How I currently job cost a project
Let me start by saying that I’ve been managing projects for about 15 years, most people consider me to be a decent manager. I am efficient at quoting projects using the job costing practices, and the numbers are generally spot on. The job costing process involves determining itemized costs, payroll/labor requirements and general overhead to complete a job within budget. My company does a great job hiring the right people to do the work. There is one slight problem however. Tomorrow I have status meeting to report on the eight projects which I oversee.
You see, part of my job is to make monthly presentations for management to ensure that things are on track. Getting started, I see that my team has been doing a great job at writing down their hours in the job log binder. It’s my responsibility to tally up the hours for each job and compare against the hours which I budgeted. This is not so hard, but it can be fairly time consuming.
During my lunch break I was scanning thru my email when I noticed an earlier email conversation which was somehow overlooked, management also wants a break-down of hours by department and work item. Jeez, I say, how am I ever going to have these additional reports ready by tomorow's meeting?
The moment of clarity
In a moment of frustration, I lean back in my chair, put my hands behind my head and shut my eyes. I know from experience that this helps. Then, I ask myself, what am I trying to accomplish here? In a more relaxing state, my mind is rambling off questions and answers:
- I need the ability to know what my team is working on at any given moment.
- I need the ability to quickly crunch hours by Customer, Project, Task, Department and the Employee doing the work.
- The spreadsheet approach is much too time consuming.
- There must be a better way, maybe some software program or something?
This five minute rest was exactly what I needed. I think I know where to go from here – do a web search for' employee job costing software'.
Finding a solution
In the recent years, Google has become a dear friend of mine, I use it for everything. So, I did a web search for “Employee Job Costing”, and several products came up. I’m looking for something easy to use and something that is not going to break the bank. One of the products listed was OnTheClock, it looks like their primary function is to track employee hours, so I dug a little deeper. It appears OnTheClock also allow you to setup job costing item lists that employees can select from when clocking in to a job. It was in that moment, when I realized the potential of this software program and what it could do to make my life easier.
Job costing - made simple
I decided to try OnTheClock for one month. There was no software to install and configuration was quick and easy. My team selects what they are working on before punching in to each job, therefore I don’t need my job log binder anymore. When they punch out, OnTheClock automatically calculates how much time is put towards the job, or whatever they selected. Because OnTheClock tracks employee hours in real-time, I can always be up to date on how a job is performing. What a time saver!
OnTheClock makes job costing easy! Accurately track employee hours from one job site to the next. Simply add your Customers, Projects and Tasks, and your employee selects what they are working on. It’s that easy!