Looking for a small change that can make a big difference in your business and help you provide better service? You should look at geofencing.\nGeofencing uses simple GPS technology to draw a virtual barrier (called a geofence) around a location. Geofences are used for time tracking and job site monitoring, location-based marketing, notifications, ads for a business’ local audience, and more.\nIt’s highly useful as a way for construction companies like yours to ensure your team is on the right job site and to accurately track the time team members spend on jobs. Your employee downloads the app, and when their phone enters the geofenced location, it triggers an action.\nFor construction, that means that you can handle timesheets based on when your employees arrive or leave job sites.\nGeofence technology has been a game changer in the construction sector where time tracking can be challenging. It addresses a lot of the headaches that growing construction teams struggle with.\nWe know what you’re thinking: it sounds great, but how much does geofencing cost?\nBecause it’s a relatively new concept, a lot of construction managers are cautious about embracing geofencing for mobile workforces. Most people don’t realize how affordable it can be.\nSo, we’re here to offer some clarity on the matter.\nGeofencing is a powerful tool for the construction industry\nThink about all the headaches that timesheets cause.\nYou have to chase or call people to fill them out. You may or may not be confident that they’re accurate. If you suspect that someone isn’t showing up and leaving on time, you have to physically be on site to catch them at it.\nIn fact, 56% of construction company owners and managers spend an average of 11 hours every week traveling to check on their crews.\nUsing a geofenced time clock means you don’t have to deal with any of that stuff anymore.\nThere are many benefits to using geofences in the construction industry, too.\n\nEfficiency\nIf your crew uses paper timesheets and processes payroll manually, you’re wasting too much time. Only 70% of managers tracking time on paper are confident that they are tracking correctly all the time. Nobody would accept a 30% loss in profit or efficiency, would they?\nWhen you use digital geofencing software, there’s no need to chase timesheets, calculate hours, and manually process payroll. As soon as your crew gets on site, they start work. When they’re done, they clean up and leave.\nNot only do you get more accurate billing — you also save money because all of your team’s billable hours go towards actual work time. Your employees don’t even have to think about keeping track of their hours because the software does it for them.\nAdministrative work is streamlined with geofencing, too. Handling payroll only takes a few minutes because the technology has already done most of the work for you.\nAccuracy\nSince time tracking no longer relies on your employees self-reporting their hours, your automated timesheets are far more accurate.\nYour employees will find it easier to trust that they’ll get paid for any extra time they work, too. If they come a little early or stay late to finish up, they know their time is being recorded correctly and they won’t have to justify their timesheets.\nIf there is a dispute, any discrepancies will be quickly resolved by looking at the in-app log.\nGeofencing is good for establishing trust between you and your employees, too. Using GPS to clock in and out helps prevent time theft issues like buddy punching — your crew has to show up to get paid, and they know they’ll get paid for the hours they put in.\nSafety\nIn construction, being in the wrong place can be dangerous. Employee GPS data can alert you when people are somewhere they’re not supposed to be so that you can address dangerous situations immediately.\nAutomatic alerts tell you when crew members arrive late, are missing, or have clocked out early.\nAll of those things tell you that you need to do an immediate check-in to make sure that person is okay. In high-risk environments like job sites, reacting quickly to a potential problem can make a huge difference.\nLet’s assume one of your customers gives you a call, asking why you haven’t started for the day, and you know that your crew member was supposed to be there an hour ago. You need to find that person quickly.\nOpen your geofencing dashboard to see live GPS locations for your crew. When you know exactly where your missing crew member is, you can decide how to respond.\nProfitability\nAll of this contributes to the most important benefit of geofence technology: generating more profit from your services.\nWe already talked about spending less time on administrative work and saving money by safeguarding against time and equipment theft. That amounts to big savings, and it’s not the only way that geofencing pads your bottom line.\nYou can analyze location and time data to see how long tasks are taking and how much time is spent on non-billable work. This, in turn, will help you understand the total cost per project and how much profit you can make per job or client. Having that kind of detailed view allows you to find cost-saving opportunities in your operations.\nYour historical data helps you estimate construction costs for future projects more accurately, too.\nThese benefits barely scratch the surface of how geofencing can be used, and we invite you to think of strategies for how it can grow your construction business.\nBut the bigger question is whether the benefits of geofencing technology outweigh the costs.\nSo, let’s take a look at the actual cost of geofencing for construction.\nHow much does geofencing cost\nBuilding a geofencing solution\nWhen it comes to choosing a geofencing solution, you have two broad options:\nYou can build your own custom geofencing app, or you pay for a subscription service.\nBuilding an app gives you complete control over your geofencing solution. But it comes with a hefty price tag. A ballpark figure to build your own mid-range geofencing app is between $50,000 to $150,000.\nDepending on the size of your business and budget, it might be worth the investment. That’s your business decision to make.\nSubscribing to a geofencing solution\nA more economical solution is to purchase an annual geofencing software subscription service.\nDifferent providers offer different pricing structures. Some charge per user, others per clock punch, and some include a base fee on top of the per-user charges. Here are some examples to give you an idea of price range:\n\nHubstaff offers geofencing from $10 per month per user as part of the suite of features available in Hubstaff Field.\nClockShark’s most basic geofencing services are available in the Standard package, available from $25 per month + $6 per month per person.\nTimesheet Mobile provides some geofencing capabilities in its Basic plan, which costs $14.99 per month + $3.49 per employee.\n\nWhether you choose to subscribe to a geofencing software or to build your own, you should ensure the solution achieves the following:\n\nThat the software meets your business needs; and\nThat the software will generate a return on investment.\n\n6 other factors to consider before buying geofencing software\nCost is an important factor when choosing the right geofencing solution for your business. It’s far from the only thing to think about, though.\nLook into location accuracy, your individual company needs, the resources needed to install and run a tool, ease-of-use, and more. These factors can all contribute to the true cost of geofencing, so it’s important to know what you’re getting into ahead of time.\n1. Your business needs\nThe geofencing software must meet your specific business needs. Otherwise, you won’t get the results you want.\nConsider the number of employees who need to use the system, the number of locations you want to track, and the size of those job sites. Some tools restrict these things, or they charge extra if you need more freedom.\n\nYou might also want additional integrated features, such as invoicing, scheduling, reporting, and payments.\nWhen comparing apps side-by-side, make sure you’re looking at the plan that includes all the features you need. Otherwise, you might end up using multiple apps, which can increase your monthly geofencing costs considerably.\n2. Accuracy\nSome geofencing software tools have a bad reputation for inaccurate location tracking.\nLook for a tool that tracks location using mobile phone GPS and has positive customer feedback regarding the accuracy of its trigger points. Buying a tool that doesn’t work as advertised defeats the purpose.\nUse trials to put tools through their paces before you commit. If you don’t get the performance you need, try something different.\n3. Device usage\nAs with all mobile tools, whichever app you choose will take up space and use battery life on your employee’s phone.\nSome also use mobile data, so you should research how much of an impact the tool will have on these ahead of making your purchase. Your crew might push back if you want them to install an app that eats up the data they’re paying for themselves.\nMany geofencing apps allow for settings to be customized, reducing the impact the app has on battery and data. The help documentation and their customer service team can help you figure out if a particular app will work for your team.\n4. Software and hardware requirements\nGood geolocation software should work on the computers and smartphones you’re already using.\nThere are some geolocation systems that have more complex requirements. Make sure you don’t buy an app that only works if you upgrade your computer system.\n5. Multiple location tracking\nCan the app track more than one area? What’s the maximum number of geofences you can set up? If being able to track multiple geofences is important to you, double check before you buy.\nEven if you only work one job at a time right now, you should think about your plans to grow. As you have crews on site at multiple jobs, you’ll need tracking data for all of them.\n6. Ease of use\nIf a tool isn’t easy for people to use, they won’t use it.\nYour geofencing app only works if your team installs and uses it. If they don’t, you’re back where you were at the beginning, except now you’ve wasted money, too.\nLook for a geofencing tracker that is user-friendly for even the least tech-savvy member of your crew.\nGet buy-in from your top managers and have them test the tools out themselves for usability. The free trial is great for this.\nOnce you’ve selected a tool, give your team some simple training. A short screen recording video should be enough for quick reference.\n\nFinancial benefits of geofencing software\nGood investments generate a return. Geofencing can be a great investment for your construction business.\nThere are four main areas where geofence technology can generate a noticeable financial return.\n1: Time saved\nWhat is your time worth?\nMultiply all the time you, your administrative staff, and your construction crews spend completing administrative tasks by the person’s hourly rate.\n Hours spent on admin tasks per month x hourly rate = Geofencing cost savings\nThat’s how much you will save. Instead of spending that time on menial tasks, you and your team can use those hours on productive work. You’ll get more work done in less time and generate more profit in the same number of hours.\nThis can also help you get projects done faster. It’s frustrating when you’re too busy to get everything done, isn’t it? Automating your busy work means you can finish your other tasks much sooner.\n2: Payroll accuracy\nWith accurate timesheets, you pay exactly what you owe reliably and consistently.\nRounding timesheets is a little thing that costs you a lot of money. Think about this:\nLet’s say you have eight crew members who make $16 per hour. Every day, they arrive about ten minutes after work is supposed to start and leave about 10 minutes before the day ends, but their timesheets start and end on the hour.\nWith those 8 people adding an extra 20 minutes to their timesheet every day, you’re paying an extra $213 every week!\nSmall differences between timesheets and the actual time worked add up to huge losses as your team grows. But by automatically tracking when an employee attends and leaves a site, you know exactly how many hours were worked by that employee and at which location.\nThis eliminates the possibility of any discrepancies. The hours logged are the hours paid. End of discussion.\nMost geofencing programs allow you to configure different pay rates for different projects and locations. This helps to ensure your crew is paid the correct rate for their work and reduces administrative errors that can cost you.\n3: Better invoicing\nYour geofencing data shows the exact time each crew member spent on their work site. That gives you an accurate record of when and where your employees have worked.\nYour timesheet records make it easier to invoice clients, whether you need to bill by the hour or for specific milestones. In case of disputes, your geolocation records prove that your team was where they were supposed to be at all the right times.\n\nGeolocation records also help if you need to explain your fees and costs to customers.\nThis makes for a more pleasant working relationship with your clients and crew. Plus, your streamlined operations and detailed record-keeping can help land you new jobs.\nAs you collect more data from completed jobs, you can use that information to accurately calculate how profitable your projects are. It’s easier to spot that you need to raise your prices or adjust your team size when you have the numbers in black and white.\n4: Detailed data\nFinally, GPS location data can show you where you have an opportunity to reduce costs.\nGet the most out of your geofencing software by using the information it collects. You’ll find ways to increase profits and reduce costs that would have been invisible to you otherwise.\nFor example, by viewing a map of where employees went during their shift, you can figure out which tasks took too much time and which crew members probably need more training.\nYou can use your GPS data to figure out if you need more or less crew members at a job, spot potential safety problems that need to be fixed, and even to create more efficient workflows.\nHow does Hubstaff compare with other geofencing solutions?\nReady to get started using geofencing technology? Hubstaff Field is a popular solution for construction crews and other field teams. We focus on maximizing productivity by automating all the little tasks that eat away at your work hours.\nIf you want to try geofencing software for your construction company, here’s what Hubstaff can do for you:\nFeatures\nWe offer an in-depth construction time tracking system. Hubstaff Field makes it quick and easy to create invoices, make payments, run reports, and schedule shifts.\nIt’s super easy to use Hubstaff to manage your construction team. Setup is simple, and once you’re set up, it just works automatically.\n\nOnce your team installs the app on their iPhone or Android devices, our accurate geofencing tool starts and stops recording time automatically. They don’t even need to think about it. You also have the option of setting up notifications for workers to start tracking their time themselves.\nFrom the back end, you can customize your settings for each job site and employee for the ultimate accuracy. It’s easy to adjust pay rates, add and remove crew members, and create new geofences for new job sites.\nYou get detailed reports that include time and location data, and the Hubstaff dashboard makes it easy to see where your crew is in real time.\nHubstaff Field is a powerful geolocation solution that’s cost effective for teams of all sizes.\nPricing\nHubstaff Field starts at $10 per person per month. That includes other time and productivity tracking features, too, including budget management and easy invoicing features.\nStart with the 14-day free trial and put it through its paces. There’s no credit card required to start the free trial. Just create your account, download the app, and check out what it can do.\nThe app works accurately without needing to buy more equipment. Download it on as many devices as you need to. You’re charged per user, not per device.\nWe don’t charge any additional base fees or software costs, either. As your team scales up or down, you can add and remove users easily so you only pay for what you need.\nFurther reading: See how construction company Everbuild used Hubstaff to gain more hours in a day\nFinal thoughts\nGeofencing is incredibly useful for construction teams. It’s also surprisingly accessible, even for startups and small teams.\nGeolocation software is easy to set up and far less expensive than you might expect.\nWhat do you think? Is GPS technology the way of the future for the construction industry, or is it just a neat fad until the next thing comes along? Tell us in the comments.\nThis post was originally published in September 2020 but updated August 2021.