Niemeyer Brothers Plumbing is a family-owned and operated commercial and residential plumbing company that has successfully served Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale and all the surrounding cities since 1986. Their commercial projects range from compressed time-frame modular structures to specialized installations requiring high purity systems and in-depth process planning for medical, laboratory, and semiconductor.
Paper was Killing Accuracy and Efficiency
Niemeyer Bros. Plumbing struggled with getting accurate paper time cards from their mobile field employees. Instead of keeping track of their time and tasks each day, employees waited until the end of the pay period to write down their time and tasks from memory. This led to employees estimating their time and not documenting their actual hours worked. Niemeyer Bros. Plumbing knew they were overpaying employees on their estimated hours compared to what their actual hours were. With paper time cards, they also didn’t have a way of knowing if the employee was actually on the job site where they were assigned to work for the day when they wrote down their clock IN or OUT. They also had employees write their start time before their scheduled work hours. Employees also had one paper time card per foreman that they worked for in a week and throughout a week they typically worked for 3 or more foreman at multiple job sites. This meant that they were turning in at least 3 separate time cards for each week and the payroll staff had to manage the multiple time cards and contact the employees if one of the time cards was missing.
In addition to inaccurate labor hours, they also had inaccurate job costs. Employees were only concerned with receiving their 40 hour paycheck and were not accurately tracking their time to the right activity or project. They would code 40 hours to domestic water even though they’d been working on compressed air piping. They didn’t understand that their time and task tracking impacted how Niemeyer Bros. Plumbing estimated out future similar projects. They knew employees should be assigning their hours to multiple cost codes, but they weren’t documenting it on the paper time cards. When they would look back on past projects to create a new estimate to bid on a project, the labor associated with domestic water line tasks were over budget and other activities had zero labor hours associated with them. It made estimating future projects more difficult.
Timely submission of the paper time cards was always an issue. The receptionist had to call each employee with missing time cards to get them to turn them in, so they could be paid for the hours they worked. The first half of the battle was getting the time cards. The second half of the battle was getting the data manually entered into ProContractor by Viewpoint and ADP from illegible handwritten time cards with inaccurate job costs. Additionally, the executives at Niemeyer Bros. Plumbing lacked the visibility into their labor and job costs which affected their bottom line. They were unsure if they would end their year with profits or losses.
A Modern Web-Based Cloud Solution for Employee Time Tracking with WorkMax TIME
Niemeyer Bros. Plumbing selected cloud-based WorkMax TIME for their employee time tracking solution. They wanted an easy-to-use solution that would be adopted quickly by their field staff using their mobile devices in the field. WorkMax TIME’s clean and simple user interface was easy to use and didn’t overwhelm the users with extra options that weren’t relevant to them. Even though WorkMax TIME was easy to use, Niemeyer Bros. Plumbing anticipated push back by their employees. Even with inaccurate job costs on their paper time cards, the employees still were paid their 40 hours. When they rolled out WorkMax TIME to their employees, they had strong executive leadership from their President, Rick Niemeyer. When he received complaints that it took too long or that it was too complicated, he told them that if they wanted to get paid, they had to track their time and activities in WorkMax TIME. After they got into WorkMax TIME and started using it, they saw how simple it was.
They selected a web-based cloud solution for employee time tracking to eliminate the need for servers to host the software and adding to the duties for their IT staff to maintain the servers. With a web-based cloud solution, the office staff no longer had to spend time downloading the updates to the server. With the web-based WorkMax TIME solution, updates were automatically pushed out to their users. With a web-based employee time tracking solution, they liked getting access to new features and enhancements monthly instead of the typical quarterly new features and enhancements for on-premise solutions.
WorkMax TIME simplified the payroll processing experience. In the past, the payroll staff would receive multiple paper time cards per employee, because employees submitted a separate time card for each foreman they worked for in a week. With WorkMax TIME, the payroll team could see in real time, the summarized the total hours per employee no matter how many foremen they worked for in a week. These summarized totals per employee were automatically calculated and easily found in the WorkMax Control Center.
Streamlined, Accurate, and Integrated Payroll and Job Costing
Another WorkMax TIME feature that helped simplify the payroll processing experience was the use of User Notes for employees to enter a note with their time record. Employees entered User Notes that were directly related to the time entry, so there was no need for the employee to send a separate email to payroll. Everything for payroll was all in one place in the WorkMax Control Center. This saved the employees' and payroll team's time because they didn’t have to go back and forth between emails and WorkMax TIME to ensure an employee’s time was correct before processing payroll.
WorkMax TIME’s GPS feature helped to reduce the overestimated time by employees for accurate labor costs. With GPS location services, they could see where employees were when they clocked IN and OUT. They no longer had employees clocking IN or OUT when they weren’t at the job site, but if they did, they could address the situation before they processed payroll. The group clock IN feature also helped to reduce overestimated employee hours, because the foreman clocked IN the crew as soon as they started work and clocked them OUT at the end of work for the day.
WorkMax TIME integrated with ProContractor by Viewpoint to automatically push labor hours and tasks to the right jobs and cost codes for accurate job cost accounting. They also used ADP to process their payroll and simply exported out the data from WorkMax TIME and easily imported into ADP via their website. There was no longer a need to manually key in information into ProContractor by Viewpoint or ADP for accurate labor hours. The pick lists in WorkMax TIME for the employees’ activities and project names and numbers ensured that all the right job cost information was assigned to the right cost centers for accurate job costing and better estimating. It was also easy to import jobs and employees from ProContractor by Viewpoint into WorkMax TIME to keep both systems in sync and accurate.
With WorkMax TIME, Niemeyer Bros. Plumbing captured their employees’ time and tasks and projects in real time. The executives in the office didn’t need to wait until the end of the week to see if they were going to be over or under on labor hours for a project. The real-time data collection helped the payroll team process payroll faster. Because the mobile app was the only way employees could enter their time and it had to be done in real time, the payroll team was no longer making calls from the office to tell them to turn in their time cards. With paper time cards they could never process payroll in the week that the hours were worked because they were always hunting down employees to collect the multiple paper time cards per employee. With WorkMax TIME, when all the hours were submitted by 3 PM on a Friday, they processed payroll on Friday before the close of business.
The mobile app collected employees’ time in real time and made it easy for employees to switch their tasks or projects in real time for accurate job costing. In the past, they would just assign their tasks to one generic task each day. With WorkMax TIME, Neimeyer Bros. Plumbing began relying on historical labor costs to create more accurate estimates to bid more competitively on projects to win more business.
GPS and Real-Time Data Collection Saves $40,000
WorkMax TIME streamlined the entire payroll process and made it much more accurate and efficient. It reduced the payroll processing time by 4 hours per week because the office staff didn’t have to track down multiple time cards per employee and they no longer had to manually enter the time cards into ADP for payroll processing or for job cost tracking in ProContractor by Viewpoint. The number of special payrolls for missing hours or late time card submissions dropped significantly after implementing WorkMax TIME.
The labor hours accuracy also increased with WorkMax TIME’s GPS feature and the real-time data collection. There were no more estimated hours; employees entered their start and stop times in real time. This lead to a reduction in overtime by 5% - 10% and a cost savings of $40,000 annually, With an annual cost of $2560 for 32 employees for WorkMax TIME, the investment gain was $37,440 with an ROI of 1462%.
With WorkMax TIME, their job cost accuracy was dramatically increased, because employees weren’t documenting when they switched tasks or projects throughout the day and would just write down one generic task project or cost code before using WorkMax TIME. With WorkMax TIME, employees were switching tasks and project numbers multiple times throughout the day in real as they happened.