Words and Photos: Brett Fairbourn, CrewTracks
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Businesses grow by breaking through ceilings.
Your masonry business will not experience constant, steady growth. Instead, you will grow until something about your business holds you back, and then you will need to overcome that challenge in order to continue moving forward.
Some examples of “ceilings” you will encounter are:
- Too much work for your current workforce
- A shortage of experienced workers
- Too much admin time for your current office staff
- Inability to keep up with what’s happening on each job site
- Increasingly complex accounting needs
Sooner or later, you will run into a ceiling that you can only break through by implementing field management software. At that point, you ought to consider CrewTracks.
First, let’s clarify what CrewTracks is, and then we’ll dive into the pain points (or ceilings) a system like CrewTracks can help you break through to remain competitive.
What is CrewTracks?
CrewTracks is a cloud-based mobile workforce management solution that helps masonry businesses track their crews in real-time. It is designed to streamline the entire process of crew management, from scheduling and time tracking to production tracking and document organization.
One of the key benefits of CrewTracks is that it allows contractors to manage their crews more efficiently. By using a mobile app, workers can clock in and out of jobs, allocate their time to job items, report production, fill out documents, view plans, add notes and photos, and submit their daily reports from anywhere. This eliminates the need for paper-based timecards and manual data entry, which can be time-consuming and error-prone.
Pain Points Resolved by CrewTracks
CrewTracks offers relief from these pain points:
Feeling out of control due to communication delays: CrewTracks constantly syncs data between the field and the office. It even features a live events feed, which essentially acts like a news feed for all job sites. If someone clocks in, adds a note, takes a photo, or submits a daily report, etc., an entry appears in the live events feed. Some companies feature their live events feed prominently on a TV in their office. Others keep it open in a tab on their browser so they can click over any time they hear a live events feed notification alert.
Paperwork: This is becoming more rare, but some masonry contractors are still using pen and paper to report time, production, daily logs, equipment inspections, etc. Frankly, if you’re still using paper for these things, you can expect to be outperformed by your competition. The advantages of transferring data electronically vs. paper are immediately obvious, but where tech adopters really reap the benefits is in reporting and analytics. Pulling reports from field management software takes seconds, and then you can use those reports to make informed decisions. If you have to compile the same information from a filing cabinet, you might as well be burning money.
Accounting and payroll take too long: This pain point is often related to the pain point of paperwork (see above), but not always. Even masonry contractors that utilize a mobile app in the field and powerful software in the office sometimes struggle to get data flowing between their various solutions for payroll and accounting purposes. This is where CrewTracks’ client services department comes in. Every CrewTracks customer has an account manager they know by name, and that account manager works with our client services team to make sure CrewTracks data can be exported or transferred to your other systems in exactly the way you need it. This way, you can fully realize the benefits of going paperless.
Liability mitigation: CrewTracks makes it easy to document everything so that when a damage or injury claim arises, you can effectively defend yourself. We have hundreds of examples; here are just two:
- A scaffolding contractor requires his foremen to add at least 30 photos to CrewTracks per day. As a result, in his words, “We can really cut off some damage claims very quickly by saying, ‘What level? Oh, level three? Oh, here’s the pictures from level three. That dent was already there. We didn’t do that.”
- A masonry contractor was lamenting not implementing CrewTracks sooner when he said, “One of our guys claimed he injured his eye on the job site on Friday, but he didn’t report it until Monday. If we’d had a clock in and out photo on Friday, we could have checked if his eye really was injured on the job.”
Going digital with documents: This is an often-overlooked benefit of CrewTracks. Some companies purchase CrewTracks only for the document features. If you’re currently filling out paper sheets for attendance, job costing, equipment inspections, production reporting, or anything else, you can take a giant leap forward simply by implementing CrewTracks’ document features. We will convert your existing documents into digital PDFs that can be completed in our app on a phone or a tablet. This represents almost zero change to your current operations. It’s probably the easiest way to dip your toe into the world of field management software.
Other pain points: If you visit crewtracks.com, one of the first things you’ll notice is a blue play button. This button leads to a video where you can hear CrewTracks users express their pain points in their own words. Some pain points not included in this article are complicated software, subpar customer service from software companies, and the most important consideration: impact on the bottom line.
Using CrewTracks to Streamline Your Masonry Business
To get the most out of CrewTracks, masonry contractors need to implement it effectively. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Attend a CrewTracks demo: The first step is to attend a demo. This allows an account manager to get to know your needs and spot any golden opportunities or potential deal breakers. CrewTracks makes it very easy to schedule a demo on their website at crewtracks.com.
Train Your Foremen: Once you’ve decided to implement CrewTracks and your account manager has helped you with initial setup, you’ll need to train your foremen on how to use the CrewTracks mobile app. Typically, this training is provided by your CrewTracks account manager. It is included in a one-time setup fee.
Integrate with Your Existing Systems: CrewTracks can be integrated with your existing bidding, payroll, and accounting systems. This streamlines your operations and reduces administrative overheads.
Monitor Your Performance: To get the most out of CrewTracks, you need to monitor your performance regularly. This will involve analyzing your data to identify areas for improvement, such as reducing idle time, eliminating inefficiencies, or, unfortunately, identifying someone who has been tampering with their device in an attempt to get paid for more time than they worked.
Continuously Improve: Finally, it is important to continuously improve your operations by using the insights provided by CrewTracks. This may involve adjusting employee schedules, using a different material, rewarding efficient crews, or rolling out additional features of CrewTracks as your business grows.
CrewTracks’ Purpose: Help and Innovate
CrewTracks’ expressly stated purpose is “to help and innovate for the people who build and maintain our world.” Notice our purpose is not “to sell field management software.” Of course, that is our primary revenue stream, but we’ve benefited greatly from the insight and thought partnership of our friends who are not CrewTracks customers, and we are confident that they have benefited from knowing us as well. Frankly, when it’s time to implement CrewTracks, you’ll know. If the “Pain Points Resolved by CrewTracks” section of this article resonates with you, the time is now. If not, let’s chat anyway. We’d love to learn from you.
DON’T FORGET TO REGISTER FOR THE CREWTRACKS WEBINAR ON 3/9 HERE