying each employee with a mobile device in order to track his or her time. However, the return of investment on a construction time tracking solution and purchasing a mobile device for each of your employees will make this possible. According to the American Payroll Association, the average employee “steals” anywhere from 50 minutes to 4.5 hours per week. This time theft occurs when an employee shows up late for work, takes long lunches, or leaves early. At an industry average of $30/hour, approximately $100 a month are lost to stolen time for an individual employee—and that is on the low end of time theft spectrum. That savings from stolen time is more than enough to pay for a time tracking solution and mobile device.
Construction Time Tracking and Process
Take a close look at your current time tracking process. What are the bottlenecks? Are you constantly waiting on approvals before processing time? How long is manual entry taking to complete? Only until you can examine your process and see where the inefficiencies lie can you determine what you will need in your construction time tracking solution.
A mobile-first, cloud-based construction time tracking software connects the field and the office to streamline the time keeping and payroll process. Employee time entries are immediately available for review and approval. No more waiting for a foreman to collect time cards. No more waiting Accounting or data entry clerks to manually enter time information. The information is instantly available to the office for real-time insight into labor productivity and timely payroll processing. More importantly, construction time tracking eliminates the silos between the field and the office. Any questions or discrepancies in time card entries can be managed directly between the employee and the office through comments.
Construction Time Tracking and People
Unfortunately, a construction time tracking solution has the potential to negatively affect your culture. Your field employees will view the time tracking solution as a big brother solution. They are moving from a paper time card where they rounded their hours worked to a digital software solution that tracks time to the minute worked. Similarly, the efficiencies gained in the office through the elimination of manual data entry will cause your office employees to fear the loss of their jobs.
To combat the negativity your employees will perceive from a construction time tracking solution, it is important that your leadership be proactive and positive in the messaging and rollout:
The efficiencies gained will benefit the company and the individual employees.
Tracking time provides greater insight into labor activity.
This allows us to shift resources into the most productive work possible.
There will be no tracking of people or loss of jobs.
Your employees are the heart of your organization. When your people can get behind your construction time tracking process and technology, you can finally ditch the paper timesheets for good.