One thing we’ve learned about construction companies: most never thought they’d find a time and attendance system that fits their uniquely mobile workforce. If they use any system, it’s usually old-school timesheets, which they already know are far from perfect. With multiple job sites, different crews, contractors and other complexities, construction companies need time and attendance systems that can help them manage their challenges.
So, when construction employers first hear about mobile time clocks with GPS, most are eager to learn how they work.
How Do Mobile Construction Site Time Clocks Work?
In a nutshell, mobile time-tracking apps work by turning smartphones into little virtual time clocks. Workers log on and “punch in” with a few keystrokes, and later, “punch out” the same way. The mobile time tracking system captures the time, date and the device’s GPS location at the time of the punch. Because the mobile tracking system is digital, there’s no rounding, time theft or manual errors that plague paper timesheets.
However, there are a number of construction time and attendance systems to choose from, each with various features and advantages making it hard to navigate. Based on conversations with our construction clients and prospects, we’ve compiled a list of features that matter most to employers.
Top 5 Mobile Time Tracking Software Features for Construction
1. Pay-As-You-Go Pricing
Chances are your head counts rise and fall with each season. If you choose to pay a fixed monthly fee, you’ll be paying for more than you need during off-seasons. For the best value, look for construction employee time and attendance systems that charge on a “per person per month” basis.
2. Real-Time Alerts
The best mobile time-tracking systems not only register punches in real time, but also issue real-time alerts when someone deviates from the schedule. So if someone fails to clock in or tries to clock in from outside approved GPS coordinates (yes, you can set ranges), your managers instantly get a text or email alert. This nips time and attendance problems in the bud and helps keep customer service levels high.
3. Easy to Use and Implement Construction Employee Job Site Time Tracking
A time and attendance system should make life easier, not harder. Look for a system that’s easy for workers to use (ask to see how employees punch in and out and note how many steps are involved). Find out how long implementation takes and what’s required of you. In addition, make sure the mobile time-tracking system will integrate smoothly with your payroll system, and that your vendor will handle it for you.
4. A “Group Punch” Option for Portable Construction Site Time Clocks
Do your employees always work in crews? If so, you might prefer to have them punch in and out as a crew, rather than individually. With the group punch option on the construction mobile time tracking system, your foreman handles punch-in duties for the whole crew.
5. Safe Work Day Questions
Construction work is hardy and can be dangerous at times. In some cases, employees take advantage of these conditions to pay for non-work related injuries. Not only is this a problem financially, it can distort your efforts towards building a safe work site and bring unwanted attention from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Our mobile app, as well as any of our time tracking solutions, offers an optional safety question when employees clock out. Every day employees can be asked “Did you have a safe working day today? Do you have any injuries?” When employees answer “No” an alert is immediately sent out to managers to start a direct audit trail. If an employee answers “Yes”, yet comes back 6 months later with a lawyer claiming to have been injured on site, you have that trail to look back on for your defense.
How is Our Mobile Time Tracking Software a Benefit for Construction?
We specialize in time and attendance solutions for the distributed workforce, and our Mobile PunchTM time tracking system meets all the criteria construction businesses want most to track efficiently on job sites. With integrated geo-tracking and geo-fencing employees will not be able to clock in unless they are on site and automatically clocked out when they leave the site parameters.
We offer real-time alerts to help you manage your business better. It’s easy to use, and we also offer group punch options for work crews. We’re known for our quick implementation and streamlined integration processes. Finally, we partnered with Seyfarth Shaw LLP, the top U.S. labor law firm, to ensure our ACA toolkit will give employers the best help possible in managing Affordable Care Act requirements.
How Construction Time Clock Apps Benefit Time and Attendance
1. Mobile Time Tracking Works Anywhere
You’re not limited to stationary time clocks. If your foremen have smartphones, they already have mini time clocks at hand. Look for a web-based system that offers a free smartphone app. The best apps utilize smartphones’ GPS capabilities, so when employees punch in, you see where they are and can ensure that everyone’s onsite. When your crews move to the next project, your time tracking system does, too.
2. Time Tracking Makes Payroll Easier
Many of the contractors we’ve talked to loathe making payroll. It equals many frantic hours shuffling timesheets and spreadsheets. A good time and attendance system ends those headaches. It will integrate seamlessly with your payroll system, so data flows automatically from point A to B. It will also integrate with your other systems, including your project management software and whatever certified payroll service you use to meet Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements. (Tip: ask prospective time and attendance providers how they accomplish complete system integration. Look for providers that are familiar with the systems and software you use.)
3. Time Tracking Systems Do Save Money
You’ve heard this claim before, but do you know why it’s true? According to the American Payroll Association—and who knows better?—manual errors alone cost employers 1-8% of gross payroll. You may not care if a good worker arrives a little late as long as the work gets done. But if you saw the actual, factual totals, you’d be appalled by how many work hours you’re losing each week to fudging and rounding. Fact: when you switch from paper timesheets to a web-based time tracking system, your labor costs will shrink by 5% or more. What’s that mean to you? Take your monthly payroll, multiply by 5%, then multiply that by 12. That’s the least you’d save in one year.
4. Time Tracking Is a Shrewd Bidding Tool
An advanced system lets you allocate labor costs against project phases, cost centers…whatever you measure by. This gives you credible figures to work with when bidding on future projects, so you can bid more accurately. And since you’re simultaneously cutting labor costs, you’ll be able to sharpen your pencil. In competitive industries, every edge counts.
Maintain Compliance with FLSA & DOL/DCAA Standards
With the implementation of construction time and attendance tracking systems, you’ll also be able to maintain compliance with the Department of Labor (DOL), Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA), and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). As a result, you can avoid potential audits while complying with government regulations.
Mobile Time Tracking Software Costs
While finding the right mobile time tracking software system for your needs is important, it’s also important to look at the costs associated with different time tracking providers. Since many providers structure their fees differently, it’s hard to judge apples-to-apples. Start by comparing these two areas:
Ask the provider for a complete list of startup fees. The list shouldn’t be long, and the total shouldn’t stop your heart. If you feel like you’re being nickeled and dimed, you probably are.
Chances are your head counts fluctuate, either seasonally or by project. So it’s not in your interest to pay fixed monthly fees. Look for providers who charge on a ‘per head per month’ basis, also called pay-as-you-go. This way, you only pay for the services you actually use, and expenses are scaled to revenues.
Get Construction Job Site Time Clocks from EPAY Systems for Time Tracking
In addition to our mobile time app, we also offer other types of durable time clocks for nearly any type of business. Using one of our various mix and match time tracking solutions, you can maintain accurate time for your business, while avoiding the complications that can come with other solutions. Whether you need time tracking for a construction company or another type of business, we can give you what you need today.
Learn more about EPAY’s solutions for the construction industry or schedule a personalized demonstration to see how well we can flex to meet your needs.