What's New in 4castplus

November 5, 2015

In this October, 2015 release of 4castplus, we’ve covered a lot of territory in a variety of areas. Many usability and feature enhancements, along with a couple new features like the new Permissions Manager. We hope that many of the improvements showcased in this release are valuable and helpful to you. We’ll be happy to discuss them at greater length, so please contact us if you’re interested to learn more.

AREA: Permissions Management

New Permissions Manager Tool

A great new usability tool, the Permissions Manager, is now available in Configuration > Manage Resources. This new feature allows you to view, report on and manage all Labor Permissions in your organization. View who is assigned to any permission in 4castplus, make mass or individual updates and run your Permissions report to ensure that resources are accurately permissioned. The next enhancement of this feature will allow you to select a specific Resource and view/update their permissions from within the Permissions Manager

Permissions Manager Tool

New Permissions Manager Tool

AREA: Construction Management

Jobsite Timesheet Updates

The following usability enhancements have been brought into the Jobsite Timesheet:

  • Billing Option in Third Party Expenses now reflects the same selection after Add
  • A Total column has been added in for Labor on the LEM tab
  • Cost Rate field has been added to New Labor Resource workflow
  • Alerts regarding Daily Max Quantity have been improved to provide more information about the affected resource
  • Employee Expenses calculated billable now relies on the Billable Status of the Expense Class.  Expense entries with Non Billable Classes will display a Cost data entry field only.
  • Improved behavior of Employee Expenses:
    • Character cap on Internal Comments has been lifted
    • Quantity field in the Expenses tab is now a required content field

UPDATED! Third Party Expenses Timesheet

The former “Vendor Invoice Timesheet” has a new name and a new look – it is now the Third Party Expenses Timesheet. This new format has the same data capture and capability as the former Timesheet, but has much greater flexibility and usability. Three new billing options have been added in, in addition to Cost Plus; Mark Up Only, Pass Thru and No Charge. Find the new Timesheet in Timesheets > Third Party Expenses.

3rd party expense tracking

New/Updated Third-Party Expense ‘Timesheet’

Update of Equipment Maintenance costing

Previously, equipment maintenance related costs were tracked directly to the related project. This costing behavior has been modified in this release to better reflect how equipment maintenance costs are allocated. When a Labor, Material, Expenses or ‘Third Party No Charge’ entry is made and tagged as being Equipment Maintenance related, users can now identify whether the costs should be included in the project or tracked separately. Check out this new methodology in Jobsite Timesheet > LEM, Expenses or Third Party Expenses tabs.

AREA: Projects & Procurement

NEW! Project Geography

A new data field – Project Geography – has been added to provide with additional reporting and visibility of your project statistics. Configure your Project Geography options in Configuration > Manage Codes & Fields > Project Information. Options are then available for selection in your Project Profile and reported on in Detail and Summary reports. This field is key to aide in visibility into the complexities that geography can cause to projects.

Project geography

New Configurable Project Geography Data Field

Project Billing Type Enhancement

A previous constraint on the Unit Price project billing type has been lifted in this release. Previously, you were only able to include the Unit Price project billing type in Fixed Price and Cost projects – and vice versa. That constraint has now been removed – Unit Price work packages can be selected for any project billing type and any project billing type work package can be selected for inclusion in a Unit Price project.

Procurement Receiving and Invoicing

The Receiving and Invoicing modules now allow you to Unsubmit a Receipt or an Invoice that has been recorded. Find this enhancement in Projects > Procurement > Receiving and Invoicing.

AREA: Approvals

Extension of Vendor Invoice Tracking to include Contractor Hours

The Vendor Invoice Tracking feature (formerly called Vendor Attest) has been extended to allow you to verify Contractor hours entered on all Labor Timesheets – Jobsite, My Timesheet and Time Keeper. Non-verified Contractor hours are now captured in the Accrual Report for accurate accruals of all your contractor, third party charges and expenses. Check out this enhancement in Approvals > Vendor Invoice Tracking.

How does this help you? If you have labor contractors working for you – and you track their hours using a regular timesheet – then when they submit their invoice to you, you’ll have a way to match & approve that invoice against the hours they’ve entered into the system.

Vendor Invoice Tracking

New Configurable Project Geography Data Field

AREA: Reporting

New Data Fields

To provide for more meaningful ad-hoc reporting, new columns have been added into all Detail Reports – giving you more information about your project transactions.  Check out the new columns in all Details reports. We’ll continue to add further data fields to ad-hoc reports to give you more options for interactive reporting.

  • Description field from Expenses and Third Party Expenses and has been added to all Detail reports
  • Vendor Document Number from the Third Party Expenses timesheet … giving you more detailed information
  • A new data field – Employee ID has been added to the Labor Resource profile in Configuration > Manage Resources > Labor, to better facilitate data transfer with your payroll system
  • Cost and Billable transactions have now been consolidated, where the Rate Type for both is common, rather than appear on separate rows.  i.e. Transactions created for Cost and Billable that share a Rate Type of HR will be consolidated and display on the same row.  Cost and Billable transactions that do not share a common Rate Type.  Ie. Cost Rate Type is HR and Billable Rate Type is Day will continue to be displayed on separate rows.
  • Third Party Vendor Name has been added into the Adjustments Timesheet grid to make it easier to identify vendor related transactions
  • Workpackage, Entry Type and Origin of Entry data fields have been added into Vendor Invoice Tracking to provide more visibility into where specifically a cost comes from and has been charged to.
  • Export ID and Vendor Invoice Posting Date has been added into Details Reports for additional visibility into transaction status

Ad-hoc detail report

Project Detail (ad-hoc) report showing a list of available report columns

New Reports and Reporting Datasets

We’ve added a few new reports in a variety of areas to make access to critical information easier for you.

  • A new report showing all “Jobsite Timesheets” that have been created for your project has been added to the Projects Reports area. This will give you quick visibility into your jobsite activity. Check out Projects > Reports > Timesheets. See the screenshot to the right.
  • Two new Custom Report Templates have been added to Business Intelligence. The Margin (Summary) and Margin (Detail) datasets will provide you with visibility into margin on all of your projects and/or project transactions. Find this new template in the Business Intelligence > Custom Reports > Projects reporting component. See the screenshot to the right.
  • The Labor Resources Report and the Labor Import File have been re-formatted and updated to include all new data fields. Take a look at the updated report in Manage Resources > Labor. See the screenshot to the right.

Jobsite LEM Tracking report

Business Intelligence custom report Template

Labor Resources report update

Project Detail (ad-hoc) report showing a list of available report columns

AREA: System Wide

Usability Improvements

Improving the usability of 4castplus is one of the most important tasks we undertake in every release. We get a lot of feedback from users about areas of improvement that we can tackle to make things smoother, easier, faster, smarter, etc. It’s an ongoing job of continuous tuning that we gladly take on. Please keep the feedback coming! Here are some examples that went into this release:

  • Sticky Filter: Our ‘sticky view’ usability feature in the Detail Reports has been updated to include the column “Filter”. Create your own report format, including filters, and the system will remember your formatted preference. Columns with Filters activated will display the filter icon highlighted in white. See the screenshot to the right.
  • Project Code Search: The Project and Timesheet search filters have been enhanced to include Project Code, in addition to Project Name, as a searchable item.
  • Stretchy Jobsite Timesheet: When the calendar is closed in the Jobsite Timesheet, the Timesheet now ‘stretches’ to fill the viewable pane. See screenshot to the right.
  • Pending Hours In My Timesheet Approvals: Pending Hours have been added into the My Timesheet Approvals main screen, providing more visibility into hours status.
  • Export Documents Total Quantity: A Total Quantity field has been added to the UI for easy verification to your Excel output.
  • Document Size: Allowable document size that can be uploaded into 4castplus has been increased from 10MB to 100MB

Stick Settings now includes a sticky Filter

Sticky Settings on ad-hoc reports means that all the date-range, filter, sort and grouping settings are remembered for you.

Collapse the calendar

You can collapse the calendar using the little arrow. This gives you more workspace to work with

Coming Soon

Stuff We’re Working on for Upcoming Releases

  • Configurable LEM report. The ability to tailor the daily Jobsite LEM report.
  • Timesheet cutoff
  • Notifications Manager. Define which and how you receive notifications from the system.
  • Offline field data capture
  • Document Approvals Workflows

New Presentations and Articles

Explainer Presentation on Routing Jobsite data for Approval and Billing

Check out the presentation below for an introduction to how to use the 4castplus construction management tools to capture field data, and have that routed for approval and billing. Click the bi-directional arrows icon to display the presentation in full-screen.

Articles

Here’s a new articles that we hope you find helpful and interesting.

That’s it for October. We’re always trying to make things better, so we hope you find something today that resonates with you and your team.

If you want to learn more about this software upgrade and more – and we hope you do – please feel free to email us at info@4castplus.com. Or, if you’ve landed on this page and you’re not already a customer, here’s where you can sign up for a free live demo of 4castplus.