Payroll becomes source of strength for electrical infrastructure company thanks to Traqspera Field and its seamless integration with Spectrum

Using Traqspera Field

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About the company

A wise person once said that success in the construction industry depends on three things: getting paid for your work, paying your bills, and paying your employees. The third imperative may be the most important – and, in some ways, the most complex, time-consuming and even frustrating. But why? In an era of smartphones, self-driving cars and AI, how hard can it be to pay your people the right amount – on time, every time – without pulling your hair out?

Plenty hard, says Michaela Smart, payroll and HR operations manager at kVP Energy Services. Based near Fort Worth, Texas, the powerline construction company serves electric utilities and customers in the oil, gas and renewables industries by building efficient and reliable transmission towers, substations and other energy distribution infrastructure. Providing a full range of construction and maintenance services, kVP employs about 700 union and non-union workers across several divisions.

For the longest time, running payroll for such a large and complex operation used to be a major source of pain for everyone. But since adopting Traqspera Field, a next-generation mobile field capture app that seamlessly integrates with Viewpoint Spectrum for timesheet entry and approval – and so much more – Smart says: “We’ve turned payroll from a source of frustration and weakness to a source of value and strength.”


Like any great story, there were obstacles to be overcome on the road to success. kVP’s previous timekeeping solution was one of those legacy systems that companies just keep using without really knowing why. “It was supposed to be a step up from manually entering timesheets, which was a nightmare,” Smart says. “But instead it was a different nightmare. We just had a lot of issues with it. It wasn’t user-friendly and it didn’t sync with Spectrum, so it was really hard to get information to and from each system.”

It was an inefficient and frustrating process, but Smart’s team soldiered on as best they could. For a while they were able to keep the pain from spreading outside the payroll department, but the system kept letting them down. “As we were growing and acquiring other companies, it wasn’t supporting our growth. We had more people – different kinds of people doing different kinds of work – and getting all their time collected and approved each week was so painful.”

“The system was just too slow. People would give up and then send us a spreadsheet because they didn’t want to use it. There was so much room for error, but you have to pay your people, so we were stuck with that,” Smart says.

“We had a lot of missed time, a lot of retro time. I went from manually entering 400 employees to having a system for 600 but it didn’t save us much time because of the slowness, the different methods of getting information into the system, the errors and people not wanting to use it. Even just logging in to approve time was so hard.”


Morale began to suffer and confidence to wane. Payroll was falling short of the company’s commitment to providing the best possible employee experience. The company’s founder and Executive Strategic Officer, after all, had worked his way up from lineman and built his reputation on treating each and every employee right. kVP was also committed to using the latest technology, whether on the job or in its training programs, such as a virtual crane simulator for skills assessments, which made the need for upgrading its outdated payroll system that much more obvious.

During the review process for a new solution, Traqspera Field quickly became the lead contender. Not only was it fast, easy-to-use and built to work seamlessly with Spectrum, it offered all the features kVP was looking for. On the time entry side, it provided individual, crew and clock in/out options; regular, overtime and double-time hours with wage and union codes; assigning hours to specific jobs and phase codes; and automatically tagging time entries with GPS location. On the approval side, it supported custom approval workflows, entry editing, and a three-click, 30-second sync process with Spectrum.

Smart says after making the decision to go with Traqspera Field, “the implementation process was great. Our specialist was awesome. There’s always going to be bumps, but any questions or issues we had, the team was so responsive and able to hop on a call with us to figure it out. With our previous solution, it was hours and hours of importing data. It was so painful. With Traqspera Field, it was pretty seamless and quick. Anything that needed to be updated or adjusted was done right away. It was a fantastic implementation process.”


“The transition was incredible and it’s so easy to use,” Smart says. “We’ve come a long way and I cannot say enough good things about it.” Key benefits of Traqspera Field for kVP include:

Speed, efficiency and ease of use

“It’s definitely made us more efficient. Our previous system was so slow and now being able to sync directly to Spectrum flawlessly has been a game changer,” she says. “We’re not having to manipulate the data and it’s saved us hours and hours each week. We would definitely need at least one if not two additional people if we didn’t have it.”

Time and frustration has also been saved by those entering and approving timesheets: “Our employees seem to like it and I haven’t heard anything but good things about the approval process from the field. It’s really easy to use. Even simple things like having the colors change at different approval levels – that’s really helpful.”

Flexibility and customizability

Traqspera Field has enabled kVP’s time capture process to support its teams and their workflows – not the other way around. “We’re able to manage under different company entities instead of just one. We’re also able to have different processes for different teams,” Smart says. Some teams use crew timesheets while others use individual timesheets or clock in and out. No matter which, everyone’s time gets captured and coded quickly and correctly.

Getting timesheets under control has also helped the company move to daily job costing. “Before Traqspera Field, inputting time was so painful that we couldn’t have done that,” Smart says. “It was an adjustment for us, but it has significantly improved our accuracy and any issues on timeliness with getting time submitted or approved.”

Accuracy and insight

That’s because “it’s easier to report what you did yesterday than the week before.” Moving to daily timesheets has reduced untimely and incorrect payments – and the associated rework needed to correct them. Better information has other benefits as well: “We’re able to invoice faster and more accurately and get paid faster. And it’s giving our project managers access to information and reports they didn’t have before.” Getting it quickly enables them to plan better and respond faster to changing jobsite needs.

Integration and support

Many of the benefits stem from the solutions being so well integrated. “Having the connection between Spectrum and Traqspera Field is wonderful. Our accounting team really enjoys it. It’s improved the accuracy and timeliness of our timekeeping, and being able to audit – with everything being input into the system directly as the one source of truth – is so much better.”

Just as valuable to kVP has been the Trimble support team behind the solution. “Every time we reach out, they are so responsive. They never leave us without a response and if something requires more research, they let us know that,” Smart says. “Probably one of the best support teams I’ve ever worked with.”

Capabilities and possibilities

Looking ahead, kVP is seeking even more value with advanced reporting and dashboards built on accurate real-time information collected from the field. “We want to expand what we’re doing with it,” Smart says. “There’s so much more it can do.” Besides time, Traqspera Field can track equipment and materials as well as safety and compliance documents. Daily reports and field tickets/LEMs can also be generated.

“I think it brings tremendous value,” Smart says. “It’s been the best timekeeping system we’ve ever had and it works great for our needs and our company. It’s eliminated the need for another person or two in payroll to have to painfully enter timesheets all day. It’s more accurate and it’s just been perfect for our needs.”

Learn more and schedule a personalized demo of Traqspera Field for Spectrum.

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