I just committed one of my pet peeves: I used the phrase “and more.” I hate that… if there’s more, tell me what it is! But there are simply too many updates to sum up in a title, and I decided not to use the title “Holy crap we’re releasing a TON of new features today.” So take a look at the headings below and dive in to any features that pique your interest.(more…)
Hello, CrewTracks world! Are you stoked about document management? If you’re thinking to yourself, “Uh, not really,” there’s a good chance one of these describes you:
- You haven’t used it yet. Shame on you! This is huge!
- You have documents in Microsoft Word or PDF format, but they’re not ready for CrewTracks.
If #2 describes you, we’ve got your back. Actually, if #1 describes you, we’ve got your back there as well. We’ve got your back no matter what, okay? But right now we’re going to talk about #2.
If you’re up to the task of preparing your documents, this video will help a lot. If you’d like us to do it for you, please continue reading below the video.
Still reading, huh? I don’t blame you. Document preparation can get kind of hairy. Unfortunately, it can also get expensive. Quick story:
Several of us from CrewTracks were at a trade show recently where we heard about a new software for the first time. Turns out they compete with our document management feature (sort of), which we had not released yet. We found out if you want them to prepare your document for you, they charge $300 per document. We thought, “Holy smokes, we could charge a lot less than that and still make a good return on document preparation!” Suddenly a new revenue stream presented itself, and we weren’t even looking for one. Then our president stepped in and reminded us of our purpose. In case you don’t know, this is CrewTracks’ purpose:
We help and innovate for the people who build and maintain our world.
Mike reminded us: we are here to help you, not simply profit from you. So we have decided to take a loss, on average, on document preparation. This will make it easier for you to use CrewTracks. That’s how we can contribute best to your success, and that’s what we’re here for. More importantly, that’s what you’re here for. In turn, your ongoing partnership ensures our success, so we can continue fulfilling our purpose to help and innovate for you. It’s like the circle of life. No it’s not, but it’s pretty cool.
So without further ado, if you’d like us to tackle your document preparation for you, it’s going to cost a whopping $25 per page. Seriously.
Just reach out to your account manager, drop us a line at email@example.com, or give us a call at 801-742-5555, and we’ll take a look at those documents together.
Man it feels good to share good news!
Maybe you’ve been “in the know” for a year, or maybe you had no idea this was coming. Either way, document management is HUGE, and it’s the result of a ton of hard work and innovation here at CrewTracks. We’ve created five training videos for you to get up to speed, and they are at the bottom of this post. But first, here’s a very brief, doesn’t-even-do-it-justice, three point summary:
1. Field crews can view, edit, annotate, and sign plans and drawings in the field.
2. Field crews can also fill out and sign your company’s documents.
3. Completed documents can be exported as individual files, or the data from multiple submissions can be aggregated into a single spreadsheet (CSV).
The Bottom Line
We really can’t overstate what a game changer this is for CrewTracks users. Essentially, a million different “can CrewTracks do this?” questions can now be answered with, “Yes, exactly the way your company wants it done.” Please take a look at the training videos below, and then log in to CrewTracks. You should see a new “Documents” menu option. Existing customers get this giant expansion of CrewTracks functionality for free!
Video 1: Adding Documents to CrewTracks (7:41)
Video 2: Viewing Documents in the Field (8:03)
Video 3: Editing Documents in the Field (18:37)
Video 4: Viewing Field-Submitted Documents (10:22)
Video 5: Advanced Features (22:49)
We’ve got two new features for you that will help you get the right data on the right date. First, if you accidentally open the schedule for the wrong date, CrewTracks will now notify you:
Second, when someone hasn’t completed the required items in their daily report, CrewTracks displays a list of items they still need to complete. That list is now tappable! Tap on the item you need to complete, and CrewTracks will take you right to the place where you can fix it, like this:
We’ve also fixed some bugs that you might not have been aware of, including:
- When a schedule is created from the app using the organization settings (i.e. no crew), the organization settings for misc pages will now be honored.
- In some cases, the QuickBooks export was only rounding down to the nearest minute, not up, even if the decimal amount was closer to the next minute. Rounding will now always be to the nearest minute, whether we need to round up or down.
More new features to come! Including… the big one. Document management is right around the corner!
We’ve snuck in a couple updates you might want to make use of, and there’s another one right around the corner. Here they are!
Add/Remove Employees Permission by Schedule
Before now, there was only one place to set the permission for employees to be added to or removed from a schedule in the app. That feature still exists, right here in Organization Settings:
But now this setting can be overridden on a schedule-by-schedule basis. By default, new schedules will honor the Organization Settings. However, when creating a new schedule or editing an existing one, you now have this handy dandy checkbox to make exceptions where needed:
Ability to Disable Time Assignment
If you’ve been around CrewTracks for a while, you might remember when we used to have time assignment and production on the same page (at least on the iPad app). We separated those items into two pages to make some other features possible, including this one:
I know, it doesn’t look like much, but it’s huge for those who need it. In the past, Time Assignment didn’t have its own section, and that little checkbox that says “Require all time to be allocated to jobs before submission” was nestled in with the Jobs section. So, Jobs and Time Assignment were essentially one feature. This created a problem – if you disable Jobs, all the job-centric features (Production, Notes & Photos, Equipment, Materials) are also disabled. If you wanted all those features, you HAD to also include Time Assignment. And although you could make the actual process of assigning time optional, the Time Assignment screen would appear in the app no matter what, causing field crews to assume they had to fill it out somehow.
Long story short, we’ve separated the baby from the bath water. If you want to throw out Time Assignment, but you want to keep job-centric features like Production, Notes & Photos, Equipment, and/or Materials, we’ve got you covered. You can keep Jobs enabled and just disable Time Assignment.
Coming Soon: Customizable Schedules List Page
Oh man, this is such a useful feature. The best way to understand this one is just to see it in action:
But wait! There’s more! Did you notice the little “+” next to the search bar? That button will allow you to combine searches. So, for example, if you wanted to see schedules where Ali is the Crew Lead and his crew worked on the Oroville job, your search would look like this:
And that’s not all! If you call in the next 10 minutes, we’ll even throw in the ability to reorder columns!
Not bad, eh? By the way, you don’t actually need to call us – reordering columns will definitely be included in the new schedules list page. However, every feature we develop is based on customer feedback and requests, so we would love to hear from you! You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 801-742-5555.
Great news! The web app (often referred to as the back end) of CrewTracks is about to look a lot more beautiful. The features and functionality you’re used to are still there, so you’ll be able to keep using CrewTracks without a hitch. But just in case the new look surprises you, we thought we’d do some “old way / new way” comparisons to keep you on track.
By the way, this update is laying the groundwork for a huge new feature we’ll be announcing soon. But I’m getting ahead of myself – here are the areas that have been updated so far.
In each of the animated images below, please note the “Old” and “New” in the lower left corner.
Adding a New Job
The new job creation process is more intuitive, more beautiful, and opens up the ability for us to add features in the future without cluttering up the “Add Job” page.
Phases Items to a Job
We’re changing both the functionality and the terminology here. Calling each item in a job a “phase” limits what those items might represent, and we want CrewTracks to be flexible. Stay tuned for more updates in this area.
Also, while the image above shows the process for adding items from templates, the image below shows how we’ve updated the look and feel of typing in new
phases items one at a time.
Both the jobs list and the detailed view of a single job have been updated. Here’s the jobs list:
And here’s the updated view for a single job – it’s super nice. You can now see a map showing the job’s location… (continued below)
…as well as the photos attached to a job, without navigating to each individual schedule.
Adding a Schedule and Assigning Jobs to the Schedule
The new Add Schedule page looks great, even on mobile. Also, it’s easier to add multiple jobs to the schedule. Rather than adding one job, then adding the
phases items, then adding the next job, you can add all of the jobs and items at once. By the way, you’ll notice the new interface still says “phases” here – it has since been updated.
Here’s a really useful bit of functionality that’s being added with this update. You can now search all jobs for a certain item. In other words, you have two search bars now. Leave the “Search Jobs” field blank and you can “Search Items” among all jobs. In the example below, we’re looking for all jobs with an item called “Spring Cleanup.” You simply couldn’t do that in the old interface.
That’s all for now! We just wanted to make sure you weren’t caught by surprise. Please never hesitate to call us at 801-742-5555 or email email@example.com if we can help!
We’ve just released an update to our iOS app. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get to it!
Minimum Lunch Time Setting
This setting can be found in Organization Settings, Crews, and Schedules. It allows you to set two thresholds: minimum lunch time and a minimum shift time. If enabled, a schedule cannot be submitted if users who work over the minimum shift time do not have a certain amount of lunch set.
Supervisors Can See All Schedules
This setting must be activated by a CrewTracks employee – just let us know if you want to use it. We plan to improve this feature in the future; here’s how it works now: when enabled this feature allows supervisors to see ALL schedules on the “future” tab of the schedules screen. The schedules that they are actually assigned to as the supervisor will appear on the “current” screen. Supervisors will be able to edit/submit/approve any schedule as though it was assigned to them. This includes the ability to add notes and photos. It’s perfect for roaming supervisors who visit several jobsites, even if they aren’t the assigned approver for the foremen’s data from each site.
Link Detection in Work Descriptions
This is awesome! Shout out to David Johnson from Skyline Scaffold for the idea. Now the work description in each schedule can contain tappable links, email addresses, and phone numbers. This could be used in so many creative and practical ways!
Jobs Tab on iPad Split into Two Tabs
We’ve changed the iPad interface to match the iPhone and Android interface. Time assignment and production are no longer combined onto one tab. This provides a more consistent experience across devices, and also allows room for future features we have planned.
You can now import photos from your device’s photo library. So if you need to snap a quick photo and add it to CrewTracks later, go for it! Also, bonus: whenever possible, the photo will retain the timestamp from when it was taken.
“Add Job” button
An “Add Job” button has been added to the bottom of Equipment, Materials, and Time Assignment tabs on iPhone, and to the bottom of the notes & photos tab on iPhone and iPad. This will save you a couple taps if you get to one of these sections and realize you need to add a job/phase to your schedule. See above photo.
Signature For Time
When clocking out, employees are asked “Were you injured” and then sign out. The signature space will now show the total hours worked, so each person can sign not only to confirm their injury status, but also the number of hours worked.
Schedule Date More Visible
In the past, once you found the schedule you needed and tapped “Work On Schedule” or “Review Schedule,” you couldn’t see the date of the schedule you were viewing. Now the schedule’s date and ID show up on the iPhone side menu or the iPad user dropdown menu.
*NOTE* Most organizations new default GPS tracking setting is “clock in/out only.” If you would prefer continuous GPS tracking, please continue reading for details.
We have improved GPS tracking on iOS. It has a slightly higher battery demand, so we have changed most organizations’ tracking default to “clock in/out only” just in case some older devices wouldn’t tolerate the additional battery usage. If you’d like to opt back in to continuous GPS tracking, just go to Setup > Organization Settings and select a new “Default GPS Tracking” option. Remember that you can also change GPS tracking per user by going to Setup > Users and then clicking “edit” on the user you’d like to edit.
Okay, these new features are coming in too quickly to handle. I’m going to just give you our internal list of our latest updates. Check these out!
- Added: Flexible accounting code for phases.
- Can be enabled/renamed by CrewTracks onboarding/support.
- Shows up in the Job Time exports if enabled for ComputerEase and Manual (not grouped by Job).
- Added: Supervisors and Admins can now remove Jobsite photos on schedules that have not been approved. Hovering over the thumbnail will reveal a red trash button in the top-right corner of the photo. Will ask for confirmation before removing.
- Added: Superadmin Organization setting that will let Supervisors see all non-approved schedules in the app that they are not assigned to (requires app update).
- Added: Setting that will enable simple time entry for employees, along with bulk time assignment of all of the employees times to jobs. (Can only be activated by CrewTracks employee – let us know if you’re interested in this feature)
- Fixed: Bug that prevented Live Feed to populate for some users.
- Fixed: Jobs and Phases on the Schedule/Crew add/edit pages are now sorted using a “natural sort” algorithm (e.g. ‘1.3’ comes before ‘1.100’).
- Fixed: Improved rendering of dropdowns for Jobs/Phases on Schedule/Crew add/edit pages. The buttons no longer change size, and the dropdowns will no longer go off of the screen horizontally, and will instead wrap to multiple lines.
- Fixed: Increased width of text preview for the “Text Crew” button, and will now appear above OR below the button depending on where the best fit for the text will be.
- Fixed: Reworked session handling, primarily to fix issue where the Live Event Feed would occasionally not load.
- Fixed: Job name was not shown on Job Sign-offs on the schedule report if that job had been removed from the schedule.
- Fixed: Some pages misbehaved in Private Browsing mode in Firefox (and potentially in some other rare cases with different browsers).
Just a quick heads up…
Currently, you add photos to CrewTracks by opening the notes and photos section and then taking a picture. We’ve heard from a few companies recently who would like to be able to add photos to their schedule even if they didn’t have CrewTracks open when they took the photo. This feature has been released to our beta testers, and will soon be available for everyone! No need to break the habit of opening up your phone’s camera to snap a pic. Just take pictures like you always do, and you’ll be able to add them to CrewTracks later.
That’s it for now, but keep your eyes open for more features coming your way. Exciting stuff happening over here. : )
CrewTracks constantly innovates. As a company, as a product, as people, we celebrate our successes, but then immediately look to the future. Two recent examples are the release of the Multi-Select Functionality and the Customer Sign Off feature.
This is a classic case of a very small change having a very big impact. CrewTracks has always had the flexibility for field workers to add or remove jobs and phases from their daily schedule. However, these items could only be added one at a time, until now. If you get into the field and find that you’re missing the jobs and phases you need to allocate time to, hit the “Add Job” button and select as many items as you need. You’ll notice the green button at the bottom counting how many items you’ve selected. If you’ve selected 7 jobs, hit that green button that says “Add 7 Jobs.” You’re done. No need to go back and select more options.
Hidden Bonus: Although we can’t claim to have foreseen this use case, Primrose Landscaping in Stroudsber, Pennsylvania found a great use for multi-select. As spring approaches, they need to find all their customers who have contracted with them for spring cleanup, which is one of their phase templates. This template has been added to jobs for customers who have ordered this service. In order to setup the schedule, Carrie at Primrose searches the multi-select interface for “Spring Cleanup” and then goes through the list selecting that phase for every job where it exists. Then she taps “Add [x] Jobs” and the whole spring cleanup schedule is set. Awesome.
Customer Sign Off
CrewTracks now includes a new menu item called “Job Sign Off.” This feature is most often used when a customer wants to review the day’s work and give their stamp of approval, but it could also be used for:
- General Contractor Sign Off
- Time & Material Sign Off
- Change Order Sign Off
- Any external stakeholder Sign Off
Note: For an internal review and sign-off on the day’s work, just use our usual Supervisor approve/reject functionality.
The Job Sign Off section will automatically generate a report that contains all the data reported in the app for that day, including labor time, production units, equipment usage, materials consumption, and any notes. It also allows the CrewTracks user to add, edit, or remove details in order to tailor it to the eyes of the signer. For example, if the daily report includes a phase that you didn’t have time to work on, you can remove that section and it’s accompanying zeroes. The signer can then review the report, add their notes, confirm that the details are correct, and add a signature directly on the device. The report and accompanying signature is then emailed to any recipients you indicate.
Simply put, this feature is awesome. We look forward to having our next few features released by the time the “other guys” catch up. : )