This shouldn’t be a huge deal in a small business but in a limo company tracking time can be complicated.
Despite all the edge cases, the problem was as follows:
- Drivers did not get paid on time.
- When they did get paid there was no paystub or any way to show that what the drivers reported as their time was actually what they were getting paid for.
- Drivers would admittedly sometimes turn in their Excel worksheets late.
- There was no automation in the Excel sheets that were turned in to help the owner calculate the time.
- The owner admittedly sometimes spent 14 plus hours on payroll.
- The reason he didn’t use any other software was because he always audited the trips against what the drivers reported. He said that none of the software programs he had researched would show him what he needed side by side.
- Almost no trip was the same rate or paid the same because he paid drivers different rates based on the kind of vehicles that were going out.
- The owner had to collect the time sheets and organize his files every pay period.
- The massive collection of files over the course of the year.
So, this is how the owner was expecting things to go. The drivers should email the owner the Excel time sheets before Tuesday of the week of payroll. The drivers were paid every two weeks, so the owner would have Wednesday and Thursday to complete payroll. He was given a deadline of Thursday at 1pm from the accounting company he dealt with. If everything worked the drivers would be paid that Friday, which would be the ideal situation. However, their situation was not ideal.
By this time, I had already converted the company email to Gmail. I made my timesheet in Gmail so the owner could see that I had the knowledge to take on the task, as well as help him understand how google drive works. At the time, the only cloud based software the owner knew well was Dropbox.
After a couple of pay periods of using my timesheet I asked the owner, “What if I could make a timesheet in the same place as mine and automated like mine is?”
He replied something to the effect of, “The driver’s timesheets are a bit more complicated, it depends on the car… I like Excel because I’ve been using it”
After a lot of conversation back and forth, the owner decided to give it a try and I got started.
I sat with the owner for about an hour gathering info like… how much he pays the drivers for different vehicles, the kind of control he wants to have, how he wants their
version and his version of the time side by side, etc.
Over the next couple of weeks, I made a more rudimentary version of the below:
(The template is real but I have input what a completed sheet would look like for the example)
We used two of our most loyal drivers to try it. So, I duplicated the sheets and shared it with them to their individual google drives. Each sheet had tabs called Template and Do Not Touch. The drivers were to copy the template tab and rename it for the week they were driving. Repeating the process for the next week they drove.
The drivers would fill in everything marked for Driver Use and the owner would fill in what he was going to pay in the Office Use section.
I then added more color, moved the totals to the top of the screen, and fixed a few bugs that came up in the equations. We then rolled it out to the rest of the drivers.
I trained some of them how to use Google Drive and helped a few out the first time. After the timesheets had been checked, the two weeks tabs were restricted access and hidden inside the workbook, so as not to be confused with the next pay period.
Now, sometimes drivers embellished times and the ones that did, didn’t stay around long. Using the dispatch screen and, if needed, the Track My Fleet GPS software, the owner or I would audit past trips to see where the cars had been.
Barring these few instances, as the owner and I worked together, we saw dramatically reduced times for payroll. If they were billed inside of our Limo Anywhere software, I would manually input the tips for each trip into the worksheet. We eventually modified the dispatch screen to show all the information we needed to more expediently input what we needed and audit the timesheets.
The results were as follows:
- Increased transparency between the owner and the drivers in terms of how they were paid
- Dramatically reduced payroll time from 14+ hours down to as low as 4 hours or less for the owner.
- Increased business due to the owner having more time to bid on large event work.
- The owner had everyone’s time sheets in one place and it was never late getting to him.
- The template timesheet I created could easily be duplicated and made onboarding dramatically easier.
- As the Office Manager, I could hold the staff and drivers accountable to filling out their times.
- The drivers could fill out their times from their mobile devices thanks to Google Drive apps.
- The sheet calculated tips, overtime, deductions, their base wage, depending on the car they drove, and even allowed for notes providing increased communication.
- With google, the owner could send a text to the driver to hop in the sheet and they both could chat inside of the document about what he is seeing if something was off.
The ability to see the revision history and lock the different tabs editing ability held the drivers accountable to not tamper with the sheets and their times. We could see who was logged in and every change made and could revert to a change if something got messed