Q&A: ConstructionClock app automates labour tracking
The app automatically tracks labour hours to simplify payroll.
ConstructionClock founder David Peters.
After decades in the Manitoba and Ontario construction industry, an injury sidelined David Peters. He used it as an opportunity to create ConstructionClock, a new app that automatically tracks labour hours.
The app shows exactly how many hours are being spent on each job and how many hours to pay each person. At the end of each pay period ConstructionClock generates employee work logs. These reports will list the projects they worked on, notes of what they did each day and total hours they worked in that period for payroll processing.
SiteNews: How did you get involved in the construction industry?
David Peters: I spent the first 20 years of my career in the construction industry. First through the trades program in my small community high school which led to a variety of construction jobs from roofing to concrete before starting my own construction company that mainly served remote developments in Northern Manitoba and Ontario.
How has that experience informed ConstructionClock?
Through a deep understanding of the construction industry, and an injury that left me unable to physically do construction work, ConstructionClock was born.
What convinced you that there was a need for labour tracking in construction?
Based on personal experience of running my own construction company, and after talking with dozens of small to medium sized companies about the idea, I realized that there was a huge need for smart labour tracking specific to the construction industry. And after launching in the summer, it’s become even more clear that the demand exists based on the uptake of the app.
What was the process like to build this app?
Building an app has been an amazing learning experience. It’s one thing to have an idea, but another thing to bring it to life. We’re fortunate to have built a talented team from around the world that all share the same passion and are incredible dedicated to making ConstructionClock the best it can be for our customers. We’re also fortunate to have a team of investors that believe in this idea as well. In November we won the Startup TNT Summit in Manitoba which not only helps us grow but also validates that our business is disruptive and that we’re equipped for growth. We’ve also received a lot of support from other incubators, accelerators, advisors, and government associations to help us grow the right way. It has truly taken a village to get to this point and we’re so grateful to have that type of support.
Tell me about the ‘hands free’ aspect of this tool and why that’s important.
The owner can set up multiple projects on a map so when a crew member enters the zone, the clock starts ticking automatically. The app leverages technology that every crew member already has in their pocket. It literally couldn’t be easier as your phone is the one tool that you never leave on a job site. The app is basically forgettable to the crew. And at the end of the pay period, the owner or foreman can simply send the summary to the bookkeeper for payroll where the hours are organized by crew, project and employee. Most crews are currently using paper timesheets or a shared spreadsheet of some sort which relies on each person to enter their hours based on how they tracked them. Our app eliminates that and provides hours that are 100% accurate with no user input required.
What sort of considerations have to be made when building apps for construction as opposed to other industries?
We’ve been building ConstructionClock entirely based on user feedback. We just launched version 3.0 which had updates like the ability to organize your team into crews, to add progress site photos to your notes, and to view your team and projects on a map, all of which were features that our customers were asking for. We’re also currently working on the ability to use the app offline for remote projects or spotty connections, the ability to refine the project size on the map, and integrations with accounting software like Quickbooks. Everything that we’ve built is with the construction crew in mind, especially with it’s ease of use. It’s built by construction workers, for construction workers.
What kind of businesses will benefit from this app the most?
We’ve built ConstructionClock for small to medium sized companies that primarily work on projects. but we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the amount of interest we get from larger companies, including those who do service type calls. As we’re finding out, there are more and more companies out there who can benefit from having their hours accurately tracked by location. For example, we have a lot of renovation companies who charge their customers based on a cost+ model so it takes the guesswork out of the labour component of that formula. Our app is also the most affordable option out there. Alternative options offer a one-stop-shop app that gives companies a bunch of features that they may not be interested in, whereas ConstructionClock eliminates one major pain point very well at a very reasonable cost.
What has been the response from the industry to this new tool?
It’s been amazing. We have a 4.9 star rating in the app store which speaks for itself. We are getting to the point where we need to put better internal processes in place to handle the demand which is a problem we’re lucky to have to solve. Our Instagram account is a true testament to the feedback we get from our customers so if you want to hear what our users think, make sure to check it out. We’ve been incredibly humbled by the positive feedback, and it has only forced us to make it better every day. We’re growing quick and more new features are getting added on a regular basis and it’s all thanks to our customers. We hear on a regular basis how our app gives construction company owners more time to spend with their families and that’s a powerful reason that gets us up every morning.
How would you like to see ConstructionClock grow and develop in the coming years?
We think we have the best time tracking app in the construction industry and our goal is to keep it that way. We’re hyper focused on eliminating the challenge of tracking labour for construction crews so our app will continue to add features that help solve that problem. We can proudly say that we are making construction sites better every day and that’s what it’s all about.