By The GoCanvas Team on July 27, 2021
Time cards are widely used in the construction industry to keep an accurate record of hours worked, for project management and payroll purposes.
The basic function of a time card is to collect employee data. While many businesses have traditionally relied on paper forms or spreadsheets as a way to track hours worked, more companies are now starting to embrace technology solutions for construction project management and reporting.
Paper forms and spreadsheets are now being replaced with mobile forms — allowing workers to complete their time cards simply by using their mobile phones on the job site.
As a standalone application, a construction time card app is fairly basic in its functionality. It will track standard fields like hours worked, type of hours (regular time, over time, or double time), and things like a signature for approval. It goes without saying that the exact fields on a mobile time card app can be customized based on business needs, and no-code solutions make it easy to design the app to your exact requirements.
Although time cards are relatively simple applications, they can become a powerful asset when digitized through mobile apps and integrated into other core business processes.
This article covers how time card apps can be integrated into the larger business technology and data ecosystem. The ideal state is to make it easy for employees to fill out and automate manual processes for operational staff in the office. Here are three ways to leverage time card apps into your business operations:
Depending on the nature of the work being performed, employees may need to input data on their timesheets that are specific to the project, customer, or type of work. While this can certainly be done manually each time, it winds up costing employees additional time to fill out all of the form fields by hand or referencing other sources of information.
GoCanvas time sheet apps are built with a feature called Reference Data, which allows you to integrate apps with other databases that you own. Instead of looking up the data on your own, GoCanvas will automatically fill out form fields using data that exists in another database. Pull in specific project codes, customer information, accounting fields, and anything else that you need to include on that time card sheet.
Anywhere your company stores data can be pulled into GoCanvas automatically, allowing employees in the field to leverage pre-filled form fields or drop-down lists to capture information faster.
Not only does the reference data feature help employees spend less time filling out forms, but it also enables your company to standardize how data is submitted. Required fields and drop-down lists can ensure that no mistakes are made or critical information is missing. All of this allows your employees to spend less time on busy work and gives you better, more accurate data in real-time.
We covered how you can bring data into GoCanvas to simplify form fills, but you can also connect this data from the field to then sync with other applications your business uses in the office.
For construction time card apps, the most common example of this would be an integration with your accounting system like QuickBooks or Xero. Not only can data be brought into GoCanvas, but submissions from GoCanvas apps can be automatically synced into those core accounting systems that your business uses.
Paper forms and spreadsheets create additional manual work for teams. A manual workflow usually requires:
All of this creates additional steps in the workflow that are not necessary. With GoCanvas apps, all of this manual work is eliminated and once a timesheet is submitted, it’s automatically recorded in the accounting system. This can help to process payroll and any other accounting tasks faster when data is available instantly from job sites.
This type of automation and data integration is essential for growing businesses. Paper forms and manual work can not scale efficiently. Anywhere you can leverage technology like GoCanvas to automate workflows will save you time and money that impacts overall profitability.
Another key benefit for organizations that digitize their time cards is the ability to integrate that data for reporting purposes.
With construction time cards, you can have them sync with your construction daily reports, giving project managers and stakeholders a real-time view of work performed. GoCanvas helps construction site managers instantly share their daily reports via email as a designed PDF document with images and relevant updates.
Digitizing time cards and daily reports can have a significant impact on productivity and cost savings. For example, one general contracting company was able to realize a $120,000 cost savings on an annual basis by switching to GoCanvas for mobile daily reports.
Beyond reports, mobile form data can also be used for data analytics performance. This could be in the form of a dashboard that is monitored by owners or project managers to understand how things are tracking toward the plan. For construction projects, these types of analytics insights can help to avoid cost overruns or delays, and having the insights in real-time can allow you to communicate the issues quickly and take any proactive measures.
A study from FMI found that 96% of construction data goes unused. Your data that is collected in the field can be a powerful asset when rolled up for analytics. Mobile data platforms like GoCanvas allow you to collect data through forms, and create custom dashboards right in GoCanvas for analytics purposes. GoCanvas also allows you to take the submission data and integrate it with other BI applications your business uses, opening up the possibilities for you to integrate GoCanvas into your broader data ecosystem.
Want to learn more about how mobile data platforms can impact your construction business? Check out our playbook on the power of data analytics for commercial construction.