3 Ways Mobile Forms Drastically Reduce Conference Calls

3 Ways Mobile Forms Drastically Reduce Conference Calls

By Shannon Corgan, Director of Marketing

Most field supervisors fill out daily progress reports to keep all the project stakeholders on the same page. It’s usually a handwritten or typed up report with project status updates to address so everyone knows the current status of the project. Typically, this text-only written report is followed up with multiple phone calls and conference calls to get everyone on the same page to make sure everyone understands the current project status. Then there are even more conference calls to address any issues once everyone knows where the project stands. Have you ever thought about how embedding photos, sketches, and videos into your forms could improve this process? A picture is worth a thousand words, but it’s even better if you can visually communicate something faster and better in fewer words, right?

6 Reasons to Use Media on Mobile Forms

Here are some facts about visual communication:

  • Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text [1]
  • 65% of people are visual learners [2]
  • 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual [3]
  • The brain can retain only 7 bits of information at a time. [4]
  • Our eyes can register 36,000 visual messages per hour. [5]
  • Visual aids improve learning by up to 400 percent [6]

Now that you know using mobile forms with more photos, videos, and sketches improve communication, here are three ways that they will reduce your conference calls:
1Reduce Conference Calls Between the Office and Field - Recently, I had a chance to talk to one of our electrical contracting customers, R.J. Wolfarth of Service Electric and Control, Inc. and he shared the difficulty in getting accurate information when it is passed from the field to the office and up the chain of command using paper forms without photos, videos, sketches, or photos with markup.
“Using paper and not incorporating specific project details in forms to capture the true, real-time information is like playing Telephone. We received inconsistent information from the project managers on a daily basis because we weren’t getting the information directly from the source.” said R.J. Wolfarth, Vice President of Construction, “By utilizing WorkMax mobile FORMS, we eliminated the need for a project management role on all of our smaller scale projects. We found that the project managers actually hindered our job-specific milestones due to inaccurate information regarding overall progress. WorkMax mobile FORMS now answers all of the questions and delivers the information more accurately than we have ever seen.”

2Reduces Status Update Calls to Clients - RJ also likes to share the photos, sketches, videos, and photos with markup with clients. The mobile forms are available at his fingertips to quickly share any daily progress updates with them. His clients don’t have to open a bunch of photo and video attachments and wonder what the picture is of or what part of the report it’s referencing. The photos and videos are all in one documents along with any written descriptions.
WorkMax mobile FORMS enables us to keep the customer fully updated with no gray areas. They no longer require weekly conference calls because we answer their questions with WorkMax mobile FORMS. We can devote our time to answering specific questions or troubleshooting for the customer versus trying to identify what has actually happened,” said RJ Wolfarth, VP of Construction for Service Electric and Control, Inc.

3Reduces Conflict Resolution Calls to Clients - Building clients’ trust takes time. Clients can be skeptical when you let them know about issues that arise on your projects, especially if the project isn’t in the same town they live in. It’s not always feasible for your clients to drive to the job site or jump on a plane to inspect the issues in person. This can lead to lengthy conference calls with your clients if they don't understand or can't see what is causing the budget increases or schedule delays. When you use mobile forms with photos and videos, you can send your clients marked up photos and videos to see what’s going on with the project without being on the job site. Seeing is believing. You can visually communicate information more clearly and quickly to be on the same page with your clients. It also doesn’t matter where the project is and doesn’t matter where you or your clients are. Everything is available to all your project stakeholders anywhere, anytime, and on any mobile device with WorkMax mobile FORMS

Watch a video or see a WorkMax mobile FORMS demo to improve how you manage your communication from the field to the office to the clients.

 

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References: 
[1] http://web.archive.org/web/20001014041642/http://www.3m.com:80/meetingnetwork/files/meetingguide_pres.pdf
[2] https://www.forbes.com/sites/tjmccue/2013/01/08/what-is-an-infographic-and-ways-to-make-it-go-viral/#33f0f1ba7272
[3] https://justin.vashonsd.org/Resources/HOM/Learning&LeadingWithHabitsOfMind.pdf
[4] Burmark, L. (2002). Book Visual Literacy Learn See. Assn for Supervision & Curriculum. https://www.amazon.com/Visual-Literacy-Learn-See/dp/0871206404
[5] Jensen, Eric. Brain-Based Learning (Revised). p 55. CA:The Brain Store, 2005.
[6] http://web.archive.org/web/20001014041642/http://www.3m.com:80/meetingnetwork/files/meetingguide_pres.pdf

Blog Win More Bids with 3 Employee Time Tracking Features

Win More Bids with 3 Must-Have Employee Time Tracking Features for Progress 

By Shannon Corgan, Director of Marketing

Project bidding is getting more and more competitive each day. The more accurate you're tracking labor hours and the associated production units completed by task, employee, or crew, the more you can rely on actual costs to build accurate future bids with information from your mobile employee time tracking solution. With an employee time tracking solution like WorkMax TIME, you will be confident in your historical actual project costs which will allow you to bid more aggressively and ultimatelly win more business. 

Here are the 3 must-have employee time tracking features that are going to win you more bids: 

Personalize Units of MeasurePersonalize Units of Measure to Fit your Business - If your unit of measure for what is completed or produced on your projects isn’t standard cubic feet of concrete laid per day or square feet of drywall installed, you don’t have to worry. WorkMax TIME allows you to personalize the labels for your units of measure to make sure you can accurately track what’s produced on your projects. You choose your units of measure to match what your employees complete on the project. If you’re a honey farmer and you measure the honey produced in each beehive in gallons per day, you have the flexibility to create a unique unit of measure that works for your business. This means you can better estimate what that colony of bees will produce in the future for more accurate and predictable revenue. You can also identify if there are any issues by comparing historical production units to current production units. When you’re creating bids and estimates, you will know you are always comparing apples to apples when you reference similar projects to bid on new projects. The more accurate you can get with your labor hours for your bids the more aggressive you can bid on the project. 

 

Enter Production Units By EmployeeEmployees Prompted to Enter Production Units On Task Change – When employees are using their mobile devices to track their production units, WorkMax TIME prompts employees to enter their production units every time they change tasks or activities. Typically, a supervisor is completing a daily log report to discuss progress on a project. Even if they wait to enter what they completed for the day on a Daily Log Report, you’re relying on their memory after a long hard day’s work. They may have forgotten a few things that their crew completed by the end of the day. Throughout the day, your employees can see what they’ve accomplished and it will motivate them to get as much done each day as possible. The sooner they add in their production units, the more accurate the production units are. As a result, your bids are more accurate.

 

Track Production Units Per TaskTrack Production Units Per Task – Get accurate production units and know how much has been completed per task during the day from the comfort of your office. Everyone in the field and in the office will know what has been completed throughout the day from any mobile device too. Another reason you want to track production units per task is that your project may have tasks that have dependent tasks or activities. You’ll want to know when the first task is done before your staff starts on the dependent tasks to make sure your project schedule stays on track. By tracking production units per task, you’re also making sure that you’re comparing the same task or activity to the same activities. This helps you create more accurate bids based on how many man-hours it would take to complete a project. 

 

 

WorkMax TIME is the only cloud-based mobile employee time tracking solution to combine employee time tracking with tracking production units completed by employee, crew, or task. With WorkMax TIME, you can measure what's completed by employee, task, or crew to build accurate estimates and bids. You know that you're building the most accurate bids to win more business by personalizing the production units of measure for your company and prompting employees to update what's completed as they change tasks throughout the day with WorkMax TIME

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BLOG 3 Ways Ur Failing to Optimize Your Labor

3 Ways You’re Failing at Optimizing Labor Output With Your Employee Time Tracking Solution

By Shannon Corgan, Director of Marketing

Labor is typically the biggest expense on projects. To make your projects profitable, you not only have to manage your labor hours, you also need to look at what your employees have completed on the job site. Managing your labor hours and what they’ve completed is even more challenging when you have a mobile workforce. With mobile employees, it’s difficult to get progress information as quickly as you need to keep your project on schedule and on budget.
If you’re not tracking production units with your mobile employee time tracking solution these 3 ways, you’re failing at optimizing your labor output:

Enter Production Units By Employee
Track and Measure Production By Employee – Do you suspect that one employee might be carrying the load on a crew and you might have some underperformers slowing down the whole crew? If you’re running multiple projects at the same time, it’s difficult to know if everyone is being as productive as they could be without being on the job site watching the employees all the time. If you’re tracking production units per employee, you can use it as a motivational tool by using historical averages of production units completed per employee on similar jobs and offer bonuses for the employees that are above average performers. Some construction projects have payouts or accelerator bonuses that are paid when projects hit milestones early or complete a project ahead of schedule. By tracking your production units from the employee, you can drive your employees’ behavior and get more done on a project each day. When you measure production units completed by each employee virtually in real time, you’re better able to manage your project to profitability.

Optimize Staffing with Employee Time Tracking SolutionOptimize Staffing Levels to Keep Project On Schedule – If you’re not tracking the production units in near real time with your employee time tracking solution, it’s difficult to know when you need to add additional temporary workers or pull employees from another job to keep your project on schedule. If you’re relying on spreadsheets or paper daily progress reports, you’re making future decisions based on old information. When you’re tracking production units in near real time, you know if you’re falling behind on the scheduled tasks for the day and can request additional workers to keep your project on schedule. You’re making decisions right now based on what’s happening right now. Your supervisors will know if they need to bring in additional employees to stay on schedule. If they’re ahead of the production schedule, they could also decide to cut the hours of some of the staff to reduce labor costs. By knowing what’s produced in near real time, supervisors can right-size their staffing levels to keep their projects on schedule. 

 

Enter Production Units by CrewTrack and Measure Crew and Supervisor Performance – Your supervisors can track the production units completed by their crew each day or whenever his/her employees change their tasks or activities for the day. The supervisor can enter the crew’s production units in near real time so that everyone in the field and in the office knows what’s been accomplished. By tracking production units by crews, you can compare crews against other crews completing similar tasks to see how well your foremen or supervisors are managing their crews. Good friendly competition among the supervisors and crews can motivate staff to be even more productive and keep your projects profitable and on schedule. You might even see more projects come in under budget and completed before your project scheduled deadlines. You can also identify top performing supervisors and foreman and have them share their best practices to get your crews to accomplish more on the job site each day.

 

WorkMax TIME is the only cloud-based employee time tracking solution that makes it easy to track what’s being completed on the job site without being there from any mobile device anywhere. With WorkMax TIME, you can measure individual employee performance and the performance of your supervisors or foreman to make decisions virtually in real time as employees are completing tasks on the job site. By tracking production units by crew or employee, you can right-size your staffing and know your projects will be profitable before the project is completed.

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Divorce Paper

3 Reasons To Divorce Paper Forms for Mobile Forms

By Shannon Corgan, Director of Marketing 

You’re constantly frustrated by managing mobile employees when it comes to paperwork. Here are the top 3 reasons, you should ditch those paper forms and simplify your life with mobile forms:


1I can’t get my employees to fill out paper forms – When you’re an employee that works in the office and has to collect the forms from your mobile or field employees, you don’t know what you don’t know. The employees and equipment are out in the field moving from job to job and it’s difficult to get all of your employees’ paperwork back to the office and easily track your assets. You probably provide safety training and Toolbox Talks to educate your employees about why it’s important to fill out safety checklists and to fill out your paper safety forms. You know they’ve received training about filling out a safety checklist of their work area, but most of the time you don’t receive the safety checklists back in the office. In the office, sometimes you don’t hear about safety issues until much later. Because you’re not getting your safety checklists back in the office, you end up being reactive instead of proactive with your safety program. If you hear about a safety issue and when you check the safety logs, you’ll often find that what you heard about in passing doesn’t have a corresponding safety or injury report. You are frequently requesting forms after the fact.


2Employees don’t fill out the RIGHT forms – Many times when employees are filling out paper forms for performance improvement plans, safety or injury reports, or safety checklists, it can require additional information to mitigate any risk for your company. For example, if you have an employee complete a daily log report and they answer yes when they are asked if there were any injuries on the job today. You might instruct them on the form that they need to call the Safety Manager and/or Workman’s Compensation manager to see if they need to fill out an additional report. They may not have any them on the form to fill out. If so, they would need to fill out an additional injury report and potentially fill out the OSHA 300 log depending on the injury. It might also require some Workman’s Compensation paperwork also. You also run into issues when employees fill out outdated forms which then require you additional phone calls, emails, and text messages to get the new information you’ve added to the current paper form. There are times when you need an employee to fill out more than one form, so even after you get the first injury report form, you have to send additional follow up forms.

3Paper Forms are Late or Missing - Does your HR or payroll team always feel like they are behind the eight ball when it comes to getting new hire paperwork quickly from the field? Typically you’re rushing to manually enter the new hire paperwork into the HR or accounting system because you receive it after the new employee’s start date. This late paperwork compounds more of your headaches because you have to figure out how to get the employee’s hours entered correctly for the hours they worked before you even knew they existed. You also have to assign the job costs to the right projects and cost centers to get accurate job costing. This means that you have to call, email, or text the employee’s supervisor and ask him to send you the information to manually enter it into the accounting/payroll system. 

There are also many times when you get a last minute job to complete a work order for a client. Because you have paperwork orders, you have to send employees to the customer’s location as soon as possible with verbal or instructions by text message. They may or may not even have the right tools or equipment with them to fix the customer’s problem because they didn’t receive the detailed paperwork order before being dispatched to the client’s location. Your employees are not showing up not as prepared as they could be because there’s not an easy way to get the paperwork order to the employee before they get to the customer’s location.

With all the extra work paper creates for you, it’s time that you look for a new way to manage your mobile employees and forms. It’s time for the BIG "D" word, DIVORCE! It’s time to break up with paper and put in those divorce papers. If you want to know how you can increase your safety or form completions and get them to your office staff in real time, you should check out our Harvest Energy Services Success SlideshowThey increased their safety form completions by 200% by making paperwork easy with mobile forms. WorkMax FORMS also has nested forms and conditional logic that will present follow-up forms based on responses in the current form. To improve the number of forms completed and get them to the office in a timely manner by combining WorkMax TIME with WorkMax FORMS. With WorkMax TIME + WorkMax FORMS, you can prompt your employees to answer questions and that will automatically present the needed forms on their mobile devices when they Clock IN/OUT. We know employees want to make sure they track their hours worked accurately, so they’re much more likely to give your office staff the data they need from the field when you tie the forms to the Clock IN/OUT.

 

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