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September 23, 2019

Boost Productivity with a Time Clock Software for HVAC Companies


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The Heating, Ventilation, and AC (HVAC) industry is built on a complicated framework. If you are an HVAC business than you may know what we are talking about. Constant movement, regular maintenance, shifting needs are just a few nouns that describe an HVAC business. As a business owner, you are faced with challenges daily, whether that's assessing the efficiency of remote technicians, overseeing the maintenance crew or even developing a detailed growth strategy for your HVAC business. Frankly put, where do you find the time to take care of all of these activities? Well, we might have something in a store that will help you eliminate time wasters, boost your crew's productivity and, as a result, create a growing HVAC business. 

Time is one of the few resources that businesses share in equal amounts. Some use it as a competitive advantage, while others choose to ignore its relevance. However, for an HVAC business - which is heavily reliant on remote work - to be successful, time mastery and control are essential. 

Where do you think your business stands? Are you managing time efficiently?

Thankfully, we live in an age where time management is not an issue anymore. Pen and paper timesheets, oppressive time clocks are a thing of the past. Today, you can simply go to the Appstore or Google Play Store, download a timesheet software or app that automatically measures employee productivity, tracks work hours and reports the data through detailed timesheet reports for owners to evaluate. In general, an automated time clock software will help you understand how your crew is working, how much are they working, where they are struggling and how are they misusing their time.


Why is time tracking important for an HVAC company

Businesses that struggle the most with time management are those that are heavily reliant on fieldwork. Among others, this category of businesses includes HVAC, construction, landscaping, cleaning, manufacturing, and delivery businesses. Keeping track of time can be a hassle when dealing with remote HVAC technicians. Some businesses use the help of contractors to notify them when the technician arrived and left the job site, while others believe in the judgment of their employees when completing the timesheets. However, these systems are both inaccurate and costly to the business.

I have been using this app for a little over a year now. I use it every day and it helps keep track of y hours worked. The fact that they send you a timesheet report every week makes things so easy. And with the latest update, I can change jobs within my workday and keep track of hours worked at specific jobs within my occupation.I highly recommend this to anyone who needs to keep track of their time. The GPS helps to avoid any question regarding when and where I clock-in and clock-out.Great app!-Luke

Modern time clocks are more than just time tracking software, over the past years developers have started introducing advanced GPS and project management features that are truly amazing. Throughout this writing, we will explore what features to look for your HVAC company and how they will contribute towards the growth of your HVAC business. An ideal time clock software for HVAC companies is one that accurately tracks time and location and reports the data clearly and regularly.


Accurate Time Tracking

Some of us believe that humans are perfect, while others have come to terms with the fact they aren’t. When it comes to manual work, especially time tracking humans make mistakes. Recent survey findings suggest manual time tracking using pen and paper timesheets are 60% more likely to result in mistakes. These mistakes lead to underestimations (up to 30 minutes each time) - meaning employees are being paid less than what they deserve. On top of that, if you are billing clients on an hourly rate than you will be underestimating your service as well - basically you are also losing money. 

Please pay careful attention to the keyword “each time”, this suggests that you are underpaying your crew, and underbilling your clients regularly! Imagine how your technicians would feel if they knew that they were not being paid the full amount.

These are two common issues that have always been present under the pen and paper timesheet system. Today, automated time trackers have low chances of getting things wrong and even if they do, there are ways that they can be resolved. Accurate time tracking doesn't just help in billing your work, it is a powerful tool that can be used to estimate future work too. 

Should you continue with an hourly rate, maybe getting paid on a per-project basis would yield a higher return? 

All of these plans can be made using accurate data that originates from digital time clocks.


Location Tracking with Defined Job Sites

The second must-have feature of any time tracker would have to be its ability to accurately track the location of your employees during work hours. This may sound strange if you have never heard of such capabilities; However, time trackers - which are compatible with mobile devices - can use the phone's GPS features to map an employee's movement while clocked-in. 

Moreover, a specific group of developers has created a new feature that goes by the name “Geofencing”. Geofencing allows businesses to define job sites. This is huge for businesses that operate remotely. As an HVAC company, you have no idea how long employees take to arrive on a job site, how long they are staying on the job site, and what they are doing while on the job site. Now let’s use a story to explain how job sites will help your HVAC company.

Joey is your technician, he is one of 3 others who work for your HVAC company. Its Wednesday and Joey were assigned three houses that he has to service. The three houses represent three different job sites. Joey is supposed to be at his first job site at 9:20 AM. He leaves his house at 9 AM sharp under the assumption that 20 minutes will be more than sufficient for him to arrive at his first house. Unfortunately, Wednesday is a busy day with tons of traffic. Joey recognizes that he is going to be late so he decides to clock in before getting to the job site. Fast forward and it's 9:40 AM and Joey has just arrived at his first job site where he started his work. Great, right?

In fact, this is the opposite of great and its a behavior many remote businesses face in the absence of a time tracking software that has location tracking capabilities. As a technician, you feel great because you have earned 40 minutes of pay without working but as a business, you just lost money. Let’s recall the keyword “each time”, now with a little bit of math, 40 minutes across 5 working days, across 4 weeks with a rate of $25/hour would be a loss of $333/month. Money which you could have spent more efficiently. This would not have been the case if you had a digital time tracker because you would know when and where employees clock-in/out. 

The location tracking features are designed to encourage accountability and transparency throughout the organization. For an HVAC business, being at the right place, at the right time is detrimental. 


Detailed Reporting

Automated time clocks work with data but not everyone is accustomed to interpreting that data well. As such, as an HVAC company, you should be seeking for a platform that offers detailed and flexible reporting. Streamlining reports through a time tracking software provides numerous benefits:

  • Eliminate Time Wasters

  • Save Money

  • Accurate Billing

  • Improve Crew Efficiency

  • Archived Timesheets

As an overview, reports are where you retrieve all the information necessary to make decisions for your HVAC company. Therefore, if you decide to implement a time clock in your company make sure it has a built-in reporting system!

This brings us to the next topic that regards the things to look for when subscribing to an HVAC time clock software.

What to look for in your HVAC time clock software

The features we discussed above will already give you insight on what to look for when searching for a time clock software for HVAC companies. Regardless, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself prior to subscribing to any platform.

What is included in the software and how will those features help my HVAC company?

When considering any software related to time tracking it is important to stop and reflect on its features. The three features that we have highlighted before are the basics that lay the foundation of a good time clock software but that doesn't mean that you should limit yourself to those. Think about other features that may serve your business. Will they help your technicians become more efficient, will they help you, the business owner automate time-wasting tasks? Do I maybe need an app that tracks financial activities as well?

Questions are an important part of decision making as they may introduce needs and wants that you would otherwise never recognize.

Is the software easy to master and will my crew want to use the app daily?

While researching you may realize how many options there are from which you can pick. But don't worry most of the good time trackers offer a trial period in which you can test the products and its features. While on your trial, make sure you pay careful attention to the design of the app. Is it user-friendly? Does it have bugs? Will my crew enjoy using this app daily?

User experience and design are advanced concepts that good developers take into careful consideration when creating their app. As such, get a feel of the app through the free trial prior to purchasing it.

Where do I go if I have questions, problems or concerns regarding the app?

How many times have you used an app that froze while you were using it? Similarly, digital time clocks are not immune to software issues. However, if you run into an issue who will you reach out to? How will you reach out to them? And How long does it take for them to respond?

A company that values their customers will have a customer support team ready to answer any questions you might have. While on trial run, try to open a ticket or call anyone from the developer's end and see if how they respond. Although limited on time, 7 days should be more than enough for you to judge the customer service of a developer.

How much does a time clock software for HVAC companies cost?

Price is a major factor that will always influence the buyer's decision - the buyer being the HVAC company. Most, if not all of the digital time clocks offer multiple packages from which you can pick. Usually, the longer the contract/agreement the cheaper the price. However, an expensive product shouldn’t be judged solely on its price, what if this product yields a 2x return? In that case, the answer is no, the price should not be the final factor.

There are many ways that can help you determine the returns of a time clock software for HVAC companies and we have already disclosed examples across our blogs. 

In conclusion, HVAC businesses can greatly benefit from automating their time tracking software. To help you save time and avoid pitfalls, we have created this blog to highlight the main features any HVAC business has to consider, as well as areas of concern and interest that have to be addressed. Following this guide will not only help you pick the best time clock for your HVAC company but the most efficient way of using it.  

Meta title: Boost Productivity with a Time Clock Software for HVAC CompaniesMeta Description: Learn how you can boost the productivity of your crew by dropping outdated time tracking methods. See the benefits of investing in a time clock software for HVAC companies.

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