One of the most difficult tasks in managing a remote crew is institutional accountability. Accountability starts from the top down and if you can’t properly track your crew’s attendance, progress, and downtime, then your business could be hemorrhaging money. More importantly, you could be providing poor service for your customers, which eats away at your bottom line.

The most obvious strategy to increase profits is reducing costs through workflow optimization. By prioritizing tasks and improving accountability from worksite supervisors and corporate staff, you can improve customer retention and reduce non-billable costs.

Improve Crew Comradery

Studies have shown that happier crews actually work more efficiently. People who don’t care about their jobs are more likely to show up late and call-off more often. One way to optimize workflow and improve employee accountability is by fostering a workplace environment that people actually want to work at.

There are many ways to do this. Obviously, monetary incentives work the best and so do employee perks. You also need to know how hard and how long to work employees. Longer workweeks contribute to health and sleep problems for employees, thereby decreasing productivity.

One way to foster a great working relationship is by getting employees involved in upper level tasks. Show them the big picture and ask for feedback in decisions. The more involved employees feel in their workflow procedures, the more likely they are to feel valued in your organization.

Track Non-Billable Time

Costs generally run in two forms, billable time and non-billable time. Employee downtime will qualify as non-billable time. You need to have a software solution in place available to track worksite productivity. This includes everything from an attendance system to reports from on-the-ground coordinators.

Tracking downtime and incorporating this data into your accounting system will show you how much money you’re losing. This will also give you ideas of ways to improve workflow processes that make the most of time.

Assess Job Costs

In terms of billable costs, you need to assess your overall profit margin that each job is generating. You need to account for the budget required for each job and total man hours used to achieve a job. Are profit margins where they need to be or are certain tasks and equipment costing you a fortune? This is both important for reporting to stakeholders, as well as finding ways to improve your customer service.

Service Field Solution

So what’s the best way to track all of this. Sure an attendance management system and automated reporting tool will help, but there are field service solutions available to manage all of these in one application. Some of these even include GPS that allow employees to check into worksites and show you when an employee leaves a worksite. These can also be automated to tell crews and customers whenever weather will affect a construction job or potentially delay it.

One of the best features of a field service software is data integration. With this you can take all data collected in the field and import it into other software solutions in place including, a CRM or accounting software.

By optimizing workflow procedures and promoting accountability you can cut costs to make more profits.