If your field service team is looking for an innovative way of tracking time, a software solution may be right for you. But with so many systems on the market, it takes time to decide which time management solution is best.
Both ExakTime and Hubstaff have emerged as popular time-tracking solutions. While both have capabilities for the construction and field service industries, it’s important to note how ExakTime specifically suits these fields. Let’s dive into the benefits of time-tracking technology and compare ExakTime versus Hubstaff.
What is Time Tracking Software?
Time tracking software provides automated systems to capture employee work hours for payroll, client billing and job costing purposes. It eliminates outdated paper timesheets, spreadsheets and manual data entry by implementing online and mobile apps for clocking in and out.
For construction companies, the benefits of time-tracking software include:
- Accurate tracking of field employee work hours, remotely or between multiple job sites.
- GPS location tracking to verify attendance and job site presence when clocking in and out.
- Assigning time to specific projects and cost codes for detailed job costing analytics and reporting.
- Logging of equipment and asset usage by employees for better utilization tracking.
- Electronic field notes, photos and other media capture to document project progress and issues.
- Real-time data access rather than waiting for paper timesheets to be collected and delivered at week’s end.
- Seamless data integration with payroll platforms to avoid duplicate entries and prevent payroll errors.
- Access to consolidated data for analytics on workforce productivity, utilization, overtime and other vital metrics.
- Maintaining compliance with labor laws, union rules and prevailing wage regulations.
With 24/7 online and mobile access, construction crews can clock in and out seamlessly from any location while managers gain complete visibility through real-time reporting and dashboards. This eliminates paperwork hassles while reducing payroll errors and providing data-driven insight into field workforce utilization and efficiency.
The Importance of Time Tracking Software for Construction
The dispersed nature of construction projects creates unique time and attendance tracking challenges. Worksites are temporary, mobile and spread across large geographic areas. The workforce itself is highly distributed, making oversight difficult.
Paper timesheets are unreliable in this environment. Employees must complete them daily, then physically deliver each sheet to the office, where data is manually entered into payroll systems. This process is slow, costly and introduces errors from illegible handwriting, intentional falsification and transcription mistakes. There is also no way to verify attendance or confirm timesheet accuracy.
Spreadsheets provide another common stopgap but ultimately insufficient solution. With spreadsheets, managers lose visibility into field employees’ day-to-day hours. There is no location data to validate where hours were worked and ensure accurate employee monitoring. Other critical information is also not captured, such as which specific projects and cost codes time should be allocated towards.
To address these challenges, construction firms need field-tested time-tracking software with specialized functionality like:
- GPS coordinates stored with each clock in/out to confirm workers’ presence.
- Geofencing to verify attendance at the expected project location.
- Complex payroll rules handling like prevailing wage rates.
- Custom fields for tagging hours with cost codes/phases.
- Equipment and asset check-in/out tracking.
- Electronic field notes and media attachment options.
- Data integrations with leading construction payroll platforms.
- Real-time consolidated data and reporting for payroll and field ops analytics.
Choosing the right technology platform saves construction companies substantial time and cost through reduced payroll errors, improved visibility into field workforce productivity, streamlined regulatory compliance and access to data for smarter resource planning.
Considering these benefits, it’s time to consider two popular time-tracking solutions: ExakTime and Hubstaff.
ExakTime provides an industry-leading end-to-end time-tracking solution built for commercial construction. Key components include:
- GPS Tracking Apps: Employees can clock in and out via geo-location-enabled mobile apps for iOS and Android. No proprietary terminal hardware is needed.
- Photo ID Capture: Optional FaceFront photo ID confirms employee identity by validating a selfie against their profile image when clocking in or out.
- Rugged Time Clocks: ExakTime offers durable, weatherproof time clock terminals designed to withstand the elements for dedicated onsite use. Rugged aluminum and steel bodies, backup batteries and cellular connectivity ensure reliable operation.
- Powerful Reporting: Through custom reports and dashboards, management gains real-time visibility into employee work hours and job costing. Analytics can be accessed in the software or exported to external tools.
- Payroll Integrations: Pre-built interfaces streamline payroll by syncing approved hours directly into top construction platforms like ADP, Acumatica, Sage , Foundation and more.
With 20+ years focused on construction-grade time tracking, ExakTime serves thousands of companies daily, helping them more accurately track labor.
Hubstaff markets itself as all-purpose time-tracking software. The platform serves varied customers across industries like professional services, marketing, real estate, software development, manufacturing, healthcare and more.
Key features of Hubstaff include:
- Web/Mobile Time Tracking: Employees can clock in and out using Hubstaff’s website or mobile apps for iPhone and Android. GPS coordinates are captured on mobile clock ins/outs.
- Team Timesheets: Managers can access timesheets summarizing hours worked across projects. Data can be exported for payroll.
- Activity Monitoring: Productivity tracking features like screen monitoring, idle time detection and automated time categorization based on activity.
- Basic Project Tracking: Assigning time entries to projects and viewing summarized hours per project.
While Hubstaff can provide baseline time and attendance tracking for field service businesses, the platform lacks deep specialization for the construction industry’s unique challenges and regulatory requirements.
Key Differences: ExakTime vs Hubstaff
As mentioned, ExakTime provides an enterprise-grade time and attendance platform purpose-built for heavy civil, commercial and specialty construction contractors. Developed over 20+ years, ExakTime intimately understands the complexities of managing dispersed field teams.
As a construction-focused solution, ExakTime bakes deeply specialized capabilities right into the platform like:
- Prevailing wage rate handling with certified reporting.
- Granular cost coding and phase tracking for job costing.
- Material and asset tracking.
- Ruggedized terminal hardware rated for extreme conditions.
- Payroll integrations with leading construction platforms.
- Configurable data and reporting aligned with construction workflows.
- Photo ID capture and geofencing for added fraud prevention.
In contrast, Hubstaff serves a highly diverse customer base spanning professional services, healthcare, marketing, manufacturing and more. While Hubstaff offers some flexible time-tracking features, the tool lacks deep functionality purpose-built for the construction industry’s unique needs and regulations.
When it comes to features, ExakTime outshines Hubstaff in robust construction-specific capabilities that provide end-to-end field workforce management:
- Site-Appropriate Cross Checks: While other apps may rely on biometric tools like facial recognition or fingerprint access, these aren’t appropriate for the job site. Workers often have dirty hands that don’t work for fingerprint ID, while unions aren’t keen on tools like facial recognition. That’s why ExakTime uses FaceFront photo ID capture that enables a worker to verify identity with a selfie that is appended to their clock-in.
- Project Costing: With support for an unlimited number of customizable fields, ExakTime provides granular tracking of hours across projects, phases, cost codes, steps, locations, wage rates and more. This delivers unparalleled visibility into where labor hours are consumed for precise job costing. Hubstaff analytics are more basic.
- Ruggedized Time Clocks: For situations where a mobile app isn’t appropriate, ExakTime offers dedicated heavy-duty time clock terminals engineered to withstand the harsh conditions and abuse of construction sites. Rugged cast aluminum and steel bodies, high-strength screens, cellular options and backup batteries ensure reliable operation in remote areas with intermittent power and cell service. Hubstaff relies on off-the-shelf consumer tablets and smartphones with third-party hardened cases that lack specialized construction-grade designs.
Customer Support Resources
One of the key differentiators between ExakTime and most other time-tracking apps is its superior customer service. While Hubstaff does offer generalized onboarding, the ExakTime team goes above and beyond to ensure teams have the support they need to get started. Key features of ExakTime’s customer service include:
- Implementation Management: Implementation managers are available to assist each client through setup, configuration and rollout. They help tailor the system to the customer’s unique requirements and processes. Hubstaff lacks dedicated implementation experts.
- Employee Training: ExakTime’s managers can conduct train-the-trainer workshops with customer leadership who then educate employees. Training is crafted specifically for each company’s workflows and use cases. The company offers regular bi-monthly feature training along with live office hours.
- Ongoing Support: ExakTime delivers customer support with in-house construction experts reachable via phone, email, chat and text. The team understands clients’ unique needs and challenges.
Choosing the Right Time Tracking Solution
It’s important to make an informed decision for your company’s time-tracking solution. The right tracking software becomes an instrumental tool that tightens payroll accuracy, improves job costing visibility, helps maintain compliance and provides data-driven insight into field workforce productivity.
In addition to noting the differences listed above, here are the key factors construction firms must evaluate when selecting time tracking technology:
The system must have comprehensive functionality purpose-built for the construction industry’s needs right out of the box. Generalized software inevitably requires complex customization at added cost to handle core requirements like:
- Prevailing wage rates with certified payroll reporting.
- Granular cost coding by project, location, phase, steps, equipment, etc.
- Ruggedized hardware rated for extreme job site conditions.
- Payroll platform integrations to eliminate dual entry and prevent errors.
- Configurable data and reporting aligned with construction workflows.
- Photo ID capture, geofencing and other enhanced fraud prevention.
Ease of use is mandatory to drive adoption across the field teams and the back office. The solution should have streamlined interfaces and configurations that require minimal training. Tracking daily time, project codes, equipment use and other data points should take seconds. Overly complex systems cause resentment and spotty compliance.
Given frequently changing, remote job sites, software must provide access via mobile apps on company or personal phones/tablets plus optional cellular-enabled hardware. Workers can then clock in/out from any location with or without connectivity. Offline access ensures no lost data. GPS coordinates should validate attendance.
Robust Data Security
Time, location, payroll, personnel and other data demand stringent protections. Leading solutions leverage 256-bit encryption for data in transit and at rest. Access controls, password policies, role-based permissions and remote wipes further safeguard data. Redundant cloud infrastructure also prevents outages.
Leveraging the software vendor’s experience through planning, configuration, training, piloting and rollout is imperative for smooth adoption. Dedicated implementation management ensures your unique requirements and practices are supported. Lacking this guidance frequently derails deployments due to poor planning, training gaps and misaligned configurations.
Responsive Ongoing Support
Once live, in addition to robust online support, construction-experienced teams should be available by phone, email, text and chat to resolve issues. Local in-house resources are vastly superior to outsourced offshore support with high turnover and little domain expertise. Avoid companies that make it painful to get timely answers.
Proven Returns On Investment
Seek vendors that can quantify their impact through metrics from existing construction clients. Whether reducing time theft, improving payroll accuracy, optimizing job costing or avoiding compliance fines, the platform should demonstrate clear ROIs from driving operational efficiency, cost reduction and risk mitigation.
Scalable Cloud Platform
As project and user counts grow over time, the system must easily scale up to support 500+ concurrent field employees across 100+ projects while maintaining performance. Cloud solutions provide this elastic capacity and simplify support without requiring on-prem infrastructure.
Given the critical nature of time tracking, taking the time to evaluate providers against these guidelines avoids the pitfalls of generic systems that underdeliver. Prioritizing construction-specific technology pays dividends.
If you’re looking for an innovative but easy-to-use time tracking solution for your field service or construction business, look to ExakTime. We offer function-rich mobile time tracking, rugged onsite time clocks and kiosk solutions that are cost-effective and user-friendly.
By using our time tracking technology, you’ll free up valuable time to better run your business. Plus, we can work side-by-side with you for easy implementation so you can hit the ground running. Whether you’re interested in our mobile app, rugged time clocks or are looking to change the way you track hours, we have a solution for you. Get started today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is time tracking important in construction?
Time tracking is essential in construction to accurately report billed hours, hold employees accountable, estimate business costs, identify unprofitable projects, and more.
Is the ExakTime mobile app easy for field employees to use?
Absolutely. ExakTime was thoughtfully designed to be extremely simple and fast for field employees. The mobile app lets workers clock in or out in just seconds with as little as two taps. No complex menus or configurations needed.
How does ExakTime ensure accuracy of jobsite locations?
Using GPS coordinates and customizable geofences, ExakTime confirms workers are clocking in and out from the expected worksite. Location data is stored with each transaction and used for verifying attendance and job costing by tracking which sites hours are logged against.