General Coatings Corporation
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit California, and the state issues its stay-at-home directive, construction was deemed essential and was exempt. To keep its workforce safer while its project continued, General Coatings wanted to quickly put in place a method for contact tracing its workforce. Learn how General Coatings managed to do so with its ZurelSoft's Time & Attendance software.
Contact tracing with Time & Attendance data
When the spread of COVID-19 became a serious threat in California, Rich Ducote, the division manager of General Coatings, wondered how he could efficiently track down an employee's contacts at a job site if someone got sick from the virus.
General Coatings is a large commercial painting and waterproofing contractor in Southern California. It employs 300 workers who report to job sites throughout the region.
Unlike many industries that were forced to close in response to a statewide order in March 2020, construction was exempt and projects continued. Ducote wanted to make sure his company could proactively manage contact tracing if the need arose.
Contact tracing is a public health tactic designed to mitigate the spread of disease. A key aspect involves verifying who an ill person has been with and getting in touch with those contacts.
General Coatings Corporation is a premier commercial painting contractor in Southern California. Founded in 1983, it has offices in
San Diego and Rancho Cucamonga and more than 300 employees. Its major projects include:
San Diego Central Downtown Library
San Diego Airport Terminal 2
San Diego Convention Center
prasanna took the initiative, and turned this around very quickly. We talked about it during the thick of COVID-19 in late March, and by early april zuresoft had a solution.
Rich Ducote, Division Manager
The Power of Timecard Data
Ducote raised the issue while talking to Prasanna Adhikari, CEO and founder of ZurelSoft. The two men know each other because General Coatings uses ZurelSoft's time and attendance software. The contractor had also weighed in on the software’s initial development to ensure the application met the specific needs of the construction industry and related industries with dispersed workforces.
Ducote didn't ask Adhikari for a solution. But in less than a week, the ZurelSoft team produced a contact-tracing dashboard by tapping into existing timecard data.
“Prasanna took the initiative, and his team turned this around very quickly,” Ducote said. “We talked about it during the thick of COVID-19 in late March, and by early April ZurelSoft had a solution.”
The ZurelSoft time and attendance software enables workers at a job site to clock in and clock out through an app on their smartphones. A foreman or supervisor monitors the digital timecards and approves them. The data is then housed in the cloud for General Coatings to access for payroll and tax purposes.
Using the timecard data, the ZurelSoft team cross-referenced employee information and created a dashboard with Gantt charts. The dashboard pulls from timecard data that reveals where each General Coatings employee worked on any given day, what time they started working and when they stopped. So if an employee were to become infected with COVID-19, Ducote and his team could use the dashboard to see every person on the crew who may have worked with that employee at a jobsite within a certain time frame.
The contact-tracing dashboard currently displays data only for job sites in San Diego County. Job sites in other counties will eventually be added as well.
“We weren't anticipating anything like this,” Ducote said. “The dashboard shows us the power of data. Configured and analyzed in a new way, the data tells a completely different story. We can use this timekeeping data not only for contact tracing if that becomes necessary, but also for other solutions down the road."
Data Can Drive Solutions
Before moving to ZurelSoft's timekeeping software in 2018, General Coatings used paper timecards. Every week, job site supervisors had to drive to the office and turn in the crew's timecards and pick up new ones. Once the contractor implemented the timecard software, however, it was able to eliminate that laborious process, saving time and money.
Now General Coatings has discovered that the data collected by the application is proving useful in more ways than one – it can easily facilitate contact tracing.
"Data drives our workforce management solution," ZurelSoft's CEO said, "and our strength is highly customizable software along with business intelligence. We are uniquely positioned to help the construction industry keep employees safe during the pandemic as they continue to do critical work."