Richard Daniels

Richard Daniels

In our previous post, we began the discussion on how and why flexibility is an important component of a well-designed mobile time tracking system. Similar to humans, flexibility in a construction time clock application allows the user to enjoy better control of their system. In this post, we will explore some of the details of a flexible mobile time clock program.

Flexibility is a very, underrated quality - in just about every facet of life.

Being physically flexible allows us to continue to do our everyday activities. In sports, the better your flexibility, the more control you have over your body and the less susceptible you are to injury. As we age, we generally lose flexibility, which in turn, means we lose the ability to do some of the things we could do when we were younger. That’s why it is so important to retain as much flexibility as possible.  Staying flexible significantly reduces the chance of experiencing occasional and chronic back pain and other injuries. Increased flexibility generally reduces stress and releases tension.

By now, most companies with workers in the field know that mobile communication devices can provide huge benefits in terms of efficiency and productivity.  According to a recent  analysis of small and midsized businesses in the construction industry commissioned by Sage, almost nine out of ten (85%) decision makers believe mobile technology has a positive effect on their company’s productivity. Everything from blueprints to electronic time cards is now being utilized on mobile devices.  Field managers often have instant access to company information, and can communicate immediately with office or other staff members.

A mobile time tracking system is a productivity tool. It allows you to collect payroll and other field information in a format that can be used by your accounting/ERP/payroll systems. It does so in a way that eliminates the need to write down the information on paper, and later, automatically transfers that information to the office without manual re-entry. A flexible, well-designed remote time tracking application can dramatically improve productivity for both your field and office employees, and in doing so, save you significant amounts of money.

One of the keys to a productive wireless time tracking system is a highly flexible integration component.

So you’ve warmed to the idea of upgrading your time collection processes. You see the benefits of a mobile time tracking system and are ready to move forward.

So, what’s next? Just how do I get started?

There is definitely a process that should be implemented and followed in order to give the project the best chance to succeed. We have outlined a guideline for such a process.

As discussed in an earlier post, many construction companies are by default, risk averse to purchasing new software. In that post, we discussed the different types of risks these entities can be subject to. But in addition to risk, there are also other significant barriers that stand in the way of contractors looking to purchase a mobile time tracking system.

Your company has probably been in business for many years. Have you ever given much thought as to how you derived at the business processes that you currently use? Not many people do, but at some point in time, operating in this manner probably was the most efficient method for your company. Is it still the most efficient, productive method? You be the judge.

One of the important considerations in designing business software is flexibility. No two companies operate the same way. In fact, there can be huge disparities in business processes between enterprises of similar sizes. As a software entity, you can’t afford to base your design on one particular framework as you can severely limit the market you sell to. Instead, to cover as wide a range of scenarios as possible, flexibility has to become one of your primary development goals.

We technology companies far too often see things from our own very narrow perspective.  As companies whose livelihoods depend on the ability to utilize, develop, and improve on technology, we assume that other companies share the same outlook.

And then I read a LinkedIn group post asking the question “Is the construction industry open to technological changes?

Although the responses were as expected, what surprised me was one particular answer – risk!

Construction is a very competitive industry.

In many segments of construction, a contractor submits bids for a project or job. In some cases, like municipal entities, the bids submitted are sealed and not opened until an announced future date at a public forum. 

Because of this bidding dynamic, contractors are always looking for an edge. This edge can be created through two main paths.

What is the right price to pay for a mobile time clock system? Do you have a budget? If so, how did you arrive at the budget? Was a flat dollar amount designated for the purchase price?

For some companies, a wireless time clock can be a commodity. Pick one off the shelf. It needs to track time by employee, date, and job. Just about every portable time clock system out there does that, so yes, it makes sense to go with the cheapest one.

Or does it?

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