crewHD by Construction Monkey, www.constructionmonkey.com, is a cloud-based field solution, aimed at subcontractors, that enables the leader of each crew to maintain daily records of what was accomplished on the job that day. Unlike most timesheet software, it focuses on assembling data by crew, rather than individually. The software, which can be used on any computer or tablet (but not smartphone) preserves the data in a format that supports analysis with the objective of better managing the work process.
The core of the system is the Activity Card, essentially a daily time card on steroids, with a new card for each activity performed that day. Working from customized pull-down menus, the crew leader selects the date, the crew members, the task, the area of the task, the number of hours worked standard, overtime or double, and the quantity of material installed. Other data fields include activity notes, tracking to a work directive, and the ability to select any work conditions that impacted production. According to their current user base, it takes a crew just 2 ½ minutes to fill out an activity card.
After the crew leaders have entered their activity cards for the day, the foreman can complete the daily job report accurately with a click of a button using data culled from the cards along with additional information, such as causes of lost time, outside constraints, and other notes. The completed web-based report can be downloaded as a client-ready PDF, printed with a company logo on top.
By tracking details of activities, weather issues (the program incorporates National Weather Service morning, noon and afternoon weather conditions), and interruptions or other adverse jobsite conditions not under the control of your crew, the contractor has accurate records that can be used to evaluate productivity, refute false claims, or improve the chance of being compensated for delays by others.
A construction planner enables the contractor or foreman to plan each construction activity, plan one week to several weeks in advance, and receive automatic daily production targets, using real-time hours spent, budgeted and already planned.
Besides time cards, daily logs and planners, the software generates several types of reports updated automatically in real time using data from the activity cards. For example, the remaining report shows actual quantities and hours spent on a project, percent used of both values compared to the project budget, and the remaining quantities and hours for each project activity. The “job progress observation report,” the data for which is compiled during a walk-thru of the project, documents percent completed of each activity of a project.
All data are accessible anywhere, anytime with an Internet connection on a tablet or PC with a secure (256 SSL) login.
crewHD is priced on a per project per month basis scalable to a company’s needs and allows for unlimited users. Every project comes with a 30-day free trial and free custom set-up.
TSheets Mobile Time Tracking, www.tsheets.com, apps for iPhone, Android devices, feature phones, and land lines provide an easy way to monitor field service techs’ time on the job during scheduled work hours for payroll purposes. Each app, configured especially for the type of phone or computing device, enables the worker to clock in and out themselves. Employees or the crew leader choose the appropriate task or job code and can add notes.
The Android version of TSheets also, alternatively, allows a crew leader or foreman on the job to clock in/out each crew member individually or the entire crew at one time.
Both the iPhone and the Android apps automatically record GPS location points every ten minutes when a worker is on the clock and adds them onto each worker’s timesheet, which could be helpful to achieve accountability and more efficient routing and work allocation.
The apps also support overtime alerts that can be sent as e-mail, text, or a tweet to crew members approaching daily or weekly hourly limits to remind them to clock out before exceeding the limit.
The text messaging method of clocking in and out works on any device, including a feature phone. The dial-in option turns virtually any phone into a real-time tracking device. It allows workers using a cell phone or land line to speed dial in or just dial a local phone number through the TSheets administrative dashboard, with voice prompts in English or Spanish aiding employees in clocking in or out, charging job codes, or leaving job notes. Employees whose mobile numbers are added to their profile can automatically clock in or out based on caller ID.
The time tracking data collected in real time can be accessed on the TSheets dashboard by the payroll manager or administrator at the home office any time. The payroll reports generated in TSheets are also useful to evaluate the project from the standpoint of labor allocation or by job code. Once tracking is collected, it can be sync-ed automatically with many accounting and payroll software such as QuickBooks and ZenPayroll. If there is no direct integration with accounting software, time tracked in TSheets can be downloaded into a CSV file and uploaded into several other accounting/payroll programs for payroll.
Bill and Patti Feldman write articles and web content for trade magazines and manufacturers of building products. They can be reached at [email protected].