Category Archives: TimeControl Industrial

Aegion Corp and HMS collaborate on a case study

We’re always delighted when clients let us know how TimeControl has made a difference.  This month, we are able to share with you a case study of Aegion Corp. who has been a TimeControl Industrial client since 2014.   HMS and Aegion collaborated on this  case study for several weeks.  It shows the results of interviews with several Aegion clients including the CIO, Thys Lourens.  Aegion is a Missouri based pipeline services company.

Aegion selected TimeControl Industrial for its ability to enable field data collection and reports in this case study that by using TimeControl they have been able to improve overall productivity.

You can read the Press Release on this study or go directly to the Aegion Case Study to find out more about how TimeControl has helped Aegion improve their effectiveness.  Here at HMS we’re proud to count them among our many clients.

Case Study: TimeControl.com/why-timecontrol/case-studies/aegion

 

The new TimeControl Mobile App includes Crew Timesheets!

In the lastest updated of TimeControl, enhancements to the free TimeControl Mobile App include new functionality for Crews.  When the Mobile App links to a TimeControl Industrial  license, additional functionality becomes available.  Providing that the user has security profile access to these functions, they can now create, and edit a Crew Timesheet.  In addition, the user can Approve or Reject Crew Timesheets as part of the approval process.

The Mobile App also allows the user to Add or Remove Crew Team Members.

Field Data Collection often occurs in areas where Internet services are spotty.  If a connection is lost, the TimeControl Mobile App continues working offline until the Internet is restored and then synchronizes with the main TimeControl system.

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

You can find out more about Crew Timesheets at: Industrial.Time
Control.com/features/crew-timesheet.

TimeControl Branding with your own logo

For many organizations, making TimeControl their own is a key element of deployment.  TimeControl allows you to brand your instance of the system with two logos.  The logos appear in the login screen and header of the interface.

Login Screen Logo

On the login screen, there is a transparent GIF graphics file which is shipped with TimeControl.  The file name is CompanyLogo.gif and it is expected to be no larger than 300×300 pixels.

You can edit and save a replacement file which will appear in every login screen.  We’ve turned the color of this one into a solid grey so you can see where it is placed but you can enter whatever you wish in the GIF file.

Interface Header Logo

In the main interface there is also a transparent GIF file which is located in the header directly to the right of the main TimeControl logo.

The filename is smallCompanyLogo.gif and it is expected to be no bigger than 300×45 pixels.  Again we’ve recolored this example into solid grey so you can see where it is placed.  You can edit this file and your branded image will then appear to the right of the TimeControl logo.

The files are located in the TimeControl Server directory: /Webfiles/Images/Logos/.

Just a reminder though, HMS does not support removal of the TimeControl logo or trademark notice at any time.

Full instructions are available from the HMS Support staff or in the TimeControl Reference Guide.

 

TimeControl Industrial 7.1 now available

On the heels of the release two days ago of TimeControl version 7.1 we’re delighted to announce the availability of TimeControl Industrial 7.1 . You can find out all about the amazing updates and changes of TimeControl 7.1 on yesterday’s blog post.  All of the features mentioned in the release of TimeControl 7.1 are also available in TimeControl Industrial 7.1  so we’ll focus today on the significant changes in TimeControl Industrial in this version.

TimeControl Industrial’s last version was 6.9 so this is a major upgrade to the Industrial Edition that includes all of the changes in version 6.10 of TimeControl and the evolution in version 7 to the multi-browser, multi-device architecture.   So this upgrade will be a signficiant one for TimeControl Industrial users.

Here are the new and enhanced features in TimeControl Industrial 7.1 that go beyond what was already in TimeControl 7.1:

TimeControl Industrial Crew Timesheets

tci71_crewtimesheet_300x240TimeControl Industrial’s core is built around the Crew Timesheet.  This addition to the classic TimeControl interface allows field data collection to amass high volumes of production values and enter them in a single interface.  This version of TimeControl has a completely rewritten version of the TimeControl Crew Timesheet which is built in TimeControl’s multi-device, multi-browser architecture.  There is no longer any ActiveX to be installed or anything else that is required on the browser.  The Crew Timesheet now works with virtually any browser including Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Mozilla, and of course, Internet Explorer.  There are other tools within the TimeControl Industrial Crew timesheet including the timesheet worksheet, materials entry and much, much more.

TimeControl Industrial Crew Timesheets Material Entry

Within the new TimeControl Industrial Crew Timesheet is a completely new Material Entry interface.  This tab of the Crew Timesheet allows non-labor entries for Material consumed, Equipment used and Production accomplished.  This area of the Crew Timesheet has been completely rewritten in version 7’s multi-browser, multi-device architecture.  The Material Tab duplicates the functionality of the main Material Entry screens except that approvals for these non-labor entries will be part of this crew timesheet’s approvals.  This will be particularly attractive to organizations who wish to do crew labor and non-labor approvals simultaneously through the same approval path.

TimeControl Industrial Material / Equipment /Production Entry

Aside from the tab on the TimeControl Industrial Crew Timesheet, TimeControl also has the main Material Entry module which has been rewritten in its entirety into the TimeControl 7 multi-device, multi-browser architecture.  This module allows the field data collection of non-labor entries such as Material, Equipment and Accomplished Production to be entered separately from the crew timesheet and approved along its own approval path.  This allows non-labor data collection and approvals to happen at times that don’t match the crew timesheet which is often the situation.

All TimeControl Industrial interface now in new Architecture

All remaining elements of the TimeControl Industrial interface have now been moved out of the old ActiveX controls and into the new TimeControl 7 multi-browser, multi-device architecture.  This means that users are no longer tied to only using Windows and Internet Explorer devices but can now use Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Mozilla or other browsers on their preferred devices to perform all of the TimeControl Industrial functions.  This includes Crew Management Crew Posting, Material Posting, Extended Rates management, Approvals and more.

And so much more…

Aside from these changes, there are also so many more that are now part of TimeControl Industrial from versions 6.10 and 7.0 TimeControl including: Sheduled Imports and Exports, Enhanced Reporting, Flexible Periods, the new Calendar View, the new GANTT view, Table Validation Rules, P6 Role support, Pay Periods, Windows Single Sign On and more.  There are also many more changes under the covers including performance improvements for high capacity or high volume implementations, ergonomic improvements to many of the screens, and improvements to the table interface which makes it faster to perform most functions.

You can get it now!

TimeControl Industrial version 7.1 is available immediately.  Find out more about the new features at Industrial.TimeControl.com/features/latest.  Existing users with a current support contract can access the upgrade at no charge at Industrial.TimeControl.com/support/updates.  For more information about your support status or to speak to HMS Technical services to request assistance with your upgrade, contact info@hms.ca.

Industrial users of TimeControlOnline users will be updated automatically in the coming weeks.

Our websites are sporting a whole new look!

We’re excited to tell you about a major overhaul of HMS Software’s web environment.  HMS are the publishers of TimeControl, the world’s most flexible timesheet system.  This is a significant change to one of the world’s most venerable web environments.
“The HMS Software websites are among the oldest in the world,” said Chris Vandersluis, President of HMS. “HMS has been around for 31 years and the original HMS Software website was established in the mid 1990’s just aver the release of the original Netscape browser.”
Over the last 20 years, the HMS Software web site has gone through a generational change every few years.  As the publishers of TimeControl, one of the world’s most popular timesheet systems, the web environment expanded beyond a simple website to accommodate the numerous perspectives of different types of users.
The original website was more of an online brochure and was one of the first of its kind.  We were rather proud of being about the 7,000th entry in the Yahoo directory.  That might not seem like the very start but the Yahoo directory was registering over 16,000 websites a day at its peak.  With the release of TimeControl in 1994, HMS started to expand the web environment quickly.  The most current iteration of the TimeControl sites has been across 5 domains: timecontrol.com, industrial.timecontrol.com, timecontrol.net, hms.ca and the original hmssoftware.ca.
Under the completely new design, the web environment will be pared down to three domains to respond to the core elements of HMS Software’s business.
The new site structure will allow us to better serve visitors with streamlined navigation, support for multiple devices such as tablets and smartphones and easier to find material.  With so much collateral available on the three sites, it should be much easier to locate and use with the new design.

The main site for TimeControl will remain timecontrol.com where existing clients will still be able to log in and get support and update information as well as access the extensive library of webcasts, white papers, factsheets and other technical collateral.  Prospective clients will be able to try TimeControl for free on the hosted trial site which they can register for here.  Prospective clients can find out about buying TimeControl for on premise installation or subscribing to the TimeControl Online service here. 


www.hms.ca

The corporate site will now become hms.ca where information about clients, new partnerships or marketing will be managed.  Traffic from the original hmssoftware.ca will be redirected to this site.This site contains our HMS history and news about us such as press releases.

industrial.timecontrol.com

For those interested in TimeControl Industrial, HMS Software’s field data collection version, information will remain at industrial.timecontrol.com.  Here the additional features of crew timesheets and tracking material and equipment usage will be explained along with the other features of Industrial.

The new websites have been optimized for numerous browsers, devices and operating systems so those who are using a tablet or smartphone to access the sites will be able to enjoy a rich user experience.

TimeControl 6.7 released

We’re extremely excited about the release of TimeControl 6.7.  We had always known that this last wave of removing ActiveX components from TimeControl would be the most challenging.  There were so many things under the surface that had to align in the final turn over to having all the code be multi-device and multi-browser.  Along the way we also took advantage of some R&D we had done over the last year as well as numerous customer enhancement requests. 
We are very proud of the final result.
TimeControl 6.7 is a significant upgrade from TimeControl 6.6 with many new and enhanced features.  Only TimeControl Industrial now has any ActiveX controls left in it and those are for the Crew Timesheet and Material entry screens.  (We’ll be addressing those later this year.) 
Here are a few of the more noticeable new and enhanced features you can now see in this version:
All New Workflow Engineclip_image001We’ve gone beyond Validation Rules and created an all-new workflow engine.  Now, based on conditions that TimeControl might find in a timesheet that is being released, you can have the system automatically email a supervisor, a project manager or someone you choose.  You can have the timesheet automatically post or move along the approval path in the manner you select.  You can even execute database commands at a Workflow event which makes this feature stunningly powerful.
ActiveX’s are no longer required in TimeControlThis is something we’ve worked towards for some time and we know that IT departments at will be delighted.  All remaining features which required an ActiveX installation in the standard edition of TimeControl or TimeControl Online have been replaced under the new multi-device architecture. 
New OnBoarding ImportOnBoarding We’ve written a brand new importing format for those who do lots of on-boarding of new staff which allows you to populate all the required tables for new employees in a single pass
Line Item ResourceLine Item Resource allows you to add a resource column to the timesheet and then have TimeControl use that Resource Code instead of the one associated to the Employee when transferring information to a project management tool.
All new server to server Project Management Link performanceWe’ve rewritten the server to server links between TimeControl and Microsoft Project Server and TimeControl and Oracle-Primavera’s P6 and have managed to make big improvements in performance.  The server-to-server links are now performing at between 18 and 20 times (That’s 1,800% – 2,000%) faster!  Transfers that used to take 60 minutes now take around 3. 
Improved Hard Dollar HD PCM LinkWe’ve made some huge improvements to the Hard Dollar HD PCM link.  The link is now much more configurable with support for multiple cost categories, allowing timesheets to be costed or uncosted when transferred, and more.
TimeControl Industrial Crew/Material combined entryWe’ve made an option in TimeControl Industrial 6.7 to enter both the crew timesheet and the non-labor entries for material consumption, equipment usage and production accomplished into a single entry on two tabs.  This will optionally allow crew entry staff to enter all the information in one pass and then release it all for approval at the same time.  We’ve also made it possible to enter production accomplished values on the same line.
Resources and RolesOur links to project management systems has always been one of our strongest suits.  Now when linking to Oracle-Primavera’s P6 you can create assignments by Resource or by Role. 
Legacy TabIf you’re an existing TimeControl client and you’ve read this far and are now hyperventilating over what you might have lost in this version, don’t worry.  We haven’t taken anything away that you might have depended on in older versions.  The old Formula1 report writer, old ActiveX Project Link for products like MS Project 2003 and earlier, Open Plan (via OLE) or Primavera P3 via RA are all there along with the old Drill Down Analyzer in a new tab called “Legacy”. 
Plus, we’ve made improvements and updates in all these modules:Filters, Missing Timesheet Notification, Manage Scheduled Jobs, Timesheet Release Audit Report, Posting, Scheduler, Manage External Tables, Interface Definition Table, Table Exports, Enhanced Table navigation, Import / Export Packages, Enhanced Employee Banks, Menu housekeeping, MS Project Interop link, Timesheet Tabs are now part of security, Charge Table Notes, Report updates, Missing Timesheet View, Timesheet Image reports and Posted/Unposted Reports. 
You can see screens and more detail on the new version at www.timecontrol.com/timesheet/latest or just contact HMS at info@hms.ca and we’ll be happy to talk to you about it.
Existing users with a current support agreement can download the new version right now at www.timecontrol.com/support/updates.  If you need help with updating your support agreement, contact us at support@hms.ca.

.Net 4 and higher required as of version 6.7

With TimeControl 6.7 now released, it’s a good moment to review some hardware requirements.  TimeControl and TimeControl Industrial 6.7 will require Microsoft .Net version 4 or higher.  Version 3.5 was sufficient for TimeControl 6.6 but that will not be enough to have TimeControl 6.7 function properly. 
Microsoft .Net 4 at a minimum must be installed on the TimeControl server and the application pool for the TimeControl application website must be using the .Net 4 framework.
For more information on Microsoft .Net, go to www.microsoft.com/net.  For questions about your TimeControl 6.7 installation, speak to HMS Support at support@hms.ca.

New Contractor Management Solution Page

HMS has just released a new use-case solution page to show how TimeControl and TimeControl Industrial can be used to better manage contractors. With the human resource partnering, outsourcing and sub-contracting of today, being able to contractor_approvals_2_300x267 manage your contractors is a critical element to being competitive and we’ve made this solution available at no charge to show how an organization can make tremendous efficiency improvements in how it manages its contractors.” included on the solution page is both a webcast and PowerPoint presentation as well as references to related information. The webcast includes a presentation and a software demonstration. Some of the benefits that are presented by using the techniques described in the presentation include:

  • Shortcut the invoice approval process. Save countless hours of purchasing personnel, clerks, project managers, contract managers and even the contractors themselves.
  • Find out what the contractors are working on, not just how much time they’re working
  • Find out how long it takes contractors to finish the tasks you’ve assigned.
  • Compare the performance of internally trained personnel to contractor personnel.
  • For contractors: Get paid faster.
  • For the client: negotiate an early payment discount because you’re now able to approve the invoice in days, not weeks.

You can access the Contractor Management Solution Portal at: www.timecontrol.com/solutions/contractormanagement and see a complete list of solutions at: www.timecontrol.com/solutions/.

Integrate TimeControl, Primavera and Hard Dollar Solution Page

With the release of TimeControl 6.5, organizations are now able to create a remarkably powerful project management environment by combinging the best of HMS’s TimeControl, Hard Dollar’s HD and Oracle-Primavera’s P6 all at the same time and we have created a TimeControl Solution Portal to give you access to resources on how this could help you with organizational efficiency.
Haven’t you ever wished you could take the best of the most popular project management tools and blend them together?
Now, thanks to TimeControl version 6.5, you can.

You can now integrate TimeControl or TimeControl Industrial with Hard Dollar’s HD and Oracle-Primavera’s P6 simultaneously to create one remarkably flexible and powerful environment.  Hard Dollar is known for its strength in project cost estimating and cost control.  It has been used for years in construction, engineering, utilities, mining and other industrial industries to create a rich definition of cost requirements for labor, material and equipment requirements for projects.  Primavera is world-renowned for its project scheduling, project tracking and resource capacity planning functionality.  TimeControl Industrial brings field data collection to a new level.  TimeControl has been available since 1994 and is one of the world’s best known timesheet systems.
TimeControl and TimeControl Industrial have had the ability to integrate with Primavera since 1997.  When Primavera users need to extend timesheet capabilities to meet financial requirements for not only job costing but also invoicing, payroll, HR and numerous government compliance rules, TimeControl is often the choice. 
HMS and Hard Dollar created a technical alliance in 2012 to create the same kind of integration between TimeControl Industrial and Hard Dollar’s HD cost control system and while doing so realized that something remarkable was possible.  There was already an integration between HD and Primavera’s P6 and the addition of TimeControl Industrial which already had the P6 integration itself meant that all the products could be combined together.  The TimeControl/HD integration was designed with that requirement in mind and it has surpassed our best hopes for improved efficiency. 
The bi-directional link between TimeControl and HD brings in job definitions and sends back the actuals on a day-to-day basis.  The bi-directional link between TimeControl and P6 brings in activity and step definitions along with resource assignments and sends back not only the resource and financial actuals but also estimate to complete and Activity Step progress.  TimeControl’s unique Matrix Approval Process for Labor Actuals™ means that data arrives already approved from both the organizational and project perspectives and is ready to use by Project Management, Job Costing, HR, Payroll and Finance.
It’s the best of not just both but all three worlds.  A blend of the best in world class performance from the leaders in project management systems.

For more information on combining TimeControl Industrial, Hard Dollar’s HD and Oracle-Primavera’s P6 into your winning combination, see our Solution Portal at industrial.timecontrol.com/solutions/tchdp6/
 For information on TimeControl Industrial, go to industrial.timecontrol.com or contact HMS Software at info@hms.ca, or call us toll free at (877) 699-8463 (International +1 (514) 695-8122).

What’s new in TimeControl 6.5

TimeControl 6.5 is now available and it represents a major evolution of TimeControl since 6.4.  Aside from HMS Software’s ongoing work to migrate administrative functionality away from ActiveX controls and our improving TimeControl’s ability to allow Administrators to use multiple devices and browsers to access and administer the system, HMS has added a major new reporting-writing engine, a completely new link option for linking to our new alliance partner Hard Dollar’s HD project cost and estimating system and significant improvements in both performance and other functionality.  These notes reflect updates in TimeControl since version 6.4.4. 
To see full size images of the screen shots here, just click on the image.
An all new report writer
GraphicsReport_12Long known for its incredible flexibility, TimeControl now extends that philosophy to reporting with a new WYSIWYG reporting engine that allows both tabular and graphic reports, complete format control and even calculated fields.
The new TimeControl Report Designer is so extensive; we’ve only just scratched the surface of its capabilities.  Users will be able to quickly create TimeControl reports by just dragging and dropping fields into the layout and, once they have been designed, reports can be displayed on almost any browser including even tablets and Smartphones.
Administrators can create new tabular or graphics reports and can group and summarize at will using the new TimeControl Report Designer.  NewReport_ReportDesigner_ProjectTable PreviewThe designer also allows things that TimeControl users have asked about including complete font control element, by element, the ability to add logos, images, shapes and control colors, the ability to conditionally change formatting (for example, displaying negative numbers in red), and even the ability to add calculated fields.
Once created, the new reports are displayed in TimeControl’s multi-browser architecture which means they are able to be displayed on many different pc browsers and devices.
In addition to being able to save data in an Excel format, just as the old report writer did, Users can also save data in PDF, XML, JPG and a variety of other formats.  The new TimeControl Report Designer comes with a new 230 page Guide which will help you learn your way around the new functionality.
For those who are now hyperventilating, thinking of all the investment in your existing TimeControl reports, don’t worry.  We are maintaining support for both report writers for the foreseeable future.
New Dashboards
Dashboard_PieChart_2We’ve done a complete rewriter of the TimeControl Dashboard creator in our multi-browser architecture and even added a brand-new pie-chart type.  You’ll now be able to create or update Dashboards for the system or for users in any browser or device.  TimeControl’s support to display dashboards in any browser or device remains unchanged. 
Updated System PreferencesSysPrefs_GeneralTabWe’ve rewritten System Preferences within our multi-browser architecture and that means Administrators for the most part can update settings for TimeControl from any device or browser without requiring an ActiveX installation.  The new updates have been improved not only for look and feel but also for ease of use and effectiveness.

Updated Validation RulesValidationRuleWe’ve rewritten the Validation Rule creator to allow you to use any browser of device and be much more effective working through adding or editing a business validation rule.

All new Manage LanguagesThe multi-lingual module of TimeControl has been rewritten into TimeControl’s multi-browser Manage_Languages_2_Grouped_by_Categoryarchitecture and while doing so we’ve improved not only the look and feel but also the find, replace and pilot grouping capabilities similar to the Drill Down Analyzer that will make managing multiple languages in TimeControl much more effective.  The function will no longer require an ActiveX to load which means you can use this function in any browser, pc or tablet device.

Manage External Tables
Manage_External_Tables_Manage_Links_ShortTimeControl 6.5 moves the Manage External Tables module to TimeControl’s multi-browser architecture and will make linking to external pop up lists and other external data much easier.  The function will no longer require an ActiveX to load which means you can use this function in any browser, pc or tablet device.

Updated LinksIF_ProjectServerWe have completely rewritten the Links modules with an update to the Interface Definition, the Connection Pool and other linking functionality which will serve to improve TimeControl’s already extraordinary ability to link to project management tools

All new Hard Dollar link
HD-TCi-HD_LinkThis version of TimeControl showcases our newest Strategic Alliance Partner, Hard Dollar.  Hard Dollar’s HD project estimating and cost control system is one of the premiere cost control packages in the world.  We have worked directly with the Hard Dollar development team to create a link to and from TimeControl and TimeControl Industrial so that users who do field data collection of labor, material, equipment and production values with TimeControl can have that data integrated with Hard Dollar. 
Link both Hard Dollar and PrimaveraOur link with Hard Dollar’s HD required a different kind of thinking that previous links because tc_hd_p6we wanted to support a simultaneous link with project scheduling software such as Oracle-Primavera’s P6.  TimeControl and TimeControl Industrial 6.5 can integrate with P6 and HD at the same time, making this combination a uniquely powerful project cost control environment.  Create the Project in HD, track the progress in TimeControl or TimeControl Industrial, plan and manage the project in Primavera and all 3 products are kept up to date.
If you are a TimeControl client with a current support and maintenance contract, you can download TimeControl 6.5 today at www.timecontrol.com/support/updates.  If you would like a demonstration of TimeControl 6.5 or to discuss the status of your support and maintenance contract, please contact info@hms.ca.