7 ways to get your company organized by simply tracking time

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  • 1. 7 Ways To Get Your Company Organized By Simply Tracking TimeEveryone in business today is constantly seeking ways to improve. No one can afford toremain stagnant or complacent, unless they want to be overtaken by their competitors inan ever-growing market. Here are some surefire ways to improve your business and getahead of your competitors with very little effort or investment.Use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to gauge success.KPIs are used to measure the performance of an organization, frequently throughmeasuring activities such as performance improvement derived from training, laborutilization rates, or customer satisfaction. KPIs are often tied to strategy throughtechniques such as the Balanced Scorecard, but they dont have to be as complicated as thatto be useful and effective. As with most things, simplicity increases efficiency.KPIs can differ depending on strategy. They help an organization to measure progresstowards their organizational goals, such as increased penetration of existing customers ormarkets, on time delivery or reduced scope creep.A KPI is a key part of a specific measurable achievable relevant time-based goal (a SMARTgoal) which is made up of a direction, KPI, target and time frame, e.g. "Increase AverageRevenue per Sale to $10,000 by December." In this case, Average Revenue per Sale is theKPI. The above mentioned goal wouldnt be SMART if it wasnt an achievable goal. Norwould it be SMART if the word December was left out or if it was not relevant, e.g. if thiswas a portion of the organization that had nothing to do with sales or marketing, like HR.Track time in order to manage project risk.Time data can make a fundamental difference to your company if collected and usedcorrectly. One of the ways in which time tracking can lead to success is by using it to planfor projects and then follow their progress along the way. Knowing a project is behindschedule or over budget towards the end of the projects life span does no one any good.Knowing this information sooner, however, will help you act accordingly and stop wastingtime and money. How can you do this? It is quite simple. The early phases of a project are usuallyreferred to as requirements, design, or specification. Lets say that after carefullytracking time on a batch of similar projects you find that the first two phases takeapproximately 10% of the project time. You can then use that data to predict the length offuture projects. Ive found this project estimation technique, an example of which is
  • 2. illustrated in the following diagram, to be extremely accurate, regardless of whether yourcompanys magic number is 3% or 30%.Automate your time tracking system in order to reduce errors in data collection.Not only should you track time within your company, but you should find the appropriatetime accounting platform to automate it for you. According to a major research advisoryfirm, fully automating the timesheet process reduces errors and staff time by 75 percent ormore. Automation technologies and practices reduce improper time tracking activities andassociated costs by validating project/cost code lists and monitoring approval processeselectronically. Additional savings are realized by eliminating paper costs, and policy andregulatory compliance is improved.Ensure that your company complies with SOX, DCAA and/or other relevantstandards. When payroll executives implement time and attendance systems to automate payroll,they often miss the chance to facilitate greater profitability throughout the entire company.These payroll executives are, of course, payroll experts. They are usually not, however,experts at project accounting or billing automation. However, the time data, if collected appropriately, can also be used to automate projectmanagement, project accounting, project tracking and project estimation improvement, aswell as for internal, external and reverse billing automation -- and any of these can becomeSOX concerns. Most payroll and HR executives know little about these subjects, butincreasingly, they are being asked to rise to new challenges with federal regulationrequirements being just one of them.Effectively manage PTO.Controlling and understanding PTO expense allows you to recruit better talent. You canpromise people more vacation than your competitors if you know that its controllable.This tips the balance in your favor, allowing you to build a better team. Its another way towin.The first issue businesses need to address when creating their PTO plan is what to do aboutemployees who quit or are terminated. Many states require that the balance of vacationpay be paid when an employee leaves the firm unless the company has a policy that statesotherwise. If you choose to disallow vacation time to resigning employees and you run acompany of high turnovera fact of life in certain industries, like retail or food servicethis allows you to reallocate the PTO that those who leave might have used in favor of thosewho stick around. In essence, you can offer more generous PTO packages when recruitingthan your more lenient competitors can offer, at no additional cost. Considering the fact
  • 3. that employees deserve benefits commensurate with their loyalty, it is also arguably moreethical.According to a recent Expedia.com study on U.S. vacation habits, in 2002, a typicalAmerican was granted 16 vacation days, but only took 14 days off. Consequently, Americanworkers handed back over $21 billion in unused vacation days to employers that year. Sobe generous when you hire. They probably wont use it all anyway.Consider SaaS (Software-as-a-Service).Weve already covered the need for an automated time tracking system. A Software-as-a-Service or SaaS solution may be just what you need to increase profitability through timetracking. Consider the following: It removes much of your IT cost. It reduces the risk involved in acquiring new software. It allows you to influence product and service quality via an ongoing relationship withthe vendor. It gives you the flexibility to change usage commitments as business circumstanceschange. It allows you to predict more accurately your ongoing expenses as your IT budget istightened and scrutinized. The prevalence of hosted project- and time-tracking solutions is on the rise, and manycompanies will be willing to try the model out -- especially if they understand the clearbenefits. After all, all they have to lose is one months rent.Improve employee buy-in by clarifying rewards.Choosing the appropriate time management SaaS solution will only benefit your company ifyou can get your employees to actually use it. Hourly workers are easiest to convincebecause they want to be paid, so they already have an incentive. And yet, everyoneregardless of status should want the company to be a success, so once they understand thatusing time tracking to automate billingthereby making it more accurateleads to morerevenue, they should become more open to it. (If your employees do not care about thesuccess of your company, timesheets wont help you. In that case, youd better go back tothe basics of creating a moral, compelling vision of how your company makes the world abetter place.)
  • 4. Project accounting is more abstract than payroll or billing, and you dont want to windup with unnecessary overtime, stressful blown schedules, bad estimates or cancelledprojects. Try relating specific examples where good time collection could have preventedproblems in order to make that connection in the minds of your employees.Time tracking and SaaS solutions are the tools that will see your business through to thenext level of profitability, and in todays competitive environment, thoroughlyunderstanding your costs is no longer an option.Reference Link: http://www.hr.com/en/app/blog/2012/04/7-ways-to-make-get-your-company-organized-by-simpl_h0wruep6.html