So what types of risk are involved in purchasing mobile time tracking software or any other mobile software product?
The obvious one is financial. Contractors are oftentimes very hesitant to spend money on new software. The point was made a number of times that construction companies operate on very small profit margins. So one “hit” from a failed technology project can quite possibly have an inordinate impact on the company’s financial operating results. Not only is there a negative financial impact, but that one bad experience can make the skeptics within the organization even more cynical towards new technology. It will probably be that cold day in hell before they ever consider new, innovative software again.
What can companies do to mitigate the financial risk of purchasing a mobile time clock system?
Assuming that you’ve already done your due diligence on the construction time clock options you are considering, two things quickly come to mind. First, get a list of references from the vendor’s customer database. And once you get the references, make sure to actually call them! But before you make any calls, create a list of questions that will help you uncover information vital to your company’s situation. This earlier post can help you develop your list of questions. The second action for mitigating financial risk, especially for larger companies, is to start with a pilot program. Use the program on a limited scale to find out if it will fit your needs and solve your issues and goals. Don’t start at the very minimum level (one user?) because you won’t really give the software a realistic test of your needs. Instead, use your best judgment to arrive at a testing level that will satisfy your concerns. Maybe you can consider implementing the software for a branch office, a department, or even a large job with multiple foremen.
A second risk is the disruption of current business processes in hopes of obtaining more efficiency and productivity with new technology. People, in general, are risk averse, some, more than others. The bigger your company is and the longer you have been working with your current system, the less likely you are to consider implementing a new one. Why? Because you have that much more to risk by introducing change.
New technology will be considered when the old tried and true processes begin to fail or become inadequate, or when the new technology brings about such improvement that it can no longer be ignored. Many times, early adopters will gain a competitive advantage by being the first to implement new technology. If it works, they get rewarded for taking the risk by securing a competitive advantage. If this advantage becomes too great, then others will be forced to upgrade as well.
You can lessen the risk of changing processes in a couple of ways. First, do your due diligence. Find out as much information as possible about the remote time clock applications under considerations. Ask detailed questions to get a thorough understanding of each product. Second, talk to vendor references as mentioned earlier.
The rewards for finding the right mobile time tracking can be great, but you need to invest the time and effort first. Take an inventory of your needs, thoroughly investigate your options, get product demos, and check with references.
"You must be on top of change or change will be on top of you"
Mark Victor Hansen