According to ConstructConnect, the U.S. may see nearly a 5% increase in construction spending in 2018. Are you ready for it?
As your schedule fills up, you’ll need to focus more on growing your business instead of managing day-to-day tasks. Especially if some of those routine tasks can be automated.
For a helpful list of software that automates and simplifies construction management, check out our toolkit: the 10 best tools to mitigate risks and successfully manage projects.
Many contractors have already started looking for ways to make team and business management easier. They’re seeking out and implementing new tools so that they’re in a better position to serve more customers.
One time-saving tool you can start using right away? Construction time clocks with GPS.
Why GPS time cards are stress-free solutions for contractors
If there’s one thing that should be easy about running a construction business, it’s tracking time. Really, managing time cards for an entire crew shouldn’t take up any time at all. If you’re using confusing or manual processes to know where and when your crew is working, it’s time to consider a construction time tracking software solution.
Why? First and foremost, because mobile time tracking can help contractors run a more productive, profitable operation. Here’s how.
A construction time clock system saves you time
When you’re managing your own crew, working with subcontractors, and providing top-notch customer service, you don’t have a ton of spare time to spend on administrative tasks. You probably wish some things could be taken off your plate. With time clock software, it can.
Mobile-based timekeeping for construction workers means that clocking in and out is as simple as pressing start and stop in a helpful app. From there, a timesheet is generated that you or a manager can review, and use to pay crews and invoice customers.
There’s no question about accuracy
If your construction time cards aren’t automated, there’s no way to be sure the time reported is completely accurate. When two members of a crew work together all day but report different hours, how do you know which one is right?
With a construction time clock, your work time is accurate down to the second. No rounding up or guessing at time; just check the online timesheets and get an immediate answer.
Add in GPS tracking and geofencing, and your accuracy will reach new heights. Geofence time tracking allows you to set job sites where tracking work hours will start automatically. Or, you can use geofencing in a less automated fashion and get alerts to start or stop tracking instead of having the timer start on its own.
If for some reason a member of your crew forgot to track their time, which is less likely thanks to geofencing, manual time entries can be added after the fact. A manager or owner can then review and approve, or deny.
A better customer service experience
When a worried customer calls to see when the crew will arrive, do you simply open an app? Or do you initiate a series of texts and calls to locate everyone? If it’s the second option, it’s time to try construction time tracking in real time.
You can see if your crew is still working at another location, is on the way, or has yet to clock in for the day. Some time tracking apps even have reminders you can set based on schedules, which reduces the chance of missing a shift. If your crew hasn’t started by the time they’re scheduled to work, they’ll get a reminder on the mobile device they use. Scheduling your construction crew has never been easier.
With the right tools and communication in place, your customer won’t just be thrilled with the outcome of your work. They’ll love how great the process was from start to finish.
GPS time tracking is mobile — like your crew
Instead of having to report back or check in, your crew can keep working and moving as needed. GPS-based time cards can help construction crews by having the clocking in and out process happen behind-the-scenes.
Reminders, as mentioned before, also help crews start on time if they have a set schedule. The same goes for clocking out. Should someone forget to clock out at the end of the day, they’ll get an alert that the day is over. They can either choose to keep working or stop the timer from there.
Analyze and optimize productivity
There’s an even bigger reason to start time tracking than just saving time and increasing timesheet accuracy: optimizing the way your business works.
Without having accurate records of how, when, and where jobs get done, you won’t know where time (and money) is lost. GPS time tracking allows you to see how much time is spent on a job site vs. time spent traveling vs. running other job-related errands.
You can uncover ways to work smarter over time. That also means more accurate estimates and invoices, because you’ll know exactly how much time a job really takes. The ultimate goal? Not leaving money on the table, or overpromising on a timeline. You’ll know with certainty how much time and money a job costs.
Why guess at numbers when you can accurately estimate projects?
What to consider when looking for a construction business software
Implementing a new system can be tough, especially after a crew has worked together for awhile and prefers way the way things are. But, some apps are so easy to use that crews are happy to ditch paper timesheets or calling in.
The key is to make sure the app is simple, that your team is trained on how to use it, and that you or the company you choose is available for questions along the way.
For this reason, choosing a company that offers support or personal demos can make a big difference.
Time card features designed for construction companies
Any good time tracking software allows you to try it out first. Make sure you at least have a two week trial period so you can get a full glimpse of how the product works. Two week trials tend to line up with a pay period so you can try out payroll features, as well.
Here are some of the important features to look for:
- GPS functionality: can you track location through a mobile app?
- Geofencing: does the app include automated features that make time tracking more accurate and streamlined for your crew?
- Flexibility: does it allow you to use it in a way that’s most helpful for you? Or is the app too rigid?
- Automation: does the time track get compiled in a useful report or timesheet? Can you connect it to other tools you use for billing or invoicing?
- Scheduling: can you schedule your team through the software, and does it connect to time tracking?
- Ease of use: will your team be able to use it on their mobile device and find it valuable?
Here are some red flags to avoid:
- Anything with too much setup time
- Overly complicated mobile apps can add more headaches for your team
- Clunky or messy processes
- Make sure you’re not taking on more responsibilities as the whole point is for your time tracking software to make life easier
Why Hubstaff makes a great construction business tool
For all these reasons and more, Hubstaff’s GPS time tracking works for construction crews and managers alike. It has the simplicity that teams love, with the reporting and integration capability that make managers and owners’ work easier.
Here are all the ways Hubstaff can help construction companies streamline processes and grow the way they want to.
- Set project budgets – Set a limit for total cost, total hours, bill rate or pay rate. Once your team or a project approaches any of the limits you’ve set, you’ll get notified. You can then either increase the hours or budget, consider bringing on more team members, or assess the status of the project and talk to the customer.No need to keep checking in on budgets, Hubstaff keeps an eye on it for you.
- Geofencing — Add any relevant job sites to Hubstaff, and set time tracking to start as a team member arrives. You can also get reminders to start or stop tracking time instead of automatically starting and stopping the timer upon arrival or departure. It’s an even easier way to track time and location for each person on your team, which you can then look at through in-depth reports.
- Payroll – For hourly crews, the ability to automate payroll is a huge time saver. You can set bill rate or pay rate for each person involved in a project. As they track time, you can either review weekly or set up payments based on hours worked. Pay rates can also vary by project, too.
- Timesheets – Once your crew has tracked time to projects or tasks via the mobile app, you can review through one comprehensive dashboard. Offline time tracking is permitted so a crew doesn’t need a wireless connection — which is great for job sites.
- Schedules – Schedule shifts for your crew based on days and times. Both you and the crew member will get alerts when shifts are started late, left early or missed altogether. Catching it right away can prevent lost time. As an owner, you can review reports on schedules and attendance for your entire time or individuals.
- In-depth reporting – Better understand profitability and productivity with Hubstaff’s reporting features. You can dive into reports for your business based on time tracked, locations visited, invoices sent and received, payroll submitted and so on. All of which can be used to make better decisions around staffing, estimating, timelines and more.
Best of all, Hubstaff is free for 14 days so you’ll get a complete picture of how it can help your construction business. Ready to get started?
This post was published May 2018, and updated February 2019.