Define Project Tracker

Is your project wrecking your company and leaving you destitute? The problem may be your project tracker. Watch the video below for a definition.

Define: Project Tracker. A system for monitoring long-term and cohesive activities, usually in software.  Standard Time® is such a project tracker.

It’s true; projects can go crazy without a project tracker. Employees camp out on favorite tasks, and convince managers that more time is needed. Tasks go over budget, and nobody notices slowdown trends that triple the project duration. Feature creep balloons up the scope until you wake up one morning and realize you’re chasing a moving target… or the moving target is chasing you. You have to get things under control, but you don’t know how.

Those are some of the things a good project tracker can do. You can set “do not exceed” percentages for tasks. That holds tasks to a reasonable duration. It prevents the slow lag from developing. You can monitor new tasks added to the project to prevent feature creep. You can view the health of your project with Project Triangle charts. You can check resource levels to make sure nobody is over or under allocated.

Are you running a project tracker? Why not try Standard Time?

Track Time with Multiple Barcode Scanners on a Single PC

Manufacturing shops can now set up multiple barcode scanners on a single computer to track assembly time, boxing, and shipping. Watch the video below to learn how.

Here’s the deal… you don’t want to dedicate a single computer to every barcode scanner. In other words, one computer for one scanner. You have too many shop floor operators to do that. It’s a waste of resources, and every PC needs care and maintenance. You want to connect as many barcode scanners as you can to each PC on the shop floor. As long as workers can see the screen, you’re good to go.

Turns out, barcode prefixes are the answer. Assign a unique prefix to each barcode scanner on the manufacturing floor. Then you can connect as many as you like. Standard Time® will recognize the prefix and start timers for each scanner.

Not only can you connect multiple scanners, you can set default values that take effect every time you scan. Want to associate a dedicated gun to one single employee only? Easy, just set the default username. Now the employee no longer needs to scan their username to start the timer.

Other default values let you associate a gun to a certain project or task. Every time you scan with that gun, your project and task is already chosen for you. No need to scan them. The timer will start immediately, without the need to tell it which project you’re on.

All these little improvements to barcode scanning make your manufacturing process just a little more efficient. Give it a try!

Define Time Management

What is time management? Easy question and Zach answers it! Your time needs to be managed so you know how much time is spent on each project, how to bill clients, how many hours spent on each task, etc.

Zach is the time tracking and project management geek who answers questions for you. Ask anything about timesheets, time management, or project management. You’ll get an answer.

In this case, time management is watching your project tasks and admin so your project doesn’t bonk. It’s paying attention and keeping your head in the game. It’s making sure your project doesn’t crash.

Electrical Contractors Track Client Hours

Reward yourself, Sparky! Get an app that tells you your average job length, your effective billing rate, plus invoices clients. Plus has project proposals. Plus has timesheets for every employee.

Don’t let this shock you, but if you’re running an electrical contracting business, you need this information. This is how you trim costs and keep rates competitive. It’s not by watching all the other contractors in the biz; it’s by watching your own biz. How much are jobs costing you? How much are you bringing in? What effective billing rate are you making? What percentage are your electricians utilized, verses being paid?

Watch the video below, and decide if this is something your electrical contracting company can use. Then download the timesheet here.

How SEO Experts Track Time

SEO marketers, here’s a great way to track client billable hours. Use Standard Time®.

This little time tracking app will track client projects and write invoices. Try these steps:

  1. Set up a client, with their address and contact info
  2. Set up web seo projects you are doing for that client (as many unique projects as you want)
  3. Optionally add tasks you’ll complete while doing the projects
  4. Click or tap to start a timer
  5. Do the job
  6. Click or tap to stop the timer
  7. Collect up all your billable hours
  8. Invoice the client using date ranges or milestone billing

Do this for a few months and you’ll know exactly how much time you spend on each client. For some clients, you’ll be surprised. For others, you’ll just verify what you already believed.

HR Needs a Vacation Tracker

People always take vacation, get sick, have personal time off, etc. How can you track all that time? Standard Time® has it built in!

Employees earn new hours for each of these reasons. ST does it automatically on a regular basis. You just set the PTO accrual rules and it keeps going week after week, month after month. New hours are automatically added to employee banks periodically.

Of course, employees can request time off any time. You can allow them to overdraft a certain number of hours, which they will earn again in the future.

Blackout periods can be set up to discourage or block time off during critical work days. Just add a new date blackout date range, and users will see a popup message when they try to take time off. Usually this acts as a friendly reminder that all employees are needed during this critical time.

All the necessary tools for PTO accruals and time off are provided in the timesheet. This should save your organization dozens or man hours per month.

What is Your Effective Billing Rate?

Do you know how to calculate your effective billing rate? It’s pretty easy. Just divide your revenue by working hours. If you brought in $10,000 and worked worked 80 hours, your effective billing rate is $125.  Nice!

Scroll down for a video.

But if you brought in that same $10,000 but worked 80 hours on the project and 40 hours on secondary stuff, your effective billing rate is only $83. It’s that “secondary stuff” that kills you. We’re talking admin, email, Facebook, Twitter, hanging out, and goofing off. Of course, everyone has to goof off a little. We’re not machines. But still, it’s nice to know what we’re actually bringing in for every scheduled work hour.

The video below talks about finding your effective billing rate for a given time period, or for a certain project. That’s harder to do because you have to collect up all the revenue from time logs for that period, and divide that by scheduled hours. You probably need a good timesheet and project management app to do that.

A New Time Tracking App is Out!

Even the newsboys know a good thing when they see one. All the news that’s fit to print! There’s a new time tracking app out!

Haha. Here’s a cute little video pitching Standard Time® from a newsboy perspective. All the boys are scrambling for their morning papers so they can make ten cents to go to the theater and eat goo goo beans and drink coke-a-cola.

That’s the kind of enthusiasm at Scoutwest, the makers of the Standard Time timesheet — eager to produce a good quality app everyone can use. It’s that American craftsmanship and mom and pop service you grew up with, or heard about from your granddad. But, with a modern time tracking solution as the flagship product. Isn’t that the kind of company you want to support?

You may find that they support you instead. Every feature you need for consulting, engineering, and manufacturing has been built in. Just ask, and they will point it out. Flexible billing rates, roles, task lists, project tracking, PTO accruals, expenses and mileage, and more. You won’t be saying, I wish it had this thing or that, because it probably already does.

Download a Modern Timesheet

All the gas buggies in this video know how to get to for a modern timesheet. Look how they motor right in at 4 mph. But the old-timer has no clue. Did you catch him? He just wants a little axle grease to keep the wheels turning.

So the question is, what’s holding you back from adopting a modern timesheet with project tracking built in? Are you stuck in the old world? Still using spreadsheets and scraps of paper? Or worse: verbally communicating hours like they did it before the machine age?

We’ve computational engines for that now!

Whatever the case, drive out there and download a copy and test drive it. You might like all the trips and levers. And then you’ll wonder what you did without a modern timesheet.

Project Manager has Task Alerts

Task alerts take some of the excruciating delays out of project management. That’s how it’s done in the modern world.

Tasks cannot go on forever. You know that. You need them worked and completed as fast as possible. Linger too long, and your project is so far over budget you’ll never make a profit. That’s where task alerts help. They pop up as a subtle reminder that the task is nearing completion. Employees are reminded to finish up and move on. No camping out on familiar tasks, and ditching the scary ones. Another popup occurs when you’ve entered too many hours. Employees are locked out until admins add more hours to the task. Nobody wants that kind of confrontation, so they finish up on time, most of the time.

In this video, workers know they can’t linger forever. Only fifty more units today!