Cooper Drywall and Painting, Inc. of Knoxville began simply as Cooper Painting in 1979 before incorporating and changing its name in 2000. Now, at 100 employees strong, the company’s business is mostly commercial and consists of more framing than painting.
“We do the framing, the sheetrock, the acoustical ceilings and the painting,” says President Mike Cooper, son of Cooper Drywall Founder Buddy Cooper. “We’re there from pretty early on to walking out the door.”
Jobs last from a month to a year, and require 5 to 30 workers. The typical employee workweek is 40 hours, though Cooper notes they will do whatever it takes to get the job done. “If that means overtime, then we’ll work it,” he says. “We haven’t missed a schedule that’s been our fault since 1979.”
Paper time cards were “nightmarish”
Before Cooper Drywall and Painting purchased an ExakTime system in 2005, employees’ hours were recorded on paper and called in by their foreman once a week.
This system invited disputes and confusion. “The foreman would call in someone’s time as 32 hours, and then that employee would say he worked 40 hours, and there was no way of knowing for sure who was right,” Mike Cooper explained. He adds, “Or if a foreman missed a day, he would have to try to figure out who was or wasn’t there while he was out. It was nightmarish.”
With dozens of workers spread out at different job sites, Cooper realized that a broken time tracking system was wasting the company time and money. He started looking around for alternatives and found ExakTime through an Internet search.
Cooper estimated that he saves about 40 labor-hours a week and $50,000 a year with ExakTime—though he said it could be more. “With the unseen time savings, and paying employees to the minute, there’s no telling,” said Cooper.
Faster payroll and instant dispute resolution
Now, when his employees come to him to question anything on their paychecks, Cooper says the dispute is easily resolved.
“I still get guys coming in to say, ‘But I worked here and I left then’, and I just have to print a timesheet from the ExakTime system. Nearly ten times out of ten they’ve just forgotten that they left early that day for a dentist’s appointment or were out sick. Now I’m paying my workers for when they actually worked.”
Another big benefit Cooper saw after the adoption of an ExakTime system, which consists of over 40 JobClock EXs and JobClock Hornets, is easier payroll processing. “Payroll is just another little step–it’s not a weekly ordeal.” Cooper adds, “What used to take us 2.5 days to enter and input and do now can be done in 2.5 hours.”
Customized by ExakTime to fit like a glove
One reason payroll is so simple for Cooper Drywall is AccountLinx Plus, which transfers records from our cloud time tracking software directly to their accounting package every week.
Cooper’s accounting package isn’t a major one like QuickBooks, either—it’s a lesser-known program called Southware. “ExakTime designed an interface for us to use with Southware,” Cooper says. “Anything I need for it, [ExakTime] can design it to fit my needs.”
Business is better than ever
Recently one of their crews completed a six-story residential high-rise on the University of Tennessee campus, finishing a large job that another subcontractor couldn’t manage under tight time constraints. “We were hanging and finishing 2,000 pieces of sheetrock a week,” says Cooper. “I didn’t think it could happen, but we did it.”
Cooper says he has stayed with ExakTime for 10 years because it’s a great system. “It would be hard to beat. I don’t see how it could be any better.”