If a genie were to sit you down today and offer you easier bidding and budgeting, more accurate labor tracking, or fewer overtime hours, you’d probably say, “Yes, please.”
But if the same genie said he’d grant you software that could give you a real-time window onto your workforce and streamline your processes, your response might be, “Speak English, please.”
It can be hard to imagine how something as intangible and tech-y as software would make a positive difference in your day to day—but the right software can improve how a construction business runs.
Here’s an example. SaaS (software as a service) is web-based software that you subscribe to, rather than buying. It’s the same thing as the term “cloud-based software”. Here’s what it means:
- You don’t have the software on your computer
- You don’t have to make updates on the software—they’re made automatically
- Any glitches with the software are handled on the back-end
- Your data is securely stored in the cloud, not on your computer or server
Some of these details might sound good, while others you could totally take or leave. So, why should all of the above matter to a business that’s trying to stay modern and get a leg up on the competition?
There’s Four C’s in the Cloud
These days having important information stored on a single computer desktop feels increasingly restrictive. That’s why email programs like Hotmail, Yahoo and Gmail are on the cloud, meaning your emails are stored on the web and can be accessed with a password from any computer.
The same goes for employee time tracking data: when your employee time and activity tracking data is on the cloud, it’s something you can log in and access from any computer—at your office, on your laptop at Starbucks, or at home.
Got a minute to review how many labor hours have been expended on this project so far? With SaaS (or cloud-based) time tracking software, you don’t have to wait until you get back to the office. And you won’t have to ask your payroll person to retrieve the data for you. You can get what you need, when you need it. Right now.
With SaaS, there’s no more need for printing out reports and dropping them in someone’s “IN” tray. You’ll also avoid wasting time on the phone with your supervisor, project manager, or owner reviewing last week’s numbers. Now everyone can access key data on their own computers.
Explain the leading or lagging indicators you want them to keep an eye on. Let them monitor your data alongside you, so you can all be more budget-conscious, make better bids in the future—and dodge heavy-duty overtime.
In short, everyone in the office who has a stake—from project managers to payroll—can be on the same page.
Again, having data on the cloud means that those you give permission to can access it. Our time tracking software, for example, lets you easily select different levels of access for different roles in the company.
Want to arrange for digital time card approval? Employees will be able to log in with their own passwords and see their time cards for the week, so they can approve them online (and everyone will be in agreement once payday rolls around). You can even set up automatic email reminders so you don’t have to harass them about it. (That’s worth it, believe us!)
The cloud provides more secure compliance. Why? You need to keep your time and attendance records for three years, according to the DOL. So do you really want those records in a filing cabinet or on a single computer hard-drive? Accidents do occur. What if your records went up in flames?
With SaaS, records are digital and automatically saved on a secure server maintained by the likes of Amazon or Microsoft (read: super–secure), rather than Joe the IT guy (no offense to Joe, but he’s not Microsoft).
Break & safety sign-off on their smartphones (which ExakTime offers), along with employee time card approval, are other features that are helpful in keeping you and your employees in accord and aligned with the rules (and making sure you are alerted of anything abnormal).
The four C’s are just a few ways that operating your time tracking system in the cloud (and not on paper or desktop software) is way better than not. On a personal note: out of hundreds if not thousands, we haven’t had a single customer switch to the cloud from on-premises software and then switch back.