In a previous post, we discussed that replacing paper crew timesheets through automation needs to be easier, more efficient and accurate than writing it in on a paper crew timesheet.
But there is perhaps an even more important topic to address: data validation. Foremen and supervisors need a lot of administrative support. Currently, paper crew timesheets must be setup by administrative staff with job, phase and cost code options each day. In the case where foremen have no administrative support, they have to validate these items in their head, or check and re-check job numbers, phases and cost codes with back office staff to make sure they are correct. This manual process is extremely time consuming and prone to errors, creating the need for more corrections and adjustments to crew timesheets later.
What’s the answer? As we discussed before, an automated crew timesheet must allow supervisors, foremen and even back office staff to more easily setup crew timesheets for each day. Systems that have job, phase and cost code hierarchies ensure that they only have valid options from which to choose. In other cases, there might be a need to auto-populated crew timesheet data related to a job or crew. This could include location, shift, or other key information that must be tracked with crew hours to ensure proper reporting or later integration with ERP systems such as SAP or PeopleSoft.
In sum, while ease of data entry if often considered most important, the hidden benefit of automating crew timesheet data validation is far greater than any other. The true power of software is more than automating data entry screens. It’s automating everything else that goes on behind the scenes in crew time tracking.