Labor is a major factor when it comes to calculating job costs, which is why tracking worker time has always been an integral part of the process. But how that tracking is done has changed tremendously.
Time tracking started by writing down worker times on paper, evolved to punching a clock and then went somewhat digital by using programs like Excel. Today, the best way to track time is via software made specifically for time tracking, like ExakTime.
But even though it’s the easiest, there are some that haven’t made the switch to digital time tracking.
According to AGC, 60% of contractors are still using old methods of tracking time, including paper punch and time cards. The ingrained reliance on paper is something ExakTime Sales Executive Michael Dickran hears about from customers before they make the switch to ExakTime.
“More than 50% of construction companies are using paper time cards and it’s not just the small guys,” he says. “It always amazes me that huge companies are still using paper time cards.”
As to why companies haven’t switched yet… there could be a number of reasons. Construction companies might be getting pushback from older workers who resist any change because they’ve “always done it this way.” Or companies think it will be hard or time consuming to switch their time tracking processes. But whatever the reason, Dickran says the time is now to make the switch to digital time tracking.
“You need to make a decision sooner rather than later to switch to time tracking software because if you’re not, you’re opening yourself up to risk and litigation.”
Why You Need to Make the Switch to Digital Time Tracking
There are several reasons to make the switch to digital time tracking but three really stand out: the efficiency, accuracy and security that time tracking software offers.
- Efficiency: Construction companies need to be smarter about how they work to save costs where they can. For example, it’s not efficient to drive around to five different job sites to collect time cards. It’s also not efficient to guess the numbers a worker writes down or chase someone down to ask them about their clock in times. So does time tracking increase efficiency? Yes. Clock in and out information gathered by digital time tracking software can be uploaded at once, whenever your staff needs to complete payroll. And because the time is tracked via an app or time clock, payroll never has to decipher numbers or illegible handwriting.
- Accuracy: Labor is one of a project’s highest costs, and it’s not like labor is getting cheaper. Construction jobs need to be profitable, and miscalculations can throw that off. You need accurate numbers when bidding on jobs to help you stay on budget and on schedule. Too few employees and you won’t complete the job in time. Too many employees and you’ll be overpaying for labor, impacting your costs. Digitally tracking labor with software means you have a wealth of data at your disposal from past and current jobs that you can use to predict future labor costs.
- Security: Construction companies need to make sure their employees’ information is secure and they need to protect themselves as well. Biometrics is a big trend in data security right now. And, for construction, the best biometric is facial recognition. While fingerprint scanners might work great for other industries, they just don’t work for construction. Contractors use their hands which are often dirty or split, meaning small fingerprint scanners simply don’t work. And, as many job sites don’t have power or an Internet connection, fingerprint scanners are pretty much useless. Facial ID is easy to use in the field and holds each employee accountable for tracking their own hours.
Good construction software can do the heavy lifting when it comes to efficiency, accuracy and security.
How ExakTime Works
ExakTime’s digital time tracking app answers several questions about how to track worker time:
- Did your workers show up?
- How long were they there?
- What did they do there and for how long?
- Did they move around and where did they go?
- What equipment was used?
ExakTime is a single solution that can answer all these questions, without burdening employees. ExakTime’s software can be used on the jobsite, no connection required. And because it’s so easy to use, your employees won’t mind using it. If they do, supervisors always have the ability to clock groups of employees in and out.
Instead of a pen and paper, workers clock in and out using an app that’s easily downloaded to any mobile device. Workers simply enter their unique, 4-digit PIN number and tap the green ‘Go’ button to clock in or the red ‘Stop’ button to clock out. Clock-in and out data, including where your workers are located, is synced so team management can occur from anywhere. Kiosk mode works the same way, except from a mobile device, like a tablet.
What are the Benefits of Using a Time Tracker Tool?
Aside from tracking worker time, ExakTime offers a whole host of other benefits. It offers integrated tools that help make work in the field much more efficient.
“People used to be happy with just the basics, like legible handwriting,” says ExakTime Sales Rep Michael Dickran. “Now, people want more and more in terms of the value of what they can extract from the field.”
- Equipment Tracking: ExakTime’s equipment tracking allows companies to track both crews and equipment from any mobile device. Equipment tracking allows contractors to see when and where equipment is being used, allowing them stay ahead of maintenance and other costs.
- Scheduling: Schedule worker shifts and tasks in advance, and never wonder what’s happening at a remote job site. ExakTime Mobile gives you a one-screen snapshot of any job site with a live feed of clock-in and clock-out activity, a running labor budget, Field Notes, weather and more.
- Field Notes: Workers or supervisors in the field can record text, audio or photo updates and send them to the cloud with one click. Notes appear on the dashboard of our cloud software and are also attached to job sites in your system, so that they never get lost and remain part of your labor record.
- Mobile Compliance: ExakTime offers instant access to a digital “paper trail”, as well as a history of every punch-out that includes employee responses to compliance-related questions every single time they finish a shift. Workers can review digital time cards and approve them with a signature. You can also prompt employees to sign off on compliance-related questions regarding breaks and injuries at clock-out. This information protects your business from audits, lawsuits and fines because you’ll have digital proof of an employee checking all compliance boxes.
ExakTime allows you to get rid of paper while tracking all the above information. And easily remain compliant without having paper or an Excel file drag you down.
ExakTime Grows with Your Company
When you look at a solution, you need to find a partner that will meet your needs today and in the future.
“I always tell customers to dream big,” says Dickran. “What would you like the solution to do in five years? You may not be ready for it, but you don’t want to have to find a new system when you are ready.”
ExakTime’s solutions can meet your needs today and tomorrow. You can start with basic time tracking, then later leverage extras like equipment tracking, scheduling, facial recognition, field notes and time-off tracking.
And it’s easy for customers to implement ExakTime but Dickran does advise for companies to give themselves ample time to make the switch.
“Remember you are running a business and in construction, fires happen and you may need more time, even though the software is simple,” he adds. “But once implemented, no one comes back and says they miss paper time sheets.”
Schedule a demo and see for yourself just what ExakTime can do and why you shouldn’t wait any longer to make the switch to digital time tracking.