With Labour-Weekend rapidly approaching a discussion on Time Capture seems, er, “timely”! Recently, we at ProcessIT have been asked to assist various Clients with capturing Staff and Workers Time. We have developed various solutions tailored to the specific needs of each Client, but in this article, we will focus on one; an Orchard Contracting Business.
The Problem -Field Work
My Clients contacted us with a problem; they struggled to get completed timesheets from their Contract Staff, and when they did, they were often so poorly written or dirty and smeared to be almost illegible. The Office Administrator responsible frequently needed to contact the Staff for clarification and to “Decode” the scrawls on the paper based time sheets. This alone is a common problem across many businesses and results in significant time wasted by the Administrator and annoyance to the field Staff,
During our discussion and investigations of the Clients requirements, we also discovered that as the workers were frequently Contractors, they needed to record a “Quantity” in addition to the Time worked. The Quantity could hold the number of Fruit-Bins Picked or Trees Pruned or a count of any other value, to be paid at an agreed rate.
Also, a recent determination by the Employment Court further compounded the problem, instructing that “Rest Breaks must be Paid” and typically at the average hourly rate of earning. This meant a massive calculation had to be manually performed for each worker!
ProcessIT developed a small Web-Site where Workers could Log-in, with User-Name and Password, then enter their Times, Quantities and Breaks. Being web based it can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection and is device independent, so will work on any modern web browser running on Windows, Android, Apple or Linux devices including low budget smart phones.
The new Web-Site ties to a Cloud Based Database to store the information. This was then visible in real-time back in the Clients Office, where we installed a Windows Desktop Application to analyse the entries and provide detailed reports of hours worked, Quantity and Rate Calculations, Average Hourly Rate, together with any Top-Ups required to meet minimum wage payment. Clearly this vastly simplified the payroll processing.
Another Client of ProcessIT uses a similar system for Time-Capture and also records Materials Used on the Job, to ensure all are Billed and that Stock is reordered. Still another uses fine grain Time-Tracking to manage, prioritise and analyse production workloads, with detailed reporting of Actual Time versus Budgeted Time for each item produced. This enables more accurate estimates and Quotes to be performed as well as identifying aberrations such as where one employee is significantly slower than expected so may need additional training or more detailed supervision.
Improve Your Time Capture Efficiency
If you have any concerns, delays or issues around your time capture processes, please contact ProcessIT to discuss your issues and help determine a solution that simplifies your job and saves the company time and cost or just for a demonstration of Web-based Time-Capture.
Extending the life of your Smart Phone Battery
Our Smart Phones are assets in our daily routines and are an important part of our social and business circles which means we need them to stay charged! This Tech Tip is about Lithium-Ion batteries and does not apply to batteries of an alternative type.
Not many people know the fundamentals of Lithium-Ion batteries and the appropriate techniques for looking after them, so here I have compiled a short list of useful tricks to keep your Smart Phone Battery alive for longer.
- Do you charge your Phone to 100%? Your Lithium Ion batteries love to be charged and should never be fully discharged and left flat for long periods of time.
- When and where possible if your phone is less than 90%, plug it in. This helps to extend the lifespan of your battery. Research* has indicated that keeping your phone charged above 90% provides the longest battery life span.
- Keep your Smart Phone out of the sun and in a cool place while charging. Lithium Ion batteries can deteriorate if they become too hot, reducing their life span. Because these batteries get hot when charging it is beneficial to charge in a cool dry location to reduce the chance of overheating.
- These batteries are susceptible to stress which means that they do not like to be held at 100% for long periods of time. Unless you own a smart charger, once they are charged to full they should be unplugged to stop the trickle charging.
These simple tricks are essential for lengthening the lifespan of your Lithium ion battery. Following these guidelines will allow you to gain more use and productivity from your Smart Phone in your daily routines.
Tips for reducing phone power usage however will have to be a Tech Tip for another day…
*Research indicated above from http://batteryuniversity.com
Until next time, keep tracking those hours and enjoy your time off…
Brian Henderson & James Dickinson