We love construction. We build for the field. We don’t f*** around.
"Necessity is the mother of invention" - Plato
In life, when the need for something becomes imperative, you are forced to find ways of achieving it. This is exactly how SmartBarrel was born.
Albert Bou Fadel, founder and CEO of SmartBarrel, worked in construction for over 10 years. His last job in construction (before turning to Construction Tech) was a project manager for a Glass and Glazing Contractor in Miami, Florida.
Tracking worker time in construction is not an easy task. While most people assume this is because the construction industry isn’t open to tech, it’s mostly because the traditional methods just aren’t designed for our industry.
When Albert was managing multiple projects across Florida with over 300 workers across the job sites, he tried every solution for better time tracking, including mobile apps, fingerprint scanners, ID cards, and even went as far (and crazy) as iris scanners.
With every solution brought to the field, there was always an excuse not to use it:
- “I don’t have a phone”
- “My phone died”
- “There was no internet connection”
- “The fingerprint scanner didn’t recognize my finger with gloves on and the union told me I shouldn’t remove PPE”
- “I welded off my fingerprints”
- “No one registered my finger”
- “I stood in front of the Iris Scanner for 30 minutes and then punched the device and it stopped working”
The excuses never stopped.
Albert’s team finally settled on a fob in/out hardware solution which seemed like it would be the easiest to use. No one had to have a smartphone; a device was kept on site, and people had to just use their fobs to check-in/out. Finally, there would be no excuses.
Until one Friday, when Albert got a call from the GC yelling that there was no one from his team on the job site. He checked his time tracking app, where it showed he had 30 workers onsite.
Albert drove 3 hours to the job site, where he found one lone worker sitting on a bucket with a keychain full of key fobs.
Despite catching this individual in the act, labor laws prevented him from taking action because the time tracking system indicated that the employees were on site.
So Albert decided to build his own solution: a time clock designed specifically for the conditions of a construction job site. That meant it needed:
- A power source
- It’s own Internet connection
- An easy mounting system
- An intuitive user interface
- A verification method that actually worked on the job site
SmartBarrel - Founded 2018
SmartBarrel is dedicated to creating technology that wins over the field. We understand that for the office and payroll team to get accurate data, the field has to be happy and actually using the solution.
SmartBarrel doesn’t require training for the field team. We know that workers want to come to the job site and just get to work, without wasting time on admin tasks. Every worker needs to be accountable to enter their own time. We provide them with an easy solution to do just that.
The SmartBarrel device is durable, weatherproof, LTE-connected, and can be powered via electricity or solar. Our time tracking solution uses AI-powered facial verification to automatically verify employee times, coupled with a dashboard that provides foremen the ability to review time cards and assign cost codes. SmartBarrel has been designed from the start as an excuse-free solution.
Fun Fact: The original time clock was designed to be mounted on the top of a construction safety barrel, which is where it got the name: SmartBarrel
Our Vision at SmartBarrel is to bring workers and companies together. We believe in providing a collaborative and transparent approach that will benefit both parties. We work hard to create a solution that construction will welcome.
Our motto is We Don’t F*** around. We maintain the essence of construction when it comes to innovation. Anyone can build cool technology, but in construction, it has to be simple – because otherwise it won’t get used. We have made it our mission to transform the way time is recorded and managed on construction sites.
At SmartBarrel, we believe in being approachable, knowledgeable, and passionate about the work we do. Our aim is to build trust and understanding with contractors and laborers, providing them with reliable solutions that make a tangible difference in their day-to-day operations.