Timesheet & Project Management Blog

The goal of this blog is to provide tips and ideas for improving time tracking and project managment for our customers and other interested people.

Manufacturing Barcode Scanning

 

Mike: Mike back with Standard Time® and Ray White of Scoutwest. We’re talking Standard Time and we’re talking about barcodes today, which I’m so excited about. Who would use something like the barcodes in Standard Time?

Ray: Typically for manufacturing, sometimes for consulting. But often in a manufacturing or assembly type environment. Where you have products that are going through a process. In that type of scenario you might put a barcode on a work order or on the product itself. Let’s say it’s going down through an assembly line or a process where employees are working on it to build or improve. You then can scan the employee name, then scan the barcode that’s on that work order or scan a project or a task. Standard Time will then start a timer. So you’ll know how long that product took to assemble, to create, you’ll also know how long the employees are working on certain projects, on certain products during the assembly process. You also have consultants who use this feature; it just pops up a little window you’re then able to scan to start and stop the timer.

Now this all works perfectly with the cloud in syncing if you’re in the field, correct?

That’s correct. You can use the android and iOS additions for this as well. So if you happen to be in the field you could scan your project. Let’s say you’re in the service business and you scan a project that you’re on and then stop that project for lunch. And then start back up again. That will send all that back up to the cloud and that will all be in that shared database for executives and managers to see.

This comes as part of the free trial version?

That’s correct.

So how can people go out and try this.

They can try it right out from our website stdtime.com. You can download that and just start and stop the timer right away. You’ll have to print out some barcodes, you can get a font that does that. Then scan those barcodes and start and stop the timer.

Barcodes on Standard Time. The possibilities are endless, I’m telling you. Go out and download your free trial version today. Stdtime.com and we’ll catch you next time.

See also: Start and timer with an RFID tag readerStart a timer with a mag card reader

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8Yx-3P6BU8

 

Earned Value Explained

 

In this video we going to take a quick look at earned value. Earned value is actually a project management term that refers to the amount of money you’ve earned on a project as it proceeds; as you work on the project and put time towards it.

I’m going to click over on the project tasks tab; you see six tabs along the top here. The first one is project tasks and it allows you to create a project hierarchy with project tasks under summary tasks, very much like Microsoft Project. I’m going to get into a little of the project management stuff here but not too deeply. Here you see a project, I’m going to refer to this R0012 – R4 upgrade project. You can see we have a column for cost client and cost client actual. The cost client actual, to cut right to the point, is the earned value. This value is based upon the percent complete for each of the tasks under the project. We see a hierarchy of the project if I click on one of these + symbols then you’ll see that it expands and you see the other tasks underneath it. So I can collapse and expand these summary tasks to see the actual tasks but the point I want to get to is that you have a cost client and a cost client actual. The cost client is based on the projected duration of the task and the billing rates. And the cost client actual is based on actual time that has been entered into the timesheet which causes the percent complete on these tasks to increase. If I was to open up one of these, you can first of all see that these tasks are assigned to different users, but you’ll also see a percent complete value here. There’s an estimated duration, an estimated number of hours remaining and the actual work that has been completed on here is directly related to your earned value. So in other words you have earned money on this particular task as you’ve put time into the timesheet and that time then ends up being billed to the client or participating in the final completion of the project.

Let’s cancel out of here. We see these two columns here duration and actual work. If you go to the view menu and choose columns, turns out that you can add some other columns here related to costs, client rate, salary rate, things like that. Quite a few number of fields that are project management related. I had put the cost client and the cost client actual fields in this view.

Where do these numbers come from, these dollars figures? Well, those come from a client rate that you can type in. If I go to tools, projects, I see a list of my projects, click on this particular project that we’re looking at. We have a billing method, you can choose either user rates, which is the default, or category rates, or project rates. It depends on the model you’re using for billing your project. Salary method has a different calculation. Close out of this, go to the tools menu choose billing rates, you can either choose employee billing rates or category billing rates. Those are the methods you are using to type in your billing rates that effectively set these values here that you see. So this particular project is a $747,000 project, we’ve earned on it so far $672,000. That’s essentially the idea behind earned value in Standard Time®.

Interview: Utilization Rates

 

Mike: Mike back with Standard Time with Ray White of Scoutwest. How you doing Ray?

Ray: Pretty good Mike.

We are talking utilization rates today. Ray, how I can I tell how much money I’m making per scheduled work hour?

That’s a typical question consulting firms want to know. They have a sea of consultants, they’re out there billing hours, at the client sites, onsite or in the office. They want to make sure those consultants are billing as many billable hours as they can. Cause if they are doing in house work, maybe there isn’t enough client work to do, maybe they’re working on in house projects, pet projects, secondary projects, administrative things; they’re not billing hours, the revenues not coming in. They want to see where their revenue dollars are coming from and you can get a report in Standard Time to show you exactly that.

So this really makes it easier because that’s a lot of juggling going on to see where the money’s coming from; this makes their life a lot easier.

Right, you’ve got employees working on different projects, you have billing rates varying per project. So one person may be billing out at a real high rate but they are only working a few hours. Another person may be at a lower rate but they are working 50-60 hours a week, bringing in more revenue just based on the number of billable hours. Juggling the number of billable hours per employee, the billing rates, the clients they are working for, the value and priority of those projects; all of that gets juggled. Standard Time handles all of that and allows you to see that in a report.

That’s awesome. Now this is part of the full 30 day trial version.

Yes it is.

Where can we get that?

You can get it at stdtime.com and start in right away. Download it and you can start using it right off. You can put in your employees, put in those clients, those rates, the projects you’re working on. And run that report and you will immediately see where those revenue dollars are coming from.

So go to stdtime.com right now, download your free version. Let us know what you think! You get the android, the iOS, the windows and the cloud version free for 30 days.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DBo-KdD864

Interview: Better than a Spreadsheet

 

Mike: Mike with Standard Time, back with Ray White of Scoutwest and we’re talking all things Standard Time. Ray, spreadsheets, I’ve heard a lot about them. Are they a good idea?

Ray: A lot of people do try to use spreadsheets for tracking their time. Usually consultants, they’ll plug in their clients, their projects, their billing rates. Of course every employee has to be put in there. The spreadsheet starts to get a little crowded, a little big, you have a lot of formulas in there. A lot of places for mistakes and errors; they can be OK to start with but I think as you add a few employees you definitely should use a professional timesheet like Standard Time. The other things is they don’t sync with a timekeeping app. You’ve got to go in there, usually the administrator go and plug the hours in, whereas this will just sync with the cloud, with the desk top. So there’s a lot of reasons to switch over to a good timesheet app.

So you were mentioning earlier that it actually picks up on user error. How does it do that?

There’s just natural ways that that works. First of all you have your login ID. Even with a smartphone app you have your login ID it syncs your data. You go into the timesheet it’s going to be your login so you’re not accidentally putting it into another person’s where they may have a different billing rate. The other thing is you only see the projects that are assigned to you. So you may have 300 projects out there but you only see a few of them because you’re working on those. You put your time in against those not accidentally some other project that has a completely different client. So you may be missing hours, billable hours you’ll want to send to your client but you missed them because you accidentally put time in to the wrong place. Naturally with the login that’s the first area where that catches those errors.

So Standard Time blows spreadsheets out of the water. How can people start weaning themselves off of the spreadsheets?

You can go out to our website stdtime.com. Go ahead and download, first thing you’re going to see is a spreadsheet style interface. You’re going to see the rows and columns, they’re going to look familiar. You’re going to be able to use that as opposed to your normal spreadsheet. You’ll start to realize the free timesheet is perhaps costing you more than you think.

So you heard it. Stdtime.com download your free trial today. There is an iOS version, the android version, the windows version and the cloud version. Download and let us know what you think.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUi-6K4OTZs

Interview: Quickbooks Timesheets

 

Mike: Mike with Standard Time back with Ray White of Scoutwest. Today we’re talking QuickBooks. Hi Ray.

Ray: Hey, Mike.

A lot of people are QuickBooks likers; Standard Time is an awesome app. Is there a way to take these two forces of good and bring them together to make our universe more complete?

Absolutely, great question Mike. Turns out Standard Time has a direct connection to QuickBooks so you don’t have to choose between the two. You’ve got this great accounts receivable app, which is QuickBooks; you’ve got this great time tracking, project tracking, timesheet which is Standard Time and they work together. You don’t have to choose between the two.

Really there is no reason for a QuickBooker not to jump on the Standard Time bandwagon.

Right. You can go out to stdtime.com right now, download it, put in your employees. It will pull down your customers and jobs from QuickBooks you’ll see them right there in your timesheet. You can put time right in, it will send it out to QuickBooks. You can get started right now. It will take that time and put it into the QuickBooks timesheet which you can then bring over to an invoice or you can pay employees. Go out and download it right now and start on it day one.

That is awesome. You heard it, stdtime.com download it today. Our business universe has just become a whole lot easier. Let us know what you think, we’ll catch you next time.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5XxyTp5-xQ

Interview: Five Timesheet Features

 

Mike: Mike with Standard Time back with Ray White of Scoutwest, thanks for coming back Ray.

Ray: Hey, Mike.

We’re talking Standard Time, I’m excited. I keep asking questions you keep giving me great answers. And I have another one for you today. Can you give me 3 reasons why Standard Time is the best time keeping app there is out there to date.

All right, three reasons. I’m going to give you five. Let’s start number 1 project tasks. With a typical time tracker, timesheet, you don’t necessarily get a full task hierarchy, you get that with Standard Time.  2. You get a graphical timesheet, time logs; different ways to view your time logs. 3. You get the ability to track expenses. 4. There’s client invoicing; you have customizable invoices. Different ways to bill your clients different billing rates and methods. 5. Time off accruals and time off requests. So there you go there’s 5.

I ask for 3 you give me 5. Before we started rolling the cameras we were talking about tracking vehicles. Can you tell me a little bit more about that? That would go into the expenses, correct?

Yes it does. The mileage tracking is essentially what we’re talking about here. Consultants will often use their own vehicles, they’ll drive to client’s offices, they’ll go on trips. They have to track their odometer readings and the distances. You can then multiply those miles by the allowable, taxable amount. What they’ll want to do is choose a vehicle that will pick the last odometer reading and it’s easier to switch from one vehicle to the next. That’s what they do with Standard Time.

Why don’t you tell everyone how they can get a copy.

Out at our website stdtime.com. You can go out, download the windows edition, give it a try. You can download the web and the android and iOS editions. You can try the project tasks, the graphical timesheet, client invoicing, expenses, mileage, vehicles and there’s the time off accruals as well.

That’s awesome. You’ve heard it from Ray himself. Stdtime.com is where you want to go, get your free copy today and let us know what you think.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLF3-yiFx7k

Interview: Task Warnings to Keep Projects on Budget

 

Mike: Mike with Standard Time® here in the land of the interwebs sitting with Ray White of Scoutwest. Welcome back Ray. Today we’re talking about camping out and I’m not talking about hiking and pitching tents. I’m talking about a camping out that can cause a little bit more problems. Why don’t you tell me what camping out is.

Ray: A situation can occur where employees find themselves on tasks that they find familiar, easy to do; they may look out into the future and see other tasks that may be are a little less familiar, scary. Doesn’t always happen but they may spend a little too much time on a tasks. And that’s camping out.

I can imagine that can cost the company some potential revenue.

It does. It can slow the project down, it can cost the company money because they need those projects to go, go, go! Get those tasks finished, move on to the next, get these projects finished. There is a little feature in Standard Time called task warnings that helps in this situation. It will pop up a message when you reach a certain percentage or you’re nearing completion of the task. That lets the person know “Hey, this task is nearing completion, nearly done you need to move on you need to finish up.” It will then pop up another message when they are complete and that’s a visual clue to tell the person we need to keep these tasks moving and finish up.

Let’s say that I legitimately need more time. Is there a way that a manager can change that or what can be done?

Absolutely. You can’t always tell how much time a task needs. Your manager, your project manager can go in and give the task a little bit more time and then you can finish up the task. Yes, that happens all the time, easy to do.

Standard Time comes with a free 30 day trial. Does task warnings come with that?

It does. You’ll be able to go out to stdtime.com, click the download link. You’ll see the windows edition, the web edition. The task warnings are in those versions. There’s iOS and android that are on your smartphone. Download all 4 of those. Yes, you’ll get the task warnings, you can set up your tasks, put some estimated hours in and set those warnings up and see how they work.

Not only will you be able to try task warnings for your free 30 days you get everything Standard Time has to offer. Go to stdtime.com today download your free version. Stdtime.com we’ll see you soon.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D02CJO4fkAI

Interview: Quick Tasks

 

Mike: Mike with Standard Time® back with Ray White of Scoutwest thanks for coming back Ray. We’re talking Standard Time today and I’m really excited about the feature that we’re talking about today. That’s the one click time tracker. Can you tell me a little more about that?

Ray: Yeah, that’s called quick tasks. Nice little feature; you get a little window and see all of your projects, sub projects. Then underneath those you see your tasks; those are your quick tasks. You can click to start a timer, click again to stop the timer or click to start a different task. When you do that it simply puts those entries right into your timesheet. You don’t have to type into your timesheet at all. It’s best for organizations or situations where you need the exact start and stop times; usually for consulting or engineering.

What about people in the field?

When you use the iOS or android editions you’ll see those exact tasks. Those tasks will come down with the synchronization from the cloud or from the desktop. You’ll see the exact same tasks, you can tap, tap, tap to start and stop timers and when you do those time entries will be synchronized, sent back to the cloud or to the desktop. You’ll have all the information right there.

The cool thing about Standard Time, the free trial version it’s 30 days, you get everything. You don’t just get handpicked different features that you think are cool. You get the whole free version.

That’s correct. When you go out to stdtime.com you going to see all 4 versions. You’re going to see the windows edition, the web edition; which both have those quick tasks, the iOS, and the android which also have those quick tasks. And they’re all fully functional for 30 days.

You heard Ray go to stdtime.com today get your free trial version. Email us with any questions you may have, we’ll talk to you soon.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlsFfRaHMvQ

Whiteboard: Better Than a Spreadsheet

 

Are you tracking employee project time in a spreadsheet?

Or trying to bill clients from hours in a spreadsheet?

If so, you’ve probably hit these five issues, and had to fight or reprogram it.

  1. You can’t have multi-user access over the web
  2. You can’t access it with Android or iOS
  3. Billing rates are hard to keep track of
  4. Spreadsheets don’t look for user-error
  5. There’s no real project status in a spreadsheet

That “free” spreadsheet isn’t exactly free, is it?

Now there’s a solution in the Standard Time® timesheet.

  1. As easy to use as any spreadsheet
  2. Access from anywhere, on any smartphone, tablet, or device
  3. Client billing and project status, built in

What are you waiting for?

Click to try Standard Time!

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuZ8onN2C6k

Interview: Timesheet Favorites

 

Mike: Hello everyone, Mike with Standard Time®. We are cruising the interwebs, all things Standard Time today with Ray White, Scoutwest. How you doing Ray?

Ray: Hi pretty good.

Welcome back. We were talking about this earlier now a lot of people are asking. I want you to elaborate a little bit more, clear the air on some stuff; timesheet favorites?

Great feature! Here’s the situation. Sometimes in cooperate world, consulting, engineering; you have a situation where you have a lot of projects sometimes 50, 100, 300 projects. Although you may not be working on those projects or you may not be assigned you still have sometimes a lot of projects in your timesheet. You scroll through, it takes you a long time. Timesheet favorites lets you go in, select the projects that you are working on, maybe 2 or 3 projects. You pick those 2 or 3, now your timesheet is manageable, it’s relevant to what you’re doing.

So that really cuts your time in half.

Oh, gosh yes. It can.

Let’s say at the end of the day I’m busy, I’m late for a date, I cut the power and I leave and I’m like “Oh, my timesheet.” Am I going to ruin anything?

No, you haven’t changed anything. When you come back your timesheet will be exactly where you left it. Those few projects that you selected will be there. Again you go in, put your time in and get out. It’s really simple.

That’s awesome. I know the free trial version of Standard Time is a 30 day free trial. What does that come with?

You get the full addition. So when you go out to stdtime.com you will see the windows edition, that’s the full version; every feature. The web edition, there are free iOS and android versions out there. You can download all 4 of those but those include all the features in Standard Time.

So stdtime.com. You want to go there today. Download your free trial version. You get all the features for 30 days!

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWHlEBd7geA

 

 

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