Designing a system that offers the same level of usability to companies of all types and sizes is, in a word, challenging. Every company has its own approaches to data, and accommodating all of those needs requires a flexible feature set.
New and prospective clients often ask ExakTime how they can use our cloud-based time tracking software for the best user experience and the most value. Categories, Groups, and View Sets as a few of the options we’ve added to ExakTime Connect that can help our users do just that.
So, what are Categories, Groups, and View Sets?
Categories allow you to place Employees, Locations, and Cost Codes into meaningful sub-groups in our software. Creating Categories for your Locations, Employees and Cost Codes makes many processes in Connect easier by allowing you to select and manage all members of a Category together instead of handling them one at a time.
In A Nutshell: Reporting, exporting time records to a third-party software, and manually adding time for multiple employees at once are all made easier through the use of Categories.
Groups, like Categories, also allow you to place Employees, Locations, and Cost Codes into meaningful sub-groups—but Groups are mainly used in our mobile time clock app during the clock-in and clock-out process. Groups break down the information the mobile user is presented with into smaller, easier-to-digest chunks.
In A Nutshell: Groups are an effective way of narrowing down a worker’s or supervisor’s options in ExakTime Mobile to only those relevant to them when managing themselves or their crews, so they spend less time searching and more time working.
View Sets allow you to restrict which Employees your managers or supervisors can see, as well as which Cost Codes they can work on at each Location. You may want to restrict your supervisors to only see the employees in their crew, making it quicker for them approve their employees’ time cards.
To keep employees from accidentally clocking in to the wrong cost code, you may also restrict a certain location to only show cost codes that are relevant to that location.
In A Nutshell: View Sets allow you to manage what information specific employees see, giving them exactly what they need to accomplish their work.
How can these features help you & your business?
Categories, Groups, and View Sets are useful to businesses of all types and sizes. We purposefully designed them to be useful in a range of contexts, and flexible enough to answer a variety of needs.
There are certain common-sense uses—like restricting a basic field user’s (i.e. worker’s) View Set to themselves. Here are some additional ways our customers use these features to better serve their business needs:
You have many Locations or Cost Codes
When you’ve got a lot of Locations and/or Cost Codes, field users may find it difficult to find what they’re looking for when clocking in. Location and Cost Code Groups allow the user to first select the Group that pertains to them from a small list, and then the correct Location or Cost Code within that Group.
In the case of Cost Codes, View Sets can also be helpful. Then the field user only sees the cost codes that are relevant to the location they’re clocking into, rather than a list of every single cost code.
You have a large number of Employees
Employee-to-employee View Sets can be used to help manage large teams. Forepersons may only be given access to see the employees they need to see (their crews), superintendents may only be given access to the crews below them, and administrators or payroll staff may be allowed to see everyone or only the parts of the company they handle.
On the reporting side, admins and payroll staff may categorize employees to make looking at trends and time among employee sub-groups much easier.
You have multiple Divisions and/or Locations
Categories allow you to run reports and export payroll by Division, instead of by Employee. Mobile Groups allow users in the field to easily identify which jobs and cost codes they can choose from (those assigned to their Location).
View Sets ensure that employees from one division don’t see employees from another (if they don’t need to), which is helpful to division-level management, admin, and payroll staff.
You use Phases, Sub-jobs, or Work Orders
If you have phases, sub-jobs, or work orders, Location Groups effectively allow your field users to first choose the job and then the phase/sub-job-work order when clocking in. If your phases are not tied to Locations, but rather Cost Codes, the same approach works.
These are only a few examples of the way in which our customers use these features. Get in touch—we’d be happy to tell you more or get you started!