One question every construction professional is often asked is—“how are we doing against the schedule and budget?”
In theory, construction is simple—workers and equipment are used to install specific materials according to a predetermined plan. In this construction “nirvana,” understanding project performance would be pretty straightforward. But actual construction is a constantly evolving environment with plans, resource availability, and working conditions shifting daily. How can construction teams gain the insight to effectively answer these constant questions surrounding project performance in this complex climate?
It starts with Time. At the heart of measuring construction performance is understanding time in relation to the critical project resources of labor, equipment, and materials. While connecting time to resources may not feel like a revelation to an industry that runs off of time cards, very few teams have time at the ease, speed, and level of detail required to understand labor productivity and project performance. Simply knowing that a worker was on the jobsite for 36 hours this week may ensure the person gets paid appropriately but does little to tell you if your team is winning or losing the productivity battle.
If the answer to understanding project performance is simply documenting time, then why can so few contractors effectively answer basic questions surrounding their field-level productivity? The following shows the critical challenges facing effective time tracking:
That said, capturing time for the construction industry is much more complex than recording hours worked. In addition to the task of capturing hours, there may be other payroll-related items payable to the employee, such as per diem, mileage, reimbursements for company expenses, and more. All this information must be captured and relayed to be included with the payroll. You’ll also need to record any Shift Work as these typically accompany a premium rate of pay.
You can start to really understand the degree of preciseness necessary to accurately record construction industry timekeeping when you consider job sites where workers are members of a Labor Union. This adds complexity to labor union rules and Project Labor Agreements (PLA). For employees in labor unions, you will need to know the employee’s classification, the union’s pay scale, and whether or not your job site has a PLA with the union. The PLA can add another level of complexity with pay scale and overtime rules. Keeping this in mind, you will also need to record union employees who worked outside their classification and adjust their pay accordingly.
Another variable to keep in mind is Labor Laws. Most states have laws requiring meals and breaks that must be followed and sometimes documented. These labor laws vary by state, and employers face hefty fines if they are not compliant. As you can see, recording hours worked is just the starting point in accurately capturing timekeeping data in the construction industry.
The value of time can vary between projects and regions with work type, location, and weather, all factoring into measuring production metrics. One month of exterior steel reinforcement in Chicago can have far more urgency when compared to the long building season of Jacksonville, FL.
Understanding performance is only half the battle. The other focus positively affects production trends by anticipating delays, overruns, and resourcing issues. If visibility into performance is even two weeks behind, many issues are beyond preventing and can only be mitigated at best. Having strong and current visibility into performance is therefore critical.
Time entered on the jobsite needs to be shared among several critical reports. These reports include Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) forms, Job Safety Analysis (JSA), Pre-task Plans, Daily Construction Report, COVID Health Assessment forms, Toolbox talks or Safety Tailgate meeting reports, Labor law reporting documentation, Union reporting forms, T&M tickets, and Field Work Orders (FWO).
With traditional methods, a foreman would have to hand write each employee into these forms on a daily based, which depending on the job site, could account for hours of time completing paperwork that takes the leader out of the field and disrupts valuable time that could be utilized in planning, coordination, and mentoring. Rhumbix could reduce this process dramatically by pushing or pulling needed information from one form to the next. The crew only needs to enter information once to use the source data frequently. This streamlines the data entry process, removing redundancy and getting crews back to the actual work.
Connecting time to resource management is critical if construction teams want visibility into project performance metrics and analytics such as Budget versus Actual and Labor Allocation. Unfortunately, most timekeeping solutions and construction project management software are ill-equipped and overly cumbersome to give contractors the level of speed and visibility required to turn project information into insight.
Where most construction timekeeping solutions fall short:
Enter Rhumbix Time & Resource Management. At Rhumbix, we started with the most challenging part of performance tracking first—capturing and configuring time around labor, equipment, and materials that meet the unique needs of top Commercial, Government, and Industrial contractors. To deliver the most effective performance tracking tools, Rhumbix is built around the following cornerstones:
Mobility: Construction was a distributed labor force before “remote” was a buzzword. Mobility means the right people have access to the right tools when and where they are needed most.
Data: Knowing what should happen and what happened on your jobsite is half the battle. Data provides the means to capture, share, connect, and collaborate information at the speed required.
Configurability: To remain competitive, construction companies must consider scalable construction solutions. Configurability ensures that solutions meet your evolving needs today and well into the future.
Connecting time to resource management is critical if construction teams want visibility into project performance metrics and analytics such as Budget versus Actual and Labor Allocation. Unfortunately, most timekeeping apps don’t provide the level of detail needed to gain this visibility.
Rhumbix quickly collects detailed time and resource data from the field and provides teams with a single view into the critical metrics impacting project performance. Rhumbix unlocks the benefits of time & resource management by focusing construction firm resources on work that delivers the most value to their company.
Rhumbix was built to go beyond only capturing daily and weekly timekeeping for payroll processing. Rhumbix is a time & resource management tool that is focused on delivering a real-time view of the critical factors that affect jobsite performance. With Rhumbix, construction firms can gain better control over their projects and achieve better results.
Performance metrics data is often inaccessible, buried in paperwork and spreadsheets, or spread across multiple reporting tools. This makes it difficult for the right person to have the right data at the right time.
Construction data analytics takes all of your reporting from different sources and puts it in one place, making it accessible on-demand. It helps unlock powerful insights that provide consistent and reliable field data that can be searched, shared, and filtered in real-time. With construction analytics, you can discover, interpret and communicate significant patterns in construction project data. Simply put, construction analytics helps people see insights and meaningful data that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. Successful construction firms use field analytics to manage and improve their project performance.
To effectively understand actual construction productivity and avoid costly delays and errors, construction teams need real-time visibility into critical performance metrics surrounding time and resource utilization.
The best way to gain visibility into your construction hours is with Rhumbix Time & Resource Management dashboards built for construction. Know exactly where your project stands by easily tracking better data points and connecting them to other systems. With Rhumbix, you can:
The Rhumbix Time & Resource Management solution is easy-to-use. It allows users to create a visual representation of project data to assist in more timely decision-making.
National design-build contractor chooses Rhumbix over CrewTracks and Procore.
“Those systems can’t lock down pay periods and lack governance around what type of time can get tracked, in what pay periods, and who can enter that time. They also don’t have the workflow tied in for streamlined approvals,” said Drew Trammell, Technology Manager, ARCO Design/Build.
Specialty drywall contractor saves up to 20 hours a week using Rhumbix.
“At the end of the day, if we were going to put a cloud-based mobile app solution in our foremen’s hands, we wanted it to mimic as much as possible the way we were used to entering time with our hierarchy and structure. Rhumbix was certainly capable of doing that. The main thing we were focused on was how is this going to be quicker and easier than what we were already doing,” said Brian Garcea, Principal, RG Construction.
Elite scaffolding contractor sees a 95% reduction in time spent on payroll processing.
“We would never go back to our previous processes. There would be no point. There were no controls in place, and it was too easy to lose information when you’re getting time from multiple sources. Even in an email, it’s easy to miss details. That’s not good for anybody. I don’t think there’s any need for us to return to the old system,” said Daria Mykhailyk, Finance Manager, Northstar Access.
Interested in what Rhumbix time and resource management can do for your productivity? Contact us today. Our experts look forward to discussing your construction firm’s unique needs and requirements.