The coronavirus pandemic brought with it the challenge of ensuring workers’ safety at jobs that require a physical presence. There is a large workforce in construction in particular, and it’s more important than ever to keep that workforce organized and on task. Project time tracking and other technological innovations offer construction businesses a way to stay on top of things during these uncertain times.
We spoke with Maggie Deptuck, global senior vice president at Replicon, about how construction time tracking solutions can keep construction projects profitable even when hindered by pandemic regulations.
Replicon has been a leader in the time tracking field, from its earliest days of spreadsheets, to apps, to the present-day cloud-based systems. Deptuck’s professional career began with Dun & Bradstreet. She has remained with Replicon for 20 years.
“Replicon offers a variety of solutions, depending on what customers are trying to do: time tracking, time and attendance, or professional services,” Deptuck says.
“Many of our customers in construction/HVAC are using our time billing solution, as well as some of our time and attendance solutions to track global time, gross pay, and time off.”
Keep employees in the loop
With the uncertainty brought by the COVID-19 crisis, things can change without any prior notice and businesses will need to adapt as quickly as possible. A comprehensive time tracking solution can deliver real-time results. Foremen and supervisors can delegate the exact tasks and projects resources are working on along with their schedules and durations ahead of time so that employees are prepared for the workload.
Deptuck explained that examples of something that could “change without notice” due to pandemic issues would include an infected worker who must leave the jobsite and enter quarantine or require weeks or recovery, and that work must be shifted to others, depending on team resources.
“Also, the pandemic has driven new and revised labor laws that could affect their hours, their wages and even the physical work space,” she said.
“One example is the new overtime limit sometimes would require work be assigned to someone else who has already met their maximum hours. Other regions have implemented additional premiums for work time, or supervisor approval processes could have changed as well. I think many times it’s about just being aware, even for contact tracing, of who is at which jobsite, if all of a sudden they receive news. They can see who clocked in at a commercial or residential construction site.”
Keep track of compliance
The construction industry requires a comprehensive, out-of-the-box solution that can consistently apply overtime, meal breaks, and other labor laws everywhere they operate. Solutions that integrate with time-keeping systems reduce errors, stay up-to-date, and offer the flexibility to support any compliance need, especially as new legislation is introduced.
“Replicon can integrate with any existing system. Businesses can continue to work with their existing back-end systems, such as pay systems, HR, but we help them modernize those time tracking capabilities,” Deptuck explained. “We’ve seen cases where customers have been leveraging their capabilities such as SAP, Microsoft, Penta, with more reliable time data, because we have ability to make it simple for employees; it’s easy to use and configurable. “We focus on mobile first, and it’s cloud enabled.”
Get on top of payroll and costing
The onset of COVID-19 has made it necessary for businesses to make changes to payroll, especially with the incorporation of new sick pay and leave entitlements, application of labor laws, government subsidies and relief packages, and of course, calculation of salaries and wages for a workforce using a new work arrangement. Having time tracking software for construction workers lets you manage exceptions, validations, and adjustments on one unified platform.
Deptuck explained that validations and exceptions are preset and configurable rules that businesses can set to ensure that their timesheet data is valid and complete. “They have the option where they can narrow the opportunity for errors, such as if an employee mistakenly enters “88 hours” instead of “8 hours” or ensuring employees are recording any kind of custom data, such as how many units were installed that day, or number of doors installed or other job item. Breaks, meal breaks, rest periods can also be recorded,” Deptuck said.
Embrace the cutting edge: AI and touchless time clocks
Incorporating modern, mobile-first interfaces into the fundamental time tracking framework allows crews to improve productivity with laser-accurate workforce time data and location tracking, using state-of-the-art chatbots, GPS tracking, and geofencing technologies.
As Deptuck explained, computer-based time clocks are still in use, however Replicon offers mobile time clocks for phones and tablets as well as apps. Facial recognition and voice commands are also now possible.
“Employees can clock in and out through their own phone, which can be enabled through facial recognition. It can take photo. That preference is given to each company,” Deptuck said.
Some of Replicon’s time and attendance software customers include FedEx, Siemens, Ernst & Young, Facebook, Expedia and British Gas.
Product demonstrations can be found on Replicon’s website, HERE.
A schedule of upcoming webinars in the month of August can be found HERE.