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Friday, February 7, 2014

Document Everything

Technology today makes documenting EVERYTHING about a project simple.  Not documenting EVERYTHING is a mistake most businesses can’t afford to make.

In this post, I want to tell you a story about how documenting time spent on tasks can resolve billing questions and how it helped one of our AboutTime customers.

In Utah, snow happens.  A couple of years ago a huge storm dumped a few feet of snow bringing a lot of construction projects to a halt.  Being behind schedule, a customer needed to clear the snow and continue framing in order to meet the established deadlines.  When the foreman called and told the contractor that they couldn’t frame, the contractor said just shovel the snow.  The framer and contractor worked out a deal of $25.00 a man-hour to shovel snow.  The framers shoveled the snow and then framed the house.  Later, on the same job, when the trusses arrived they were the wrong size.  Still running behind on the project, the contractor asked the framer to modify the trusses instead of waiting for more to be made and shipped.  The framer and the contractor worked out a deal of $25.00 a man hour to modify the trusses.  They modified the trusses and completed the framing project.  When the contractor was presented with the bill, he yelled “No Way!”  This is a lot of money!  How do we know you really spent this much time on shoveling snow and modifying the trusses?”  That is when accurate documentation saved the framers.

The framer was using the AboutTime solution.  Each time his employees clocked IN they clocked IN to a specific task, like shoveling snow.  When they were done shoveling snow, they clocked IN to framing and continued working.   The same process was followed with the truss modifications.  When the contractor said “Prove it”  the framer did!  He pulled a report that showed the exact time his workers started shoveling and the exact time they finished.  The detail was so precise there was no room for argument, and the contractor simply paid the bill.

Documenting everything from employee activities to weather conditions can reduce billing time, eliminate frivolous lawsuits, and even help with future project planning.

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