Many construction experts know that accurate employee time monitoring is critical to the success of a project and staff management. However, many in the sector are still unaware of just how damaging the issue of lost time can be – and many more are unsure of how to address it. Recent research shows that, on average, 61% of construction projects fell behind schedule in 2017.
Half of those projects ran over budget too. Proper time tracking and staff management practices could have reduced this number significantly. Unfortunately, while construction frequently leads the way in pioneering new technologies, there’s a general disconnect in the industry’s approach to work management.
Tracking construction time is just as critical, if not more so, as using the latest and most efficient equipment to get the job done. This article will detail the value of time tracking in construction staffing. We’ll explain why you should invest in construction time monitoring software to ensure efficiency across your organization.
The Benefits of Time-Tracking in Construction Staffing
Slashing Construction and Payroll Costs
The primary goal of time tracking in construction projects is to reconcile staff salaries with a business’s general construction costs. Whether you’re supervising your staff or a combination of subcontracted workers, every working moment needs to be tracked. This will ensure that your payroll is as accurate as possible.
Like most construction businesses, you’re operating in a competitive market. If you have a backlog of work, you can’t wait for payroll reconciliation to determine whether or not mistakes have been made. Equipment expenses and capital expenditure are essential considerations to be aware of from the outset. But few things can negatively impact your payroll quite as quickly as losing track of your staff’s time expenditure.
Better Control Across All Levels of Management
Just as managers must track hours and overtime, time management tools must be accessible to all levels of your company, including your construction staffing agency. In any business, performance tracking is required. Whether it’s AP and AR figures in accounting or budget tracking, everyone will need consistent access to your organization’s time-tracking data.
Using cloud technology allows you to boost efficiency across all levels of your organization. Safety officers can use cloud-based tools to obtain the data necessary for efficient reporting and compliance. Inventory control officers can do the same to ensure that your construction sites and contractors always have the resources they require.
Any delays in the process result in more than just job site inefficiencies and work delays. Poor time management translates into chaotic organizations, inefficient billing practices, and costly bidding process delays.
Smoother Transitions to New Projects
Your contractors and employees must be meticulous in their attention to detail on-site. Management teams are tasked with taking a holistic approach to your company’s progress and growth. It’s one of the many factors to consider in construction management.
A time-tracking system informs management personnel every time a new job begins to allocate talent and resources, ensuring it’s in the most efficient way possible. Managers who have access to cloud-based time-tracking tools can plan more effectively for the future of their organizations. They can easily integrate time tracking and forecasting into the resource allocation processes.
Construction time tracking enables your organization to transition from project to project, with a clear understanding of capacity. It also ensures that work will begin at the appropriate times to meet clients’ needs and deadlines. All without overloading or underutilizing your workforce.
Aligning Operational Strategies with Business Development Plans
Every construction business owner wants to align their operations and sales in a way that best serves their needs. Construction time tracking can boost the efficiency of both sales and operations. At the same time, it can ensure that contractors and staff are aligned with your long-term goals.
Many construction companies suffer from conflicts between their sales and operations departments. Sales may make commitments that operations are unable to keep up with. Operations may fail to keep sales up to date with their capabilities, thereby missing out on promising contracts and jobs.
You can resolve this conflict by using time-tracking tools that align your operations with your business’s plans for development. The right software will give each team member access to the data they need to see how much time workers have available. It allows you to manage workflow, and coordinate new contracts realistically.
Increasing Efficiency Through Time Tracking in Construction
It’s challenging to reduce expenses without granular data for time tracking. And even more so to get back on track with your timing and budget requirements. Time tracking tools show you exactly where you can save time by highlighting costly inefficiencies. This allows your foreman to adapt to new tasks and challenges as they happen.
Once your staff and construction staffing agency have the right software at hand, they can create more efficiency within their workflows. Doing so allows them to get jobs done faster and more reliably. It will also enable your agency to handle your staffing requirements effectively. All while leaving you with more time to attend to other aspects of your operations.
Reducing Revenue Losses
We’ve already covered how traditional spreadsheet and paper time tracking practices are subject to a high margin of human error. If, for example, a construction project takes 50 hours to complete a 2,000-hour project, project managers may calculate that they have underestimated the time needed to finish the job by roughly 2.5%. However, calculations like these can be fraught with inaccuracies and underestimations. It may lead to ongoing losses of revenue.
The most efficient way to estimate how long it would take to complete a 2,000-hour project is to use empirical data to do the sums. Most time-tracking apps provide all the data needed for project managers to calculate time frames accurately and identify estimation errors. This enables them to prevent the same mistakes from being made in the future. Plus, it protects your profit margins.
Eliminating Excess Paperwork for Admin Staff
A single-entry point for your company’s work hours into an integrated cloud solution that connects to every level of your business is essential to ensuring that the back office and field are aligned. This, in turn, leads to accurate reporting on accounting, work orders, job costing, payroll, equipment, construction staffing and staff tracking, and more. Centralizing time tracking on the cloud has helped countless businesses to reduce their costs, maximize their storage space, and eliminate the tedious tasks of handling heaps of paperwork and calculations for their admin staff.
Many project managers and construction staffing agency members have grappled with the problems of trying to read illegible handwritten notes, deal with inaccurate timesheets, and reconcile time theft. These hours may still have to be manually keyed into computer spreadsheets and payroll software. It wastes even more time. Using time tracking software saves hours of essential time that you can reallocate to completing other administrative office work and furthering business goals.
Improving Asset and Staff Management
Losing track of your equipment or having staff in the wrong places at the wrong times can create costly delays. You could put these assets to better use elsewhere. But the act of relocating them takes time and money you may not have to spare.
Time tracking gives you and your construction staffing agency access to all the information you need about when you need your construction assets, how long you will need them, and where your staff will be most productive. Using automated software gives you and your agency the power to move your assets to the most appropriate sites while reducing leasing and labor costs.
Better Management in General
One of the critical ways for a construction business to improve its management strategies is to use good data. Even if you have the best, most talented contractors and the latest equipment on your team, you will still run into problems if you can’t manage them efficiently. Construction delays and issues need to be handled in real-time to meet tight deadlines and forecasts. You can achieve this by using key performance metrics. These metrics can then be compared to benchmark data using a comprehensive time tracking tool.
You can only identify trends and address issues immediately by using information and historical data from similar past projects. Doing so will enable you to spot problems and solve them as soon as possible while minimizing potential losses. The sooner you invest in a robust time-tracking app, the better you can manage your organization across the board. Time tracking also gives your construction staffing agency the power to source and onboard new talent on your behalf, further streamlining management processes.
What to Look For in Construction Time Tracking Software
Your construction time tracking app of choice needs to integrate with all of your existing solutions. It also needs to manage all of your crucial assets to provide value for you. The ideal software should include:
Your time-tracking software solution should fulfill your compliance needs with minimal effort from you. Monitoring employees’ schedules with comprehensive software can ensure accurate payroll or workers comp calculations. Ideally, your time tracking app should link directly to payroll, meaning you’ll never miss a beat.
User-friendly design that’s also available on mobile devices
One of the primary reasons construction companies doesn’t choose a cloud-based time-tracking solution is that they’re worried about steep learning curves and their staff being resistant to new systems. Selecting an app with a user-friendly interface will help to ensure that your crew and construction staffing agents can adopt it with ease. The app is also available on Android, iOS, and other major operating systems. It allows your entire crew to access the solution while they’re on the go – and even better if they can use it offline as well!
Your solution should include GPS functionality for several reasons. Firstly, this feature will allow you to verify staff check-in and check-out times at project and service sites without physically being at these locations. Most construction businesses rely on fieldwork that’s done outside of the office. Therefore, project managers need more data than numbers alone to calculate each contractor’s time spent on a job site. They can use location tracking to verify their time data to ensure that their payroll is as accurate as possible. Accurate payroll leads to lower expenses and a happier crew.
Time tracking is an invaluable tool for construction staffing and staff management. An app will enable you and your construction staffing agency to keep track of your employees’ and contractors’ time expenditures. Additionally, it will align your operational strategies with your business’s plans for growth. And it will ensure that your payroll is as accurate as possible to minimize costs and pay your staff correctly.
Time tracking software also ensures smoother transitions to new projects, helps you save time, boosts efficiency across your business, and improves the management of your staff and other crucial assets.
Some apps offer seamless all-in-one time tracking, workers’ compensation, payroll, and pricing modules to improve efficiency at every level of your construction business.