Implementing a time tracking system in a construction firm can be a challenging task. The concept of monitoring can at the onset appear simple and straightforward. But if an employer incorporates it without any practice, it can lead to many problems that impact downstream operations.
The right tracking system helps workers utilize their time strategically. With a quality tracking system, employers will not only be able to track work hours but will make sure that time is utilized efficiently.
There are many practices to incorporate construction time tracking. But how can a firm know what practice is best for it? In this article, we have combined eight best practices for time tracking in the construction industry.
Choose the time tracking method wisely
An ideal time tracking system introduces remarkable benefits to the construction firm. Therefore, it is important to analyze which time tracking method will suit your firm’s needs. There are two main methods to track work hours—manual and automated. Let’s have a look at both to determine which method your company would prosper most from.
Manual time tracking
Manual tracking has been a traditional practice for decades. Construction companies have applied such methods to track activities and working hours. Using paper and pen to make timesheets has traditionally been one of the most common ways of tracking project progress. However, manual systems can be inaccurate and arduous; therefore, this method is becoming increasingly less popular.
Automated time tracking
Automated time tracking solutions have been developed to reduce the margin of errors. With automated tracking solutions, employers can take more hands-off approaches and shift their focus toward business growth. There are companies that offer monitoring solutions for construction firms—for instance, SmartBarrel, which provides exceptional features for time tracking in construction firms.
Consider essential features
When the employer knows which tracking solution is best for the business, it is essential they make the most of the features it offers. Below, we have enlisted two essential factors that a construction firm owner should implement in a time tracking system.
Time tracking feature
Automatically and accurately tracking worker hours is important. Therefore, make sure to select a solution that provides an option to either set a timer or track working hours as project tasks are completed.
Team tracking feature
According to research, construction teams are the most productive in the starting 3 hours of the workday. Therefore, it is especially important for employers to note the amount of work done in this time period. This feature will help ensure workers are not wasting precious time.
Invoicing and billing
Look for a tool that conveniently integrates with the current billing system. It would be great to find one that offers a built-in payment system. This automated invoicing system will enable employers to prevent unnecessary clutter when calculating employee pay.
Go for the technology that allows you to track the time the construction team is spending on a particular project. With the help of a suitable time tracking tool, employers can compare the time a project is consuming with the budgeted time. This will help track the overall progress of the construction firm.
Tracking solutions for a construction firm should easily generate summaries of where manpower is being expended. Opting for the software with this feature will enable the employer to find different ways to improve time estimation and guide scope discussions to boost the performance of the firm.
Make time tracking a positive habit
When a construction business incorporates the tracking system, the employer needs to be prepared for some adjustments. This is how an employer will communicate with the employees that they are taking a step ahead for the firm’s benefit by incorporating an automated tracking solution.
Listen to the suggestions and recommendations of your employees. Try implementing them in the system since they are the members who will be using the solution. Let them know that this technology will help define their tasks and that it is not meant to put an exorbitant amount of pressure on them. Express your understanding that the implementation of the system will be progressive and take time to grow accustomed to.
Introduce the tracking system gradually to the business; this will help minimize complexities before they occur on a larger scale. Take note that different construction projects have different challenges; therefore, employers should provide some flexibility to workers—at least in the beginning.
Utilize tracked data to improve performance
Time tracking is meant to improve the performance and profitability of construction firms. Once the employer has its grip on collecting data properly, it will help the employer determine where the firm lacks productivity. Workers can use timesheets or daily reports to identify where their areas of improvement lie.
A crucial step to your construction business’s success is finding the practices that best fit the system. Opting for any time tracking solution out there is not enough to make a lasting difference or benefit the firm long-term. This is important to consider if you are to make your investment in a new system worthwhile.