Construction companies today face immense pressure to deliver quality work on tight budgets and schedules. Managing dispersed crews in the field efficiently is essential for controlling costs and staying on track. For many firms, crew tracking and job management remain mired in manual methods like paper timesheets and spreadsheet tracking. The inefficiencies of these outdated approaches drain productivity and expose firms to compliance risks.

Transitioning to an automated crew tracking app provides a powerful solution for construction businesses to boost productivity, reduce costs, and safeguard operations. Advanced apps offer features tailored for simplifying field oversight and accessing real-time data to drive better decision-making. Read on to learn how a purpose-built crew-tracking app can optimize workflows and give your firm a competitive edge.

The Basics: What is a Crew Tracking App?

A crew tracking app provides digital tools for recording and managing employee time across multiple job sites. Workers can clock in and out on smartphones with GPS verification of location. Site supervisors gain oversight of crew hours and location through dashboard views. Back office staff get automated data collection from the field to feed payroll and job costing.

Unlike spreadsheets or paper processes, crew tracking apps connect field and office in real time. Data flows seamlessly to unlock new efficiencies. Alerts and reminders improve field communication. Reporting provides insight into time-tracking accuracy and productivity. Core functionalities like time capture, GPS tracking, and scheduling coordinate crews effectively.

Comparing Manual vs. Digital Crew Tracking

Construction firms using paper timesheets likely grapple with repetitive data entry, transcription errors, and chasing down missing employee hours. With manual tracking, there is limited oversight of worker location and attendance. This opens the door for buddy punching and doctored hours.

In contrast, automated crew scheduling apps apply technology to problems like:

  • Double data entry between the field and office
  • Difficulty verifying attendance and hours accuracy
  • Lack of timely data to adjust schedules and staffing
  • Inability to link hours directly with payroll

A digital solution provides flexible mobile access to a time clock, away from clipboards and office visits. Supervisors gain real-time views of current crew status. Alerts flag potential issues like overtime or absenteeism. Seamless integrations transfer field data to payroll to eliminate manual entry.

The Power of Real-Time Crew Insights

Instant data flow from a crew tracking app delivers insights unavailable with paper tracking. At-a-glance dashboard views showcase:

  • Clock in/out status across all active crews
  • Individual timesheets for verification
  • GPS location of every worker
  • Job sites with absent or tardy employees

Supervisors can pinpoint crew composition and real-time location on a site map. Desktop or mobile alerts inform of overtime, missed breaks, or absenteeism. This real-time visibility facilitates on-the-fly adjustments to improve productivity and safety.

Back office staff gain transparency into employee hours alongside GPS verification. This allows proactive correction of inaccurate time reporting rather than waiting until week’s end. Every punch syncs to payroll, reducing processing time from days to hours.

Key Features of a Crew Tracking App

Construction-tailored crew tracking apps balance comprehensive functionality with user-friendly operation. Core features to optimize field tracking include:

Mobile Access

Smartphone apps give workers and supervisors easy on-site access for clocking in/out, managing timesheets, assigning jobs, capturing expenses, and more. Apps are available on iOS and Android. Crews can clock in and out with a simple tap, avoiding tedious paperwork. The mobile apps offer full functionality on-the-go, from any location.

GPS Tracking

Pinpoint crew locations via GPS tracking and geofencing. Verify attendance by job site with location-stamped clock ins/outs. Supervisors can view real-time maps showing all crew members on site. GPS tracking provides visibility into worker locations to improve dispatching and prevent payroll errors.

Photo Verification

Optional FaceFront photos  verify identity and preventbuddy punching. The selfie feature provides an extra layer of protection against time theft and doctored hours. Submitting a selfie photo during clock-in deters the falsification of attendance and hours.

Schedule Management

Create and assign recurring shifts. Coordinate crew members’ schedules based on roles and required skills/certifications. Managers can schedule employees and assignments weeks in advance to optimize staffing.Online employee scheduling ensures the right crews are staffed at the right sites.

Alerts & Messaging

In-app messaging enables seamless communication between the field and office. Instant alerts make supervisors aware of potential issues as they occur.

Permission-Based Timesheet Editing

Manage, edit, and approve timesheets. Add work notes or expense receipts. Sign off on crew hours. Supervisors can control editing access to ensure accuracy. Configurable permissions boost timesheet security and accountability.

Reporting & Analytics

Generate daily reports on overtime, prevailing wage compliance, cost tracking, productivity, and more. Robust reporting provides insight to make data-driven decisions. Reports can be scheduled, customized, and exported to uncover trends.

Payroll Integration

Seamlessly export field data and integrate with many payroll systems for automated processing. Bi-directional sync eliminates duplicate data entry between the field and payroll. Integration reduces payroll processing time from days to hours.

Compliance Tools

Ensure labor law adherence with automatic meal break deductions, rest period enforcement, and pay rule applications. Automatic break management simplifies compliance. Compliance features minimize the risk of labor law violations.

Benefits of Adopting a Crew Tracking App

Transitioning from paper to automated tracking of field crews generates measurable operational improvements and cost savings:

Improved Productivity

  • Optimized schedules and staffing through real-time data on crew locations, hours worked, and job progress to intelligently schedule the right crews and skills for projects.
  • Reduced time spent on manual data entry of crew hours between the field and office, streamlined payroll processing, and eliminated time wasted chasing down missing paper timesheets.
  • Streamlined field/office communication with messaging for supervisors to send notifications, reminders, or safety alerts to crews in real time to improve response times.
  • GPS tracking, geofencing, and photo ID verification deter falsified attendance, buddy punching, and doctored hours by validating identity and job site location for every clock in/out.

Greater Cost Control

  • Increased payroll accuracy through automated data collection and integration eliminates manual errors and retroactive pay adjustments that are costly and time-consuming to fix.
  • Detailed cost code tracking and reporting of hours worked provides transparency into real-time job costing data to enable precise tracking of labor costs by project.
  • Overtime alerts notify supervisors so crew schedules can be adjusted on the fly to avoid unnecessary overtime premium pay.
  • Validates billable hours worked on-site via GPS tracking and timestamps, ensuring invoices to customers accurately reflect true work completed.

Safeguarded Compliance

  • Automatic pay rule calculations (overtime, double-time, etc.) are built-in and applied per company policies for every timesheet to minimize compliance risks.
  • Required break tracking with configurable alerts to notify supervisors if crews miss or have late meal/rest breaks, supporting enforcement.
  • Prevailing wage reporting documents pay rates by project for validation and supports certified payroll reporting.
  • Permission-based access controls restrict unauthorized edits to crew timesheets that could override pay rules or falsify records.

Choosing the Right App for Your Firm

The best crew tracking app for your construction business will check all the boxes for functionality, platform access, implementation, data security, support, and pricing. Assess potential solutions across:

  • Core features – Evaluate the depth of offerings for time capture, GPS oversight, scheduling, alerts, and reporting.
  • Mobile experience – Test the smartphone apps for an intuitive user experience.
  • Deployment and training – Look for simple setup and onboarding included.
  • Integration – Require integration with your payroll system and other software platforms.
  • Data protection – Verify data encryption, redundancy, and access controls.
  • Ongoing support – Seek 24/7 phone and online support along with regular training.
  • Cost – Confirm predictable pricing and contract terms. Calculate ROI.

Crew Tracking with ExakTime

ExakTime offers an all-in-one crew management and workforce tracking solution designed specifically for construction. The software automates time and location tracking, payroll processing, job costing, compliance oversight, alerting, and reporting.

Robust web and mobile apps make ExakTime easy to use for both field crews and back office administrators. Real-time data synchronizes across the platform to eliminate double entry and provide transparency into labor hours.

Seamless payroll integrations enable accurate, automated paycheck processing. Robust reporting and customized alerts facilitate proactive management of distributed workforces. GPS, employee photo capture  and geofencing safeguard payroll accuracy.

ExakTime serves thousands of  organizations and over a million construction workers clock in and out with the platform each day. The company offers simple software deployment, unlimited US-based support, and regular complimentary training.

Today’s construction firms cannot afford inefficiencies and compliance risks from manual crew tracking processes. Transitioning to an automated, feature-rich crew-tracking app provides measurable gains in productivity, cost control, and risk mitigation. Mobile access and real-time data synchronization give supervisors and managers transparency into field operations. Easy reporting and payroll integrations streamline back-office workflows. As competition intensifies across the industry, adopting a purpose-built crew tracking solution can give construction firms a decided competitive edge.

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