Alphamoon’s solution can help in various industries, including construction companies, software houses, trucking companies, and vineyards. On top of that, it’s also an absolute necessity for temp agencies who act as intermediaries for other companies.
At the heart of every business lies the simplest dependency existing between employees and employers. Both sides of the equation need to agree on the price to be paid in exchange for a specific service or product and the time when the transaction takes place. That exact principle of economics has given birth to the concept of a timesheet – a document that provides the necessary details for the transaction to occur.
Since the days of Hammurabi, timesheets tracked time spent on tasks and played a vital role in bookkeeping. Before businesses began adopting new technologies, manufacturers installed punch cards that workers used to clock in and out. Collecting these forms constituted the basis for all the workers to receive payment. However, this is an image you’d see in a movie but not in your company.
Even though automation of processes grows as one of the major trends in AI, a range of industries and sectors would still be unable to digitize the time-tracking process entirely due to the sheer complexity and costs of such an undertaking. Furthermore, there is also the technological barrier among to be considered.
If paper timesheets were to be entirely removed, all seasonal workers would need to use apps or QR codes to generate timesheets in a dedicated system. Needless to say, that creates a precedence of technological exclusion – all of the employees who do not have access to the app or don’t have smartphones would not be able to claim their salary.
Since more than 80% of the worldwide population owns a smartphone, the above problem is of little significance. But the reality is that employees cannot be legally obliged to carry their phones to work. On top of that, life happens – phone batteries die, apps don’t work, an Internet connection isn’t fast enough, yadda yadda. You get the picture.
A step towards a more accurate time-tracking system supporting paper-based documents is, therefore, automation. Below we explain the particular benefits of automatic timesheets in five business cases.
Business examples of timesheet processing automation
It’s no secret that construction sites rely heavily on a temporary workforce. If you’re in the business, perhaps the reasons are too self-evident. But for the sake of the discussion, let’s review them quickly.
Whenever a new project is on the table, a developer must process a long list of paperwork – contracts, deals, notarial acts, etc. Sifting through pages, consulting with legal partners, and sorting out other details takes time.
Now, this period when the construction permits are still processing, usually means that employees can either focus on another project or have nothing on their hands. Considering the off periods when construction is challenging – the winter season – you’d pay workers for days when the development project didn’t even begin.
Money isn’t the only aspect to weigh in.
Nick Howell argues in an article about seasonal hiring that this line of work requires on-and-off periods. Heavy physical tasks put human bodies to the test, and construction site workers also tend to operate in demanding atmospherical conditions. A few months of completing some less tiresome tasks is enough for the crew to regain their strength.
Now that we’re on the same page, let’s see how automatic timesheet processing benefits the construction sector.
Since every construction site works in certain stages of development, the labor force differs in the specialization. The ground crew arrives first, followed by teams working with iron elements, and then construction moves to plumbing, electrical systems, fitters, etc. Each unit arrives at the site daily, completing a set of tasks within a specific schedule. Delaying the development plan costs money.
Each worker within such a system must complete the timesheet, which is then collected and used for payroll objectives. Papers, however, tend to get lost and cause issues such as delayed payments to contractors. If you’re working with the same crew in your projects, paying on time is the absolute baseline for healthy relationships and high turnover of employees.
Automated timesheets help you with tracking payroll, but not only that. You also have a clear overview of how much time and money was dedicated per each stage of development, which can be an informative insight for future projects.
Production facilities & factories
From coal mines and oil drills to automotive and food processing factories, production facilities provide thousands of vacancies worldwide. Despite significant improvements and automation in assembly lines – the pioneering example is the automotive industry – humans are still needed to operate and supervise robots and perform more complex tasks that robots cannot do.
Most factories and production facilities hire employees on a full-time basis, however, this does not remove timesheets from the equation. Sometimes employees work double shifts, which may need to be paid extra, or stay longer than the regular 8 hours schedule. In those cases, timesheets enable supervisors to monitor these additional hours and include them in the weekly or monthly wages.
Aside from the payroll perspective, production facilities require timesheets to adhere to safety protocols. Whenever an accident happens, the easiest way to get to the bottom of it is to check who was present at that particular time. That’s an edge case, but worth considering.
In the case of production facilities, timesheets may also contain additional fields that store information other than the time of arrival and date. Adapting the template to such specific needs guarantees that timesheets deliver all necessary data inputs without creating too much complexity on the document processing side.
Truckers generate lots of documents. From consignment notes to border crossing permits and delivery reports, the range guarantees quite the headache if any of those gets lost.
Timesheets are also within that range of documents. Trucking companies may have a more structured set of salary factors – including kilometers – but hourly wage is still the most common way.
The business case for vineyards is for seasonal workers to help during harvesting. Although the art of picking grapes is often secretive to particular wineries, most wine producers prefer to hire seasonal employees to lower the costs (as opposed to hiring staff for the whole year). There’s a caveat to this solution. The harvest time’s a busy one, and the intensity of the job leaves little room for inefficiency. For that reason, some vineyards tend to hire the same people every year, thus perpetuating the seasonal hires model.
Depending on the size of the vineyard, the harvest headcount may go up to hundreds. In such cases, vineyards can generate lots of timesheets in a brief period. The question arises – does it make sense to invest in automatic timesheets then?
Alphamoon’s IDP software tackles a variety of document sorts, and timesheets are just one particular pipeline in the range of solutions. After successfully piloting the implementation of timesheets, the winery can utilize the platform to improve the label data extraction or invoicing process.
Temporal work agencies
Temporal work agencies enable all of the above industries to find skilled workers. And it’s no surprise that they could benefit from automating the time-tracking workflow. In a business where most employees are blue-collar workers who deal with seasonal professions, often changing them several times a year, timesheets are essential.
For an agency that brings workers to specific contractors, one of the key aspects of document processing is creating a universal template that can be applied across all projects. Not only does it simplify document processing, but it also shows a well-grounded system that establishes trust in the eyes of the customer.
Alphamoon’s IDP platform for documents
All five business cases – hiring agencies, truck companies, software houses, real estate developers, and wineries – can benefit significantly from Alphamoon’s solution.
Alphamoon provides a cloud-based platform for processing documents in various sectors. The core components of the engine are state-of-the-art AI technology based on machine learning, natural language processing, and deep learning. The timesheet automation use case combines OCR with data extraction to deliver industry-leading results in the field of document processing.
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