How to setup and name crews?
In the process of moving to crew timesheet software, you might quickly realize that the way you've been processing paper timesheets has left your disorganized. Or, put more nicely, unorganized.
What do we mean by this statement?
With paper timesheets, field organizations often use page numbers and timesheet tracking numbers to group together multiple pages of crew timesheets. In the world of paper sheets, these page and tracking numbers are critical:
- For John Smith's crew, he might number his crew timesheet pages as "Page 1 of 4," "Page 2 of 4," etc.
- This tells others that the entire crew timesheet is comprised of four pages.
- After they are turned in, if project accounting and payroll can only find page 1, 2 and 4, they know page three is missing.
Great system! For paper.
Bad system for project accounting and payroll.
Because they have to be the organizers of all the chaos, pulling all these sheets together, making sure nothing is missing. There main tool to get this done is timesheet and page numbers.
With this system, organizing crews seems unnecessary. Just track pieces of paper to ensure nothing is missing.
It all sounds very 1947, yes?
Setting Up Crews for Modern Times
Crew Naming Conventions
A key part of setting up crews is how you name them. Typically, we see a customers using a couple of naming conventions for crews:
Option 1: Using Foreman Name for Crew Name
- The main benefit is that the crew is immediately recognizable.
- Problems with this approach include when the foreman moves around the organization, the crew name might be subject to change, or you are using a name for a crew of a foreman who left the company five years ago.
- Another issue with simple naming systems is they do not include any hierarchical information and cannot be used easily to roll up data into higher-level groups.
Option 2: Functional Numbering System
Functional Numbering Systems can assign permanent IDs to crews. The simplest numbering system is where crews are a sub-class of a larger group, or master group, such as a Superintendent, General Foreman (GF) group, or even a division. For example, if the larger group is a division, then we would have:
Group Name = 10 (where 10 = division 10)
Crew Names = 10A, 10B, 10C, etc.
Group Name = 11 (where 11 = division 11)
Crew Names = 11A, 11B, 11C, etc.
The advantages of functional number systems are many:
- The names are stable and not tied to a foreman or superintendent who might leave the company.
- The names are hierarchical and can be used in reporting, where division crews can be rolled up to data for the entire division.
- The master groups can be used to extend permissions to view, add or edit entries for various employee resources, equipment and other assets.
- Master groups can be used to allow approvals of any crew within the master group by certain higher level approvers.
- Master groups can allow project accounting and payroll to have access to time and expense sheets, asset or log entries for any crew in the master group, or any employee within the master group.
- If payroll processes timesheets in batches, master groups and sub-groups like crews can be used as a grouping mechanism to form batches for payroll processing.