As contractors continue to adopt jobsite technology, Triax’s Ian Ouellette will share his thoughts on putting data to use. The bottom line? You don’t need to be a data scientist to understand the findings below, but every contractor should have a plan for what to do with the data once it’s collected. What problems are you trying to solve, what metrics matter to you, and how can you put data to use? Follow #SmarterwithSpotr for more. 

Documenting exactly who is on site, when they arrive, and when they leave is critical to ensuring site control, managing labor, and effectively coordinating resources to keep projects moving. Despite labor accounting for roughly 40% of total project costs, the majority of contractors still rely on manual headcounts and paper sign-in sheets to document time and attendance. With increasingly sophisticated projects and buildings, it’s hard to reconcile the finished product with the paper-based methods used to get there. Paper timesheets are tedious, error-prone, and trap important information in a non-collaborative format that is difficult to compile, analyze, and report on.

Before Spot-r

On a 12-story public housing project in New York City, Lettire Construction Corp. was relying on support staff to prepare and oversee paper, sub-specific daily sign-in sheets. Each morning, the security guard would scan a worker’s ID badge when they arrived on site. Each worker would then proceed to sign-in tables – which needed to be set-up and broken-down each day – where they would locate their subcontractor’s clipboard, write down their ID number and fill in the current time.

On a project with a peak of 100 workers, this process took 40 minutes and required the hiring of an extra security during site open and close windows. In addition to being unnecessarily time-consuming, paper timesheets create more work downstream, leaving supervisors to manually check the recorded information, make copies, add it to their own systems, and report it to various stakeholders.

Smarter with Spot-r: Automated Time & Attendance

Underutilized  man hours – and the larger variability of construction workflows – can be reduced with technology that is becoming widespread at the jobsite. By minimizing non-value-add activities such as waiting in line, contractors can boost productivity.

The Spot-r Clip is worn by every worker on the project and automatically picks up the Spot-r network when workers arrive at the jobsite. By automating the badge-in process, Spot-r was able to check-in 100 workers in 9 minutes, making the system’s automated time and attendance 12x faster than paper sign-in sheets.

Automated Timesheet Savings

On a site with 100 workers, Spot-r recovers over 200 wasted production hours each month – even before you factor in other core location, productivity, and safety benefits the system provides. Over the course of a 24-month project with 100 workers, Spot-r can save:

  • Over 2,600 worker hours wasted waiting to sign into the jobsite
  • Roughly 2,520 support staff hours spent overseeing the sign-in process.

Assuming the self-reported average wage of $60/hr, Spot-r’s automated time and attendance recovers nearly $157,000 in wages paid to workers currently spent waiting to check into the site. In addition, using the self-reported wage of $20/hr for unskilled support staff and $60/hr for skilled support staff, $68,000 in support staff wages were freed up to focus on other critical tasks. At this one project site, that amounts to roughly 5,136 recovered hours – almost $225,000 in wages. 

Now consider the unlocked time and cost savings on a site with hundreds or even thousands of workers – or across an organization’s 90 active jobsites. Over the life of a project, Spot-r’s automated time and attendance reclaims thousands of man hours and hundreds of thousands of wages.

Less Time Compiling Data and More Time Acting Upon It

Aggregate labor utilization data improves project management and allows supervisors to more effectively deploy the workforce to meet project target costs and schedules and help mitigate cost overruns. Spot-r significantly reduces the burden of acquiring, sharing and utilizing this information and promotes the kind of flexible, proactive workforce management that will boost productivity, unlock profitability and give contractors a competitive edge.

Ian Ouellette is Triax’s VP of Product and can be reached by email at iouellette@triaxtec.com.