Not all customers are the same, and this is certainly true when it comes to mobile timekeeping. As time entry using smartphones continue to grow in popularity, we have found that there are some cases where a different approach may be warranted. I am referring to a grid-style timesheet entry, which necessarily requires a larger display area than is available on a smartphone or even a mini-tablet.
The typical use-case for grid-style entry is a construction company where field supervisors are currently using a spreadsheet for crew time entry, where crew sizes are large and/or involve work on many different phases or cost codes during a shift. This will result in supervisors entering a large amount of information each day. By laying out employees and equipment on one axis, and the phases/cost codes on the other, the grid style provides an efficient method for entering and viewing timesheet data.
There are two PowerTrack grid-style daily timesheet applications – one runs on the iPad and the other is Windows based – for PC’s, laptops and the Microsoft Surface tablet. These applications are designed for rapid entry of time and daily journal information; and then by submission, instantly creating potentially dozens of records for subsequent review and importing into the customer’s accounting/ERP system. The PowerTrack daily timesheet applications are highly configurable, and are designed to work in a disconnected environment – where a network connection is unavailable.
How do we determine what is the best mobile timekeeping solution for a particular customer? We accomplish this through our discovery sessions with customers, where we explore both their timekeeping requirements and IT infrastructure plans. In these sessions, we may ask questions such as:
What is the average crew size and the variety of work on a shift?
What is the technology that crew supervisors will have at their disposal – laptops, tablets, smartphones?
What are the shortcomings of the customer’s current paper-based time entry method, and what are they looking to achieve with the new system?
With a completed discovery engagement, we will have a good understanding of the customer’s environment and can recommend a suitable path for their time entry automation and mobility requirements. Combined with our complete line of mobile time entry software, we are then well positioned to deliver a solution that will be right for the customer.