We’ve spent years working with a large number of companies in various industries and one thing we’ve consistently found is that keeping track of billable hours for field teams is not as easy as it might look.
The reason for that is inefficient and old-school processes that are often in place:
- Time cards are paper-based
- There is a need to email or manually deliver completed time-cards
- Multiple versions of the same time card appear every time technician updates the info
- You need to remind the field team to submit their daily/weekly time cards
We’ve collected testimonials from our customers and here are some of the main pain points they used to have with the ‘old-school’ document flow:
- Time cards get lost or have errors all the time and should be filled out multiple times
- Documents have to be manually delivered and picked up from the office and that’s a big waste of time
- It’s hard to consolidate and analyze data. It requires a lot of manual work.
- Impossible to control documents in the field – as a result, different versions and revisions are in use
- Constant high costs of paper itself, printing, storing
Even though timecards are not generating revenue for the company they’re still a very important part of day-to-day operations. If you make this part more efficient, the field team will have more time to actually perform their job, generate more revenue and the back office will have much a much easier time processing field documents.
Based on the experience of our customers, here are actionable steps that will make your life easier today:
- Digitize your time cards.
- Equip your team with iPads so that they could have everything they need always with them.
- Not everybody is tech savvy, so it should be as simple as possible for the team to find and fill out documents in the field.
- Use one centralized source for time cards. Every field technician should not waste more than one tap to open and process his or her document.
- Send all filled out documents to one centralized location to ensure easy access to those files in the office.
- There should always be one master version of the document that is used by field team.
- It should take field technician one tap to deliver updated into to the office.
There are many more things that can be improved on this topic but they might differ from company to company. One thing that should be kept in mind at all times – the more efficient your document flow is, the more time is left for your team to actually do their job.
Stay tuned. We’ll have separate articles about different document types. Upcoming: Work Orders, Expense Reports, Inspection Reports, Contracts, Manuals and Safety Requirements.