1. Why time-tracking is essential?
Service sector is essentially engaged in selling time of it’s employees, managers, partners, directors etc. to the customers. Time is valuable but perishable. Perishable because every minute or hour delivered by the firm to the customer, in the course of rendering a service, leaves no trace or evidence of the delivery / spending . The only way to capture the spending of time is to record the same. Unless the service provider firm , finds the purpose for which time of everyone in the organization , was spent is recorded in the right manner, it cannot control wasteful spending and most importantly cannot decide how to covert the “time spent” into money , by raising bills for the right amount. Efficient use of time is possible only if you track it.
2. Why manual tracking of time is an expensive alternative?
Manual tracking apparently cheapest alternative, is in fact the most expensive substitute. Reasons being-
a. More time involved in compiling the time data for meaningful analysis (e.g.: billable and non-billable time ) means more cost.
b. Senior persons’ involvement in analysis of raw data leads to increase in the costs.
c. Inaccuracies / incompleteness of data leading to wrong analysis and costly decisions.
3. Why spreadsheet software is not cost effective alternative?
These softwares are extremely powerful but not designed specifically for time tracking and facilitating decisions and actions, for bringing efficiency in operations. This limitation leads to involvement of substantial manual inputs. Use of spreadsheets with costly manual input therefore, in most of the cases results in higher costs.
4. Why customized software may not serve the purpose?
Many a times, customized software developed in house, is based on the perspective of a few individuals within the firm. Such software development projects, inevitably suffer due to limitations of their imaginations and inadequate knowledge of the technology. The software so created, at times continues to undergo so many changes , that it stops being useful to anyone.
5. What should a good time tracking software do?
10 most important features of a good time tracking software are listed below:
· Ease of use , quick implementation and security of data
· Access from any device from any place 24×7- necessary for WFH
· Well defined roles for access rights , that efficiently deals with conflict of confidentiality and transparency
· Filtration at source of input time data like billable – non billable
· Adequate controls to ensure completeness of data
· Instant generation of reports on dashboard, useful for decision making
· Right information to right person at right time.
· Conversion of time data in terms of money for control of costs, revenue and profit.
· Reporting of impact of decisions on revenue and profit with multi-dimensional analysis.
· Effective system that fixes responsibilities and evaluates performance of every individual, teams, business segments and also of the firm on ongoing basis.