TimeControl Value Propositions for Team Members

We have focused on making time-entry in TimeControl quick, easy and convenient because CAMERA PICTURES 018the truth is that team members just want to get their timesheet done – usually in a hurry on Friday afternoon.  The fact that TimeControl is web-based means that employees can enter their timesheet from almost anywhere, as long as they have access to the internet.  With TimeControl Mobile, users can even enter time from their smartphone mobile device. 
The TimeControl timesheet can be pre-populated with scheduled tasks imported from a project management system.  The timesheet can also be pre-populated with tasks that the employee usually performs, we call this a personal pre-load.  Having the tasks already in the timesheet means the team member simply needs to assign hours to the tasks that are already loaded.  Another form of timesheet pre-load involves the use of the TimeRequest module.  Employees request time-off or other special time through TimeRequest by filling out the date and description of the time (vacation time, personal day, banked time, etc …).  When this time request is accepted, the time is automatically populated in the future timesheet. 
From the MyTimeControl homepage dashboard, employees can quickly see how much sick time, personal time and vacation time they have taken and is available.  Training hours, banked time and more can also be seen if the company opts to track this type of time.  This knowledge empowers employees to better manage their time and eliminates the need to be constantly be calling HR to ask for this information.   
This post has been a continuation of the TimeControl value propositions started last week.  Over the coming weeks I will continue on this series outlining the key benefits of using TimeControl by company role.  Last week we covered Executives and in the posts to come we will continue with CIO’s, Project Managers, CFO’s, Resource Managers, HR managers and Payroll managers.
For more information on the benefits of TimeControl by role, please check out the TimeControl Value Propositions factsheet located on the www.timecontrol.com site.

TimeControl Value Propositions for Executives

The use of TimeControl can have many benefits across an organization.  Sometimes it is helpful for people to understand just how TimeControl can benefit them according to what position they hold in the company. 
Today I will outline some of the key benefits that Executives would get out of TimeControl.CAMERA PICTURES 140
If you’re an executive, you’re used to looking at the big picture because your daily decisions affect the organization.  TimeControl allows executives to have timely reports to show where labour is being spent.  In some organizations, executives have to look at project data to track metrics on project progress and then look at financial timesheets to assess non-project labour.  One of the major benefits of using TimeControl is that it collects both project and non-project data for everyone which means that consolidated data is available for all staff. 
TimeControl offers flexible reporting with unlimited levels of data selection, filtering and sorting.  The ability to have immediate access to any report you need saves you time and energy and allows you to focus on decision making.  Perhaps you would be shocked to see how many hours have been spent in meetings over the past week.  TimeControl gives you the information you need to focus resources onto more effective tasks which saves money and improves the bottom line.
For more information on the benefits of TimeControl by role, please see the TimeControl Value Propositions factsheet located on the www.timecontrol.com site.

Managing banked time with TimeControl

Keeping track of banked time is one of the fundamental reason for purchasing a timesheet system.  Every company has it’s own policies which offers employees certain types of non-standard time that that needs to be kept track of.  Vacation time, personal time and sick days are the most common and that is why they come as part of the default set-up in TimeControl.  These can be modified or added to for a total of 9 banks per employee. 
Hours are allocated to each of the banks through the employee table. As the employee draws from the banks, TimeControl keeps track of the time taken.  When users log into TimeControl they will see a table of banked time on the main dashboard.  This table shows the allotted time, time taken and time remaining which allows employees to keep track of their own banked time.
Validation rules can be created to ensure that people are not taking more hours out of a bank than is available.  Also, employees can use the TimeRequest function to request permission to take time from a particular bank when permission is needed. 
For more information please check out the webcast entitled Managing Banked Time which is available in the TimeControl Online Learning Center.

Selecting TimeControl for Online or On-premises

online_vs_onpremisesWith TimeControl now available to be purchased for on-premises installation and for subscription to our TimeControlOnline hosted timesheet service, there is a choice to make.  Here at HMS we’ve been asked recently “Which is better – Hosted or Purchased?” and the answer isn’t obvious. Whether you subscribe to TimeControlOnline or purchase TimeControl to install on your own servers, there’s lots of great functionality including:

  • Multi-browser easy to use interface
  • TimeControl mobile smartphone interface
  • Links to project management systems like MS Project
  • Links to ERP/Finance, Payroll and HR systems
  • Matrix Approvals
  • Automated Validation Rules
  • Extensive Reporting
  • Vacation approvals
  • Email notifications
  • Multi-lingual functionality

But there specific advantages for both subscribing or installing so we’ve put together some resources that we hope you’ll find useful on our Timesheet Buyer’s Guide solution portal including:

Webcast
A short webcast by our President, Chris Vandersluis comparing the differences of purchasing TimeControl vs. subscribing to TimeControlOnline along with some basic questions you can ask yourself to see which path is optimal for you. Read more…

Slides
A PowerPoint slideshow that is used in the webcast.   Read more…

Factsheet
A 4-page factsheet entitled Online vs. On-premises which puts side-by-side comparison of the different options available with both products.  Read more…

Timesheet Buyer’s Guide
This solution portal contains numerous resources other than those we’ve listed here on how to select a timesheet for your needs and how TimeControl might apply to those requirements.  See more at buyersguide.timecontrol.com.

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.

Being more effective with TimeControl

TimesavingTipsWe confess that here at HMS, there are some people who actually have happy dreams about timesheets… but then we don’t expect that of normal people!

The truth is, no one likes having to do a timesheet at the end of the day or the end of the week when you’d like nothing better than to be in your car on your way home so we put our heads together to see if there were ways we could share that would save a minute here and a minute there on doing your Timesheet.  Here are the top 8 of our favorite tips on saving time when using TimeControl:

  1. Make a timesheet icon on your desktop
  2. Set tab defaults for the home page
  3. Copy last week
  4. Personal preloads
  5. Resource preloads
  6. Set defaults for Rates and Projects
  7. Hide fields you don’t use
  8. Click Append or Insert rather than Save and then Append

We’ve made a webcast showing how to implement each of these 8 tips called Timesaving Tips in TimeControl.  We hope you like it.  You can find this webcast and other great lessons in the TimeControl Online Learning Center.

TimeControl now available as a hosted service with TimeControlOnline

TimeControl is open for business in the cloud with TimeControlOnline! We are delighted to announce the availability of our Timesheet as a Service (TaaS) hosted subscription. This new service brings all the power, flexibility and ease of use of one of the world’s most popular timesheets to a hosted subscription model. TimeControl_InTheCloud

TimeControlOnline culminates a development initiative that began in 2007 and lets clients who are interested in a hosted timesheet service start with TimeControl instantly.

The new hosted service brings a remarkable set of TimeControl features and benefits to the online subscription model. TimeControl and TimeControlOnline include functionality for time and attendance, time and billing, project-tracking, linking to project management tools, vacation approvals and even a mobile interface all in the same package. And, with TimeControlOnline, there is no hardware to purchase, nothing to install, nothing to maintain and nothing else to purchase. Everything is included in one competitive subscription price.

TimeControlOnline Features include:
Multi-browser/Multi-lingual interface
TimeControlOnline’s interface is designed to be easy to use. We know that end-users will spend only a few minutes a week entering their timesheet so the interface must be both simple and intuitive. TimeControlOnline is multi-browser compatible and multi-lingual.
TimeControlMobile Smartphone interface
TimeControlOnline now includes a mobile interface designed for smartphones like the iPhone, Blackberry as well as Android and Windows 7 Mobile devices.
Vacation approvals with TimeRequest
TimeRequest is TimeControl’s vacation approval system. It is a simple easy-to-use screen to enter requests to take time off in the future and once approved, the time will automatically appear in the appropriate future timesheet.
Matrix timesheet approvals
TimeControl has an extensive approvals system including automated validation rules, multiple levels of approvals and individualized approval paths. The unique Matrix Approval Process for Labor Actuals was designed to allow both work-based approvals and organization-based approvals to occur at the same time.
Email notifications for missing timesheets
On Monday morning the hardest thing about timesheets can be finding them. TimeControlOnline makes this easy with automatic scheduled email notifications.
Links to Project Management
TimeControl supports more project management links than any other timesheet on the market. Whether you use Microsoft Project or Project Server, Oracle’s Primavera or Deltek’s Open Plan or Cobra, TimeControl can help create an integrated Enterprise Project Management environment.
Government compliance
TimeControl enables organizations to comply with many different government standards including the DCAA, R&D tax credits, the FMLA, California Wage Laws, the European Time Directives and Sarbanes Oxley.

Pricing for TimeControlOnline starts at a highly-competitive $12/month/user with a minimum of 10 users. Discounts are available for volume subscriptions. Prospective clients can request pricing for their particular configuration at www.timecontrol.net/contact/pricing.  TimeControlOnline is available immediately. Additional information and pricing can be found at www.timecontrol.net.

TimeControl is your SharePoint timesheet

Did you know that TimeControl can be deployed right inside the SharePoint interface? For organizations that have adopted the Microsoft SharePoint environment as their Intranet or Corporate Portal software,  TimeControl is the perfect fit because it allows end-users to enter their time in TimeControl without ever leaving SharePoint. 

SharePoint is a  powerful collaboration environment which is used by over 85 million people around the world.  TimeControl is one of the first timesheets anywhere to completely support the SharePoint interface (versions 2003, 2007 and 2010) and provide SharePoint end-users with an uninterrupted user experience!

The following video-presentation shows how you can integrate your TimeControl 6 environment with SharePoint in a couple of ways. First, the demonstration in this webcast shows TimeControl provisioned into a SharePoint worksite. The webcast also shows how SharePoint lists can be saved so they can be imported and implemented right into TimeControl and then shows a timesheet with those SharePoint tasks available as charges on an employee’s timesheet.

To find out more about how TimeControl can be implemented within SharePoint, consult our TimeControl and SharePoint Solution page.

If you are interested in extending your collaborative experience by adding Microsoft Project to the TimeControl / SharePoint mix, be sure to also visit the TimeControl, SharePoint, Microsoft Project Solution Portal.

Free Solution Portal: Collaborative Project Management

HMS Software has released a new solution area for those who wish to create a collaborative project management environment and who have already adopted SharePoint for their collaboration platform and Microsoft Project desktop as their scheduling tool. This portal contains numerous resources showing how to link TimeControl, Microsoft Project and SharePoint.

clip_image001The combination of SharePoint and Microsoft Project desktop already gives much of the functionality that a collaborative project environment requires. The combination of functionality allows for planning, scheduling, issue tracking, team communications, document management and more. There is, however, a gap when it comes to tracking tasks as they move forward:

Time

HMS Software’s TimeControl is already integrated with both Microsoft Project desktop and SharePoint. TimeControl’s integration with Project dates back to 1995 making it one of the longest standing relationships with Project in the world. TimeControl’s interface can also be provisioned directly into a SharePoint site. The product’s design has catered to this functionality since SharePoint 2002. TimeControl also integrates with Microsoft Project Server for those organizations which eventually graduate to Microsoft’s EPM solution.

This new solution area on the www.timecontrol.com website contains numerous resources that showcases TimeControl working with both SharePoint and Project.

Resources on the website include Webcasts, Factsheets, PowerPoint presentations, a White Paper, screen shots, and links to other online resources. There is even a link to the free TimeControl Hosted Trial site.

The new TimeControl Solution Portal is available for free at: www.timecontrol.com/solutions/projectsharepoint/.

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.

The official blogsite of TimeControl