I was delighted to be asked to pen an article for CEO Today Magazine. The piece is called “Do more with less: 5 Steps to Capitalize on the Resources You Already Have“. It’s a familiar topic around here as we speak to hundreds of organizations who use TimeControl to identify time that is being spent on tasks that is unproductive. If you’re interested in reading the article, you can find it at: https://www.ceotodaymagazine.com/2019/05/do-more-with-less-5-steps-to-capitalize-on-the-resources-you-already-have/.
Our TimeControl.com website hosts a section that will be of interest to anyone considering a new timesheet. The TimeControl Buyer’s Guide contains numerous resources that are the culmination of experience from our HMS timesheet deployment experts.
This area of the website provides information that both helps prospective timesheet buyers determine what kind of timesheet they might require and then shows how TimeControl can respond to those requirements. The information isn’t specific to just TimeControl so no matter what kind of timesheet you’re looking for, this section of our site may be useful.
The Timesheet Buyer’s Guide includes a number of tools that may be of interest to those considering a new timesheet system including:
- Webcasts of how to determine what type of timesheet might be required,
- A white paper analyzing the choice of buying a commercial off the shelf timesheet system vs. subscribing to a timesheet in the cloud vs. writing your own customized timesheet
- A downloadable evaluation checklist spreadsheet of the most commonly requested timesheet features with options for weighting features and scoring multiple timesheet systems,
- A Return on Investment Calculator spreadsheet which shows the financial impact of automating your timesheet system and;
- Numerous links to other resources.
The HMS Timesheet Buyer’s Guide is available at: TimeControl.com/why-timecontrol/buyers-guide. Access to the Buyer’s Guide is free.
We’re very proud to have received a wonderful testimonial letter from our friends at JGC in the UK. JGC is an engineering consultant contractor based in London who have been using TimeControl Online for some time now. The letter from their Man-hours Control Administrator talks about how TimeControl has helped automate their time booking and approvals and their reporting of man-hours.
We thank Essam Albu-khaleel and the entire JGC team for their support and wish them many more years of success with TimeControl there. You can read the letter in its entirety at: TimeControl.com/why-timecontrol/testimonials/jgc.
We’re delighted to announce the arrival of Patrick Grunikiewicz to the sales department at HMS. Patrick is well known to us here. He has worked in collaboration and project management systems in the Montreal area for much of his career. In that capacity, Patrick and HMS have worked together on client presentations and joint ventures for over 15 years. We are very excited that we are able to have Patrick join the team as one of our senior account executives. If you know Patrick already, please drop him a line at his new email: email@example.com to say hello. If you haven’t met Patrick yet, we’re sure you will soon as he begins working with our existing and prospective clients.
Welcome aboard Patrick!
We are delighted to announce that we have completed testing the integration of TimeControl with Microsoft Project 2019 for the Desktop. This continues an unbroken integration of TimeControl with every version of Microsoft Project since 1995. Yep – 1995 when the Dow was at 5117 and you could get a new car for $15,000. Ebay got started that year and a new revolution – the DVD was announced. It’s not a trivial thing to say that the relationship between HMS and Microsoft is one of the oldest technical alliances in the software industry.
We believe that the integration between TimeControl and Microsoft Project is essential. Many software companies focus solely on integrating with Microsoft’s Project Server. We have that integration also but there are millions of licenses of Project Desktop in the market and delivering an integrated centralized timesheet that can link to them is how TimeControl is best known.
We’re proud that TimeControl has had the longest standing integration with Microsoft Project of any tool in any category in the industry.”
The integration between TimeControl and Microsoft Project has evolved over the 24 years it has existed. The link currently supports Microsoft Project, Microsoft Project Online, Microsoft Project Server and many other Microsoft products like SharePoint and Excel.
Integrating TimeControl with Microsoft Project gives a single source of timesheet entry for multiple purposes. TimeControl’s auditable, multi-purpose design means the timesheet can be used not only for updating Microsoft Project with hours, costs, material and equipment consumption and task progress but also for updating Payroll, HR, Billing, Job costing, R&D tax audit tracking, Defense Contract Audit Agency Compliance and much more.
The TimeControl website contains numerous resources to support organizations who wish to explore how the link between TimeControl and Microsoft Project can help make them more effective.
- For information on the link between TimeControl and Microsoft Project, visit: TimeControl.com/use-cases/microsoft-project-on-desktop.
- For information on the link between TimeControl and Microsoft Project Server, visit: TimeControl.com/use-cases/ms-project-server.
- For information on the link between TimeControl and Microsoft Project Online, visit: TimeControl.com/use-cases/ms-project-online.
For more information on which Microsoft technologies can be advantageous when using TimeControl, visit the Microsoft TimeControl portal. It includes numerous free resources including white papers, webcasts, PowerPoint presentations and more. The Portal can be found at: Microsoft.TimeControl.com.
Imagine this scenario… You have to review timesheets before sending them back to the project management system. No problem. TimeControl’s Matrix Approvals lets you do approvals both at the organizational level and task-by-task for the project.
Now you find out that you also need to review any timesheet hours and costs prior to being accepted by billing. It’s very similar to the task-by-task exercise but it’s not for the project. It’s for the client, not the project.
Enter TimeControl’s Line Item Approvals (LIA). Line Item Approvals lets you add an additional line-by-line approval mechanism prior to sending the data to the billing system.
“But wait,” you say. “We also need to have each contractor review their timesheet data in the field prior to acceptance!”
Line Item Approval once again has this covered. This is one of the most powerful and extensible elements of TimeControl. It essentially takes the Project Manager Approval concept; something that has been in TimeControl since version 1.0 back in 1994 and extends it as many different times as you wish. The design of this feature is very elegant. It is associated to the Interface Definition of a Table Export. You might be using Scheduled Links or OnDemand Links or even pulling the information via TimeControl’s API but the Line Item Approval process flows through the interface definition. If you turn this on, the export will not send lines of data through that export that have not been approved.
It’s hard to make a graphic for this because it essentially takes the two axis Matrix Approval Process and makes it into a 3, 4, 5 or as many as you want axes.
Worried this might slow your approvals? No need. Each and every Line Item Approval flow is completely independent of the others. So, the Project Manager Approval might be weekly, the Account Manager Billing Approval might be monthly and the on-site contractor approval might be every two weeks. You get to decide.
There are many more features in this remarkable function. You can, for example, send automated emails when timesheet lines aren’t approved for a particular LIA approval process or filter the information that results from the approval process.
Setting up Line Item Approval takes only seconds but before you rush to do it, working through the workflow of what you’re trying to accomplish is worth taking some time on.
You can find out more about Line Item Approval in the TimeControl Reference Guide or ask your Account Manager if you’d like HMS Consulting Services to assist.
Oracle-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.
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
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.