Labor Tracking for your Public Works Department – Four Benefits to Using Software
There are three constants within each Public Works Department: labor, assets and materials. In this post, you will learn about four major benefits of using a software system specifically designed for public works departments for labor tracking.
PubWorks has nearly 600 customers in the US and Canada. Here, we look at two customers that use labor tracking to improve their Public Works operation: The City and The County of Peoria, Illinois.
Track multiple labor types
In public works departments, there are often different labor types and corresponding labor rates. For example, Laborer 1 usually works at Labor Rate A but for three hours today, Laborer 1 is operating a front loader which bumps him up to Labor Rate B for those three hours. That is an easy record adjustment for a software system like PubWorks.
Laurie VanDyke has been working at Peoria County for 28 years and has 46 employees using 200 Labor Types.
VanDyke said, “Before PubWorks, we were using an Access-based system plus three individual programs, and none of them tied together. PubWorks has a great ability to handle our 200 different labor types, and it makes my job a lot easier when it comes to payroll.”
The City of Peoria has 198 employees – 100 active and 98 temps. Tina Varda at the City tracks them using 58 different Labor Types.
“The City of Peoria has six different unions that our employees are a part of, painters, carpenters, maintenance, steam-fitters, mechanics and management unions. Everyone has their own pay codes, and PubWorks easily handles the 58 different Labor Types,” Varda said.
When shopping for a labor tracking software package make sure that you find a system that can handle your varied Labor Types as public works departments tend to have many.
Budgets and forecasts
Reporting is crucial to any software package. When you start tracking your labor, you will be able to produce more detailed information making reports indispensable for more accurate budgets and forecasts.
VanDyke says, “It’s made a lot of difference with our budget when an engineer asks for reports, for example, snow plowing or seal coating and the engineer needs the report to be broken down into labor, equipment and materials used. PubWorks can easily produce those reports and the county can get a more accurate projection for next year.”
The City of Peoria also uses labor tracking with reporting for budgets and forecasts. Varda says, “Council loves it, city manager absolutely loves it. They get all the info they need from the reports to take to their constituents. Keeping up with entering correct data is critical to the accuracy and success of the reports.”
When shopping for a software solution, make sure you get easy-to-use reporting functions. The more people able to run reports the more information can be shared among co-workers, managers and constituents. PubWorks has over 600 ready-to-run reports for all users to access.
Payroll is simplified
Labor tracking software will aid you in streamlining your labor entry process. These small changes will allow your department to create payroll data with ease.
VanDyke, the Peoria County bookkeeper, said, “Before PubWorks, it would take me all of a Monday to get payroll done. Now I can work on it a little the week before, and on Monday, it takes me just 15 minutes to produce all the reports I need. PubWorks has simplified my work, and the reports pull all the information from one system. It is a huge time saver.”
“When we were looking for software, no one understood government and payroll with the different Labor Types, like PubWorks. It is software for government operations like ours. Nothing else out there is geared for public works like PubWorks,” VanDyke commented.
Easy to use for all employees
Your labor tracking software system needs to be user-friendly. The easier it is to operate the more department staff will use it.
Varda remembers, “In the beginning, staff was concerned that some employees wouldn’t be able to enter their time in PubWorks. Now, even the non-computer users can go in and enter their hours. They print their timesheet, sign it and turn it in. They have been cooperative, and it’s been easy for them.”
VanDyke said, “It’s just made everything so much easier for us. The county engineer knows how to get her reports, and she can look up all the information himself and quickly print the reports she needs.”
The benefits of having a system that is easy to operate are apparent. The more comfortable your staff is using the software, the more staff will use the software, and you will have better overall results.
Choosing the right labor tracking software package might seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Make sure the product can handle your various Labor Types.
Proper and customized Labor Type tracking will make for an easier-to-use and more efficient payroll process, will help enormously with detailed reporting and will make entering details about work performed more intuitive and therefore easier for everyone in your department.