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Time Tracking is So Important It Must Be Eliminated

Time tracking is much more important than most firms realize. It’s also why we are working to eliminate it.

Many of us believe our cars wouldn’t run without fuel. If we were to eliminate gas, you might think that’s the end of your car. But this is precisely what people in the electric car industry are doing. They know that gas is (or was) a necessary evil. And because of all the things we hate about gas, it needed to be eliminated.

Here at BQE Software, we’ve been providing firms with “gas” for the past 23 years. On the other hand, we also realize that no one, I mean NO ONE likes filling out a timecard. So we have put some brilliant minds to work to ask, “How can we eliminate the timecard entirely?”

For that matter, we’re looking at how to eliminate so many things that businesses today think are absolutely essential to keep the firm running. And while we’re not there yet, we are getting closer with each passing year.

Why Does Time Tracking Even Matter?

First let’s ask: “Why is a clear understanding of where your staff spends their time important?

Over the years, I’ve heard firms say that tracking time isn’t important because they don’t bill hourly. Sure, while you may not need to know about the literal time people are spending in their day to bill your client, you do need to know what they are doing throughout the day and for which project if you ever expect to control your business and not be controlled by it or your clients.

Let’s say you have 10 employees and 20 projects. How does the work get done?

If you’re like most firms, you probably have your project managers discuss their project schedules and the scope of work that needs to be achieved, and then fight over which employees they need to complete the deliverables.

How do they know how much time is needed? How do they know exactly what needs to be done? How do they even know that the staff they need is available or the staff that is available is capable of doing the work?

The short answer is: they don’t. They have a vague idea in the same way you have a vague idea that you might need to put gas in your tank in about 2 days.

How does your car know how many miles/gallon it is consuming? How does it know the difference between the miles/gallon on the highway versus the miles/gallon in the city? How does it know how many miles are left in the gas tank?

The answer is data.

How Data Gives You an Advantage

Only through the collection of data can your car tell you that in 23 miles you will run out of gas and be stuck on the road. Only through the collection of data can it tell you that the nearest gas station is 7 miles away and you should take the next exit.

The beauty of your car today is that it’s filled with computers. The average car has 30 microprocessor-controlled devices and luxury cars have as many as 100! Basically, the average car today is really a 4-wheeled computer.

If your firm isn’t collecting data, you’re like a car driving without any of the dashboard instruments you’ve come to rely on.

Data, data, data.

Your car happens to know all these interesting facts and can tell you other really great pieces of information, such as you will be at your destination in 47 minutes because it’s gathering data from GPS as well as traffic info. It’s also smart enough to offer up alternative routes to your destination that might save you 3 minutes.

We all know we love this. How great is it for me to know that I’ll be 13 minutes late for an important meeting and have the time to call ahead to let them know? Expectation Management! And the only reason we are able to do this is because our smart car or smart phone is just that: smart.

And it’s only smart because it has data to analyze.

This is why we wake up and come to work every morning at BQE Software. We know that your firm needs the most accurate data in order to get business intelligence that makes sure you never arrive late and never run out of money.

So, while today we haven’t quite gotten to the “autonomous driving firm” stage, we have definitely built the most efficient business management system on the market today.

How to Empower Your Firm to Run More Intelligently

BQE Core makes it possible for your staff to painlessly track their time and for your managers to instantly see the performance of their projects and understand if you are on schedule and budget.

If your staff spends more than 1 minute/day dealing with time cards, they are doing something wrong or you have given them the wrong system.

If you have managers who are chasing after employees to complete their timecards, you’re still driving around in a horse and buggy.

We’re having so much fun perfecting time tracking that we have even innovated mobile technology that builds a timecard for your staff on-the-go. Our native mobile apps can match your location with your project and client addresses and will help you create truly accurate time cards because it automatically knows the amount of time you are spending at each location.

Or, if you’re the type of person who works on a dozen different things in any given day, our timers make it effortless for you to capture (to the second), the true amount of time you’ve invested in each project.

If you don’t accurately collect data, your firm is powerless.

Our job at BQE Software is to make collecting the data effortless, take that data, and make you and your firm powerful.

If you are tracking time in Excel or some other spreadsheet, that’s like using an oil dipstick. You have to get out of your car, open the hood, clean off the stick, put it back in the oil and then examine it to know how things are.

How archaic is that?

Don’t be a dipstick.

Try Core free for 15 days to see how much smarter your business can be. Click below to get started.

The Author

Steven Burns, FAIA

Steven Burns, FAIA, spent 14 years managing his firm Burns + Beyerl Architects. After creating ArchiOffice®, the smart office and project management solution for architectural firms, Steve brought his management expertise to BQE Software, where he is perfecting the business strategy and product development.

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