All posts by chris.vandersluis

We’ve updated our Approvals Documentation because creating a functional timesheet approval process can be a challenge

HMS has been creating timesheet systems since its first mandate in 1984.  We’ve learned a few things since then.   By the time we released TimeControl, our commercial timesheet software in 1994, we had created numerous custom timesheet systems for organizations of many sizes.  We realized that timesheet approvals was the cornerstone of creating a timesheet that would work for an organization yet almost everyone had a different perspective on how timesheet approvals should work.  Who needed to do the approval?  The supervisor, the project manager, the account manager, the payroll manager?  Who else?  The subject could quickly become a quagmire.

That led us to create functionality in TimeControl that would be tremendously flexible and yet carry many robust layers, some visible, some behind the scenes that would let administrators create the timesheet approval mechanism they needed.

In 1994 we trademarked the term “The Matrix Approval Process for Labor Actuals™”.  This process is embedded within TimeControl and allows timesheet to be approved both by Project Management and by Finance.  There can be many other elements to creating your own approvals. TimeControl has continued to evolve and the ability to create approval mechanisms within the timesheet has evolved with it.  TimeControl’s functionality includes many more options for filters, validation rules, workflow, accruals and other building blocks to creating a powerful and multi-faceted automated approval process.

HMS Software has extensive resources available to TimeControl users to help develop an approval process that supports their particular environment.  Approvals can include multiple levels, conditional branching and include both full-timesheet validation and line-by-line approvals.  The TimeControl website includes an area dedicated to approvals including white papers, webcasts and other collateral created by HMS technical personnel.  The white paper “The Timesheet Approvals Challenge” shows why so many organizations end up implementing more than one timesheet system even when that is not their intention.  The white paper “Creating your Approvals Process in TimeControl” covers all the elements of functionality that you can employ in creating your own approval process.

Find out more about the Matrix Approval Process for Labor Actuals and how to solve your timesheet approvals challenges at: www.timecontrol.com/use-cases/matrix-approvals.

 

 

 

Read the new White Paper on Integrating TimeControl and Primavera

Oracle_GoldPartner_300x80Oracle-Primavera EPPM administrators know that a Primavera timesheet for task updates is already included when you purchase the EPPM Team Member license. But there are many business scenarios where using a third party timesheet will maximize your Primavera effectiveness.

TimeControl is a multi-function timesheet that is already integrated to both Oracle-Primavera EPPM and Primavera Pro.  It was created to bring timesheet functionality even further.

Imagine one or more of these scenarios:

You need a timesheet but you are using Primavera Pro on the desktop, not EPPM on the server or in the cloud

TimeControl already includes complete integration with both Primavera EPPM and Primavera Pro on the desktop. You can support as many desktop users as you wish and even have a mix of EPPM projects and remotely managed projects on Primavera Professional integrated at the same time.

Your rates are different per client or per project or per task

TimeControl has extensive rate management functionality allowing an individual to have an unlimited number of rate codes. An employee can have different rates for different projects, different rates for different roles on the same project or different rates for different tasks all on the same timesheet. Not only that, but for each of those rate codes you can maintain multiple values so tracking the internal cost, billing value and average project cost can be done all at the same time.

You use Roles rather than individuals in Primavera for Resource Scheduling

TimeControl supports the notion of work at the role level, the generic resource level and the individual.

You are working at a different level than the project tasks

TimeControl allows you to summarize Primavera activities into higher level TimeControl Charge Codes or to summarize TimeControl Charge Codes to Primavera activities. This lets the timesheet function at a different level than the project schedule.

Same timesheet for Primavera and Payroll and HR and Billing and R&D Tax Credits…

This is TimeControl’s key design feature. It is an auditable timesheet that is designed to be multi-purpose.  TimeControl fulfills multiple timesheet requirements from the same timesheet at the same time.  It’s perfect for Finance, HR, Payroll, Billing, and governance as well as integrated with Primavera.

You need to enter timesheets for a whole crew at a time not just individuals

Need to enter a high volume of timesheet data for field personnel who don’t even have access to a computer? TimeControl Industrial is our field data collection version which allows you to enter Crew Timesheets, Material consumption, Equipment usage and even production accomplished and integrate that information with Primavera.

TimeControl 6 / Primavera 6 Solution Portal

We have just published a new White Paper in our free TimeControl / Primavera Resource Portal where you’ll also find webcasts, factsheets, white papers, slide presentations and other information. You will see how integrating TimeControl and Oracle-Primavera allows a single timesheet to be used for multiple purposes.  You can read the new White Paper at: Integrating TimeControl and Primavera. or, go to the Portal at: Primavera.TimeControl.com.

Happy Holidays

We wish you and yours the very best of the holiday season from all of us on the TimeControl team.  During the holidays our hours (all in EST) will be:

Monday, December 24: 9am-12:30pm
Tuesday, December 25: Closed
Wednesday, December 26: Closed
Thursday, December 27: 9am-5pm
Friday, December 28: 9am-5pm

Monday, December 31: 9am-12:30pm
Tuesday, January 1: Closed
Wednesday, January 2: Closed
Thursday, January 3: Regular hours recommence

We’re delighted to receive this letter from HPS

Once again we’re proud to publish a letter from one of our clients.  In this case it is our UK-based friends at Hyde Part Solutions.  We’ve known the HPS for years so when they went looking for a timesheet, we were delighted to work with them.  The letter from Richard Jebb, the HPS Chief Technology Officer explains how the flexibility of TimeControl was a deciding factor. HPS has been growing at a rapid pace the last couple of years and we wish them continued success.  You can read the letter in its entirety at TimeControl.com/why-timecontrol/testimonials/hydepark.

Our thanks to Richard and the whole HPS team for their kind letter!

Everything I know about TimeControl, I learned in the Sandbox!

In early 2018, HMS introduced a new service associated to TimeControl Online. Called, the TimeControl Sandbox, it is a parallel service that brings a separate instance of TimeControl Online and features to replicate the exact data from the production instance of TimeControl.  The purpose of the service is to provide TimeControl Online administrators a separate TimeControl for the testing of new features and the creation and testing of new Link definitions, Validation Rules and Accrual processes without affecting the main system.  The TimeControl Sandbox is also an ideal place for training.

The cost is a small fixed price per year regardless of the number of users on your TimeControl Online subscription.

Here’s how it works

HMS creates a second instance of your TimeControl Online environment and links this instance to your production instance of TimeControl.  At any time, the Administrator can restore the complete production database into the Sandbox. If you have multiple backups, you can choose which backup to restore.

Some key points

  • You can never restore the Sandbox database into the Production database. This prevents any possibility of damaging the production database.
  • To move configuration changes into the Production system, the Export Packages function exports packages such as Reports, Validation Rules and Filters from the Sandbox and the Import Packages function imports them into the Production system.
  • Scheduling in the Sandbox is turned off. This prevents any unexpected transfers to or from corporate or project management systems.

For more information on the TimeControl Sandbox or to find out pricing, contact HMS at TimeControl.com/contact or email info@hms.ca.

What a difference Mobile Makes

It’s the day before Thanksgiving in the United States. More than 54 million people (yes, million) will travel more than 50 miles for the holiday in the US this year. So we’re going to take a moment to think about how to manage your timesheet responsibilities while you’re mobile.

The free TimeControl Mobile App has been available for over a year now and is one of the most sought-after elements of TimeControl functionality. If your organization has enabled the Mobile App, you can create your timesheet, edit a timesheet that is already in progress, and complete and release a timesheet. If you are a supervisor, you can do your approvals while on the move (in the passenger seat!). You can approve or reject a timesheet and, if need be, attach an email notification. If you are an administrator who had only a few more adjustments to do, you can recall a posted timesheet and apply debit/credit adjustments to it.

And all that from your phone or tablet!

The TimeControl Mobile App is available at no charge from the Apple Store for iOS iPhones and iPads and from Google Play for Android phones and tablets.

For more information on the TimeControl Mobile App, visit Mobile.TimeControl.com.

 

Our President was just featured on the Top Entrepreneur Podcast!

Here’s some news we don’t have every day.  HMS Software’s President, Chris Vandersluis was just featured on Nathan Latka’s Top Entrepreneur Podcast!  Nathan and Chris discussed HMS Software’s history as a premiere publisher of timesheet software and the rise of TimeControl as one of the most popular timesheet systems.  The Top Entrepreneur podcast is hugely popular and has featured some remarkable guests in the past.  We’re very proud to have our own President on the show!

The podcast can be found on iTunes at: http://nathanlatka.com/thetopitunes (it’s episode 1209) or from your desktop on Nathan’s site at: nathanlatka.com/thetop1209.  Take a listen to hear their conversation!

TimeControl 7.4.1 is now available!

We’re delighted to tell you that TimeControl 7.4.1 is now available for download.  This version updates TimeControl, TimeControl Industrial, TimeControl Online and the free TimeControl Mobile App.  TimeControl and TimeControl Industrial clients with a current support and maintenance agreement can download the new version immediately at TimeControl.com/support/updates.  HMS is preparing for the upgrade of TimeControl Online which will happen automatically in the next 2-3 weeks.  TimeControl Online customers will be notified a week in advance of the update.

There are many new features to be excited about.  Here are some of the highlights:

Charge Hierarchy

TimeControl now supports multiple methods of displaying a hierarchy of charge codes.  TimeControl has long been recognized for supporting hierarchical charge structures but the new functionality takes this to a new level.  Field hierarchy permits hierarchy to be built from multiple user defined fields in the Charge Table and you can create multiple breakdowns then switch them on the fly when you’re searching for charge codes in the timesheet!

Numerous new API methods

We have made extensive additions to the TimeControl API making it even easier to integrate TimeControl as part of an overall corporate environment.

Mobile Debit/Credit Adjustments

The TimeControl Mobile App now allows Debit/Credit update Adjustments.  This allows supervisors and administrators to open a Posted timesheet and apply adjustments to that timesheet and release those adjustments to Posting.

Mobile Posted Expenses and Attachments

The TimeControl Mobile App now includes the ability to view the expenses that are attached to a posted timesheet in the past as well as any attachments that might have been associated to the timesheet or expenses.

Assignments

We have made major changes to the Assignments Table.  Assignments can now be made as part of a person’s full time availability so one person could be put on two tasks simultaneously at 50% of their availability each.  You can also now have the assignment start and finish be dates other than the charge start and stop so assignments that were meant to occur only during part of the charge can be defined that way.

Administrator configuration enhancements

We have taken numerous elements of the TimeControl configuration and moved them from the TimeControl.INI file into the Administrator System Preferences and User Profiles functions.  This will make a huge difference for TimeControl Online environments where some of these features had to be managed at the server level.

New User Profile Features

There are numerous new settings in User Profiles that allows TimeControl’s configuration to be tailored to the person or group with that User Profile setting.  These changes include all-new Super-User reject and Modify rights .  You can also change how the Timesheet List appears, allowing only a certain number of weeks in the past or future to display.  A new Highlight feature helps when adding a timesheet by highlighting the current week or the last missing week for a new timesheet.

Control Period Create Times

When creating timesheets, TimeControl allows the number of periods in the past and the future to be constrained to avoid accidentally creating a timesheet in the wrong period or in a period when Finance is not expecting it.

Copy Hours

We’ve made it possible to control who is allowed to copy hours when creating a new timesheet using the Copy Timesheet function and activated the ability to copy hours.

And…

There’s so much more.  We’ve done a lot of work on high volume capacity, improved performance, added more revision auditing, and improved usability across the application.

Find out more at TimeControl.com/features/latest

Our president was recently interviewed on the B2B News Network

If you haven’t seen the interview already, we’re quite proud of it.  The piece is entitled Inside the Mind… of Chris Vandersluis and is written by Dave Gordon who is featured regularly on the Business to Business News Network.  Dave asks Chris to talk about the history of HMS Software and the evolution of TimeControl and to discuss for other entrepreneurs how to service some of the most well known organizations in the world as a small niche software publisher.  We invite you to give it a read.  The article can be found at:

www.b2bnn.com/2018/09/inside-the-mind-of-chris-vandersluis