When it comes to running a construction or field service business, it always seems there are millions of moving parts needing attention all at once. Because of approaching deadlines, financial troubles, unexpected problems and more, many inefficient processes begin to take root out of necessity—from closing deals to putting the finishing touches on a project.
While many of these processes and techniques have gotten some businesses far enough, there’s always room for improvement in terms of increasing profit margins, time spent on tedious tasks, getting a step ahead of your competitors and more.
As a contractor, here are some of the inefficient processes you, more than likely, face on a regular basis.
#1.) Manual payroll entry
Shuffling through paper timesheets and manually inputting them into an Excel spreadsheet certainly isn’t the most exciting thing about being in the construction or field service industry. On top of the monotony, inputting things manually also increases the likelihood you’ll have errors. Whether that’s adding an extra zero or skipping entire lines on your spreadsheets, mistakes are inevitable during repetitive processes.
And with each mistake you make, you subtract from your bottom line, both in terms of money invested and energy invested which could’ve been spent on more important tasks.
Solution: Time Tracking Software
#2.) Traveling from job site to job site
Without any digital solutions, the only way to maintain oversight across all your jobs is to be physically present at those sites. Without any alternative, you’ll have to travel from job site to job site to confirm your workers are actually on location, being 100% productive, and clocking in when say they did on their time cards. Occasionally, you even have to go from location to location to pick up these paper time cards so you can finish payroll. Needless to say, this wastes a lot of your time and your fuel.
Solution: Time Clock App with GPS Tracking
#3.) Inefficient communication
Perhaps one of the most inefficient construction processes have to do with the communication between members of a company and the third parties they’re partnering with—project managers, owners, designers, and other key stakeholders in particular.
Sending around documents such as designs and contracts for each party’s approval often requires printing, reprinting, long email chains and many more tedious tasks. Files can easily get tampered with, lost, or deleted altogether during this communication shuffle.
Solution: To help streamline communication between team members and vendors alike, you can use cloud-based tools like Google Drive, PlanGrid and Docusphere, which allow you to easily store, share and manage your files in a convenient location.
#4.) Employee payment squabbles
As mentioned, with manual payroll entry comes lots of errors, and with errors comes salary squabbles between you and your workers. From employees claiming they worked 30 minutes more than what’s recorded to 5 hours, the list of potential roadblocks goes on and on.
And oftentimes, it isn’t even worth your time to go back and double check, so you’ll end up paying them the extra cash out of pocket. Over time though, these marginal losses add up and could make a big difference in your yearly earnings.
Solution: Time Tracking Reports
#5.) Too many software solutions
Oftentimes, it’s easy to get a little trigger happy when it comes to software solutions. Yet, if you’re using and paying for a different piece of software for every single process in your business, the fees will add up quickly. This can also take a logistical toll—from toggling between app after app to paying the subscription fees for each.
Solution: One integrated system
#6.) Lack of integrations
Without software solutions that connect or interact seamlessly with one another, your team may quickly find themselves struggling to remember passwords or toggling back and forth between multiple providers—making for an all-but-productive workflow. Isn’t software meant to make your life easier, not more complicated?
This is why it’s recommended to partner with established technology providers that already have integrations built in, or at least have the resources to create the integrations if enough of their customers request the update.
Solution Talk // Words of Wisdom
Remember, time is money—so if you’re not optimizing your time wisely, you’re hurting your business financially. In order to get rid of inefficient processes for good, you need to begin automating the parts and systems of your workflow holding you back.
You can start by automating your time tracking, reporting, and payroll using a system like ExakTime; you’ll have access to 100% accurate labor data in one easy-to-use software solution.