What is the best labor productivity tracking solution? (+ must-have features)

May 31st, 2022

If you Googled “best labor productivity tracking solutions” and ended up here, I’m glad – but not for the reason you might think.

Yes, Labor Sync is a labor productivity tracking solution, and a damn good one at that. I founded it years ago as the independent owner of my own labor-driven business, a roofing company, when I couldn’t find a tracking solution to meet my needs. However, I’m not “glad you’re here” because you’re about to be the unsuspecting victim of a thinly veiled sales pitch.

With a potential recession looming on the horizon, I cannot overstate how essential it is for you to get a handle on your labor tracking. Keeping costs down is a key strategy to your business’ survival in any economic downturn, so failing to invest in productivity tracking technology right now will kneecap your ability to control your biggest expense – your labor.

In fact, The Great Recession of 2008 is precisely where my story with labor productivity tracking (and, ultimately, Labor Sync) began.

When the market crashed, I knew I had to get a better handle on my costs. Since I couldn’t do anything meaningful about insurance from a bottom line perspective, I moved onto labor, my other biggest expense. Almost immediately I knew I had to solve for the fact that I couldn’t trust the accuracy of my labor productivity data – and I had to do it fast. (It only took a few quick calculations to estimate I was potentially overpaying in labor by at least $103,000 per year.)

👉 Related: How to track employee productivity the right way

For more than a few of you out there, I’m sure some part of my story resonates. So while I wish I could sit here and rattle off a big list of the best labor productivity tracking tools out there, the reality is the question of what the best labor productivity tracking solution is for your company is the only one you can answer.

That said, I’m not about to send you off without any expert guidance to help you make the best choice for your company – so, let’s get into it.

Essential features the best labor productivity tracking solutions have

Again, what features you need from a labor productivity tracking platform is entirely dependent on the unique needs and operational characteristics of your company. For example:

  • What is your geographical footprint? Are you local, or do you have locations, crews, or teams across the state, region, or country?

  • Do you have a multilingual crew? Do you have anyone who works for you where English is not their first language?

  • Do you have your workers clock-in and clock-out at a single location, on work sites, or while out on the road?

However, the most effective labor tracking solutions on the market today should offer you features like:

  • Time zone support is essential if you have a regional or national footprint for your business. Without it, you’ll run into a lot of issues, because the timestamping will be incorrect.

  • Extensive language support, because the easier you make it for your employees to use your system (especially those who don’t speak English natively), the more likely you’ll see success in the adoption of your solution.

  • An easy-to-use mobile app is also critical if you have a workforce that is in any way mobile or jobsite-based.

I’d also recommend looking closely at pricing models. For example, at Labor Sync, we offer a monthly pricing model where you only pay for the number of active workers you have at that moment. So, if you have a seasonal business, your subscription fee is automatically adjusted in the lighter months, which is a wonderful way to save costs.

👉 Related: Ultimate labor tracking guide for business owners

Also, be careful about software solutions where you have to pay a large, one-time flat fee. Subscription models afford great flexibility and agility if you discover the solution you’ve invested in isn’t the right fit for you. But one-and-done payment arrangements means you’re on the hook for a lot of lost money if whatever you chose doesn’t work out.

Remember, great labor tracking technology can’t fix everything

I can’t stress enough how important it is to invest in labor tracking technology. I also can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched well-meaning companies try and fail to adopt such a solution for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with the technology itself.

👉 Related: How to improve construction productivity (tips from the pros)

There is no app, platform, or software out there that can fix pre-existing labor management problems within your company or take the place of proper rollout planning. In short, technology is not a substitute for good management.

It can take a lot of work to get a handle on what your real labor management challenges are. And creating an effective labor tracking solution rollout strategy will require mental elbow grease on your part.

But now is the time to get a handle on your labor. The future of your business depends on it.