The gold award winner in the Contractor Services and Software category, TimeAnywhere model 2.0 from Data-Basics Inc., is a browser-based web portal for remote time entry and expense management. Its updated design offers a convenient dual-pane view of data-entry options, and touchscreen-friendly navigation helps contractors accurately track time, labor, and expenses.
Two years of research went into the design of TimeAnywhere. According to Data-Basics literature, field testing by users is central to the research and design behind all of the company’s software. In this case, the new features of TimeAnywhere 2.0 were developed in direct response to contractor feedback and suggestions from the TimeAnywhere 1.0 product, which was launched in April 2014.
TimeAnywhere 2.0 includes a data-syncing feature that automatically saves all entries to a database. This allows technicians to log entries in intervals, review entries, or add information at any time before submitting the finalized data without the risk of losing information. A dual-pane screen with large, touchscreen-friendly tabs allows technicians to see all entry options on the same page, which makes it easy to select specific job sites, work categories, and dates. In addition, a new dashboard includes customizable management options so foremen or supervisors can better oversee labor expenses by configuring crews and easily logging time for multiple employees, even when under different labor categories or pay rates.
“Contractors are in the labor-management business,” said one Dealer Design Award judge. “TimeAnywhere appears to be a comprehensive and professionally designed time- and expense-tracking solution.”
Frank Leonard, owner of Key Mechanical, a commercial contracting firm with offices in Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco, said TimeAnywhere is a quick and easy method of getting time information from field personnel on a daily basis.
“It’s simple for the field crews to select job numbers and cost categories and enter their hours,” Leonard said. “All of our technicians were running on it the day it was rolled out with very few problems.”
“This is an easy-to-use product that has saved our company not only time, but money,” said Angel Fields, payroll specialist, United Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, Grandview, Missouri. “With 280-plus employees, we needed something simple to implement and maintain. TimeAnywhere offers both. Our training session lasts approximately 30-45 minutes, and the employees hit the ground running after that.
“The amount of time it has saved us during the payroll process has allowed us to grow our employee numbers without increasing our payroll department,” she said.
“Keeping accurate time records is one of the most important things contractors can do to ensure profitability,” said Tim Carcione, director of product development, Data-Basics. “The TimeAnywhere web portal is both a convenient, user-friendly platform to collect and store labor data and a labor management tool to track and organize complex projects. For contractors, TimeAnywhere can essentially eliminate time-entry errors company-wide. Its browser-based convenience allows for exceptional accounting accuracy for all field-based labor expenses, back-office employees, and sales teams.
RIDGID Sketch from the Ridge Tool Co. is the recipient of the silver award in the Contractor Services and Software category. RIDGID Sketch is a mobile app for Android and iOS that allows users to calculate and communicate various measurements on projects. It can be used on its own or in conjunction with a RIDGID LM-400 laser distance meter. The app will connect to an LM-400 via Bluetooth and receive precise distance measurements from the device.
RIDGID Sketch works in both drawing mode and photo overlay mode. The app will output images that can be shared as well as a summary of measurements and will calculate total length, area, and volume for drawings, as well. Reps at The Ridge Tool Co. note that this output is extremely handy to use for material purchasing, cost estimation, and other job-related tasks.
I like the fact that this is a tablet-based app,” said a Dealer Design Awards judge. “This makes it much more applicable to technicians in the field.”
RIDGID Sketch is available for free to download from the Apple App Store and Google Play.
LATS CAD 2 software is designed to save everyone’s most precious resource: time. According to LG Electronics USA Inc. literature, LATS CAD 2 features tools to reduce drawing and design time. It takes home the bronze award in the Contractor Services and Software category.
LATS CAD 2 is designed to seamlessly integrate with AutoCAD to allow engineers to lay out and validate LG variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems directly into CAD drawings. It can be used for commercial VRF, multi-, and single-split systems.
According to LG Electronics reps, LATS CAD 2’s compatibility with AutoCAD eliminates transitional errors between the programs, resulting in the preservation of building design integrity, which creates a more fluid design process and results in a significant reduction in design time and increased accuracy. In addition, LATS CAD 2 automatically measures pipe segments and calculates refrigerant charge.
LATS CAD 2 includes the same products found in LG’s LATS MULTI V™ and adds multi- and single-split products. The program also utilizes AutoCAD’s command and operational functions, making LATS CAD 2 intuitive to those familiar with LG’s other design programs.
TimeAnywhere Model 2.0
Ridge Tool Co.
LG Electronics USA Inc.
LATS CAD 2
Publication date: 7/18/2016