Construction Monkey

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions

General

Answers

General

Like any website, internet speed depends a lot on your internet service connection. We have created our website to be simple with the emphasis on speed and ease of use. We have servers throughout North America with plenty of bandwidth for growth and the independence to increase capacity when needed.

Construction Monkey comes with the ability to provide each user who participates in a company with a specific role that will limit their ability to view and/or change information within the system.  Listed below is a list of the User Access Roles:

Access Level Rights

Every time you log in, all data is secured using 2048 bit Secure Socket Layer (SSL) security, a protocol that provides a secure channel between our servers and any computer/device you log in from. This is a similar protocol that banks use when you log in to your online bank account. Any information entered on our site is considered confidential, and we will not share your information in accordance with our terms of use. Terms of use is located at the bottom left of any screen you are on.

Our host servers each have a reliable 99.9% uptime with plenty of bandwidth for growth and the independence to increase capacity when needed. Data is stored in geographically remote locations simultaneously to increase reliability even in the case of natural or other disasters. We created the system to log errors and show us who created the error. We typically fix the error within 24 hrs. You will receive a notification when the error is fixed. If you have an error that doesn’t give you a "Bad Monkey" screen, please use the "Contact Us" located in the site menu at the bottom of any screen.

There is no limit to your data storage capacity with any of our products/services.

Absolutely not! We don't want to restrict how many people can use our products. Our prices are a flat price for unlimited user accounts. Managing users to get the most bang for your buck can be difficult, so we decided to make it easy. We don't make our clients go through the hassle of paying for individual licenses or installing a software key on each user’s computer.

Sign up today, and provided we are given all the information to set up your company or project correctly, your company can begin using the very next day! What users most love about Construction Monkey is the ease-of-use. After your company or project is set up, it is so intuitive that your team can begin using right away with virtually no training.

Our products/services are web-based applications that do not require installation onto a special computer server or individual machines. Construction Monkey hosts and manages all of the software, so no involvement is needed by your company’s IT staff.

Updates and upgrades do not to be installed and are provided automatically for free.

Our services were created firstly to be the easiest construction software to use, and we built an interface that is super self-intuitive. Live phone support and web training is included with setup and initial implementation of our services. We also have a help system and email support with an excellent response time of four hours or less depending on the plan you sign up for.

We have experience integrating data from our system to other legacy systems used in a company. If your company is looking to merge data to current accounting, payroll, or other systems, we can provide a fixed-cost bid to provide this service.

Yes, our products have been developed to look and work great on tablets and smart phones or any device with a web browser and connection to the internet. You just go to the website on your device as you would on a laptop or desktop computer.

can be utilized on any computer, tablet or smartphone with an internet connection.  The website is dynamic and adjusts to appropriately fit the screen you are viewing. In short, access from your jobsite, office, home, airplane or on the beach.

was created to help contractors become high performance contractors by providing them data to:

  • Know task production rates and know why production rates are going up or down.
  • Track and see how events on a project impact production (shift work, trade stacking, weather, CMU, one-sided walls, customizable events, etc.)
  • See how different crew sizes impact on production (Is a 2-man or 3-man crew more productive?).
  • Provide to customer to either prevent negative impacts or to prove change orders.
  • Complete accurate labor-to-complete reports.
  • Capture field work directives.
  • Create time cards automatically.
  • Determine why a project was a success or a failure (See if it really was a bad estimate?).
  • Improve estimating.
  • Improve and automate Daily Job Reports.
  • Save Foreman and Project Managers time.
  • Simply improve production.

gives you all the project information you have always wanted without the time and effort it normally takes to get it.

was built around and for field employees.  If the field employees don’t like it, the benefits of the system are less.  With this is mind, requires just one data entry point, and this entry only requires a crew 2 ½ minutes/day.  Our system can replace several of your company’s current best practices, so it requires no more time than crews are spending today.

is self-intuitive and built to work like you build, so crews can begin entering data right away with ease.  Companies lose no time in implementing or training, and receive substantially more meaningful and useful data than before.

is for any self-performing contractor that is looking to perform at their highest level.  helps the field and office save hours a week in their common best practices by automatically pushing data to fill out reports for them. It helps project teams make decisions quickly that can improve production and profit for more consistent performance across all projects.

Unlike most systems out there for construction, utilizes the same process in which you build projects, so you don't have to conform around a solution made more for accounting than the field.  is self-intuitive with no real learning curve.

Use to:

  • Track production on tasks specific to your project in real-time.
  • Show how adverse conditions (shift work, trade stacking, CMU work, weather, area not ready, housekeeping, etc.) impact production every day, and understand the real cost.
  • Provide data to determine if a 2-man crew or 3-man crew is more productive.
  • Automatically create time cards.
  • Generate accurate and complete Daily Job Reports with a click or a button.
  • Allow crews to track field work directives with ease.
  • Provide Project Managers with accurate labor-to-complete reports using three different methods.
  • Provide weekly schedule reporting to let you know if crews are working on scheduled tasks, and shows upcoming starts and completions.
  • Allow you to determine why a project was a failure or a success.
  • Provide your estimators data to accurately estimate labor needs on future projects.

is similar to a time card for your project crews. Crew leaders spend less than 2-1/2 minutes to fill out an activity card (or time card, if you want to call it) for their entire crew for each task worked on. This card captures time, quantities installed for a task, crew notes, any work directives, and any events that occurred when installing a particular task.

The activity card is the ONLY input required by crews. Because of the simplicity and single data entry screen, training on is not needed to use successfully. The following reports and pages generate automatically from these activity cards (time cards):

  • Project Dashboard
  • Production Reports
  • Labor-to-Complete Analysis
  • Schedule Reporting
  • Time Cards
  • Daily Job Reports/Logs
  • Additional Work Directive (AWD) Report/Log
  • Adverse Condition Reports showing time spent on each condition that occurred on your project.
  • Measured Mile Reports showing any production impacts by date or condition.
  • As-built Planner actual vs. plan.

An activity card should ideally be filled out by the lead person of each activity worked on, defined as the "Activity Lead." Don't confuse this with the Project Foreman. Entering the Foreman as the activity lead for each activity card will only frustrate you and take longer to fill out because crew members auto-fill based on the activity lead selected.

(This will make more sense as you fill out the activity card.)

Activity cards should be filled out by the activity lead right after the work is completed on the activity worked that same day. This will help from forgetting what all happened yesterday or earlier in the week. Filling out activity cards on the same day the work is done also gives your project a higher score on the utilization index.

works across all devices. Utilize the Quick Navigation menu from your Project Dashboard to add an activity card with your mobile phone or tablet.

An area is defined as a specific location of the project that your crew is working (level 1, 2, 3...area A, B, C...intersection, street, mile markers...etc.).

A task is defined as an assigned piece of work to an area of the project. It includes all sub-tasks that are not related to other tasks, but are required for completion of the task. This may include layout, material handling, clean-up, hangers, boxes, etc. If you are unclear what is in a task, please ask your Project Manager.

An activity is defined as a combined area and task. The best way to think of an activity is something that you would assign a crew to work on or install.

The activity lead is the person who is in charge of the activity, AND the employee working on that activity for it's duration. The activity lead is not necessarily the person with the higher title because the person with the higher title (such as a Foreman) could split his/her time between several activities and crews...in which they should be added as part of the team of each activity they worked on.

A team/crew is defined as a group of people assigned to work on an Activity. In a given day, management looks at what needs to be accomplished and assigns a person or group of people (team/crew) to accomplish that specific task.

Some tasks have a corresponding unit of measure listed next to the quantity cell (if there isn't a cell, a quantity isn't required for the task). This is the quantity that needs to be counted. The description should describe the unit and when it is counted.

The importance of the unit and when it is counted cannot be overstated. It is critical to count items when they are completed and to only count them once.

Also, each of the tasks require many different sub-tasks, which are not to be counted. For example, you might need to perform layout of a system prior to installing it. If an entire day was spent laying out the system, then the quantity installed will be zero. This is perfectly fine and accurate. Do not feel obligated to put down units or partially count units. Only count units that have been completed 100% per the definition. If you are unclear, please check with your Project Manager.

The total quantity is assigned to the crew, not to individuals. Most tasks require crews of multiple people who perform different sub-tasks towards the goal of the final task. For example one person may unpack fixtures, while another may locate them to the final position, and a last person will complete the installation. No one person performed the installation, but the crew as a whole completed so many fixtures in a given day.

Items without a quantity to be counted need no quantity.

Notes can be utilized for anything. It is a way to communicate the details of what happened to the project team. It's also a good place to note any sub-tasks completed, but little or no task quantities were counted. For example, if you performed a day of layout, you might want to note that here since your quantity will be zero on the task. Notes are automatically recorded on the daily report, so the more descriptive, the better.

Conditions are things that occur while trying to complete the activity. Conditions are not necessarily bad things. Conditions marked on the activity card are used to notify your team and client through the Daily Report what is potentially impacting your project. Additionally, Conditions can be utilized to track your performance when Conditions occur versus when they don't. Anything can be an condition, but they should be generic in nature as they will probably repeat.

To access all employee time cards across all your projects, select Company Data from the menu, and then select Time Cards.

If you need to edit an employee's time on their time card, you will need to edit the specific activity card for the activity they worked on. To do this, once you are inside the project:

  1. Select Summary from the Time Card menu.
  2. On the top of the report, select the specific day to access the activity cards for that day.
  3. Select the activity card to edit, change the hours as needed, and select save.

Steps for creating your Project's Daily Report:

  1. Log in.
  2. Select project.
  3. Go to Calendar in the Menu/Quick Nav Menu.
  4. Select "Create Daily Report" on the appropriate date.
  5. Edit existing info (pulled from activity cards) & select "Save."

Typically filled out by the Project Foreman, but your project team is free to designate who fills out the Daily Report.

The daily report should be completed daily.

NOTE: Make sure all activity leads have entered their activity cards prior to creating the daily report since data is grabbed from the activity cards to fill out the daily report.

Access every Daily Job Report ever created for a project by going to Daily Reports in the menu.

When in your project, here's how to edit a daily report:

  1. Select Daily Reports from the menu.
  2. Select the Daily Report you want to edit.
  3. Select "Edit" from the "Download/Edit/Delete" drop-down menu on the screen.
  4. Edit the report, and click "Save Daily Report" button.

When looking at your saved Daily Reports, you may notice "Actual Hours Don't Match Daily Hours" written next to a Daily Report. This simply means an activity card has been added or hours on an activity card have been changed since the Daily Report was saved, so the hours on the Daily Report don't match the actual hours on the Activity Cards.

To fix this, your Daily Report should be edited. Edit and resave the Daily Report, and it will update with the current hours automatically. Once you do this, the "Actual Hours Don't Match Daily Hours" phrase will no longer appear.

NOTE: Make sure to resend an updated daily report to your customer if needed.

All construction projects should plan out the activities with dates and resources. Without a plan, work is not done efficiently and understanding the materials, equipment, people, and other things needed before the work is done is critical to successful projects.

A job observation is where foreman, general foreman, superintendents, project managers, and executives record their observations on the progress of the project. At frequent intervals (less than monthly), project teams should review the progress of the project as a subjective look on the work left to complete.

Job Observations can be done in any one of the following methods:

  • Percent Complete
  • Production Estimate
  • Man-loaded Hours
  • Hours to Go

In construction, measured mile is a method to calculate the impact of a specific condition. It is the most widely accepted method for calculating the loss due to a specific impact to the contractor. It calculates the productivity of the work when then condition is occurring against the productivity when it is not occurring. Such a comparison factors out issues like bad estimates, unrealistic schedules, or other overall project specific work conditions

Your project can benefit from using at any phase of a project.  You don’t have to worry if your project has already started, as you can still gain valuable data from data your crews enter today and compare data from one day/week to the next as well as track how project events impact your production going forward.

Projects don’t necessarily need a budget to measure performance.  A budget can be added at any time to see how production compares to the budget, but you can also measure performance week-to-week and job-to-date.  It is much easier to enter a budget later than it is to enter past hours worked and previous quantities installed.  Once you set up your project specific tasks, your project crews can begin using the program right away.

Required information for project setup is:

  1. Project Name / # / Address
  2. Labor Activity Codes (areas & tasks)
  3. PM / Project Foreman/Super / Activity Leads & Other users (name, title & email)
  4. Employee List

Budget hours & quantities are optional, and can be added any time.

If you have tooled around with , you have noticed that you can enter a project without an estimate.  So why would you want to do such a thing?

If you are managing your pipeline appropriately, you should look for visibility into each and every project that may be out there.  We have never found a good rule as to whether you insert every possible project out there or just the ones that interest you, but it is always a better practice to enter all known upcoming opportunities, and not just the ones that you are bidding on.  By doing so it gives you a few distinct business management advantages:

  • It gives your business development people incentives and focus on what they should be chasing.
  • By utilizing , you can forecast your manpower and revenue based on your win ratios.
  • It gives you a central place to review what projects you are going after and what you are passing on.

We highly recommend that you enter in all opportunties that you learn about that you might possibly chase, as it will allow you to better manage your subcontracting business.

Yes, a plan is recommended to help you figure out where you need to go, or how many projects (or how much in revenue) you need to go after.  It will allow you to instantly know which of your locations need work and when they need it.  It will also allow you to see your manpower needs.

makes it simple to enter and edit your plan whenever you want.  Below are the different plans you can enter, and then compare to the projections from the projects in .  You will be able to tell instantly if your company is meeting the plan you entered...Click on each to start creating your plan!

Business Outlook Plan

In figuring out where you need to go, you should establish a plan that includes revenue, gross margin, and manpower. The plan should be set-up for each of your profit centers or offices. This will allow you to monitor your pipeline and to quickly see where you may have issues with the work you are bringing into the business.

Business Backlog

The backlog is the current backlog per month as figured in your Cost-To-Complete or other forecasting processes. You should enter in these figures per profit center and by the Revenue, Gross Margin, and Manpower as it will give you entire picture of where the business is heading.

Business Flow

Flow work is defined as the regularly occurring revenue in your business that is not driven by the Pipeline. A good example of this work would be Time and Material Service work. Typically this number will be similar by month, possibly with some seasonal adjustments. You should enter the revenue, gross margin, and manpower for the Flow Work as it will give you a complete picture of the business when added to the backlog and future work.

Of course!  Revenue, hours, man power, and gross margin projections of your pursuing work, backlog, and flow compared with your plan…right in front of you! Using , these projections are updated by the Monkey in real-time based upon the information entered into your projects. Some benefits include:

  • Know how much more work location/profit center "X" needs to hit their plan!
  • Accurately determine how much of the pursuing work to count on!
  • View by the parameters you want to see, and view it in chart or table format.

As soon as you enter projects into , this chart will automatically update in real-time.

View your Projections now! (You will be asked to log in if you aren't already logged in.)

You may currently utilize excel, word, access, a whiteboard, or even raw paper to track your bids. These manual methods provide for several issues, including not being able to view the bids in real-time and on a calendar view. Your staff may even miss or fall behind on a project because they forget whether the 7th is a Wednesday or Thursday. will automatically throw your projects into this calendar when you enter or change a project’s bid date and time.

If you’ve already entered projects with bid or budget dates, you will be able to see them on your bid calendar!

View your bid calendar now! (You will be asked to log in if not logged in already)

gives you a lot of useful reports to view your company and project data (click on each to access):

Bid List

If you want to view just the projects that are upcoming bids, this report is for you. It details out the information about the projects on your bid calendar.

Project List

This is a list of all of the projects ever created in your company pipeline! You can filter the list by Team Members, Area, Funded, and Status.

Map of Pipeline

If you want to know where your projects are located, this unique report will show you all of you pipeline projects and their respective location on a geographic map.

Pipeline Concerns

Garbage in, garbage out? The Monkey will guide you in projects that are of concern along with the potential problem. This will allow you to keep your data good so that management of your company will be based on reliable data.