The Security Contractors’ Guide to Reducing Overtime

As a service contractor with a distributed workforce, labor is likely going to be the largest expense in your budget. Overtime for hourly employees is often the number one profit-killer, particularly in service industries with thin margins and tough scheduling needs. For security contractors, overtime can be a very costly problem, but an industry-specific security business software solution can help. What if you could reduce your unbillable overtime by 20 or even 30 percent? What kind of cost savings would that equate to for your company?

It is important to control the things you can, like overtime, to keep your business profitable. The secret to reducing overtime? Stop it before it starts using security business software.

In this guide, we discuss ways to help you get a handle on overtime and meet your business goals, starting with:

  1. Knowing your service-level agreements (SLAs). SLAs dictate the service standards and pricing obligations you’re required to deliver to your customers. If your contracts don’t allow you to bill your customers for overtime, you’re still on the hook for paying for it – because legally you have to. Even if billable overtime is allowed, you still need to keep it in check so you’re delivering the service your clients want at the price they’re prepared to pay.
  2. Use an integrated scheduling software – effectively. Even if you have a solution in place, make sure you’re leveraging all the features effectively. You should be able to see the schedule for the week and in context with adjacent weeks to spot any overtime problems before they happen.
  3. Set clear goals. Once you have benchmarks on how much overtime you’re accumulating in place, you can then set specific reduction goals based on where you want to be in a set time.
  4. Dig into your data. Comprehensive reporting tools help you become proactive in resolving recurring issues involving overtime. Overtime isn’t always avoidable, but you can reduce it and control it through regular data review.
  5. Integrate your scheduling and payroll systems. By integrating your systems, you’ll avoid clunky processes, redundant data entry and the errors that go along with them.
  6. Hire more employees. If you’re not fully staffed, the overtime issue is never going to go away, no matter how efficient your other processes are. Parter with your HR department or employ an ATS and onboarding system to help.
  7. Make the policies and procedures repeatable. Having daily, weekly and sometimes monthly practices your dispatchers, schedulers, account managers and other need to follow on an ongoing basis can help.
  8. Recognize improvements. Often overtime fixes require organizational change and teamwork to pinpoint issues. Small rewards and recognition can be effective tools to help your team along the way.

It’s even more imperative now to get a handle on overtime as wages rise across the country and the cost of doing business becomes more expensive. For service contractors like those in the janitorial and security industries, overtime can be a very costly problem. But, an industry-specific software solution can help. When you go with an ERP like the one from TEAM Software, you get all the benefits of a general ERP system combined with features and tools designed for the unique needs of your business — like a scheduling component integrated with field-based workforce management and your back-office operations.

Download our free guide to learn how your company can improve overtime and the bottom line through security business software. And, take a look at best practices and gain tips for leveraging your security business software to reduce overtime.

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