Chronoblog
Category: Labor Cost
So Close – Real Solutions to Your Business Problems

Small business owner clicking Chronotek free trial button fro solutions to business problemsFinding real solutions to your business problems can be like raising teenagers.

You walk into the kitchen and sitting on top of the counter is a stack of used paper towels,  paper plates and food wrappers. Just sitting there about 12 inches above the waste basket. So close to doing the right thing!

Or you pass by the laundry room and see an assortment of your teenager’s dirty clothes littering the floor at the base of the empty laundry basket. So close to doing the right thing again!

Now that’s our teenage children around the house.  What about you, the small business owner with hourly employees out in the field?  You found this blog and possibly our website because you did an internet search seeking a solution to one of your business problems. Your problem could be that you’re sick and tired of handling employee handwritten timesheets.  You have to beg employees to turn them in and when they do, they are half-completed or illegible.  And worse yet, you just don’t trust them and the padded hours are costing your business a fortune.   Or maybe you’ve had jobs missed because of employee no-shows.  An easier way to monitor and control overtime could be the reason you are here. Or you realize at the end of the month you didn’t make any money on a couple of customers because the labor hours got off-kilter and you need a live, automated way to track job hours.  Could it be that your method to handling employee paid travel time and mileage involves late nights, expresso shots, interpreting handwritten scribbles and verifying every travel trip manually with a mapping program?

If you are here for any of these reasons, you are so close to getting some relief. Chronotek has a mobile app and telephone timekeeping system that can solve all of these problems.  Employees clock in, clock out with a tap of the app or make a phone call.

This simple act of punching in and out of our system (or not punching in) is live, actionable information we can deliver to you when you need it:  no-show text alerts; overtime and weekly labor cost reporting; dynamic, up-to-the minute job budgeting tools; automated travel and mileage reporting and most assuredly, accurate employee time cards.

Teenagers may never hit the mark , but you are so close to doing the right thing for your small business.   You are so close to finding real solutions to your business problems. So why not try it risk free and cost free for 30 days? Go ahead and click the link. You’ve made it this far!

Stay tuned and stay in touch by following us on Facebook.

The Speed of Information

The Speed of InformationWhat you know is surely important, but maybe more critical is how soon you know it.  Knowing that bad weather is coming is much better than knowing that it came and went.  We talked to a janitorial customer recently who shared the importance of the speed of information.

He used employee handwritten timesheets, that he gathered and calculated (painfully) every 2 weeks.  On payroll day, he would find out  information that he needed to know much sooner-when it really mattered; when he could have taken action.  He’d stare at a time card that added up to more than 40 hours for each pay week. That’s overtime pay at 1.5 times the normal rate.  He couldn’t do anything about it then, but pay it.  Now with access to live time card information 24/7 with our mobile app and telephone timekeeping system, he can see overtime coming and stop it before it happens.

He also mentioned that in his handwritten timesheets, pre-Chronotek days, he would see shift times at job sites that created concern for him.  He knew that a good clean time for a particular customer was 2 hours a night, yet the clock in, clock out times showed work done in a little over an hour for several nights the week before.  There was no way the quality of the work was good, but that was a week ago.  Now he identifies these events live as they happen.  He monitors clock in, clock outs on our mobile app, and if he notices something odd like a quick cleaning, he will immediately call the employee to inquire.  Or he catches it the next morning when he reviews the reports from the night before. It is much better than finding out a week later, and that it has happened 3 more times.

Another way that live, instant information from our system helps him, is in quickly spotting trends. He runs a scheduled versus actual job report each morning and can easily see if a job took too long the night before.  Did something problematic happen that he needs to know about and inform his customer?  Something extra that he needs to bill his customer for?  Or maybe the employee is milking the clock.  An employee should get better and more efficient with experience, not slower, he said.

We love talking to our customers and hearing about their unique experiences.  They teach us valuable lessons on how our system is simplifying their lives and making their businesses more successful.  We hope that you can learn from them as well.  As this particular customer has learned and is capitalizing on, information is often only as good as the speed in which it’s delivered.

Stay tuned and stay in touch by following us on Facebook

One Second Can Change Your Life

one-second-can-change-your-lifeReally fast high school track stars can run the 55 meter event in about 7 seconds. That’s 165 feet, or just over half a football field, in less time than it takes to reheat a Krispy Kreme doughnut in the microwave. However, the world record time is 5.9 seconds set almost 20 years ago. So the difference between a 2 decade old, hard to beat world record, and really fast high school boys, is about 1 second.   Just one second is the amount of time that separates most competitors from world record domination.  To the uninformed, one second seems inconsequential, but it’s a life-changing difference to a runner.   If you own a service-oriented business with remote, hourly workers, you may not be totally informed about the huge difference that another tiny number can make in your labor cost.

Studies indicate that companies who use handwritten time cards lose at least 10 minutes a day to employees padding their hours. That’s 5 minutes on the time in, and 5 minutes on the time out.  Five minutes seems insignificant until we break the numbers down.

Five minutes lost twice a day, 5 days a week, is 50 minutes a week. That’s 2600 minutes a year. Now the reality check. This equals 43 hours. So the seemingly harmless 5 minute loss on each side of a shift turns into a nice paid vacation that your employees are rewarding themselves.

And you never know the exact time worked when employees fill in their own hand-written timesheets.   It is shocking to learn that  75% of time theft goes undetected.   As a business owner your bottom line feels it.  There is an easy solution.

Shaving a second off the 55 meter dash is virtually impossible, but reclaiming 10 minutes a shift for your business is simple. Our telephone and app-based timekeeping system can save your small business 2-6% on payroll by replacing employee manipulated handwritten time cards with easy-to-use technology.   Since labor cost can be upwards of 50% of a service business’ total expenses, this 10 minute savings can impact profitability to make businesses come out a winner each month.

And it only takes one second, to decide to get started saving money.  Stay tuned and stay in touch by following us on Facebook.

What Picture Do Your Labor Numbers Paint?

blog-what-picture-do-your-labor-numbers-paintThe paint by numbers sets were so much fun as a kid. Just follow the pattern established by the numbers and you could paint a beautiful picture. Numbers are funny that way. They can paint pictures that are worth more than a 1000 words. If you are a small business owner with off-site hourly employees and you’re not minding your labor cost dollar numbers closely, the picture they paint may not be very pretty.

Let’s look at some numbers.

You started out with a target labor cost of 50% for the job.  You spend an entire day gathering payroll data and putting numbers in a spreadsheet. Not only is this number gathering wasting your precious time, but because you don’t utilize an automated time tracking system your labor costs are 70% of revenues and you eke out a 10% profit. The struggle is real.  But why are labor costs at 70%?

In studies done by the American Payroll Association and the Robert Half Agency, it’s shown that employees steal 10 minutes a day.  (It’s extremely easy to take an extra 10 minutes a day when using handwritten time cards.)  Employees can write down whatever clock in, clock out times they want.  You’re lucky if it’s only 10 minutes a day. But we’ll say 10 minutes a day using an example of 15 employees – that comes to 150 minutes a day or 3262.50 minutes a month (54.375 hours) based on 5 day work weeks.  Chronotek’s new Weekly Labor Cost Report can calculate your actual Labor Cost for you automatically.  The report also takes into consideration the fully loaded pay rate.  So if the employees’ pay rate is $8/hr, it might be that you are actually paying close to $9/hour considering taxes and workman’s comp.   So you’re throwing $489 out the window every month on these handwritten time cards (that hurts a little bit).

Instead, embrace the wonder of technological accountability with an automated timekeeping system and take back your money.  An investment in our system of $89 a month for 15 employees yields a return of $400 back in your pocket.  That’s 4.5 times your investment and raises your net profit by 25%.  If you pay your employees more than $8 an hour, then you’re making more money faster.

It’s time to get your money back.  No more unearned pay and no more laborious spreadsheets.  This is why we created the new Weekly Labor Cost Report that enables you to track true labor costs (pay rate + payroll taxes) against your labor budgets.  A picture is painted using the exact numbers.

Stay tuned and stay in touch by following us on Facebook.

Know Your Labor Cost

blog-remote-employeesWell-known financial advisor and motivational speaker, Suze Orman asked her audience how many had personal debt, of any kind.  Almost 100% of the people in the audience raised their hands. To paraphrase her response she said, “So you all have debt, and you come here asking me to show you how to manage money you don’t have?” Such a poignant question. Just like families who discover that they don’t have enough money to pay their bills each month, many small businesses with remote, hourly workers struggle to make payroll, and pay their vendors and other overhead expenses.

It is hard for small businesses that aren’t efficiently tracking their largest monthly expense: time worked by hourly employees.  Our clients have the advantage when they use the new Weekly Labor Cost Report. This report quickly calculates true labor costs (pay rate + payroll taxes) compared to the job’s labor budgets.

In an interview we did last year with David, the owner of a successful janitorial company, he stated that a service business can pay up to 50% of their gross revenues in payroll, but it should not exceed that number.   However, we have talked to several small business owners who estimate that they pay up to 70%, and they struggle for a 10-15% profit margin.   Profit margins and hourly payroll expenses are tied together in a constant, unequal tug of war.  This results in cash flow problems at the very least.

While Suze tries to help her crowd manage money they don’t have, we want to help small businesses reclaim the money that is rightfully theirs. Run the new Weekly Labor Cost Report  to stay on track. It’s an easy step towards getting your dream back as well.

Stay tuned and stay in touch by following us on Facebook.

Have more questions? Let's talk!
Support M-F 8am-6pm EST
Call 800-586-2945 LIVE CHAT