1. Your Field Data is More Valuable When it is Verified.
Successful HeavyJob users share this important understanding: Every decision made, based on field data, is only as reliable as the processes you have in place to verify the information. In computer science, the warning is: “garbage in = garbage out.” Simply put, this means that if you allow bad data to collect in your HeavyJob system, your reports will be built on a foundation of unverified and possibly misleading indicators. If you continue to let it compound, without making changes, it will be less and less accurate.
Thankfully, the opposite is true, that if you begin to only allow good data, and have a process in place to catch and correct the bad, your dataset will become more accurate over time. You may not have to overhaul your past timecards, if you continue to average out the bad data for good. To support this effort, supplement your basic payroll needs with descriptive and supportive diaries and photos from the field.
The most effective way to improve quality control is to implement multiple checkpoints to verify the timecard in the office. Accountability will improve your results as no one wants to be in charge of a failing venture. A person or a department should be accountable to review, approve, or reject the timecard. Rejecting the timecard instead of correcting the issues for the foremen will give responsibility back to the field, and serve as a reminder that not following office protocols will result in consequences. Craig Parker, President at Silver Star Construction says, “If you’re not checking it, then whatever you are wanting to change is not going to happen. Somebody has to be responsible for what’s getting entered into the system, and it doesn’t have to be a difficult process.”
To help you manage all of those timecards, use the Time Card Management Tool to help you search for missing time, and timecards that still need to be reviewed. You can also use it to quickly navigate from job to job as you work throughout the day. The Overtime tool will help you make quick adjustments to time, and the Production Quantity Adjustment tool will help you make quick changes to the production quantity of a cost code.
Here are a few help articles created from support calls on reviewing timecards in HeavyJob.com. The support articles for the desktop version also contain a good library that would help you get started.
2. Travel to a Jobsite Without Leaving Your Office Using Diaries
Your timecards provide a clear measurement of labor and equipment used on your job. They answer the questions of “who,” “where,” and “how much” was spent on any job for a specific day. If you want to fully paint a picture that explains the “why,” you should look deeper at your daily diary. Encouraging your diary entries to be as descriptive as possible with as many photo attachments and annotations as possible will allow you to travel to any job in the past, and see what they saw.
To increase adoption, our users have recommended teaching the field to use the “voice to text” feature. This technology is available on Android and iOS, and is like having your own secretary transcribing your notes as you speak. Encourage the diaries to answer open-ended questions that you provide as standard procedure. For example: ask them to talk about the job, their needs, their challenges, and steps to ensure quality and profitability.
Once you get the diary in the system, use this search tool to find anything in the diary that would help you understand your jobs better: https://help.hcss.com/s/article/How-to-Search-Diary-Entries-for-a-Word-or-Phrase. Ask questions back to the foremen about their entries, and congratulate them when they are doing things well.
Matt Fidler, HCSS Senior Implementation Consultant, says, “As a PM, I should be able to drink my coffee the next morning and read your diary, time card, cost code notes, and see your pictures and have a good idea of what was going on yesterday. Two weeks from now, I should be able to call [the foreman] and ask what happened, and they should be able to pull up their iPad to that day, read their information, and tell me. If you can’t do that, you need to enter more information.” Matt suggests using the Diary and Cost Code Note Report (Reports > Time Card > Diary and Cost Code Note Report) to search for note indexes used on a time card or diary.
3. Don’t Wait Weeks, Analyze Your Timecard Now
I have met with companies that would take a month or quarter to look back through their timecard data to understand job performance. By that time, they were caught in a cycle of reacting to their situation rather than having the time to plan and make thoughtful adjustments.
“HeavyJob’s goal is to give you information “quick and close” (while accounting is typically “slow and accurate”),” says Matt. “The Time Card Analysis lets your field personnel see how they did at the end of the day after filling out the information they already should be filling out for everyone to get paid. Your office staff also have the benefit of being able to see this same information the next morning, so if things need to change, or your team needs to pivot, you can see that when there is still time to react, instead of seeing a report that lets you know you should have done something differently…two weeks ago.”
Your people in the field are your first line of defense to your business problems. With the power to analyze their performance, you can either empower them to make a change or to gather enough evidence to communicate back to you to make an informed decision. The Timecard Analysis can compare performance against your budgets, or, when toggling the view to analyze by “planned,” you can compare hypothetical scenarios to work towards improvement.
Click Here to take you to an HCSS Academy course on the Time Card Analysis.
4. Collect All Your Loose Paper in a Digital Filing Cabinet
HCSS Forms was created to digitize everything you used to write and carry around on paper so that nothing would get lost, and if you needed a solution that was not out of the box, you could customize it using HCSS Forms. If a report does not exist in HeavyJob, you can create a smart fillable form, and when the foreman emails the form, it is flattened so that no one can alter it.
I have spoken with companies that have successfully used HCSS Forms to customize owner forms, T&M backup documentation, document safety meetings, incidents, injuries, and time off. I have even seen customers use it to store cheat sheets and reference documents. It is the digital filing cabinet that can be used to help you get a higher level of detail from the field, and you won’t lose important information written on a piece of paper again.
5. Get the Support You Need and Deserve
You are a part of the HCSS Network, and that means that our support is here to help you every step of the way. Some companies have an internal IT help desk that their users must call to ensure the company’s processes are followed. We suggest that field personnel call your internal champion, first, with questions, so you can address training needs and maintain standard procedures in your company, but any customer is welcome to call support for a quick hand from Sugar Land, TX.
Whether you are a large or small company, you have HCSS Support to back your needs on any day of the week (day or night).
You can reach us by live chat (Yes, Louis Antenor is a real person), phone, and/or e-mail. The general rule is that if it takes you more than a few minutes to think about it, call us instead, and we’ll help you find the right path. We also have many online resources, like this blog, or the Support Help Articles that allow you to search through resolutions to thousands of support cases. Finally, make connections with other HCSS Users and experts on the HCSS Community, and ask them how they would handle similar situations, subscribe to get notifications when there are updates to the software, and sign up for test flight to test and give feedback on the latest HCSS Field app before it is released.