Tag Archives: enterprise timesheet

HMS Software’s timesheet best-practices portal

Did you know that HMS maintains a portal for timesheet best practices?  It’s true.  The TimeControl website has had a section dedicated to best practices for years and updates it on a regular basis.  In fact, the TimeControl website has a number of resource areas that may be of interest:

TimeControl Best Practices

This is not a list of features of TimeControl but rather how organizations, executives and individuals can get the most out of a timesheet system.  The portal is divided into those categories and each section includes resources that are targeted for that particular perspective.  In the Organization section, for example, there is an empty process guide template in Word that can be adopted to document timesheet practices on a per week, per month or per incident basis.  In the Individual’s section, you’ll find a webcast on how to get in and out of your timesheet as efficiently as possible.

The Best Practices portal is free and can be found at: TimeControl.com/resources/best-practices/organizations.

Use-Case Library

Aside from the Best Practices Portal, HMS also maintains numerous other free resources that can be of interest to those using TimeControl.  These include the Use-Case solutions area with the most common business challenges TimeControl solves.  Users can review the multiple use-cases at: www.timecontrol.com/use-cases

Resources Library

In addition to the many use-cases for TimeControl, additional resources can be found in the Resources section and the Support section including a bank of Frequently Asked Questions, webcasts, white papers, slides and factsheets.

Visit the Best Practices area of the TimeControl website and the Resources area for more information.

 

TimeControl is popular in both the public sector and the private sector

When we think of project management systems and enterprise timesheet systems, most of the literature is oriented around the private sector.  Benefits are thought of as “time to market” and “profitability”.  TimeControl certainly has many private sector clients but it is also very popular in the public sector.

While profit may not be a key performance indicator, there is much more focus these days in the public sector on transparency, and good governance in the use of taxpayer funds.  Time and Attendance in the public sector has always been a common business case for timesheets but more and more public sector operations are now project or results oriented and this has brought many public sector organizations to look at tracking time on an activity-by-activity basis for many of their staff.

Key performance indicators in the public sector may not be revenue oriented (although they can) but might include instead speed of delivery, citizen satisfaction and cost to implement new laws.

As a result, some elements of tracking labor actuals that public sector clients look for include a high degree of flexibility, speedy deployment and ease of use.

The TimeControl website includes a free Public Sector Solution Portal which caters more to public sector use cases.

 

TimeControl Flexibility lets you actually add functions to the menu

TimeControl is known in the industry as the most flexible timesheet available and that’s true in so many ways.  The ability to add extra fields or validation rules or make the display of the timesheet vary depending on your role are all remarkable features.

But did you know that you can even add functions to the timesheet?

It’s true.

In the Maintenance area of the TimeControl Menu the Edit Menu function allows you to add a completely new function.  This is often used by our own staff to add extra documentation to a client’s menu with a PDF or other file that is specific to the client.

But you can add anything you have a URL for.  As an example, we’ve created an Online Lesson in the TimeControl Online Lessons area that shows how to add Online Lessons to the Help menu!

Once a menu item is added, it becomes part of the TimeControl structure and is controllable in the Security Profiles area just like any other menu function.  And when TimeControl is upgraded, these menu items will upgrade automatically at the same time.

It’s just one more way that TimeControl is adapting to how you want to function.

TimeControl.com has free online training

onlinetraining_250x109Not everyone is happy to read through manuals from cover to cover.  After all the TimeControl printed documentation runs over 1,000 pages.  But printed documentation is only one of the many tools available to Administrators and end-users on how to use TimeControl.

We’ve done recent updates to our Online Video Training Library. There are separate lessons for TimeControl 8 and even older versions.

These lessons are only 3-7 minutes each so users can work at your own pace. Each mini-lesson shows a single feature or function of TimeControl. Some are designed for end-users, others for TimeControl Administrators.

There are many other resources as well on the website including webcasts, white papers, slide presentations, factsheets and even a section on timesheet best practices.  You can browse through all of these resources at no charge at the Resources Area TimeControl.com.

Managing what isn’t there – missing timesheets

Nerd_Lost_iStock-906654482_300x200.jpgOn a Monday morning, sometimes the tougest thing to deal with is what isn’t there at all.  Anyone who has ever been a supervisor, timesheet administrator or team leader knows that the most challenging thing on a Monday morning can be locating and managing any missing timesheets.

TimeControl has features and functions to deal with missing timesheets and we’ve just released a new White Paper to help you navigate your many options.  The white paper is organized into three sections:

1. Avoiding Missing Timesheets

That should be the first step of course.  If we didn’t have any missing timesheets we wouldn’t need to manage them!  This section looks at Reminder Emails, TimeControl Reminders, Notifications of Missing Timesheets, Validation Rules and Individual’s Dashboards among other features.

2. Locating Missing Timesheets

If timesheets still turn up missing, TimeControl has numerous methods of locating them and informing users that they’re missing.  This section covers the Missing Timesheet Notifications, Missing Timesheet Reports, Supervisor Dashboards and how to be notified once the missing timesheets are on the way.

3. Managing Missing Timesheets

Timesheets can be missing for many reasons and depending on the cause and the particular situation, TimeControl has tools for managing the timesheets and ensure they get created or completed and released to the appropriate authority.  This section covers Alternate Users and the Change Timesheet Ownership tools.

The White Paper: Managing what you can’t See.  How to manage missing timesheets with TimeControl is available now on the White Paper page of the TimeControl website.

For a complete list of TimeControl White Papers, visit: TimeControl.com/resources/whitepapers.

TimeControl 8.1 now available!

TimeControl and TimeControl Industrial version 8.1 are a major update to the TimeControl 8 family of editions with significant new and enhanced features.    We’re delighted with the new version.  You can find out more details on the website at TimeControl.com/features/latest.

Mobile Materials

tci_mobile_materials.jpg_350x281For TimeControl Industrial Users we have now added the ability to enter non-labor data from the field using the free TimeControl Mobile App.  Along with the already existing Timesheet and Crew Timesheet functionality, this version now allows material consumption, equipment usage and production accomplished to be entered into TimeControl using a mobile device.

The free TimeControl Mobile App is available on Google Play for Android devices and the Apple Store for iOS devices.

Enhanced Calendar View

Calendar_View4_300x162We’ve rewritten the Calendar View to be more useful as an operational tool as TimeControl expands with more project planning and control functionality.  The Calendar View now allows for multiple tasks per row.  Also, items which span more than one day are now made into a longer bar which we’re loving in the office!

Integration with Project for the Web

ProjectForTheWeb_300x189In TimeControl 8.1 we have added integration with Microsoft’s newest addition to its Project Family “Project for the Web” with import only integration (Microsoft doesn’t support sending data back yet).

 

A new wave of reports

TimesheetImages_240x162We’ve included numerous new reports in this version which are all templates that you can adapt to your own needs.

 

 

And so much more.

Find out all about the new version at TimeControl.com/features/latest.

If you are a TimeControl or TimeControl Industrial on premise client with a current support and maintenance agreement, you can download the new version at no additional charge at: TimeControl.com/support/updates. TimeControl Online subscribers will be notified about their updates in the coming weeks and will then be updated automatically.

Timesheet Data can be the center of your data universe

When you publish a multi-functional timesheet like TimeControl, it should be no surprise to see a conceptual data diagram that includes all the places timesheet data might be used or which might integrate with other corporate systems.  We see such diagrams virtually every week. TimeControl at the Center

For many organizations, becoming more effective requires integrating systems from many sources.  Big ERP vendors will promote doing everything under their umbrella but that’s not always practical for operational systems.  As soon as you must consider a project or estimating or cost control or government compliance system, you have to think about the timesheets that will drive the actuals.

The worst-case scenario is finding an organization that is trying to support more than one timesheet system at a time.  It’s hard enough to get people to fill in one timesheet in a week, imagine having to fill out two or three or more.  We encounter this worst-case nightmare all the time.  The challenge that TimeControl answers is having a single source of auditable timesheet data that can be used for multiple purposes and multiple systems at once.

That’s why the integration and interface abilities of TimeControl are such an important aspect of its functionality.  TimeControl is known for having pre-built integration to more project and cost control systems than any other timesheet in the industry but the integration doesn’t stop there.  Here are some of the tools that you can consider when building TimeControl into the center of your data universe.

Import and Export Transaction Files
Transaction File Interfaces are the most popular method of linking to or from a Finance or ERP system as CFOs can be reluctant to direct connect their Finance system with direct input or output.  TimeControl can create a transaction file in many formats and then place that file in a place where the Finance, Payroll or ERP system can consume it and ensure that any data coming in is going through their systems business rules.

TimeControl can consume transaction files in just the same way.  So, new employees can be added directly from the HR system by bringing in a transaction file.  There are many file formats supported including CSV, XML and Excel formats among others.  Not only can transaction files be consumed or generated on demand but TimeControl can schedule these links to occur at any time or as often as you require in the background.  Files can be transferred to or from a network location, a laptop or to and from an FTP site to which you and your external corporate systems have access.  This makes Transaction File integration as efficient on our subscription service, TimeControl Online as with TimeControl on premise.  With this integration occurring in the background, the effect on users is to make the integration completely transparent.

Programmable Integration
The ultimate in integration is often considered to be through an Application Programming Interface (API) and TimeControl includes an API with bi-directional abilities to both send information out to or receive information from external systems.  The RESTful API is extensive and highly secure.  The API works in both the Online and on premise versions of TimeControl and TimeControl Industrial.  Programming integration to the API takes more work but the level of integration is complete.  Clients can weave TimeControl into as many other systems as are required to make an overall control environment.

Database to database direct connection
For clients who have TimeControl installed on premise, connections can even be made directly to and from the TimeControl database.  TimeControl on premise can be installed on MySQL, SQL Server and Oracle databases and HMS provides the schema to allow for a direct SQL link to or from the database.  There are rules, of course, when pushing data into TimeControl but our technical services can help with that.

Project Management and other Systems

TimeControl include direct pre-configured links to Project Management systems either on demand or on a schedule. With Microsoft Project Online, BrightWork and Primavera EPPM you can even have the link into TimeControl notice when a new project appears in the project system and import it automatically. Pre-configured links to other systems include:

TimeControl supports all of these connections simultaneously. You can have multiple project links, multiple corporate system links and using multiple techniques. This is why TimeControl is often the center of data flow diagrams in an organization as links may be used for any combination of bidirectional updates with project management, payroll, HR, billing, R&D reporting, job costing, presence management systems, contractor management and more.

To find our more about specific links, go to.

For more information on how TimeControl integrates with other systems, go to TimeControl.com/use-cases or contact us at TimeControl.com/Contact for help on integrating many requirements into a timesheet single system.

 

SEFA is helping us start your week with some good news

sefa_300x65Here at HMS, whenever we receive a testimonial letter from a client, we get very excited.  This most recent letter from thee people at SEFA is no exception.  Bret Harris, SEFA’s Chief Financial Officer has written to us explaining how the TimeControl Industrial version has replaced a manual timesheet system for project tracking.

SEFA has deployed the Crew Timesheet option of TimeControl Industrial as well as the TimeControl Mobile App for some of their users’ phones and tablets.

The implementation of TimeControl at SEFA has streamlined numerous processes and they have also integrated TimeControl’s data into Microsoft’s Project Server as well as other corporate systems.

We deeply appreciate our partnership with SEFA and Bret’s kind letter.  You can read it in its entirety at: Timecontrol.com/why-timecontrol/testimonials/sefa.

 

 

US Properties increases efficiency with TimeControl

We are delighted to have received a letter from US Properties about their use of TimeControl. US Properties is the leading commercial real estate brokerage and property management firm in Eastern Connecticut.

Erik Mills, US Properties’ Vice President of Operations penned a letter to us recently explaining how the deployment of TimeControl has allowed the company to improve efficiency to be able to grow without increasing its staff.

“We strongly recommend the system for its ease of use and customization but more importantly the invaluable tech employees who are readily available to assist,” said Mills.

Here at HMS, these letters are a huge motivator for our group so we thank Erik and the whole US Properties team for their support and their letter.

You can read the letter in its entirety at:
TimeControl.com/why-timecontrol/testimonials/usproperties.

TimeControl joins the Internet of Things (IoT) with voice command

TimeControl has taken a leap forward to join the Internet of Things (IoT) thanks to a new Alexa skill released by EasyVoice. Over the last few months, HMS has worked with EasyVoice to help the new Alexa skills understand how to interact with TimeControl and it is now available.

Now you can say things like “Alexa, add two hours on my timesheet to my meetings task for today” or “Alexa, how much time have I booked to meetings this week?”.  The new skill allows users who are in situations where using their desktop or mobile interfaces is challenging, such as when they are driving.

To see the new EasyVoice skill in operation, go to our solutions page at: TimeControl.com/use-cases/easyvoice.

You can subscribe to EasyVoice’s Alexa skill and even get a free trial of the skill at: Voice-Time.com/giveaways.