Twenty-five years ago, the Euro was introduced, Space Shuttle Discovery docked at the International Space Station, Serena Williams won her first Grand Slam title at the US Open and the Sopranos debuted on HBO.   

It’s also the year ExakTime launched.   


ExakTime was developed by Stephen Simmonds, a construction business owner who wanted to find a better way to track employee time. Frustrated by inaccurate time cards and missing employees, Simmonds worked with Scott Prewett and developer Tony Pappas to create his own digital time tracking system – ExakTime.  

The Evolution of ExakTime 

It’s hard to imagine but 25 years ago technology wasn’t in the palm of our hands like it is today (the Palm Pilot had just launched in 1999). So ExakTime’s initial software consisted of the JobClock, a physical time clock that’s still popular today. 


ExakTime’s pioneering job clock was durable, portable and allowed employees to all clock in from the job site. Employees used colored key tabs to clock in and out, green for clocking in and red for clocking out. Different colored key tabs could also be used for job codes. For example, a blue tab could indicate foundation work while an orange tab might be carpentry. For contractors that used multiple job codes, our FastTracker time clock product allowed contractors to load hundreds of different worker activities on one device.   

JobClocks were used on each site, so a contractor might have two, three or more, and the information was transferred to a laptop or computer via a USB cord. Later, the software allowed the information to be transferred wirelessly, via Bluetooth or infrared, like with the Dakota JobClock. The data could be collected daily or weekly and was transferred back to the office via the Internet.  

One of the biggest selling points for the JobClock was (and continues to be) its durability. The clock was virtually indestructible. Early YouTube videos show it being buried, nailed to a wall and even shot with a shotgun – all without breaking. Today, ExakTime’s current-generation JobClock Hornet is weatherproof, designed for harsh environments from -23˚C (-10˚F) to 76˚C (170˚F). 

No matter the device, the goal of the ExakTime JobClock was to provide contractors with a super simple way to track worker time. 

Portable Handhelds 

It didn’t take long for ExakTime to capitalize on the growing popularity of handheld devices like the Palm Pilot and Blackberry. Along with the job clocks, ExakTime launched the Palms Pocket Clock around 2009. The company recognized that even with key tabs, there was still a concern over buddy punching. 

The Palm not only provided an extra layer of security as each employee was given a unique four-digit pin, but for the first time there was the ability to provide GPS via Microsoft Pharos. Pharos connected with Palm, giving contractors proof their employees were on the job site. But as quickly as Palm Pilots and Blackberries entered the mobile device market, Smart Phones were even faster. ExakTime soon embraced the power of apps. 

ExakTime Mobile 

ExakTime developed its digital time tracking app not long after the Palm Pocket Clock and it was available both on Android and Apple. Although construction-specific features have been added over the years, the idea for the mobile app remains the same – a digital solution that contractors can use to accurately and easily track worker time. 

Workers simply enter their unique, 4-digit PIN number and tap the green ‘Go’ button to clock in or the red ‘Stop’ button to clock out, a feature ExakTime pioneered. Clock-in and out data, including where your workers are located, is synced so team management can occur from anywhere. ExakTime’s mobile app also includes features to help with workforce and jobsite management: 

  • GPS Tracking: ExakTime’s mobile GPS feature utilizes 30 global position satellites to provide the exact locations of employees when they clock in or out. GPS capabilities help curb time theft because managers can determine if an employee was actually onsite or not when he or she clocked in. Our GeoTrakker feature also lets companies track workers as they travel, pinpointing where they are as long as they’re on the clock. 
  • Geofencing: ExakTime’s geofencing capabilities allows GPS tracking to be even more efficient. A geofence is a virtual “barrier” that’s set up to enforce certain restrictions or create certain opportunities. A geofence works like a regular fence by marking off areas. An employer might want to put a geofence around a worksite. Employees must clock in inside the fence, not from their vehicles or a coffee shop across the street. When employees clock in or out, their timestamp will be flagged as either on-site or off-site. 
  • FaceFront Photo ID Verification: Another safeguard against time theft or buddy punching is ExakTime’s FaceFront Photo ID Verification. FaceFront uses a mobile device’s front-facing lens to snap photos of workers as they clock in and out. Simply match these with employee master photos stored back at the office and having a buddy punch another employee in or out is virtually eliminated. And, unlike biometric fingerprint clocks, FaceFront won’t fail due to dirty hands or pose a potential data security risk to your employees (biometric scanners have come under fire recently). 
  • Scheduling: ExakTime’s mobile app allows managers to schedule worker shifts and tasks in advance, and never wonder what’s happening at a remote job site. It can instantly send assignment and project requests to people while in the office or on the jobsite based on skillset, job title, certification, availability, location and so on. ExakTime Mobile offers a one-screen snapshot of any job site with a live feed of clock-in and clock-out activity, a running labor budget, Field Notes, equipment tracking and more. 
  • Field Notes: Field notes allow for instant job site updates from the field in the form of photos, audio files and text. Workers or supervisors in the field can record text, audio or photo updates and send them to the cloud with one click. Notes appear on the dashboard of our cloud software and are also attached to job sites in the system, so that they never get lost and remain part of the labor record. Field notes can also help improve cash flow by creating a clear method of communication between sites and office staff as soon as a project has hit a key stage or been completed. The office sees the field note come through on the dashboard and can send the invoice immediately, expediting pay and improving cash flow. 
  • Mobile Compliance: Tracking compliance with our mobile app is easy and reliable. Customers have instant access to a digital “paper trail”, as well as a history of every punch-out that includes employee responses to compliance boxes. 

ExakTime’s software has come a long way in 25 years, but it’s still rooted in the premise of simplifying time tracking for the construction industry. We still offer our rugged, portable time clocks as well as our mobile app which also works in kiosk mode, giving contractors a centralized device for all employees to clock in and out on. 

We’re excited to be celebrating this important milestone of supporting and growing with the construction industry for a quarter-century.   

If you’re an ExakTime customer, thank you. And if you’re not, there’s never been a better time to switch to the most trusted time tracking solution in the industry.  

Contact us today and we’ll get you started. 

Get Started Now