Construction projects involve many complex, interdependent tasks that must be completed under tight deadlines and budgets. With so many moving parts, construction project management can be challenging. One of the most critical elements is tracking time and labor. Using a purpose-built time clock app provides data, visibility, and tools that can simplify managing a construction project.
The Benefits of Time Tracking for Construction Project Management
Construction projects involve intricately choreographed workflows, interconnected tasks, and strict deadlines. A comprehensive time tracking app can provide enhanced data, visibility, and tools to take on the challenges of managing these components.
Construction time clock apps deliver several key advantages that enable smoother project management and execution. By tapping into the power of precise time tracking, construction firms can boost productivity, improve accuracies, and make each project a success.
Increased Visibility into Labor Costs
Labor is one of the largest costs in any construction project. Going over the labor budget can slash projected profit margins. With manual time tracking and payroll processes, it’s difficult to get clear data on whether you’re under or over budget.
A construction time clock app generates real-time data on hours worked and labor costs. This increased visibility enables project managers to proactively adjust course if costs are trending higher than budgeted. You can bring spending back in line before it grows into a major issue threatening the project’s financial health.
Improved Payroll Processing Accuracy
Many construction workers are paid hourly or get overtime for nights, weekends, and long days. Inaccuracies in submitted hours worked lead to payroll errors, with workers being under or overpaid. Mistakes caught during processing can lead to delays in payment.
If employees aren’t paid when they should be or feel their paycheck doesn’t match their effort, it causes lowered morale and motivation levels. But time clock apps integrate directly with payroll systems, automatically transferring vetted hours worked into payroll for processing. This improves payroll accuracy to keep worker pay fair and timely and satisfaction high.
Enhanced Project Forecasting and Planning
Every construction project is unique, with its own complexities and challenges. To effectively forecast and plan future projects, you need data from past projects documenting how long different types of tasks actually took.
Robust time tracking provides rich data documenting time spent on hundreds or thousands of specific tasks. Project managers can leverage this historical data to build more accurate schedules and cost estimates for future projects.
When employees self-report hours worked manually, inaccuracies and misrepresentations can happen, whether intentional or accidental. But automated time tracking apps record exact hours worked, keeping everyone accountable.
Workers also receive alerts if they forget to clock in or out, improving compliance. The time data provides verified evidence if any disputes or questions around hours worked come up later.
Improved Regulatory Compliance
Construction companies must comply with regulations around overtime, rest breaks, certifications, project timelines and more. Time tracking data provides reporting to demonstrate compliance with relevant labor regulations. This protects the company from fines and other penalties that result from non-compliance.
Having concrete data readily available also simplifies and expedites the process when preparing for audits or inspections by regulatory bodies. Proactively monitoring compliance with time tracking analytics enables construction firms to identify and resolve any potential issues before they become larger problems.
Enhanced Analytics and Reporting
Time clock apps capture expansive, granular data on employee hours worked, specific tasks completed, labor costs incurred, productivity metrics, and more. As this time and activity data accumulates over weeks, months, and years, it forms a rich repository of historical project performance information. Businesses can use this accumulated data to generate insightful reports that deliver actionable business intelligence.
With real-time visibility into key metrics across the organization, construction firms can identify opportunities for operational improvements. Trends and patterns uncovered in the data help project managers streamline workflows, adjust resource allocation, increase productivity, control costs, and drive continuous enhancement. Time tracking analytics also facilitate strategic decision making by providing key benchmarking inputs for bids, staffing models, project planning, budgeting, and forecasting.
Key Features to Look for in Construction Time Tracking Software
While generic time clocks exist, choosing employee time tracking software with GPS trackers built specifically for the construction industry ensures you get the specialized features and capabilities your business needs. Here are some of the top features construction companies should look for:
- GPS Time Tracking: Construction projects often span multiple jobsites. GPS location tracking and geofencing allow the app to confirm each team member is at the jobsite they’re meant to be when they clock in and throughout their shift.
- Photo ID Verification: Some time clock apps have workers submit geo-tagged photos verifying their physical presence onsite when clocking in or out. This definitively validates their attendance at the expected location and time and prevents buddy punching.
- Digital Forms: Paper forms for safety checklists, equipment inspections, site reports and more can be replaced with digital forms inside the app. Workers fill them out and submit them right from their mobile device.
- Offline Accessibility: Cell and WiFi coverage can be spotty on construction sites. The app should allow clocking time and filling forms even when offline, syncing the data when a connection is available.
- Contractor Time Tracking: Larger projects often utilize contractors from various companies. The software should track subcontractors separately, with reporting segmented by company for clarity into contractor time and productivity.
- Custom Roles and Permissions: With customized roles and granular permissions, you can control who has access to what data and functionality in the app based on each user’s project role and responsibilities.
- Payroll Integrations: Top platforms integrate directly with payroll systems, keeping them in sync by automatically transferring verified hours worked data to payroll for processing.
- Scheduling Integrations: Integration with project scheduling software allows labor hours entered in time clock apps to automatically sync with the schedule task durations for real-time schedule updates.
- Accounting Software Integrations: Integrating time tracking data with accounting platforms like QuickBooks improves the accuracy of job costing and prevents manual re-entry of data between systems.
- Real-Time Reporting and Analytics: Project leaders need data instantly to make decisions on the fly. Look for real-time reports and analytical dashboards that provide up-to-the-minute insight into hours, costs, productivity, and trends.
Best Practices for Implementing Construction Time Tracking Software
Following best practices when rolling out time tracking software ensures high adoption among workers and accuracy in data:
- Provide Training on Using the Software: Instead of just sending an app download link, offer formal onboarding and training to get all employees up to speed on proper use of the system.
- Set Clear Expectations for Utilization: Communicate openly that using the system to track all time is a required job expectation, not an optional extra task.
- Explain the Benefits to Employees: Workers are more likely to buy in if you explain how the system benefits them through accurate payroll, prevented disputes, etc.
- Perform Regular Audits: Audit time entries periodically by cross checking against other records. This ensures everyone adheres to accurate tracking methods.
- Offer Support for Technical Issues: Have dedicated staff available to quickly help with any technical problems or questions that arise as workers adopt the new system.
- Recognize Achievements: When implementation milestones are hit, congratulate teams and individuals to reinforce and promote desired behavior.
ExakTime Empowers Construction Companies to Enhance Efficiency and Productivity
ExakTime offers an industry-leading time tracking app built specifically to meet the needs of construction companies. With ExakTime, managers can leverage precise GPS tracking and geofencing to automatically track worker time on jobsites without reliance on manual punching. Geo-tagged photo verification confirms workers’ on-site presence, and real-time analytics provide instant insight on labor costs, productivity, and compliance.
By implementing ExakTime’s purpose-built app, construction firms gain unparalleled visibility into field work while eliminating wasteful, error-prone paper processes. This empowers smarter project management for improved efficiency and productivity.
Contact ExakTime to see how how our time tracking solutions can lead to better project management.