If you’re from the construction industry, there are good chances you would have already heard about construction time tracking apps. But do you know exactly how to make the best use of them?
We understand that you may want to:
- Make the best use of your workers’ time and productivity
- Have better project estimates
- Plan better for your upcoming projects
- Make time tracking a part of your work culture
Additionally, if chaos, which can be common at construction firms, is something you want to eliminate, time tracking can help you get there.
There are many benefits to construction time tracking, let’s look at them in detail. We will also help you understand the features you should look for and ways to implement a time tracking system at your construction site.
The Importance of Time Tracking for Your Construction Business
Construction projects are time and money sensitive. Any delay will directly impact the finances and escalate project costs. Research says nine out of 10 projects expect cost overruns. The average escalated cost is around 28% of the estimated project budget.
This shows that time is money in the construction industry. Each moment that goes unaccounted for or poorly estimated is money that could be going straight into your pocket and your business bottom line.
Every minute of labor on a construction project has a price. Wasted labor can increase costs, delay the project, and hurt morale. Construction time tracking allows you to ensure your workers are spending their time wisely, giving them the motivation to work efficiently and get projects done on time.
A construction time tracking system also helps you feel confident about your employees following the contract terms. For example, an employee might have to work 40 hours per week for a set hourly rate. You can use your time tracking system to ensure they put in those hours and not work overtime without getting compensated.
You can also use a time tracking system to get accurate data about how long some jobs take. If you want to bid for another job like the one you have already completed, you can offer an accurate estimate based on how much time it took the previous time.
Why Use a Time Tracking System for Your Construction Business?
You do not have to spend all day worrying about managing worker timesheets and employee productivity. There are tools that can help you track employee time, productivity, and efficiency seamlessly.
Here are some reasons why construction time tracking is one of the best investments you can make for your business:
Accurately Estimate Project Duration
Knowing how long an assignment is going to take is essential. If you estimate how long a project will take but are not keeping track of time spent working on it, you cannot be sure how accurate your evaluations are. Your calculations will be more accurate if you use a time tracking system.
Monitor Worker Performance
Time tracking is essential for monitoring the performance of your workers. It is best to see how long they take to complete a task and the time spent on other work-related activities. You can determine productive workers and some that may need extra training.
Minimize Wasted Time
One of the best ways to minimize wasted time and increase productivity is by implementing a time tracking system. You can get an accurate picture of the time spent on each task, which makes it easy to identify and reduce inefficiencies. Construction time tracking will also help you optimize your processes to get more done in less time.
Keep Projects on Schedule
One of the biggest challenges for your construction business is to stay on schedule. As you know, it can be cumbersome to keep long-term projects under control. You are juggling multiple tasks and deadlines at once, and it is easy to get overwhelmed with everything that needs to get done. Fortunately, time tracking systems help you overcome these problems.
Give Workers a Sense of Purpose and Urgency
Your workers will know where they stand and how they can improve each day. Also, it will help them stay focused on their goals when they know how much time they have left to complete their tasks.
What Features to Look For in a Time Tracking System for Your Construction Business?
Now that you know the advantages of time tracking, let us look at the best features to look for in a construction time tracking software. Here are some things to keep in mind when buying time tracking software.
Cloud-based solutions help you eliminate manual reports and even spreadsheets. Your business and employees can access the software from anywhere at any time. There will also be no hassles in accessing the latest information. Everything will work in real-time to keep you updated.
Your construction business may span across cities, states, and even countries. It is only logical to opt for a system that you can access from your mobile phone whenever you want.
The interface should be as simple as possible for all users. The navigation experience should also be a seamless one. Look for your options and see the one that best fits your needs.
Time Tracking Options
It is best to look for different time tracking options for your construction business. For example, you may need duration-based tracking at times. In other cases, you may also need a start-stop and timer-based monitoring. Having different options is always handy to make the most of your resources.
Advanced time tracking systems offer a lot more than just helping you monitor your workers’ time. They also give project management tools that allow you to execute everything with ease. Timesheets can integrate with project management components like milestones, payments, etc. It offers better visibility and insights into your projects.
You may want to integrate your time tracking software with other systems like CRM, ERP, accounting, etc. It is best to look for construction time tracking systems that enable integrations with various tools you already use.
Tips to Implement Time Tracking System at Your Construction Business
Here are some best practices you can adopt when implementing construction time tracking for your business.
Create Time Estimates
It is essential to have a baseline of expected time for each task. After establishing that baseline, you can compare expected times with the actuals and use the difference to make adjustments.
First, identify what activities you need to do. This is a critical step because it may bring up previously overlooked tasks that are not considered important enough. After identifying the tasks, determine how many hours they will take.
If you are just starting and do not have any data on task completion times, use your best judgment. Consider these estimates when assigning daily tasks and deciding what is urgent or can wait.
Make People Aware of the Time Tracker
To make your employees aware of these systems, you will have to make them understand how they work. You will need to review with them that time tracking will help the company stay more productive and competitive in the market.
Construction time tracking systems also help in making sure that everything is well organized. You can get your employees to start using the time tracking system once they know the nuances and how it will benefit them.
Implement It Across the Organization
Time tracking is essential for everyone across the company hierarchy. More than introducing the system, it is also critical that everyone uses it regularly to track each activity. It may still cost your business a lot of money when there are no comprehensive records. It is best to create awareness of the system’s benefits to encourage everyone to use the software.
You can also create rewards to ensure better participation. The most diligent workers can get bonuses for their hard work. Your employees will feel happy, and you can accelerate the adoption of time tracking for everyone.
Activities You Should Track for Your Construction Business
Here are some activities you can track to streamline operations and improve profits.
Each Worker’s Time
Construction time tracking systems help you monitor the time of every individual worker. You can get an in-depth overview of the average working day of your employees. It will also help you identify the top performers and others who would need training and support.
You can also check worker productivity levels and eliminate practices that are hampering it. In case of overtime, you will also get an idea regarding the extra efforts put in by each worker.
Task Completion Duration
You can get an accurate calculation of the time it takes for each task by recording the time. This helps you calculate the time required to complete a project. You will also understand how long your team spends on different tasks each day.
By tracking the time taken to complete a specific task, you will be able to forecast when a project will be completed and set deadlines accordingly. Understanding how long each task takes will allow you to assign them appropriately based on the estimated duration.
Project Completion Duration
Calculating project completion time is a necessary part of scheduling and budgeting. Without an accurate project duration, you are less likely to finish on time and within budget. It can lead to unhappy customers and loss of profit.
The first step in figuring out your project completion duration is determining how long it will take your team members to complete each task individually. You are probably familiar with estimating the time each task should take. Once you have accurate estimates, you can use time tracking software to track the time required for each employee to complete their activities.
Time Spent per Client
You can easily track your time on a per-client basis. It will give you a much clearer picture of whether or not your business is working with the right customers in the first place. You may find that some clients are eating up way more than their fair share of time relative to what they pay your business. In that case, you can use this data to renegotiate contracts.
Or maybe you find that some clients do not make sense for your business. You may be losing money on them no matter how many hours they take up. In that case, it is probably best to look for other clients that will contribute to your bottom line.
You might also find some clients take up a lot of time but are also extremely profitable. It could be worth reassigning more staff members to work with those clients and ensure you meet their needs efficiently.
If you have not tried construction time tracking at your construction firm, this could be the time to take the plunge. It can have a beneficial impact on your business. You may find that time tracking can save time in many aspects of your firm once employees are familiar with it. It can also improve efficiency and profitability.
Your workers will know what to do when they arrive at each job site, making them more efficient. It will also help you when you have to report time and wages to your clients and administration as you will have accurate records on file. Monitoring employees’ time helps ensure that you are paying them for their work at the correct wage rate, which can save you from costly mistakes.
Replicon offers a comprehensive construction time tracking system you can use for a firm. It comes with advanced project management capabilities that help you stay on top of your game. Track your employees’ time, pay them accurately, and manage your projects successfully on the same platform.