Time is money. This is especially true in residential construction where workers are paid by the hour and construction labour cost may be anywhere between 50-70% of total costs. As union rates and prevailing wages set high hourly pay for workers, it is important to monitor man-hours closely to ensure you remain on schedule and avoid the need for any overtime hours. The combination of extended project schedules and inaccurate man-hour estimates when quoting for a project is guaranteed to hurt your profits and the overall health of your business.
This is why a huge emphasis is placed on time tracking, which comes in two forms: timesheets/time clocks, and labour cost estimation. How well you monitor and execute these two functions will dictate the success of your company.
Online Timesheets and Time Clock Calculator
Nearly everyone uses physical timesheets to keep track of man hours. They work pretty well but this process is old school and creates more work than necessary. How many times have you misplaced a timesheet? How much time is wasted calculating and manually inputting the man hours into your payroll system? How many calculation errors have you had to explain to your team when they realize their paycheck comes up short? I bet it’s more than you’d like!
This is why online timesheets are quickly becoming the norm. Not only does it reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, but workers can personally input their hours and can review previous timesheets if needed. You’ll also streamline payroll and never misplace weekly timesheets again as timesheets can be extracted directly into your payroll system within minutes.
The features in the Level app take digital timesheets even further:
1) Prevent buddy checking with Level's selfie feature! When someone clocks-in on the jobsite, Level asks them to take a photo of themselves and stamps a geo-location of the check-in, so you know who and where the check-in happened. Check it in action below!
2) Forgot to Check In or Check Out? No problem. Any project admin in Level can make changes to your timesheet from anywhere through our app
3) Having difficulties getting your crew to download the app? Level's got you covered. Simplify the time tracking process by designating one person, like the site super, to manage the Check-In/Check Out for each team member. One phone, multiple check-ins and outs.
On the back end, timesheets can be exported directly to Excel and with some quick formulas, you’ll have your labour expenses in no time. Check out the video below to see how easy it is to export time data from Level to Excel.
Labour Cost Estimates
Nothing is worse than realizing a project will take longer than you initially estimated. You’ll have to deal with an upset client, pay your guys for overtime work or even worse, make a loss on the project. Good businesses understand their scope inside and out and have taken the time to fine-tune their cost estimation.
Everyone works at a different pace regardless of experience. So how do you know how much time you should estimate for each project?
Try out this strategy with the Level app:
1) Break down each project into individual tasks and designate those tasks to your workers
2) Time how long it takes your team to complete each task using the time tracking feature
3) Repeat the previous steps and switch up workers as often as possible
4) As you get more and more samples, you’ll get an idea of how long tasks will take. Export the data and analyze
This information will help you create accurate cost estimates and create feasible project timelines for your team. This strategy will ensure that you maintain profit margins and give you insight into problem areas or help identify opportunities for optimization and maximize profits.
As far as apps for construction go, Level offers more than just a time clock app. After you’ve mastered time tracking, you can start to streamline communication with its newsfeed and chat features. It doesn’t stop there, because with Level you can also manage schedules, to-dos, and project costs, so you’re always organized and on top of your projects.
What’s stopping you from making managing timesheets a rewarding experience? Level is free until August 1, 2020. To learn more, request a demo.