Time Tracking Tools & Tips

Time Tracking Tools

Time Tracking with eWorksManger

Time tracking is very crucial to take your business to next level. We have seen many SMEs who consistently track their employees time and understand where their employees’ most of the time being spent is a great thing to focus on and improve the better process and thus the overall productivity. (more…)

We Analyzed 700 Projects across 24 Industries Which Used Project Management Software – Here’s What We Found About PM Success Factors

Project Management Success Factors Case Studies
We recently analysed 700 projects across 24 industries;
Air Conditioning, Catering, Commercial Cleaning, Construction, Electrical Engineers, Energy Suppliers, Engineering, Facilities Management, Field Service Management, Health and Safety Consultancy, Industrial, Installation Company, IT Services, Joinery, Laundry Services, Plumbing and Heating, Property Maintenance (CMMS), Renewable Energy, Security, Service Management, Transport, Utility Suppliers, Waste Management, Window / Glazing to answer the question:

What are Critical Success Factors in Project Management?

We looked at Senior Management Support, Project Scope, Goals, Plans, Leadership & Team, Roles & Responsibilities, Bet Practices, Communication, Stakeholder Participation, Risk Management, Change Management, On Time Delivery, On Budget Delivery, Customer Satisfaction and Quality Assurance (QA) process in 700 projects across 24 industries. We even looked at project management software tools used by these projects.
(more…)

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Buyers Guide: Job Management Software

Buyers Guide Job Management Software

Just what is a CMMS? CMMS system? Or CMMS systems?

CMMS

CMMS means “Computerized Maintenance Administration System”. A CMMS system is software applications that helps upkeep teams keep an archive of all assets they have the effect of, schedule and monitor maintenance tasks, as well as keep a historic record of function they perform.

Advantages of a CMMS program

When you put into action a computerized upkeep management system, you will probably realize these advantages:

Lesswork black-outs: It is simple to do preventive maintenance meaning there are much less surprise breakdowns.

Much better accountability: Quickly see if your technician did their focus on time and get alerted whenever a task is total.

Less overtime: Better scheduling of work implies that your team isn’t seated idle or working overtime meaning work can end up being distributed evenly. Info capture: Technicians may record problems as well as solutions, so these details is recorded for others to make use of.

Savings on buys: Inventory planning features provide you with the time to look around for spare components pricing, instead of needing to buy in a rush.

Certification and evaluation: A full report of assets as well as performance helps supervisors analyze energy utilization and plan upkeep spend.

Who utilizes CMMS systems?

Pretty much every kind of business requires maintenance as well as CMMS systems assist record and strategy that maintenance. You will find 4 major kinds of users for these types of systems:

Production upkeep: These are companies which make tangible products. They’ve machines, assembly outlines, forklifts, and heavy equipment that need frequent maintenance.

Service/Facilities maintenance: These are companies that look after buildings. Apartment structures, theaters, and federal government buildings all need maintenance. CMMS systems help them cope with structural, HVAC, as well as water-supply problems.

Fleet maintenance: These are companies that look after vehicles and transport. Car rental businesses, pizza delivery vehicles, city buses, transportation ships, and fleets associated with towing trucks all must have repairs scheduled which may be taken care of having a CMMS system.

Linear resource maintenance: This is really a special category associated with maintenance for companies which have assets that tend to be kilometres long. For instance, a city’s linear property are roads as well as water pipes, a telecom company must maintain fiber-optic wiring, and an energy utility must maintain long covers of electrical cabling.

Why We Makes Our Customer Success Our Priority

Eworks Manager we have one goal. To make our customer’s business a thriving success!

How do we do this? Two words, Customer Satisfaction. We created the UK’s No.1 Job Management Software to empower companies with the ability to record day-to-day jobs, track employees, manage quotes and invoices, schedule

How do we do this? Two words, Customer Satisfaction. We created the UK’s No.1 Job Management Software to empower companies with the ability to record day-to-day jobs, track employees, manage quotes and invoices, schedule new job and to manage your guys on the road. All with one aim in mind, to make the day-to-day running of a business simplified.  E-Works Manager has a driven and professional team, which continue to provide assistance and updates to your job management system. Enabling your managers to do what they do best.

 E Works Manager - Job Management Software

You’ve probably experienced some bad customer support in the past including ignorant staff members and useless operators to name a few. Our customer support team is one of the main aspects that keeps clients falling in love with Eworks job management software.  EWorks Manager listens to you. It takes the needs of the customer into consideration and specifically fits the EWorks system around you. We can customise our software to fit your business needs and our training staff and account managers are always on hand to help you with any questions. Our support team is based in the North West, UK and when they are not enjoying a good cup of tea we can guarantee that they are helping our customers get the most out of their jobmanagement system. Under the perfect environment, EWorks manager has enabled workforce management teams to improve their efficiency by as much as 12%! Why not sign up to day for our no contract free 14 day trial.

Reasons People Get Stressed At Work

workforce management software

Stress is to productivity as a wall is to a runner! But what are the main factors that make so many workers hit this wall? You’re in luck as a recent survey of 1,500 workers in varying positions and professions has reported the common road bumps they incur daily that leaves them feeling stressed at work. We have listed the top 5 below in descending order.

1. A Lack of Information

No surprise that a lack of information is the number one stressor. Nothing can be more stressful at work than having to read people’s minds. And the problem is exactly that, vital information is omitted by other people, which makes this just as much a communication issue as it does an information problem. Put yourself in the situation, you get to work early, you’ve had your coffee and you are pumped to get going but suddenly you find out that the job you are meant to be on today has been delayed as other team members haven’t finished their tasks yet.

The solution proposed is a tool or system that allows team members to see where all the projects in the company stand and the progression of each aspect. This makes roadblocks clearer and members of the team responsible for their allocated informational input, or sometimes lack of. Making team members responsible for their input and having real time updates of job progress really could be the difference between your team’s stress levels being through the roof or having a team that is productive and cool as a cucumber.

2. No Prioritisation

A never-ending list can be daunting and can lead to a lot of stress. But even more importantly as more items are added on the to-do pile it can lead to important tasks being neglected or forgotten all together. If you are in a service industry you can’t just forget about clients or you won’t be in the industry much longer. But receiving late paper work or having to wait around for a contractor to arrive can too often leave clients feeling neglected. If you ever had to wait in all day for a plumber to arrive or for a parcel to be delivered then you’ll surely know the frustration I am talking about.

Improving prioritisation is all about organisation. Different industries and professions need different techniques. Office-based workers should adopt the ever-popular agile project management method. Whist day-to-day contractors or service industry workers need a more advanced real-time method of organisation. There is no point ordering jobs by priority if it mean travelling 20 miles to your next job only to find out that the job after that was in the same place that you just drove 20miles from. Here the best solution would be to order work by means of importance and location. A geo-planner and live panel planner would do the trick.

3. Being Unrealistic.

Unrealistic goals can result in a day that seems never ending and an employee that is dissatisfied, stressed out and exhausted. Getting the most out of people doesn’t have to mean pushing them to their limits. Managers want results and employees want an easy life. Which leads to employees taking too little or too much on. Worst yet the spill over of yesterdays work will effect the day after and the day after that…

So what’s the solution? Communication! Sounds so simple, it isn’t! The problem is again that managers want result and employees too often want an easy life. How can you achieve both… take the pressure off but monitor progress closely. Move away from the ancient vertical to-do list. Use a system that takes the employees current position, assigns a prioritised job in order of location or importance, time-stamps the progress of the current job and then notifies the manager when a task is completed so that they can assign a new task. The employee never has to negotiate the volume of work they can do that day and the manager knows which job have ran over the estimated time assigned and why. But what about deadlines?

4. Deadline Changes

Deadlines are important, but changing deadlines are also a major factor in stressing people out, which leads to reducing productivity, which leads to a deadline being stretched out. So as you can see deadlines can often be their own worst enemy. Deadlines are in place either because other team members need a specific task completed to progress with their task or because the client needs the work done by a certain date. The reality is no one can predict the future and deadlines will get change… so deal with it. That’s the solution, dealing with it. Dealing with a change as soon as it happens with diminish its impact and will decrease anxiety that can build up around the change. Dealing with it means having clear lines of communication every step of the way. This can often be a time-consuming task so it is important to have SMS alerts, email auto-responders and communication tools in place.

 

5. Confusing Leadership.

Manager, directors and owners make mistakes. It happens, they are humans. Problems only arise when leaders don’t take clear responsibility for their action and set a course to correct them. Here again is the importance of communication. A leader must be willing to admit and correct their mistakes. However employees also need to be able to communicate the mistake to leaders without the worry of bias against them in the future. A tool that documents all tasks assigned and allows a clear chain of recorded written communication can often give the employee a feeling of safety when communicating with managers. Anonymous surveying tools can also be effective when the matter isn’t an urgent one. However when the matter is really important the best results often occur from scheduling a face-to-face in a professional environment.

Increases Efficiency by 12%

Workforce Management Software

 

Research by Aberdeen Group found that Workforce Management software does in fact increase Workforce capacity utilization by 12%. In an economy where marginal gains are usually seen in the decimal points this is a huge increase. So what features does a Workforce management software or solution need to have in order to increase your workforce efficiency by a whooping 12%?

Well, that is the same question we have asked ourselves for the last 10 years. That’s right we have been developing workforce management software for over a decade. We started out developing bespoke software for other companies under our parent company Webpoint Solutions and quickly found that there are a few core features that every company no matter what industry needs day to day in order to increase workforce management. Deciding to building our own workforce management software wasn’t an easy decision we knew that building the UK’s leading workforce management software would mean constant improvements. However here are just a few of the features that we have crafted into our software over the past 5 years that Eworks Manager has been established.

Reporting – As simple as it sounds having the right reporting in place can be the difference between a good financial year and a terrible one. Having reporting tools that show you the right figures and cuts out all the clutter is paramount, which is why we made our reporting dashboard completely editable. So you can cutomise the information you see daily about your workforce.

Technology at the right level – Technology can make your life so much easier or quite often a living hell! Which is why its important that your workforce management software works with you and the technology you have available. We have built Eworks Manager app to do just that, while your staff are out in the field they can log jobs and hours on their phones, take before and after picture and so much more. Our advanced mapping system even tells you their exact location, so you can know when your staff really arrived on site.

Attendance solutions – Employee monitoring, it’s not as big brother as it sounds. In fact in the Aberdeen Group’s study they found that the simple ability for staff to intuitively and automatically log time work rather that HR staff manually transcribing time had one of the biggest effects on increasing efficiency, see figure one below. Our workforce management app enable you to check attendance and check staff location in real-time. Your manager dashboard will refresh’s automatically to give you updates as soon as it happens.

Workforce management efficiency increases

Scheduling – Planning jobs can be a nightmare but with the Eworks workforce management app it’s as simple as drag and drop. Each job is assigned a job sheet when scheduled which can be updated on sight or in the office as and when a job is completed.

So there you have it reporting, correct technology, attendance solutions and an easy to use scheduling are the core features in a workforce management software that could increase your workforce management by 12%.

 

 

Field Service Management Software

Field Service Management software is an ever-changing industry and because of its evolving nature, consumers have a lot of expectations and of course frustrations.

E works manager are researching and gathering evidence on what customers main complaints are when it comes to their field service provider. The collation of these facts and figures is to ensure that E works manager is carrying out the right steps to provide an up to date, efficient service for you.

A recent study to decipher the issues that occur when selecting a field service provider surveyed 2,000 British adults. The outcome confirmed what the factors are that affect whether a consumer will use the same company for a second time.

The British public’s main concern when it comes to a field service issue is efficiency. 52% of those surveyed considered a technician who can solve the problem on the first visit to be a huge factor. However, one in four reported that unfortunately a return visit is almost always necessary. Commonly a return visit is due to poor inventory or an inexperienced work force – with 40% complaining their technician did not have appropriate tools or parts on the first visit. 27% even said the technician lacked the skills to complete the job.

Another aspect of efficiency is the waiting factor. One to three hours is thought of as the acceptable waiting appointment time, however, 36% of people reported wait times longer than this. In some cases, customers found themselves waiting up to 8 hours for assistance.

Field service management software with enhanced schedule accuracy, improved productivity and workforce utilization is likely to occur in improved service delivery times. This can be achieved through a unique algorithm which will learn the preferences of each technician, which mobile workers serve each area and what skills a technician may specify in and will allocate tasks accordingly.

Some sources believe that to achieve high standards of management and scheduling, it is necessary to rely on third party contractors and on demand technicians to deliver timely and efficient services. So that if an on demand/third party technician is in the area or has the appropriate parts, they can solve the problem in a quicker, more efficient fashion. As long as a tailored field service management software is used to track and show relevant and accurate information from the third party, which can then be used by any other software user, to keep the feedback all in one place, then contractors would be of no issue.

Customer services and price are seen as equally important to customers of field service management software. Therefore, a competent, friendly service must be provided at a reasonable, steady price, to achieve balanced customer satisfaction, retention and profitability.

Consumers start to make judgments about customer service from the very first interaction with a provider. They appreciate being informed of an accurate time when the technician will arrive. Lack of communication with a service technician prior to arrival is viewed as a major problem.

A huge 55% of consumers would refuse to use a service provider again if they had a poor customer service experience. Not only can this lose software providers current but also potential customers. If left unhappy, half of customers will make a formal complaint to the company, one in five to the technician and a worrying one in ten would take to social media to vent their frustration.

 

 

Three Ways Field Service Data Can Improve Your Business Intelligence

Businesses in every industry are dealing with the “big data” dilemma. Where do we store it? How do we keep it accurate? How do we use it for competitive advantage? According to a study by IDG Enterprise, 65 percent of IT decision-makers said they feel overwhelmed by the volume of incoming data, and 53 percent said it has slowed down important decisions.

 

Service companies in particular are constantly seeking data-driven ways to optimize portfolios, address customer pain points, and outperform competitors. Sadly, these companies often leave one of their richest sources of data untapped: field service. That’s because field service management (FSM) has been long underestimated, and often viewed as a form of damage control. In reality, your FSM framework presents a huge opportunity to improve high-level decisions with item-level data.

Data? What Data?

Field service management is far from linear. It’s more like a neural map, a network of dependencies between personnel (dispatchers, contractors, technicians), customers, equipment, logistics, administrative tasks, and environmental factors, all of which must be perfectly in sync to bring about an effective service call.

These interactions generate numerous data points that are unique to FSM. Here are a few examples:

 

  • Asset data (performance, specs, maintenance history)
  • Technician data (availability, performance)
  • First-time fix rates
  • Parts/tools/materials inventory
  • Customer account data (invoicing, billing)
  • Job details (cost, start/end time, follow-up info)
  • Geospatial data (job locations, routes, heatmaps)

 

Many service companies try to find field service management software with built-in analytics tools. This is an excellent first step, and usually fruitful in the long run: field service companies that invest in analytics technology have seen profits increase as much as 18 percent, and customer retention as much 42 percent.

But putting your field service data to work requires more than a plug-and-chug solution. Business intelligence is about making better decisions and turning insight into action. This could be as simple as planning a better route between jobs, or as complex as adopting a servitization based business-model. Either way, don’t just peruse your data; decide what insight you’re looking for, what tools you have to find it, and how you plan on putting it to work.

 

Three Strategies to Get You Started

 

See where you’re failing your SLA: If you promise quick, efficient resolution of service interruptions and free maintenance of proprietary equipment, are your teams delivering this on a daily basis? Your FSM data can show you where the bottlenecks are, where your technicians encounter obstacles to productivity, and which issues customers complain about the most. These insights can help you make the changes necessary to uphold your service level agreement, which has a strong influence on satisfaction and loyalty.

Trim the fat: Field service data can help decision makers identify opportunities to reduce overhead costs in several areas. Asset performance metrics (for equipment, fleet vehicles, firmware, etc.) can indicate when assets need to be serviced or replaced. This reduces downtime and unnecessary maintenance. Geospatial and fleet data can save vehicles wear and cut-down fuel costs by providing insight on optimal routes. You can also use data from job trends to anticipate demand for specific parts and materials (demand planning) and decide which ones don’t need to stay in your truck/van/warehouse inventory.

Better workforce management: Business intelligence isn’t just about the work, but also the workers. By tracking technician/contractor KPIs (first-time fix rate, on-time arrival, jobs per day, units installed, schedule adherence, etc.), managers can decide when it’s time to reassign or restructure the workforce, provide additional training, hire additional workers, or in some cases take disciplinary action.

Gather field service data requires that you have the right technology in place, whether that’s a few basic reporting tools built in to your field service management software, or a dedicated business intelligence platform. But it also requires a shift in mentality for many companies: instead of seeing your field service department as a clean-up crew, see it as an active player in core business growth – one that can drive better decision-making and provide unique insights.

 

Author Bio

Aleksandr Peterson is a technology analyst at TechnologyAdvice. He covers marketing automation, CRMs, project management, and other emerging business technology. Connect with him on LinkedIn.