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Time tracking: is it the key to service profitability?

Time tracking: is it the key to service profitability?

The notion that ‘knowledge is power’ is not a new one; indeed, the phrase itself was first recorded in the 16th century. Fast forward several hundreds of years and that notion has now become a business imperative, as modern organisations seek competitive advantage in an increasingly challenging environment.

Today, any business seeking to increase their ROI and improve profitability understands that an ability to accurately analyse and leverage workforce time-tracking data is essential. This empowers them to optimise resource allocation, improve performance and, ultimately, generate higher value.


Key benefits of enhanced time tracking

In this article, we’ve identified 6 key benefits of accurate and effective workforce time-tracking:


1. Efficient resource allocation

Put simply, accurate time tracking allows organisations to monitor how their employees allocate their time across various tasks and projects. Knowing that you’re working with accurate data is particularly important when you consider some recent stats1 that suggest that:

  • “More than 1 in 3 time tracking systems is outdated”
  • “80% of employee timesheets have to be corrected”

By being able to analyse accurate data, managers can allocate resources more efficiently, ensuring that the right people are working on the right tasks at the right time. This more effective prioritisation and scheduling ensures that projects are completed on time and within budget, and, on a broader level, delivers greater control over workforce spend.


2. Performance measurement and improvement

Tracking and analysing time data provides organisations with priceless insights into how their people are spending their time during work hours, helping identify inefficiencies, bottlenecks, and areas for improvement. Ultimately, this delivers increased productivity and better allocation of resources. By comparing actual time spent on tasks against estimated timeframes, time tracking will provide the data needed to accurately evaluate people performance. This not only identifies high performers but also supports targeted feedback and coaching that will improve performance and efficiency.


3. Productivity transparency and accountability

Effective time tracking will help to deliver a new culture of transparency and accountability, where individuals take ownership of their work and outcomes, leading to increased collaboration, trust, and teamwork. Productivity data helps individuals appreciate how they spend their work hours, giving them an increased understanding of their unproductive time and helping them focus on high-value tasks.


4. Enhanced project management

From a project management point of view, time tracking delivers improved oversight by providing real-time visibility of project progress and timelines. This helps organisations to monitor project milestones, track billable hours, identify potential delays or scope creep, and implement proactive interventions and adjustments that will keep projects on track.


5. Client billing and invoicing

For service-based businesses, accurate time tracking is essential to generate accurate client billing and invoicing. By tracking billable hours spent on client projects, organisations are better placed to bill accurately, prevent revenue leakage, and maintain transparency and trust with their clients.


6. Improved profitability

When taken together, more efficient resource allocation, accurate performance measurement, increased transparency and accountability, better project management and more accurate billing and invoicing combine to deliver significant and meaningful uplifts to an organisation’s profitability bottom line.





Time tracking in practice

To illustrate how time tracking can deliver key financial benefits to an organisation, here are two very simple recent examples shared by our SmartPA team, illustrating how we supported clients to generate efficiencies that have directly improved their profitability:


Cost comparison infographic


Overall, time tracking can be a powerful tool to optimise the productivity of your organisation by improving performance, ensuring compliance, and fostering a positive work environment. However, there’s rarely a one-size-fits-all approach, making it essential that time tracking practices are not only implemented thoughtfully and transparently, but that they also take into account the unique needs and preferences of your organisation and your people.

At SmartPA, we have many years’ experience partnering with clients across the globe to advise on and implement effective, transparent operational time tracking enhancements. This has enabled our clients to benefit from modern, accurate data reporting that delivers:

  • Greater transparency of time data
  • More efficient utilisation of resources
  • Improved efficiencies
  • Accurate demand forecasting
  • Flexible scaling
  • Improved profitability

When working with clients, we deliver regular reports tailored to the unique needs of each organisation, showing a breakdown of task by team, individual and/or type. The breakdown of tasks shows how long each task has taken and the percentage weighting of the overall support.

Working with both qualitative and quantitative data, we provide an agile service that can be adapted to suit business needs. The precise nature of our time tracking service is driven by our clients and their preferences, with metrics defined during the initial scoping phase of our relationship.


Find out more

Click here to find out more about how SmartPA can help organisations improve their profitability through the utilisation of accurate and effective time tracking, or contact us to discuss your requirements.

1US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ American Time Use Survey in 2017


About SmartPA

SmartPA is a pioneer of remote, outsourced admin and business support, providing individual SmartPAs, multi-skilled cross-functional teams, and full lift and drop admin process outsourcing. Working with more than 5,000 businesses of all sizes world-wide, SmartPA draws on a global talent pool of accredited SmartPAs, with a Centre of Excellence based in the UK, near shore hubs in South Africa and Uganda, and an offshore hub in Malaysia.

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