Category Archives: timecontrol

TimeControl Industrial 6.4 now available

This is a big month of announcements at HMS.  As you may have seen in our last newsletter, we have completed the migration of TimeControl Industrial into the TimeControl 6 family. This is a major new version of the TimeControl Industrial edition. TimeControl Industrial 6.4 has been designed specifically for field data collection of labor and non-labor usage on industrial and construction field sites. This builds on the already popular functionality of the classic TimeControl and delivers a timesheet system that can be used simultaneously for back office and field personnel as well as a field data entry system for material consumption, equipment usage and even production values accomplished.

We’re extremely excited about TimeControl Industrial coming into the TimeControl 6 architecture.  Bringing TimeControl Industrial’s field data collection functionality together with the highly flexible functionality of the classic TimeControl is a winning combination for many of our clients.”

TimeControl Industrial adds several elements of functionality that are ideally suited to collecting data in heavy construction, offshore, industrial or plant shutdown environments where the employees doing the work don’t have access to computers to enter the data themselves. These functions include:

Crew Timesheet Entry
TimeControl Industrial adds an additional timesheet interface to the weekly timesheet that is TC64_CrewEntry_300x209included for back office workers. TimeControl Industrial’s Crew Timesheet Entry allows crews to be assembled and then time entered for the entire crew at once. Crew Timesheet supports weekly, daily or even multiple timesheets per day to accommodate multiple shifts. Blank timesheets can be carried by the foreman or supervisor and then the timesheet for the entire crew is entered at one time. The Crew Timesheet Entry interface is included as both a web-browser and Windows Application Interface.

Material / Equipment / Production Entry
TimeControlIndustrial extends Field Data Collection beyond timesheets with the Material / tc6_materialentry_300x209Equipment / Production Entry interface. Non-labor cost entries can be allocated by project, by task, by resource and with a limitless number of possible rates to track material used, equipment expended and even production values of what was accomplished. This module is also delivered as both a web-browser and Windows Application interface for high-volume entry. When combined with either the Non-labor rates tables or the Extended Materials Rate system, multiple values can be tracked at once such as the actual internal cost, estimated cost, average project cost and invoiceable billing price. Once entered, Material / Equipment and Production can have unique approval paths or can be approved along the same lines as the Crew Timesheets.

Extended Rates
TimeControl Industrial includes functionality to vastly extend Rate tracking to atc6_crewextendedrates_300x238ccommodate complex burdened or premium rates or rates that vary for particular conditions. Imagine a field situation where unionized workers are paid different hourly premiums if they work the evening or overnight shifts and additional premiums if they work in inclement weather or in a remote location. Or imagine equipment costs that are different if the equipment is used at night or when the temperatures are very warm or very cold. Managing this with a traditional timesheet could be a challenge, but not with TimeControl Industrial, The extended Rates system handles these types of situations easily by matching user-defined and existing columns of data in the Crew Timesheet Entry and Material / Equipment / Production Entry interfaces with identical columns in the Extended Rates table.

TimeControl Industrial delivers a highly flexible timesheet and material / equipment / production data collection system to the field. It has been developed with requirements straight out of field use with our clients and we have found from experience on client sites that it delivers increased productivity. But, we also know that organizations and requirements change and TimeControl Industrial’s flexibility means the system can adapt whenever that is required.

TimeControl Industrial includes all the functionality that has made TimeControl one of the world’s most respected timesheet systems including links to project management systems such as Oracle-Primavera, Microsoft Project and Deltek’s Open Plan. It also includes links that can be defined for Payroll, HR and Finance systems as well as ERP systems such as PeopleSoft, Oracle Financials and SAP.

TimeControl Industrial is available immediately. Clients with current support contracts have access to the upgrade at no cost. For more information on TimeControl Industrial, visit http://industrial.timecontro.com.

TimeControl Industrial is available both for installation on premise or as a subscription in the cloud online.

About TimeControl
TimeControl was originally released in 1994. It was immediately successful in the project management sector and today is recognized not only as a project management solution, but also as an enterprise timesheet solution in use by companies worldwide. TimeControl is designed as a multipurpose timesheet able to serve the needs of both Finance and Project Management simultaneously. It includes features such as a multi-browser, multi-device interface, a PC and mobile interface, vacation approvals, executive dashboards, extensive approval functionality, flexible reporting and links to project management and corporate systems which makes the timesheet product ideally suited for integration with existing systems in any organization. TimeControl’s flexibility allows it to be deployed for use as a time and attendance, time and billing, project tracking and flex-time system.  TimeControl is available both for purchase for an on-premises installation or as an on-line subscription in the Cloud.
For more information about TimeControl and TimeControl Industrial, monitor the TimeControl blog at blog.timecontrol.com, the TimeControl Industrial website at industrial.timecontrol.com or the main TimeControl website at www.timecontrol.com.
For information about TimeControlOnline, our hosted timesheet subscription service in the cloud, go to www.timecontrol.net.
For any other questions, please contact HMS Software at info@hmssoftware.ca.

HMS has representatives or distributors in Argentina, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, Finland, Ireland, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand, the UK, and the U.S.

About HMS Software
Based in Montreal, Canada with offices in Toronto, HMS Software has been a leading provider of project management and enterprise timesheet systems and services since 1984.  HMS Software’s first customized timesheet application was written in 1984. With the launch of TimeControl as a commercial application in 1994, HMS Software began servicing clients worldwide. 

HMS Software’s client list reads like a who’s who of business. It includes Acergy, Aecon, Rio Tinto, the Atlanta Airport, the City of Montreal, the County of San Mateo, Electromotive Diesel, EXFO, FT Services, Kelly Services, Koch, Merck Frosst, the Government of Quebec, Georgia Pacific, Parker Hannifin, Rolls Royce, Sobeys, Volvo Novabus, Zimmer Inc. and hundreds of others. 
For further information about HMS Software, please visit the HMS website at: www.hmssoftware.ca or contact us at info@hmssoftware.ca.

Did you catch us in the recent InformationWeek report on Software as a Service (SaaS) Project Management Tools?  Yes, that was TimeControlOnline listed in tools you can use to manage your projects online through a subscription service.

The article is free and can be found at: Information Week Reports.
For more information on TimeControlOnline, you can go to www.timecontrol.net.

HMS is going to London… Ontario that is

boothAre you going to the PMI Southwest Ontario Symposium?  Us too!  HMS will be exhibiting at the SWOC PMI Chapter’s Symposium event on April 27th.  The event is being held at the

Lamplighter Inn & Conference Centre at: 591 Wellington Road, London, Ontario.

If you are interested in meeting HMS staff in person or talking to us about TimeControl or other HMS Services and are in the area, then please let us know.  If you are attending the symposium and would like to make sure we organize an appointment with you, please email info@hmssoftware.ca or give us a call at 514-695-8122. 

For more information on the symposium, go to: www.pmiswoc.org

New white paper: The Timesheet Approvals Challenge

We’ve done a rewrite of our core white paper; the document that describes how TimeControl became one of the world’s most popular timesheet systems.  “The Timesheet Approvals Challenge” shows why so many organizations end up implementing more than one timesheet system.

We know that no one wakes up one day and says “I’ve got a great idea.  Let’s deploy as many timesheet systems as we can find,”

The problem is that different aspects of the organization are trying to solve different problems and even if they find a powerful timesheet, where it breaks down is in the concept of approvals and that is most challenging in a matrix organization.

When an organization needs a timesheet for only time and attendance, timesheet approvals are fairly straightforward.  We have the supervisor approve the timesheet in its entirety along with any time off that was recorded. There are timesheets that cater to this need.

When it needs a timesheet for only project tracking, again timesheet approvals are fairly simple.  We have project managers approve the time allocated to each task.  There are timesheets that cater to this need.

When the organization needs a timesheet for only HR Tracking, timesheet approvals are again quite basic. HR supervisors will ensure that the timesheet does not exceed entitlements for vacation, sick leave or personal time off. There are timesheets that cater to this need.

When a timesheet is implemented for billing, it is the account manager and the billing clerk who will review the time and ensure it meets the billable criteria and has the appropriate rate.

But, what do you do when you have more than one of these requirements?  It is to this environment that “The Timesheet Approvals Challenge” white paper was created.  The paper outlines the timesheet selection and implementation difficulties that are most prevalent in industry and outlines how organizations try to overcome them.

The paper lays out key criteria for deploying a multi-purpose timesheet with the approvals functionality required to allow a single timesheet interface to collect and approve the timesheets for multiple requirements.

Access to the white paper is free and can be found on the Matrix Approvals Solution portal of HMS Software’s TimeControl website at timecontrol.com/solutions/matrixapprovals.

Exporting / Printing long notes

If you have timesheet notes that are longer than 255 characters, you may have found it difficult to print those notes in a regular TimeControl report.  This is thanks to the Formula1 module that has been used in TimeControl for a very long time to product and view reports.  In an upcoming version of TimeControl we’ll have some additional reporting functionality but for the moment, there is another easy way to get a report that includes notes up to 4,000 characters.
Just export them to Excel.  Here are the basic steps
1. Make a new Table Export based on PSDetails
exportnotes1
2. Select fields that may interest you such as Charge Codes and Descriptions from the Posted Charge Revision table and Hours and Date work performed from the PS Detail table
exportnotes2
3. Now select the Posted Detail/Line table and select Posted Notes. These are the notes that are attached to each line in the timesheet. (For the notes that are attached to the entire timesheet header, select the Posted Line Header table and select Posted Header Note)
exportnotes3
The resulting CSV file will export the notes which should be readable into Excel.

TimeControl 5 Supports 64bit installations

There are a number of clients who have happy TimeControl 5.x installations and for one reason or another aren’t ready to move up to the TimeControl 6 family.  While there are numerous great reasons to go to TimeControl 6, we understand that upgrading right away isn’t for everyone.
We’re happy to report that while we are not putting new functionality into TimeControl 5, improvements in its infrastructure continue.  We’ve found with the help of a couple of clients who were determined not to say no, how TimeControl 5 can be successfully installed into Windows 2008 R2 (yes, R2, the 64bit version!)
We’ll make sure we include these steps in future TimeControl 5 Installation documentation but for those who want to try this sooner, here are the steps required.  First, do your installation as normal in your Windows 2008R2 64bit server environment.  We have only tested this 64bit installation technique on that version of Windows Server using IIS7.  Next:

1. Create an application pool and in *Basic Settings* make sure you set the *Managed Pipeline* to *Classic* (Click on the image at right to see the full-sized screen)
Install_64Bit_1

2. The under *Advanced Settings* set the *Enable 32-Bit Applications* setting to *True*
Install_64Bit_2

3. Then set the web site to this application pool by going into the *Basic Settings* and select the *Application Pool* to the new application pool that was just created.
Install_64Bit_3

4. Now restart the Application Pool and the Web Site to make sure the new settings are accepted and voila, you should be good to go.

Another happy customer

It’s a great feeling when clients tell us how much they love TimeControl and how it makes their life easier but when people actually take the time to write us a letter it’s even better!

I’d like to share with you an excerpt from a letter we received from Laura Nadeau of AeroInfo Systems (a Boeing Canada company):

“… My name is Laura Nadeau, I am the TimeControl administrator for Boeing Canada.  When I started with this company three years ago, I had to release every single employee individually. Now, all it takes is a simple reminder notice to employees and their managers to release their hours and the system does all the hard work for me. Thank you so much for this, as I no longer dread Monday mornings …”

Thank you Laura, you made my day.

If you are interested in reading more TimeControl testimonials, please visit: http://www.hmssoftware.ca/clients/testimonials/ If you or someone you know is interested in writing a testimonial, please contact our marketing department at: (514) 695-8122.

TimeControl 6.3 now available

TimeControl's new Virtual Trees allows a tremendous volume of data to be displayed virtually instantly.  Click here for a full screen view.TimeControl 6.3 has arrived and with it a long list of great new features many of which have been suggested by our clients.  Some of these features should delight both Administrators and End users.  Here are a few of the new features:
Virtual TreesTimeControl has always allowed for hierarchical display of our charge codes and other table entries.  Some TimeControl clients have tens of thousands of such hierarchical table entries.  In the past, TimeControl has had to load 100% of these records and then had to sort them into their appropriate hierarchy prior to displaying them and when the volume was large, this could take some time. Our new Virtual Tree display allows TimeControl to fetch only the top level of the hierarchy, display that and then fetch only the data the user wishes displayed when they click on the “+” key. We’ve been doing testing with 150,000 records and the results are startlingly fast.

Manage statutory holidays with the new TimeRequest™ WizardThis allows administrators to create pre-approved TimeRequests for employees of their choice. It’s an ideal tool for pre-loading entries such as statutory holidays. A TimeControl administrator can now create a “Statutory Holiday” TimeRequest for every employee in the system that would include all statutory holidays for the year (Canada Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc…). These TimeRequests are automatically approved and will appear on all affected employee timesheets at the time of their creation. TimeRequest iCal Approved TimeRequests can now be input into Outlook with a single click!  Click here for full screen view.When your Vacation is approved in TimeControl you can now just click to have it automatically open in your Outlook or other calendar program! TimeRequest Notifications People love how TimeControl can notify you by email automatically when there’s a problem with a timesheet.  Now you can do the same with TimeRequests.  When your vacation is approved, your supervisor can send you a quick note right from the TimeRequest screen and even include a link to add it to your agenda.  It’ll be nice to get happy emails from TimeControl! Lots, lots more…There are numerous other improvements including:

  • Cache updates right from the menu
  • Copy User Settings from one user to many
  • Copy Status from the Project table directly to all associated charge codes
  • Copy Status from one charge code to all the child charges in a single click

Existing TimeControl clients with current support contracts can find more information on TimeControl 6.3, on the Support/Updates page at timecontrol.com/support/updates.  There is no charge for the upgrade.

Manage your vacations with TimeControl

It’s summer time and the vacation schedules are just about to get underway. Here at HMS we thought it would be a good time to share with you a free guide on how to use TimeControl to better manage vacations in your organization. TimeControl is one of the most recognized timesheet systems for organizations who need a single timesheet interface to fulfill the multiple requirements of payroll, human resources, project management and finance.

vacations webcast 2 We’ve created a free webcast narrated by HMS Software’s President, Chris Vandersluis. It’s only a few minutes long and you can see some key functionality demonstrated that helps organizations manage vacations whether from an end-user or administrator perspective. Included in the webcast are discussions on:

The TimeControl Dashboard
The TimeControl dashboard includes a module by default which shows Vacation, Sick Leave and Personal time banks with indicators of how much time the employee has available in each bank, how much they’ve taken and how much is remaining. Just knowing how much time is left available to them lets employees plan their vacations better.

Managing Banked Time
TimeControl can also control banked time in a number of ways. TimeControl can be configured to accrue vacation as its earned so the bank of time increases each month. You can also track banked overtime if your organization has such a policy and track deposits of overtime into the bank and withdrawals of time off from the bank.

Vacation Approvals with TimeRequest™
TimeControl’s TimeRequest feature let’s the employee request approval for vacation right inside the timesheet itself. Then, once approved, the vacation is automatically inserted into the employee’s future timesheet.

Validation Rules
TimeControl’s Validation Rules let administrators determine what vacation rules are acceptable. You can restrict an employee from taking time that they’re not entitled to or, if you allow it, permitting time to be taken before it’s earned. These business rules have everyone who enters their vacation timesheet already complying with the organization’s policies.

Alternate User Functionality
We’ve thought of supervisors also. After all, managers and supervisors take vacation too! TimeControl’s Alternate User function lets a supervisor delegate their approval responsibilities to someone else while they’re away. (TimeControl still tracks who has actually done the approvals for proper auditing.)

TimeControl Mobile
Finally, if the vacation is going so well that you’d like to keep it going for another week, TimeControl Mobile is a part of every TimeControl implementation. Use your Smartphone to log into TimeControl from wherever you are and add a week’s vacation in your timesheet!

To see the free webcast, visit the TimeControl HR Solutions page at http://www.timecontrol.com/solutions/hr/. The webcast is available in the Webcasts area at the bottom of the page.