On a cattle ranch in Iowa, cowboys report to work before the sun rises, at 3 or 4 a.m. What do you suppose is the first thing they do? Put on their chaps? Good guess, but no. Round up the horses? Nope. That stuff comes later. First, they go to the barn and pick up the phone so they can punch in. They use a software application called Labor Time Tracker, which allows employees to clock in and out of work anytime, anywhere, from a phone or the Internet.
But Labor Time Tracker isn't just for ranchers and other rustic sorts. It's for city folks and suburbanites too--for anybody whose job doesn't involve going to an office every day. Given the significant rise in the number of remote workers and telecommuters, it's no wonder that an application like this is becoming so popular.
According to William Dale, founder of Utiliware, the company that makes Labor Time Tracker, thousands of employees are using the cloud-based application to punch in and out of work each day. Though a handful of Labor Time Tracker clients are very large companies, small and midsize businesses make up about 95% of the user base. "Labor Time Tracker is ideal for mobile and decentralized employees," Dale said in an interview. "In the old days, we had a time punch machine in a [bricks-and-mortar] location, but now we have more and more workers who need to clock in and out while on the road or in the field."
Dale said the verticals using Labor Time Tracker run the gamut, from cleaning services and building contractors to physical security personnel (i.e., mall cops) and fitness clubs.
Labor Time Tracker is priced at $4.95 per employee per month. There's no contract or service fee, and setup is free. Within a few weeks, Utiliware will roll out its latest software update, which will include a "job costing" feature. That will allow employers to analyze time and labor metrics for different types of workers. In a construction firm, for example, plumbers might use one code to punch in while electricians use another.
Dale said Utiliware will continue to expand Labor Time Tracker's functionality. Soon employees will be able to record a message for their supervisors when punching in, and that message can even be converted to an MP3 and emailed to a smartphone. Employers will be able to leave a group message that each employee hears when clocking in or out. And voice verification will help eliminate "buddy-punching" (punching in for somebody other than oneself). "For the first few versions of our software, we were driving the innovation," Dale said. "But now our customers are in the driver's seat. They're telling us what features they'd like to see added to Labor Time Tracker."
Labor Time Tracker is compliant with the Fair Labor Standards Act and supports all U.S. and international time zones. Data from the program can be exported/imported to Excel, QuickBooks, and ADP payroll systems. And administrators can log in to the program whenever they want to see who's punched in and out.