Austin Contractor Reduces Admin Time By Over 30 Hours Per Week
Hellas Construction is an Austin, Texas based contractor specializing in the general construction of sports facilities and synthetic surfaces. Their products include synthetic turf systems, running tracks, and tennis courts. With their recently added manufacturing capabilities and heavy investment in construction equipment, Hellas Construction’s unique design/build fast-track makes it the only sports construction firm able to deliver all products and services from a single source. As a result, they have earned a huge customer base ranging from school districts to major sports stadiums, sports complexes, and public recreational facilities across the U.S. They have completed thousands of playing venues, including the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium, University of California at Berkley, University of Georgia, Baylor University’s McLane Stadium, and the Alamodome.
The company’s average of 65 construction crews includes over 400 field employees working year-round to meet a wide array of demanding customer schedules. Each site’s dedicated superintendent oversees all job activities from groundbreaking through closeout. Their control over the entire supply chain for their projects ensures quality work and smooth operations during all stages of construction.
Hellas’s manual time reporting system made it difficult to calculate and control job costs. Many of their shorter jobs were finished before they could figure out real time labor and budget issues. Their system was riddled with omissions, errors in time submissions, and inaccurate data entries. Payroll processing required two administrators to work 60 hours a week to sort out all the issues and problems. “We needed to see where costs were charged before mistakes were booked,” said Kim Schizas, Payroll Manager. “Costs went over budget and time reports were not always accurate.”
The company’s determination to gain control of labor costs via an accurate time reporting process forced them to seek a better system to serve office and field personnel. Its evolution from a construction and sports surfacing company to a full service contractor with manufacturing capabilities made better cost controls a must. To maintain its proven commitment to quality, safety, and financial discipline, Hellas set out to find a new time reporting system that would provide relief for both office staff and work site crews.
After unsuccessfully investing in another field reporting application and then testing a third party vendor product, Hellas still did not have a solution until they discovered and implemented mJobTime. When put to the test, it passed with flying colors. Not only did mJobTime interface with their ComputerEase accounting software, it met their needs for customizability and flexibility and exceeded their expectations. Payroll Manager Schizas says, “Many of the mJobTime customized reports and tools implemented on our behalf were not even charged to us as custom features because mJobTime felt they would benefit other customers as well.”
Starting with a combination of standard and individual licenses, the company soon converted to all standard licenses to better serve their needs. A customized enhancement to mJobTime’s Web Edition added the ability to create equipment groups in the field, similar to the employee crews feature. Users can assign equipment to a unique group and then select from a list of groups to facilitate equipment time entries.
Hellas Construction’s mJobTime installation and implementation processes went smoothly, facilitated by a few well-trained field users who trained others on the product. Their users were trained and the system was up and running in just a few weeks.
Schizas recommends having a field user on hand “to thoroughly understand the program and give their perspective as a source user.” Hellas uses both iPad and Android devices in the field, and finds that they work equally well with mJobTime’s Web Edition. Their office uses the Windows product while field employees use the Labor Manager, Equipment Manager, Daily Field Manager, and Budget Manager from the mJobTime Mobility Suite.
“We had the program further tailored to apply per diem to the payroll through regular time entry. It works beautifully!” said Schizas. “The overtime works well and makes the certified payroll reporting clean. And the foremen being able to see their hours on concise reports has had a huge impact on accuracy.” She adds, “The Approvals feature works just as intended. The hours booked are reviewed and approved prior to posting.”
Schizas says, “For my part, I can say that I went from two payroll administrators working 60 hour weeks to 1.5 persons working 40 to 45 hours with near 100 percent accuracy. The accuracy alone saves us countless hours.” She adds, “The foremen with the additional control and reporting have a greater sense of ownership in their jobs. The daily time reporting provides a level of control and confidence in the management of each project.”
For Schizas, the major benefit of using mJobTime is a greatly improved quality of life for the company’s workers. “Personally, it has given me time for other aspects of my position as well as more time at home with my family. Alleviating the hours and hours of data entry and corrections has been a true blessing in so many ways.”
As a fast growing contractor who continuously strives to be the best in the industry, Hellas Construction knew they had to have a better time collection process. They needed to overcome inaccuracies, omissions, and errors that wasted company time and money and stretched their payroll staff to the breaking point. After trying and failing to implement two other time reporting products, Hellas finally found success with mJobTime’s customizable features and overall flexibility. Within weeks they realized huge savings in payroll staff time, and greatly improved the quality of life for administrators, field supervisors, and crews. The company’s payroll staff now operates more efficiently and does more with less. Job site costs are reported accurately in real time, allowing the company to better manage their projects and continue to offer premium-quality sports construction on projects across the United States.