SpecPro Technical Services Reduces Payroll Costs By 50% – 60% While Reducing The Risk Of DOL Fines
A highly specialized management, engineering, and technical contracting firm, SpecPro Technical Services, LLC offers a wide variety of services to commercial and governmental entities. Their Training Services group employs trainers with expertise in Department of Defense (DOD) logistics and prepares U.S. soldiers for deployment to hostile environments such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan. Headquartered in Oceanside, CA, the Training Services group uses role playing to conduct field training simulations that replicate actual battlefield conditions. Soldiers are engaged and rehearsed in scenarios that familiarize them with battlefield effects, combat wounds, weapons and artillery, and more.
To meet its commitment to armed forces clients, SpecPro ensures that its training services comply with DOD regulations and standards, and are conducted using state of the art equipment.
SpecPro’s field labor time tracking efforts were hampered by job site conditions that often simulate the remote deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan. At any given time SpecPro’s field employees can number 250 to 450, with an average of 60 employed at each job site. To enhance the reality of their training, stressful situations are created to teach soldiers to function successfully in these conditions while enduring heightened stress levels. SpecPro’s desert training sites often have poor or no Internet connectivity, leaving employees without communication capabilities. Also, role players on site are often immigrants or refugees lacking in English proficiency and technical skills.
Completion and collection of time sheets in the field was “horrible,” according to Carol Giannini, SpecPro’s Director of Training Services. “There was trouble getting paper time sheets into the office, and then you couldn’t read them or figure out who signed them… We were afraid we would be out of compliance with DOL [Department of Labor] regulations.” Two full-time employees were required just to sort out these issues. “We really needed a time reporting application that was easy to use and that could track employees in difficult conditions.”
In 2010, Giannini started searching online for a remote timekeeping system. When she learned that mJobTime was used successfully by construction crews, she thought it might be appropriate for SpecPro’s remote job sites where role playing exercises were being conducted for the military. After considerable research and being underwhelmed by competing vendor products, Giannini decided mJobTime was the answer. “It seemed easy to use and wasn’t complicated. Also, the company was very willing to work with us to customize its time-tracking features for our business.”
mJobTime fine-tuned and streamlined data filters and sorting capabilities to meet SpecPro’s specific needs. “They gave us new reports and added the ability to track job phases,” Giannini says. “They modified daily time sheets for us, made some changes to the labor entry screen and fine-tuned a few other capabilities for our specific requirements.”
With mJobTime installed, SpecPro was able to solve their field problems by having all field employees use company-prepared ID cards with bar codes. Bar code scanning allowed SpecPro to collect time from employees regardless of their level of expertise or connectivity status. “Employees can enter their time without touching a keyboard, by simply walking up to the site manager’s hand-held reader and having their cards scanned,” Giannini says.
SpecPro’s time card data automatically uploads into mJobTime’s System Manager where they can be reviewed, edited, approved and exported into the office payroll system on a bi-weekly basis. Giannini adds, “They worked with us on what we needed to do to export a .csv file into our Spectrum payroll system. Now, within 2-3 days from review and approval, the pay periods can be closed, when previously, there was a 10-day lag.”
Before mJobTime, SpecPro’s employees and role players had to fill out paper time sheets and an office clerk had to input all time manually. mJobTime streamlined their time collections in a way that cut out two FTEs [full time equivalents], according to Giannini. “Now one person manages all time sheet collections.”
mJobTime was installed quickly, and was running smoothly within the month. “The mJobTime folks imported our entire list of 500 to 800 people into the system right away. We now handle about 1,500 to 1,800 people.” Having to approve time sheets, Giannini is happy to have a streamlined system, saying, “In the last 2 weeks I had to approve 8,000 hours.“
SpecPro primarily uses mJobTime’s Labor Manager module. “We haven’t exploited mJobTime’s full use yet, but right now we’re looking at its job pricing capabilities,” Giannini says. mJobTime solved serious problems with job tracking, sub job tracking, and staff tracking that threatened its DOL compliance. “Over the past 3-1/2 years we have consistently asked for more and more customized features. We are a very vocal and outspoken customer. They are always extremely responsive to our needs. Their support has been outstanding. Always.”
mJobTime allowed SpecPro to save about $40,000 a year, or about 50-60% of their payroll costs. “But more important than anything else,” Giannini says, “mJobTime greatly reduced our risk of DOL fines by helping us stay compliant with requirements and regulations.”
As a government contractor owned by shareholders in the Bristol Bay Native Corporation, SpecPro must balance its return on shareholder investments with its cost to customers. “We just got a contract extension because we kept our customer costs down even when it meant doubling our work.” Giannini adds, “mJobTime has meant savings for our governmental customers, return on our shareholder investments, and continued employment for our people. I honestly don’t know what we would do without them.”