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Track Service Technicians’ Hours with Cloud-based Time and Attendance

Originally published
Originally published: 8/9/2017

Summer is high season for the HVACR industry and for many businesses, it means spending more time on managing employee time and attendance. For those still using paper time cards or desktop-based systems, the process can take hours and is prone to costly manual errors. For this reason, many are turning to cloud-based time and attendance solutions to reduce administrative time, save money, and improve back-office efficiencies.  

Cloud-based employee time and attendance systems enable office managers to view and manage employee timesheets in real time, monitor overtime, see when and where technicians are on the job and overall get a better handle of how much money is spent on labor. For employees, many like the convenience of seeing their worked time, overtime, and benefit time available on demand via the Web, without having to ask their supervisors for information.

There are many benefits to cloud-based employee time and attendance. Here are a few worth considering.

Mobile Functionality

For field-based technicians who need to switch jobs or locations regularly, mobile time tracking apps that transmit data to cloud-based systems are a convenient solution. Using their cell phone, employees can log their hours while working remotely. They also can request paid time off and view punches by day, pay period and pay code.

Office managers don’t have to wait to log employee hours. When workers clock-in or out remotely on their mobile phones, managers can view employees’ in/out status and see employees’ worked time, overtime, and benefit time via the cloud-based system. They also can approve or deny time off requests, and add or delete employee punches, if necessary.

GPS tracking features let owners know when employees are on the job. Their recorded hours are directly captured in the web-based system in real time for easy processing, editing, or reconciliation.

We spoke with Lisa Peery, office manager for AAA-1 Heating & Cooling, who told us that before using a mobile time tracking app, they didn’t have an efficient way to manage time entries for their field-based service technicians. “They would fill out a paper time sheet and I’d verify each entry to see if they were working those times. Now all our service techs can clock in and out on their phones, and with the GPS tracking, I know it’s all correct,” she told us.

Eliminate Paper Time Cards and Cut Timekeeping Tasks in Half

Let’s face it. Paper time cards are messy and prone to manual errors. Eliminating them can save as much as 50 percent in administrative time. Such was the case for MID-FLA Heating & Air in Gainesville, Fla. They used to have someone collect all the time sheets from employees in the field and then bring them to the office for payroll. What a headache!
Now with a web-based system, administrators access employee time sheet records online, in real time, so they can quickly process these records for payroll. This can be done at anytime and anywhere the administrator has a web connection.   The cloud-based system also lets employees view their own time card records when they want, which frees their mangers and accounting staff to focus on other business tasks.

Anytime, Anywhere Access

The beauty of cloud-based systems is they allow managers to review technician hours anytime and from any location. The cloud also allows them to ensure that technicians arrive at customer locations on time, enter their hours correctly and record proper overtime. And unlike desktop-based software, they are not tied to one desk to process employee time and attendance for payroll.

Some cloud-based systems can be used with or without a physical time clock, which is good because many HVAC companies still prefer workers use them. Today there are new clocks that use a badge or biometric feature, including fingerprint readers or face recognition.

Oak Grove Heating & Air in Hattiesburg, Miss., uses a cloud-based solution with a fingerprint reader. Managers can add employees and edit time punches directly from the clock and quickly see who is punched in or punched out. Biometric systems also eliminate buddy punching, which can cost a company tens of thousands of dollars in lost labor hours.

Integration and Security

In the area of payroll integration, an automated cloud-based system is easy to set up and integrates with major payroll software systems such as ADP, QuickBooks, or Paychex. Workforce time and attendance solutions are now taking steps to integrate with the cloud-based versions of these payroll software systems.

Because the data is stored online and the system is hosted in the cloud, there is no software to install or network servers for a business to maintain. Data is protected with redundant back-ups in secure offsite data centers.

Time tracking remains one of the most critical factors in running a successful HVAC business. Effectively managing labor costs significantly impacts the bottom line, so getting equipped with the right tools like a cloud-based employee time and attendance solution can make a huge difference in bottom-line results.

Take advantage of the solutions available today, and increase your company’s efficiency and profits.

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