Check In Data for Project Cost Management
Without fail, every week, someone in the accounting department needs clarification about a worker or subcontractor’s timecard. Maybe their question is focused on actual hours worked. Or if the proper Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) code was applied. Or a host of other project activities that need further explanation. Headquarters must align hours worked with project progress and potential profit.
QR code check in data would easily answer most questions. You waste productivity when accounting contacts a site supervisor or reaches out directly to a worker. Emails don’t get an immediate response and interruptions delay the construction project. As all of these minutes quickly add up to hours in lost productivity that also impacts morale. Employees and subcontractors getting defensive.
Cost accountants working for project managers are not trying to micromanage and track every minute. Sure, they want every worker to deliver, but their focus is on the bigger picture. That requires making sure every task is running to plan. By looking at productivity by worker and subcontractor and aligning it with their estimates, they project managers can make smarter decisions faster before it impacts the bottom line.
For superintendents, when it comes to talking to employees about time sheets, consider using digital QR code check ins. If it’s part of creating the daily log at the start of the day, it’ll become a habit and part of field operations culture. Less likely to cause a stir if a worker is asked for more specificity about their latest time report.
Digital time tracking boosts efficiency
Efficient time tracking also reinforces safety on the job site. The latest QR code based digital safety check in apps because they offer greater accuracy for tracking hours worked and aligning it with specific projects.
Employees don’t have to wait around until the end of a shift to get the superintendent’s sign-off on their time sheet. The introverts in finance don’t have to spend their time chasing down field workers. And using an app like Safe Site Check In lets project managers and general contractors (GCs) know where everybody is or was located on the job site at a specific time.
Digital check-in data tells a lot about the health of the business. For example, use the data to spot trends in absenteeism. See how quickly an apprentice is mastering a skill based on hours/days spent on a particular task. Provide benchmarks into the average time to complete certain tasks, which helps with future project bidding. This data can also support claims and litigation, especially if legal actions emerge weeks, months or years after an incident.
New digital apps streamline the check in process making it easier to manage finance, payroll, and visitor management systems. But questions about what exactly was accomplished on the jobsite will continue to arise. When they do, remember the mantra “explain not blame”. Ask what unexpected hold-ups in completing the assignment occurred. Ask what might prevent the delay in the future. Oftentimes, those discussions will surface insights that might have otherwise been overlooked in the construction daily log. For example, a delayed arrival of supplies or a strong rainstorm slowed progress but was quickly forgotten.
The Daily Log and Late Problem Reports
The daily log is a critical part of jobsite project management. When completely captured every day daily log data can have a big impact on profitability. The daily log, as we know, tracks significant occurrences, incidents, and jobsite progress. While the real-time daily reports are important, so are the historical record. If disputes about invoices, timecards, subcontractor performance or owner change orders arise, the daily log data is essential to getting paid and controlling costs and risks.
Though managing the daily log doesn’t need to be an arduous process, or become known as the “daily slog”. When you combine a digital QR code check in app’s data to create the daily log, you reveal potential issues. The data also protects the company and employees. The benefits of the data increase with daily use. Over an extended period of time, check in data will become “big data”, useful for identifying month-to-month and year-to-year trends.
Here are four examples of how the daily log, combined with digital check in data that’s securely stored and archived, impacts a construction company:
- It provides an unbiased digital record of what happened on a job site and who was there. Since the digital record is created through a worker or subcontractor’s smartphone and goes directly into a report, there’s no question about its validity should any questions or disputes arise next week or years from now.
- The data serves as an excellent cross reference to timecards, helping your accounting team and project managers focus on their core tasks instead of tracking down time sheets.
- Superintendents, project managers and executives can review the digital records against their baseline schedule for lessons learned and overall process improvement.
- Superintendents save time otherwise spent keying in data or handling paper.
As the construction industry digitizes business processes like daily check in and makes it part of the daily log, general contractors are realizing the combination results in a strategic tool.