What's new in 4castplus

September 28, 2015

In this release of 4castplus we’ve delivered extended features to Composite Rates Management that enables tremendous flexibility for defining the multiple ways that your clients can/cannot be billed for overtime. We’ve also added more power to the field data capture module to include Equipment Maintenance tracking. This in addition to a number of new reports & data fields that enhance the overall reporting and information the system can provide to you. These new features – along with extensions of existing features – are all described in more detail below. We’ll be happy to discuss them at greater length, so please contact us if you’re interested to learn more.

AREA: Rates Management

Enhancements to Composite Rates

The first phase of the 4castplus Composite Rate Type feature has enabled administrators to preconfigure the quantity split for how labor timesheet entries should be allocated according to company and labor standards. Timesheet users are then able to enter a single quantity, and the system auto-distributes that time into the appropriate rate categories – such as Hourly, Overtime and Double-Overtime, etc. All of the heavy lifting on how total daily time is costed and charged out is handled through pre-configuration of the Composite Rate. With this current release, we’ve further enhanced this feature.

Composite Rates split between cost and billable for labor hours

Composite Rates split between cost and billable for labor hours

In many projects, the amount of time that you are obligated to pay your staff (according to labor standards) can be different than what your customer contract allows you to bill them. For example, by law you may have to pay your staff overtime for any time exceeding 8-hours; but your client may not agree to you billing them at an overtime rate. Your contract with your customer may read that they do not pay overtime.
With this new extension to the Composite Rate feature, you can now configure a Composite Rate that is intelligent enough to know the hours that are needed for project cost and payroll – and have a separate configuration for the amount of hours that can be billed to customers. See the screenshot to the right.
There is also an additional feature to this that enables administrators to bypass the composite rules in order that they let the field personnel enter the quantities manually.

AREA: Construction Management

Equipment Maintenance Tracking

Civil contractor customers have emphasized the importance of accurate and timely tracking of their equipment and related maintenance. To that end, we’ve introduced a new feature into the Jobsite Timesheet which enables the capability to track maintenance-related transactions and costs to specific equipment items. This new feature is supplemented with a Summary and Detail report in Business Intelligence called Equipment Summary. This reports provides an in-depth look at your Equipment Costs, related Maintenance Costs, Billed Costs and related Margins. Enable Equipment Maintenance Cost Tracking in Configuration > Organization > Company Profile > Preferences, and then pop into any Jobsite Timesheet to start tracking your Maintenance-related costs.

Construction equipment cost tracking

Selecting the labor resource and equipment item for maintenance tracking

AREA: Reporting

A number of new reports and data fields have been added this release.

New Reports

1. Hours Status Report

A new payroll time report, “Hours Status”, has been added to the Business Intelligence area. This report is designed to help you quickly determine which timesheets need management pre-invoicing and/or payroll. Locate this in Business Intelligence > Finance/HR > Invoicing Summary Reports > Labor Hours Report > Hours Status.

Payroll Time Hours Status Report

Payroll Time Hours Status Report

2. Timesheet Detail Report

The new Timesheet Report found in My Timesheet has been updated and enhanced to provide all users with the capability of running a robust and interactive Timesheet report for any date range. This is a great self-service report to enable users gain tremendous insight into total hours, total projects worked on, etc.

Detail Timesheet Report

New Timesheet Report for self-service, interactive reporting

New Data Fields

  • New data fields have been added to all Detail reports to help you track the Origin of a Timesheet entry, as well as what type of Entry it is. The Origin-Of-Entry column is vital for companies whose employees or contractors can be tracked from a variety of places. For example, some labor resources can enter their own time (my-timesheet), or have time entered for them from the field (Jobsite Timesheet), or have transactions entered from another system and imported. Same goes for material and equipment transactions – they can originate from numerous places. The Origin-Of-Entry provides clarity on this.
  • 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.
  • Addition of a “Project Manager” data field to the Business Intelligence > All Project Details Report
Timesheet Origin of Entry

Reporting on a labor transaction origin of entry and entry type

AREA: Procurement

Receive Services Purchase Orders by LEM Transactions

Services Contracts can differ from other types of contracts (for example, the purchase of materials or equipment) in that the contract is defined by a subcontractor performing a defined piece of work. That work is executed by the subcontractor’s labor resources, along with any required equipment and materials to perform the job. To provide a solution that recognizes this as compared to purchasing exact quantities of materials, 4castplus now provides two options for how purchase order line items are incurred (received):

  1. Incur as “Goods Received”
  2. Incur as “LEM Transactions”

The difference between these is in how you track your contractor costs. For a materials contract, for example, you’ll likely track incurred cost by using the packing slip that came with the box of materials when it arrived at site. The amount incurred would be based on the quantity of materials received. For a service contract on the other hand, you’ll likely want to incur cost by recording the daily labor hours and other costs (LEM) from your contractor directly at the jobsite.  Your purchase order line item you’re tracking against might be a $100,000 Lump Sum item called “Perform Work” – and you just want to track the daily/weekly costs against that item. Later, when the contractor sends you an invoice, that invoice will likely have each LEM transaction itemized (or, it should) so that you can match and approve that invoice against the LEM transactions that you’ve recorded.

The second key addition in this release is providing the ability to record LEM transactions against purchase that are designated as incur as LEM Transactions.  Coming up in a few weeks, you’ll also be able to perform the invoice match/attest using these exact transactions.
If you’re interested in learning more about this key new feature, please feel free to contact us.

Incur as LEM Transactions

Select the “Incur As” option to be by Goods Received or by LEM Transactions

Incur project cost by LEM transactions

 

AREA: Licensing

New License Profile

A new license profile, Project Administrator, has been added to provide even more flexibility for your user base. The Project Administrator has access to key areas required for successful project support, such as Projects > Create and Edit, WBS management and Resource Assignment. Please contact us for more details.

Coming Soon

Stuff We’re Working on for Upcoming Releases

  • Estimating by Discipline. Provide the option to either estimate by specified resource, or by resource class (discipline)
  • Configurable LEM report. The ability to tailor the daily Jobsite LEM report.
  • Permissions mass updater.
  • Notifications Manager. Define which and how you receive notifications from the system.
  • Offline field data capture

 

New Videos and Articles

Articles

Here are a couple new articles that we hope you find helpful and interesting.

 

Video on Cost Codes and the CBS

Check out the video below for an introduction to how to use cost codes and the Cost Breakdown Structure in 4castplus

Well, that’s the big stuff. We’re always trying to make things better, so we hope you find something today that makes your work smoother, easier and smarter.

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.