Keep Costs in Check: Our 3 Tips for Improving Your Job Costing Process

With the right technology and employees, your home improvement business can knock job costing out of the park.

Trying to determine what areas of your job costing need attention can be a huge time suck. No matter how good your guessing skills are, you will struggle to produce accurate estimates without the feedback from an accurate job costing system. If you run a business in the home improvement industry, then you know accurately estimating jobs is crucial for keeping customers away from the competition. This is where you, as a business owner, need to step up your operations and leverage technology! From mobile time-sheets to automated cost allocation, there are endless tools available for optimizing how you track costs.

FYI: All the technology in the world may not be enough to convert your lazy workers into productive ones. In addition to adopting technology, you need to be hiring reliable workers and subcontractors if you want to see a boost in profit. 


Optimize Your Job Costing

Streamlining your job costing should never mean reducing the quality of work you do! Instead, you should continue to carry out quality work while also putting time towards the efforts needed to optimize your job costing process. As a result, you will create an effective system that delivers top-of-the-line workmanship while increasing your profits.

To that end, here are our tips for refining your job costing process:


Use a Time-Tracking App

To accurately cost a job, you will need to know the precise number of hours your employees worked. This can be a risky business if your company uses paper timecards, as they can pose a range of inefficiencies to your job costing. Aside from being a manual task, filling out paper timecards can facilitate duplicate data entry and inaccurate information being entered into your pay system. Additionally, your workers may report their hours worked days after the fact or even at the end of the week. If that’s the case, the hours reported may be incorrect or not reported at all. For error-free time-sheets, consider a solution that allows your workers to enter time from anywhere, like a mobile app. With a time-tracking mobile app, your employees can enter their time worked directly from their own mobile device. This will allow your workers to immediately record their time spent in the car or at the job-site as it happens.

Leverage a CRM

A strong CRM system can add powerful automation and precise reporting to your job costing process. In a system like improveit 360, your team can take advantage of time records, material cost tracking and robust reporting to optimize how they cost jobs. In general, CRM systems can also be integrated with an accounting or payment tool to reduce the time spent syncing information between multiple systems. Improveit 360 already has an existing integration with Quickbooks Online, an accounting tool capable of collecting and assigning job cost information.

Another plus: your team can also use improveit 360 to track material costs for each job! By uploading your product and material costs into improveit 360, the system will immediately pull a list of materials needed for a job based on what was sold. You can even capture how much material you actually used for a job for reporting purposes. The added insight into your estimated vs. actual material amounts will help you better determine where resources should be allocated in the future.

In improveit 360, you can also create weekly or biweekly Key Performance Indicator (KPI) reports to review job costing data and staff performance. Staying on top of the numbers will help you keep projects from being overrun or exceeding budget, and reveal which employees are performing poorly. Plus, with all your data in front of you, you’ll make more informed decisions about what projects will be the most profitable to take on. Most importantly, having reliable data will help you generate accurate job estimates, ultimately increasing your profits over time.

Hire More & Better Help

While your employees can be your greatest asset, they’re also your greatest expense. With labor costs continuing to rise, it may be time to look at who is working your jobs. It’s true that hiring more workers can reduce the workload on existing employees and allow you to take on more jobs at once. However, more workers will mean more payroll expenses, making it extra important that you hire efficient, reliable help. A team with even one member lacking drive or quality workmanship can affect job performance and deadlines. If a problem worker gets out of hand, you may even need to replace them during a project, causing delays and costing you valuable time and money. While possible to find new workers, train them and get them up to speed with the project, you can avoid dealing with bad help by taking the right measures upfront in the hiring process.

When hiring new workers, don’t be afraid to ask for references as well as licenses and credentials. You can then follow up on sites like Better Business Bureau to confirm qualifications and look at past customer reviews or complaints. If they’ve previously done work in your area, you can even do a physical assessment of past jobs. If new help is hard to come by, consider hiring workers and subcontractors you’ve already worked with that have proven to be reliable and hardworking.

Investing the time and effort to find the right technology and help is vital for your business’s profitability. With the right digital tools, you can avoid over-costing and under-costing jobs while also gaining actionable insights about the costs your business incurs. Also hiring dependable, efficient staff will ramp up productivity and reduce the amount of time worked on a job, ultimately saving you more money and time.

To learn more about how improveit 360 can streamline your job costing processes, schedule a demo with one of our representatives today!