Information is key to running a smooth business as a contractor. Without accurate data on employees, equipment, payroll and more, your bottom line is likely to be affected. And without steady and consistent cash flow, running a company of any size can be difficult.
On top of that, without reliable information, you won’t be able to know exactly how much money it cost you to successfully complete a job—making it impossible to precisely bid on and staff future projects similar to ones you’ve already completed. This could cause you to fall behind your competitors when it comes to landing contracts.
Here are a handful of the issues you’re probably up against on a regular basis as a result of unreliable information.
Issue #1.) Not knowing if an employee is on site or not.
It’s unfortunate, but it happens. Employees may be scrambling to get their 40 total hours for the week, so they “clock in” while they’re still off site (which usually means they simply write in an earlier start time on their weekly time card or timesheet), take longer lunch breaks and more. Anytime your workers aren’t on the clock doing what you’re paying them to do, your projects will suffer in more ways than one: they’ll likely not be finished in a timely manner and you’ll be paying for hours not worked, both of which will hurt your margins.
Solution: Real-Time GPS Tracking
Issue #2.) Not knowing what equipment was used.
Without a way of tracking your heavy equipment usage, you’ll be putting yourself at risk in the event that equipment is lost, damaged or stolen. Given how expensive these pieces of machinery are, this could result in a big financial hit for your construction or field service business.
Just as importantly, you’re at a loss when it comes to gauging how much equipment is being used. That information would help you know when something needs routine maintenance to avoid a breakdown mid-project, as well as whether it would be economical to double-down on a popular type of equipment and buy another one to help you complete projects faster.
By having reliable equipment tracking data, you’ll be able to pinpoint who the last person was who used the piece of equipment, where they were when they used it, and for how long, which can be helpful if an incident occurs, or if you need to include that equipment’s usage in your budget.
Solution: Equipment Tracking Software
Issue #3.) Not knowing how long a project or task actually took to complete.
Going with your gut can only get you so far. Sometimes, a task we thought would only take three hours to complete actually took the crew seven hours. Occasionally, a job you predicted would need four workers to tackle probably only needed two.
Every task is a puzzle piece that comprises the large puzzle of a project. When you don’t know the labor and time that went into tasks, you rely on human memory—which has a tendency to warp over time—and, like we said, your gut. By having accurate reports on task completion time, you’ll have an intimate understanding of the costs of doing your work, which every construction business should have. One of the many benefits of this is the ability to more precisely bid on projects similar to ones you’ve done in the past, helping create a healthier bottom line.
Solution: Employee Time and Location Reports
Issue #4.) Not knowing how long an employee actually worked.
Apart from relying solely on trust, without the ability to actively monitor every single worker on every single job site, there’s no way of actually knowing if your employees worked for as long as they say they did on their timesheets without technology. Between buddy punching, late clock-ins and no-shows, there are a lot of ways for workers to game the system in their favor when it comes to padding hours.
Solution: FaceFront Biometric Time Clock
Issue #5.) Not knowing what was scribbled on a worker’s time card.
Some people are blessed with great handwriting, and others…well, not so much. Oftentimes, trying to determine what your employees wrote on their time cards is like trying to decipher hieroglyphics, causing you to spend more time on payroll than you should be.
This can lead to poor profit margins, and squabbles between you and your employees when it comes to total hours, which will take you away from doing other more important tasks for your business.
Solution: Automated Cloud-Based Time Tracking
Solution Talk // Words of Wisdom
Luckily, there are options available today when it comes to reliable information, thanks to technology. With certain types of construction software, you won’t have to leave anything to chance or leave any questions unanswered. From automated time tracking to employee scheduling to seamless payroll, ExakTime is here for you.