Congratulations to the CFMA staff for a wonderful conference, and a big thank you to all our customers and friends who stopped by the mJobTime booth at the show.
Also, a special congratulations to Christopher Budris of The GFS Group, winner of a Kindle Fire given away by mJobTime during the show.
We look forward to seeing everybody again at next year's show in San Diego.
mJobTime will be taking its advanced mobile time tracking software on the road to Orlando, Florida where we will be exhibiting at CFMA’s 2012 Annual Conference and Exhibition
from June 23 – 27. We invite you to visit our booth (#200), register to win a free Kindle Fire, and take a look at the all the great new features that mJobTime has added.
See you there!
Last night, before Congress and the nation, President Obama laid out a plan for creating jobs and restoring vitality to the American economy. The plan includes a $447 billion package of tax cuts and spending initiatives that the Administration believes will provide the impetus for job creation and overall economic growth.
Let take a look at what has been proposed:
|Expansion and extension of the one-year payroll tax cut
|Unemployment insurance and jobs programs
|Aid to states and local governments($80 billion)
| To keep teachers, firefighters and police officers in their jobs
| To modernize schools and community colleges
To rehabilitate and refurbish vacant and foreclosed homes
| To help low-income youths and adult workers
How does break down between individuals and business?
|Employee payroll tax holiday
|Unemployment insurance and jobs program
|To keep teachers, firefighters and police officers in their jobs
|To help low-income youths and adult workers
| Total for individuals
|Payroll tax holiday for small businesses
|Accelerated depreciation of business assets
|Aid to states and local governments
|National Infrastructure Bank
| Total for business
How you feel about this deal will probably be determined by your political swaying’s, but the majority of the economists interviewed in this article seem to believe that the benefits of this pending legislation will be anywhere from minimal to meaningful.
With the unemployment rate for the construction industry still hovering around 13.5%, it is obvious that job creation in the industry is badly needed. But with a highly partisan atmosphere in Congress, what is the realistic chance that this proposed legislation will be passed? What is your take on the American Jobs Act?
So many times in our experiences, we see prospects focused intensely on price when making their purchase decisions, but is this the wisest way to proceed? When you go this route, what considerations are you overlooking and how important are they to the process of finding the right solution?
Here is a list of factors that should be considered in order of decreasing significance:
- Business value – buy software based upon your business needs and not some glitzy features that you only have occasional use for. Know which processes and procedures are critical for your organization and make sure that they will be well served or even improved by the software you are considering.
- Return on Investment – what savings can be realized by utilizing the prospective software. Savings can be expressed in terms of time, productivity, and/or actual financial savings. Oftentimes, with software, the potential savings will allow for the cost of the project to be recovered in a matter of months, but careful analysis of all costs and savings must be done prior to any purchase. It is highly recommended that you come up with your own numbers in determining return on investment.
- Price-Total Cost of Ownership – Obviously, cost is still an important consideration. When considering cost, you should try to get a good handle on all costs involved. For the software, this would be the initial purchase price, implementation and training, the cost of necessary customizations, and any on-going costs such as maintenance and support contracts. It will also include the cost of any required hardware, and other associated costs such as cellular data plans, or wireless syncing plans.
- References – With mobile time tracking software it is important to obtain references that come as close to matching your business as possible. So a large electrical contractor will want another large electrical contractor as a reference. It is also good to get a reference using the same accounting software in order to gain an understanding of the integration that exists between the software and the accounting application. In checking references, always check on the level of technical support given by the software company. Once you sign the check that is who you will be almost entirely dependent on, so do your homework. One last note on references, unless you are planning a site visit, getting a near-by reference is not nearly important as getting a well-matched reference.
In today’s fragile and uncertain construction environment, spending money is a very stressful event. Everyone wants to pay as little as possible, but sacrificing effective software for a few dollars of savings is seldom the smart move.
Welcome to the latest edition of MobileTime, a blog about the issues affecting mobile time tracking and the construction industry in general. Our goal for this blog is to provide useful, helpful information presented in a concise format to our customers and all others who might benefit. Today's article discusses mJobTime Corporation’s participation in the Sage Summit trade show and the unveiling of our new mJobTime Web Edition.
mJobTime Corporation is pleased to announce that we will be attending the Sage Summit 2011 conference at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center in Washington, DC. from July 10 – 15, 2011. Sage Summit is a five-and-a-half day event with the first two days dedicated to Sage business partners, consultants, and Sage Accountants Network members and the final three-and-a-half days devoted to the 3,000 Sage customers expected to attend the event. As a long-time Sage Development Partner, mJobTime will be in attendance for the full week.
mJobTime has been selected as one of three vendors to present at the Sage CRE Industry Solutions Showcase – Mobile Time-Tracking Solutions. The vendor software applications chosen are integrated with Sage Timberline Office, Sage Master Builder, and Sage Timberline Enterprise, and will allow organizations to overcome the arduous and paper-intensive process of gathering data from the field by going paperless and simplifying job reporting. The presentation will be done by Mike Soniat, Director of Technical Services for mJobTime, on Friday, July 15 at 8:30 a.m. ET.
mJobTime is also pleased to announce the unveiling of our new mJobTime Web Edition at the conference. The mJobTime Web Edition will provide a web-based user interface that will allow transactions to be posted to the customer’s database via the Internet. It will run on most popular devices including Androids, iPhones, BlackBerrys, and Windows Mobile smartphones, iPads and other tablet computers, netbooks, laptops, and desktop computers. With the new Web Edition, mJobTime users will no longer have to install or upgrade the time tracking software on their mobile devices nor have to perform syncs to transfer data to and from the office.
We invite all Sage Summit attendees to drop by the mJobTime booth #337.
Welcome to the latest edition of MobileTime, a blog about the issues affecting mobile time tracking and the construction industry in general. Our goal for this blog is to provide useful, helpful information presented in a concise format to our customers and all others who might benefit. Today's article discusses the advantages of using a SQL-based time tracking application.
What is SQL you ask and why is it important? SQL stands for structured query language and is a relational database management system created by IBM in the mid 70’s and first used commercially by Relational Software, Inc. ( now known as Oracle) in 1979. SQL allows for the creation, update, deletion, access, and storage of data. It was originally designed to run on main frame and mini computers, but because it supports distributed databases, databases spread out over a computer network system, SQL became popular for use with PC-based systems as well. With SQL, multiple users on a network have access to the same data. Although there are several flavors of SQL, an official standard was initially published by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Standards Organization (ISO) in 1986, and was expanded in 1989 and again in 1992 and 1999.
How does a SQL-based time tracking application help me in my business? Such a system has many practical advantages as detailed by the following:
Scalability – As a business grows it will add customers, jobs, employees, users and other items. A SQL-based system will be able to absorb these increased transaction workloads and larger databases without a significant drop in performance.
Security – A SQL-based application also provides a higher level of security. Your data is protected from unauthorized access by integrating network security with database security. Administrators can set security at the user level by granting “permissions” or authorization to users based upon their designated roles. Encrypted passwords can be utilized to keep unauthorized persons from logging in to the system.
Transaction Logs – A transaction log is a sequential record of all changes made to a database. It contains enough information to undo all changes made to the data file as part of any individual transaction as in the case of accidental updates or deletions. Transaction logs can also be used as a security tool. If the database administrator suspects a breach of security, he can monitor the transaction log for suspicious transactions.
Automatic Backups – SQL systems come with an automatic backup option that saves a copy of the database and transaction logs. These backups can be used by the database administrator to quickly restore a database when data has been lost or corrupted.
Portability of Data – Data housed in a SQL-based system can be easily ported to other applications such as spreadsheets, query tools, report writers, and application generators.
Obviously, these advantages have been detailed in a very cursory manner, and there are many other factors not listed, but having a SQL-based time tracking application can provide much comfort and peace of mind to the owner. Knowing that tools are in place to protect the data, and that the system will be sustainable for more than just the short term, allows the business owner to focus on the more important aspects of his or her business. If you are looking at upgrading from a paper-based system or from a non-SQL-based time tracking system, you should give strong consideration to an application using SQL.
Welcome to the latest edition of MobileTime, a blog about the issues affecting mobile time tracking and the construction industry in general. Our goal for this blog is to provide useful, helpful information presented in a concise format to our customers and all others who might benefit. Today's article discusses the factors involved in adopting mobile technology for the enterprise.
Only in the last few years has enterprise mobile technology finally begun to tap the vast potential that had been promised for so many years. In its formative stages, the underlying technology infrastructure was still fairly immature and often failed to deliver on the expected benefits. At the same time, enterprises were unable to embrace mobile technology for a variety of reasons including inadequate business processes, human resources, leadership, and organizational cultures that failed to recognize the potential benefits.
This emergence of mobile technology within the enterprise has resulted in a paradigm shift of how business is conducted now and in the future. Business professionals, mobile workers, and field staff can now remain as productive outside the office as they are within the office. But what are the factors that must be taken into consideration prior to implementing mobile technology for the enterprise? The following is a list of some of the considerations that should be addressed:
What devices are best suited for the day-to-day operations of the targeted users?
What will be the primary determining factor for deciding on devices?
- Input method
- Screen size
- Processing speed
What technology platforms should be considered?
- Apple iOS,
- Windows Mobile
- Windows OS
- Apple OS
What will be the interoperability, or the ability to run on multiple devices/platforms?
What are the enterprise security considerations?
- Where is the data stored? On the device or held by 3rd party?
- Will authentication be seamless? – user names and passwords
- How will data be protected on lost or stolen devices
- Can the business ensure information security in mobile devices if they are used for both business and personal matters?
What are the cost considerations?
- Cost of devices and accessories including repair, replacement, and insurance
- Cost of training
- Cost of mobile data plans
The world of enterprise mobile technology has steadily evolved in the last few years. Devices continue to become more powerful and functional, wireless networks are becoming increasingly ubiquitous and capable of handling higher data throughput, and value-added mobile applications are emerging in increasing numbers. Those companies who are taking advantage of this situation will enjoy the resulting benefits: better efficiencies, cost savings, and new competitive advantages.
Regardless of the approach taken, this is an exciting time for enterprise tools. Is your company ready for the Mobile Revolution?
Welcome to the latest edition of MobileTime, a blog about the issues affecting mobile time tracking and the construction industry in general. Our goal for this blog is to provide useful, helpful information presented in a concise format to our customers and all others who might benefit. Today's article will feature select news topics affecting the construction industry as a whole.
Reconstruction Lifts Economy After Disasters – 5/31/11
Tornadoes and floods have devastated much of the South and Midwest but as many of the affected businesses and residents deal with the aftermath, economic activity is on the rise led by reconstruction.
No End In Sight To Construction's Woes – 6/6/11
"The construction industry will continue to experience double-digit unemployment rates for a long time," says Ken Simonson, chief economist for Associated General Contractors of America.
Man vs. Machine – 6/10/11
Spending on equipment and software has risen 25.6 percent in the last seven quarters compared to a meager 2.2 percent increase in aggregate spending on employees.
How to fix crumbling U.S. roads, rails and airways – 6/17/11
In the face of a shaky economy, declining tax revenues and public sentiment for spending cuts lies a public infrastructure urgently in need of significant upgrades.
Senators move first on transport bill – 6/3/11
Leaders of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee have agreed on a framework for a $339.2-billion highway-transit measure that could span up to six years but will the supporting revenues be sufficient?
Which Niches Will Offer Riches in 2011 and Beyond? – 6/15/11
As the construction industry as a whole continues to flounder, 2011 may be the year of the specialty contractor due to several promising niches
Not that many years ago, companies with field employees were limited to tracking time using paper timesheets. The first time clock was actually invented on November 20, 1888, but in most cases, stationary time clocks are not a good fit for the construction industry. Then along came laptop computers equipped with Lotus 123, Microsoft Excel , or other similar products that allowed the user to enter labor hours in spreadsheets which could be then submitted to the payroll staff in the office. By the end of the 20th century, digital remote devices were being introduced into the field as part of the first line of mobile time tracking systems.
Today, construction companies have a plethora of choices when it comes to remote time tracking. Most of these choices can be narrowed down into 2 groups – mobile applications and web applications. The thrust of today’s blog is to discuss three important items that should be given serious consideration before making your choice.Internet Connection Availability
This is probably your most important factor to consider. Web apps need a stable, constant Internet conection. If you have jobs in isolated areas where connectivity is spotty or unavailable altogether, a web application is not an appropriate solution. Native mobile applications reside on the device along with any associated database infrastructure so the user can continue to run the program when no connection is available. These apps only need a connection during the sync process.Processing Speed
Because the program’s database doesn’t reside on the device when a web app is used, all data must be retrieved over the web from the host server and transmitted back to the device. The speed of these transactions can be affected by data transport time, any network latency, and the processing time on the device. Obviously, desktops, laptops, tablets, and even netbooks will have much faster device processing times that can significantly narrow the gap with processing times for native mobile applications.Installation and Upgrades
Web apps, especially for larger companies, do not require any long and involved “roll-out” deployment procedures. The only thing required is a compatible web browser. And an even bigger advantage is no requirement for performing periodic software updates. All new features are implemented on the server and automatically delivered to the users
Application usage on mobile devices has exploded due to the increasing popularity of smartphones and tablet devices like the iPad, along with near ubiquitous network connectivity. Still, the factors discussed must be carefully taken into consideration before making your decision.
It is common knowledge that mobile time tracking software can improve the productivity and profitability of construction companies in many situations. The contractor must first compare the estimated savings of both time and money with the purchase and operating cost of the new software. Once a positive determination has been made, and the software has been purchased along with any associated hardware and periphery supplies and equipment, then the real work begins – installing the software and getting your employees to use it.
Resistance to change among us homo sapiens is apparently the way we come out of the box. Some of us may be more inherently flexible in our philosophical outlook than others, but we all have some basic level of desire to maintain the status quo, or in other words, to stay in our cozy little comfort zones. The more deeply entrenched we are, the more we resist.
What are the primary causes of employee resistance? There are many, some related to the individual and others more associated with the organization.Individuals
- Control – people do not like to be controlled. They don’t like to be told what to do. We think we know how to do our jobs, and we really don’t want somebody telling us how to do it better.
- Motivation – what’s in it for me? Is the technology easy to learn and use? Will it make me better at my job, or at a minimum, make my job easier
○ Have we included a wide enough representation of the organizational structure in the decision-making process to secure a company-wide “buy-in”?
○ Have we kept the affected employees abreast of all the pending changes?
○ Have we explained well enough, the benefits that will accrue to the affected employees?
- Training and technical support
○ Have we made sure that an adequate amount of time has been allocated for training, and that the training will be done in an environment where the trainees will be relaxed and uninterrupted?
○ Is there adequate support staff available to consult with the trainees as they practice with the system and once they begin to use it?
○ Have we insured that all supervisory staff are well-trained and very knowledgeable of the system?
○ Have we identified “product champions” who are likely to enthusiastically endorse the new software and promote it to others?
Most of the information system implementations that fail are not the victims of flawed technology, but rather of organizational and people-related issues. Communicating the company’s vision for the future is critical in enlisting support for the implementation of new technology. Company leadership should set a good example by becoming actively involved in every implementation. Making workers feel comfortable with their new tools will go a long way toward the successful adoption of new IT.
Have you done your homework?