We have used an electronic timesheet solution for roughly three years for 80-140 employees, but have been getting significant pushback from Foremen and Project Managers lately. The main argument from them is that internet reliability and lack of computer skills lead to a significant amount of time spent by Foremen dealing with an admin task at a cost of $30+ more than an office staff person. Another result of the frustration is a reduction in accurate cost coding, for example, we have a disproportionate amount of time coded to the first cost code on the list. On a weekly basis, office employees spend 4-6 hours "correcting" input errors alone.
I have some reservations, but can see their point. I am curious to hear from anyone else that has had a similar experience and what the results were. I'll also throw it out there that we will be evaluating new ERP solutions in 2017, so we're likely making a change from our current solution.
We have used electronic timesheets now for over 7 years. We have been through two programs. There was some pushback initially when introducing the technology. There often is with any changes introduced. Errors exist whether your system is manual (written) or automated (data input). How many changes in time sheets did you have prior to collecting time electronically? I find that some of our field managers' cost-coding practices have actually improved since their electronic data entry is submitted and checked more timely then when it was timecards submitted weekly.
Internet reliability can be an issue. For that reason we maintain subscriptions for "hotspots" from three different cell-providers. If AT&T doesn't work, we give them one from Sprint or Verizon. With regard to the argument that a foreman/PM costs more than an office staff person, they are correct. However, why would they allow a staff person in your office to complete timesheets and cost-coding information? Controlling labor costs and accurately tracking them is essential for a PM/Foreman to understanding their job costs. Accountability begins with accounting. If you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it!
Do your PM's and Foremen have smartphones? Do they complain about using these devices, citing frequent entry of wrong numbers to people whom they are calling? Do they carry an ATM card in their wallet? Are they frequently complaining about having instant access to bank funds at countless locations? Sarcasm aside, we live in a digital world. Their feigned objections can be silenced with a proper dose of training, planning and senior management support.
We implemented electronic timesheets on a joint venture project that had over 500 of our own field employees with over 100 Foreman doing time cards. The percentage that complained at first was high. It has been very successful. Yes I agree that this saved us probably at least one or two administrative personnel from keying in all the timesheets. The function that I don't understand from your post is that the administrative personnel were correcting cost codes to the right codes. We have the superintendents and/or their field engineer review the time cards electronically to correct any cost coding errors. The Foreman should also be communicated with on what cost codes should be used. If all this is happening and you are still having errors than management just needs to get the Project Managers on board. Without their support it's hard to get any process to run correctly.
You can also eliminate all their complaints one by one. Most phones have hot spots options and maybe you just need to look at a better electronic timesheet system. It sounds like you need the flexibility to offer the timecards with iPads or iPhones. I would agree that a computer based system for Foreman doesn't work well unless they are already required to use the computer daily.
Does anyone use Spectrum as their accounting software along with mobile applications for the timesheet data entry? We have Spectrum and are looking into utilizing mobile timesheets. We did demo the product that Spectrum has but wanted to explore other possibilities, because their product seemed a bit cumbersome to use for our field personnel.
We use Spectrum with About Time for field timekeeping. Integration is good. We require our foremen to report time daily, and it's reliable. There are some advanced features that we aren't fully using - we're pretty novice at setting up rules. I would definitely implement About Time again - we've been able to scale our employee counts significantly over the past three years in good part due to About Time being in place. Not a perfect solution, but a good, reliable one. Full buy-in at the field management level is critical to a successful implementation - it's a big step from manual timecards, and our foremen had a learning curve to overcome.
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We have been wanting to advance to an electronic timekeeping system, but have been hesitant for all of the reasons that you addressed. I would love to hear from companies who have successfully implemented and maintained an electronic form of timekeeping.
We implemented electronic time sheets (in the form of an excel spreadsheet) earlier this year. We provided each foreman with new ipads to use in completing the excel time sheet and submitting them daily, via email, to our payroll department. The foreman were brought in for training on both the ipad and excel time entry. It has worked good so far with minimal resistance. Starting Januay 1st we will be outsourcing our payroll and have purchased a module that includes a Time Entry App for our field guys to use. This gets transmitted to the Project Managers for approval before submitting to the payroll department. Our accounting/job costing system is Computer Ease and the time entry app is called Field Ease. The payroll outsourcing company we will be using is CE Payroll. We have used Computer Ease for the past 15 years and are very pleased with them and CE Payroll integrates smoothly with Computer Ease.
We've been on an electronic timeclock system for a few years for roughly 200 field employees and have some of the same issues. The biggest problems we have are incorrect or incomplete entries along with the foreman missing a crew member and not clocking him\her in at all, especially when people bounce between crews. We spend more admin time than you but do most of the corrections in the office instead of at the supervisor level. I'd like to push that down to supervisors but so far haven't had much success - just seems to result in more errors. Seems we're always short-staffed in the field as it is so it's tough to ask them to do more.
I have considered backing down from requiring actual clockins and going to more of a time-sheet based system that the foreman can fill out. That of course means we'd lose the benefit of to-the-minute clockins (and also lose the gps stamp) which was a big selling point of the system.
Is any company using HH2 for mobile time recording with Sage 100? We have been told that this time reporting application works well with Sage 100. Before making this step I would like some feedback from actual users.
We are looking at Co-Construct as a project management and estimating tool for our office. It unfortunately does not work with Sage 100. The other features of this program seem very positive. The estimating piece could be a little bit better to handle Washington State sales tax rules.
We have been using HH2 with sage 100 for both payroll as well as daily field reports.
I would highly recommend both programs in conjunction with sage 100. They integrate very well, update in real time and give a lot more viability and control to the foreman. We typically have 25-40 active projects taking place at one time with 75-100 field employees. The program has cut down on our data entry time and errors as well as given the foreman more access to the hours being charged to the job as well as the change order phases available to charge to on the project.
If you have questions on the program please feel free to give me a call.
Just a question. Which Sage 100 are you guys using? Sage100 or Sage100 Contractor? We have had bad luck getting anything to work with Contractor.
hh2 Cloud Services has been seamlessly integrating with Sage 100 Contractor and Sage 300 CRE for several years now and have well over 1000 companies using our services today. We also started supporting Viewpoint as well as Computer Ease in 2016. hh2 Remote Payroll can be used on any web browser as well as native apps for iOS and Android devices. We believe that very simple and intuitive timesheets are the perfect way to streamline your payroll process. If you would like more information or would like to schedule a demonstration you can visit our website at hh2.com
Does HH2 for the cloud work for Sage 100 ERP?
No, hh2 Cloud Services does not integrate with Sage 100 ERP. We only integrate with Sage 100 Contractor, Sage 300 CRE, Vista Viewpoint and Computer Ease at the present time.
Having spent 15 years as a CPA, then 15 more in the construction biz and now just recently jumping back into the CPA world, I can personally vouch for Dennis Dorrity and the folks at HH2. I used them 5+ years ago when they were first starting up and had less then 100 accounts. I used them again this year with another construction company and their product was awesome. Both times integration with Sage went very, very well...and now with their cell phone app its even easier.
You must spend the time and money to train the worker bees in the field and you will get a lot of moaning and groaning from the crew. But once they figure out how easy it is to use, it becomes a slam dunk. No different than trying to get everyone onto direct deposit. Lots of bitching up front, then all is quiet on the western front!!!
Kudo's to HH2. I will take any calls or questions if anyone needs a reference for them.
Based on my experience, the idea of automating field timesheet generally starts in either Payroll or Finance departments. As such, the main focus is almost always on accurate time keeping and reduction of overhead cost in Payroll, which sometimes comes at a greater expense to job cost, as your analysis has shown. At ACCO we were focused on total cost reduction, but at the same time we wanted to improve the quality of information and make the entire process more efficient. We recognize that the time collected on current projects will impact the accuracy of bids in the future.
We assembled a team, which included a field superintendent, the payroll manager and I.T. staff. First, we identified specific challenges with & the benefits of paper and Excel based time reporting and determined a more robust solution was needed. Next we defined the requirements, which were as follows:
After reviewing several time tracking software solutions, I realized that none really met all of our requirements, so we opted for a custom designed solution. The customized nature of the application meant that training would be minimal, and it would meet all the requirements of both office and field. It is hard to believe that the ROI for the project was only 12 months. If interested, you can learn more about the approach in the project section of our WEB site.
Best of Luck,Varoujan Adamian E-MBA, BSPrincipal ConsultantNoravandBurbank, CA(747) email@example.com
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