Many believe that the main benefit of automating field services and crew time tracking is reducing administrative costs and eliminating double data entry. While this benefit is significant, perhaps even more important is automating crew assignments.
With advanced assignment automation a system would allow supervisors to login and see a completely populated crew timesheet, including job, cost code and craft level assignments to workers. Another feature of automation would restrict the supervisor, when making or modifying assignments, to only see those cost codes or craft levels a worker is permitted to be assigned.
Distributing assignment-making ability into the field with the supervisor allows crew timesheets to be adjusted throughout the day as workers leave early or replacements show up. All of this means more accurate time tracking throughout the day and automated tabulation of hours and costs at the end of the day.
The majority of construction and field services operations use daily paper crew timesheets to track time by job, cost or craft codes. The paper timesheets need to be created, printed and distributed by administrative staff at the job site.
A difficulty of automating this process is that the crew timesheet needs to be setup with these assignments in advance, or supervisors need to easily be able to make these assignments or change them in the field.
With crew timesheet automation a field services operation has two new options:
1) have administrative staff setup crew timesheets at the beginning of the day, or even modify assignments throughout the day for supervisors tracking time. The supervisors would be go to fully populated crew timesheet screens and enter hours and details throughout or at the end of the day.
2) Where setup of a crew timesheet does not vary from day to day, a copy previous day feature can carry forward the previous day's assignments and thereby completely eliminate any administrative preparation of a new daily crew timesheet. A supervisor can make minor adjustments to the crew timesheet setup and enter hours throughout the day.