Good News for the Construction Industry
Good News for the Construction Industry
It’s enough to make you tear your hair out. The unique challenges that face the construction company that manages remote labor work forces on a jobsite are as many-headed as a hydra and just as hard to kill. In fact, with the addition of technology the potential for disruptive issues are even more cumbersome. With technology come technical problems that can be overwhelming to resolve if you are not formally trained in IT. Now the advanced tech that was designed to streamline your business has only multiplied your challenges.
Payroll is the biggest issue: you have multiple jobsites and you need to get the hours from all those sites into payroll. Time cards need to be signed and approved. All hours need to be cost coded before payroll can be submitted. This is a huge challenge for the payroll staff and is further complicated by the constant pressure of recurring deadlines. A related area, cost-coding labor hours, is essential in the construction business because it lets management know if they are on budget or if they have problems in the field. Cost coding really ought to be done in a timely manner while knowledge is fresh. But in the real world, information from the field is slow and difficult and therefore inaccurate.
“Ghost employees” have always presented a persistent problem for construction companies. In the past, when using paper time sheets, construction executives randomly visited job sites to spot check labor and hand out paychecks. Some paychecks would inevitably go unclaimed by theoretical employees, who became “ghosts” in the system. Do they exist, and simply failed to show up for work that day? Or are they just names on a payroll, tying up funds with absolutely no contribution to the completion of a deadline job?
Sub-contractors are in another league—literally. Without them the jobs just wouldn’t get done, yet they exist at an even further remove from the home office. Even for verified subcontractors, how many are employed at a particular site? Do they work multiple sites? How many hours did they actually work? Are you being billed properly for their time or task? Tracking these billable hours is immensely important, particularly regarding construction companies who track subcontractor hours and match them to the invoices they receive. Validating this data is essential in order to get an accurate picture of where the time and money goes.
And then there’s buddy punching, which has always been a thorn in everyone’s side. PIN numbers and RFID cards are solutions that have been applied and worked around, for a PIN number or physical card is only as secure as the integrity of the workman it’s given to. Biometric solutions like fingerprint ID are compromised by the very nature of the construction business: workers’ hands that are exposed to the elements are often misread. One very popular fingerprint-based solution has accuracy rates below 30%. Plus, the system allows each employee to register each finger as a different person, raising the potential number of personalities by a factor of ten!
You’d think that this mayhem would be solved by the addition of cloud and phone applications. However, connectivity can become challenging when construction sites are out of cell phone range, have slow Wi-Fi speeds or outdated cellular network platforms. How does technology improve tracking of billable labor and subcontractors if something as innocuous as an internet signal can prevent it from logging any information? What is the answer?
- The fantastic news is now there is one! This side tracking new software was developed by a professional with intimate knowledge of the needs of both the home office and wide-ranging construction sites. Sound too good to be true? It isn’t. It’s just elegant. So how does it address all the aforementioned cases?
- It works on the latest iOS and Android systems, which gives you the ability to connect to the most up-to-date mobile networks.
- It is a cloud-based solution, so it can be accessed from anywhere via a mobile device or computer.
- All time and attendance data are immediately uploaded to the dashboard and available to your employees. (Offline punching is also available.)
- GEOFence ensures that employees and subcontractors can only punch the clock at their preassigned location.
- True Face Recognition solves buddy punches and ghost employee biometric issues.
- The Smart Flagging system always brings up any abnormal activity that needs attention.
- The easy drag-and-drop cost-coding module allows project managers and superintendents to record daily cast code hours from either tablet or computer.
- This task can be done on-site daily, thus ensuring accuracy. No connectivity? Offline mode solves this problem, with punches being stored in the tablet until internet connectivity is restored.
- Time cards are available at jobsites when you need them, you just print and have employees sign them.
- You can approve jobsite time data for payroll from wherever you are, login to your dashboard, review and approve.
- A built- in interface/api allows the payroll team to send payroll data to your accounting system.
And there you have it—a seamless, effective answer to the myriad problems that have been hounding the construction industry for years! The side tracking software is administered and supported by CrafTech Computer Solutions, so you are never faced with troubleshooting a technical issue while onsite. It’s not an empty promise—CrafTech Computer Solutions has your back and will do whatever it takes to keep your business running smoothly.
Written by Susan Shively Palmer for CrafTech Computer Solutions
We are happy to share that CrafTech’s article was published in CONSTRUCTION TODAY MAGAZINE by General Building Contractors association in Philadelphia! Read what CrafTech has to offer for the Construction Industry to meet market demands today! https://issuu.com/gbca/docs/construction_today-issue-3-2019-singles/54