We’re all pressed for time and trying to “do more with less”. This blog post highlights little-known and underutilized features in B2W Track to help recoup some time each day. Over the years, B2W Software continuously adds great features, and more than a few go unnoticed – including these overlooked gems.
- Exclude Zero Cost Labor Types
- Auto-Add Foreman
- Auto Add Materials from Job Accounts
These are all features that when implemented properly can shave a few extra clicks off each daily entry. Why are they overlooked? These features are all things that are enabled at the server level. Users don’t see them on screen as options unless they have administrative privileges at the Business Unit level, and that’s a GOOD thing! You don’t want every user to be able to change the Field Log however they want. In a week, your logs would look like Feature Soup. Turning features on here and off there would create an utter casserole of nonsense. So the features are safely tucked away. I’ll show you where they are, what they do, and why you may want them.
Exclude Zero Cost Labor Types:
When you’re in a field log and chose “Labor Types” for an employee, it hides any Labor Type that doesn’t have a cost in that rate class. This means you don’t get presented with choices that aren’t supposed to be there, and you have less scrolling to get to the right labor type. Because who likes scrolling to find what they want? Nobody, that’s who. To enable the feature, go to the Business Unit and then to “Field Log Settings” where you’ll see all the powerful choices. Go to the Employees Section, and simply check “Exclude Zero Cost Labor Types”.
That’s it! Now watch what happens. Here you can see the information for the Standard 2017 Rate Class. Notice in the highlighted first six Labor Types that Apprentice and Cable Splicer have a cost of $0. I use those Labor Types in other rate classes, but not this one, so here they have no cost.
Now that I’ve turned on the “Exclude Zero Cost Labor Types” feature, when I go to a field log, and try to select a labor type for an employee, wah-BAM, fewer choices. As you can see in the picture below, Apprentice and Cable Splicer are not in the list. They done been “excludified”!
You have a much shorter list to look through. Without that feature, large companies or companies with a very diverse set of labor types would be scrolling and scrolling, like some kind of nut job. But not YOU, because you read this blog. Well done.
How many times have you selected yourself as the Foreman in the General Information section of the Field Log, added yourself as an employee in the Employee section and then raised a clenched fist to the sky and yelled “why must I enter the same data twice?” Curse at the sky no longer. We provided the option of automatically adding the Foreman you select at the top, as an employee in the Employee section. Again, this is safely tucked into the Business Unit settings. So, (if you have permissions) navigate to the Business Unit you want to do this in, go to Field Log Settings and Employees, and select the checkbox, as pictured below:
Now, when you go to a field log, simply by selecting the Foremen in the General Information section, that Foreman is automatically added to employees.
Auto Add Materials from Job Accounts
If you’re a materials-heavy kind of contractor (and who isn’t, am I right?) you know that B2W Track holds a lot of information about the job, including what materials belong in which production accounts. This means that when you choose materials in a field logs, you can see all materials or just the materials that belong in that account you added to the field log.
But wait a minute, why do I have to add them in the first place, shouldn’t they just BE there? Now you have a choice. In the Business Units area, under “Field Log Settings”, in the Materials section check the “Auto-add Materials from Job Accounts” box.
Now, on the field log, when you add a Production Account (Tracking Account), if there are materials associated with it at the job level, they get automatically added in the Materials section:
If someone is looking over your shoulder while you fill out a field log, they’ll think you’re some kind of crazy warlock, with powers beyond their understanding. But that’s OK, we’ll know it’s just B2W, helping you out.
By Tom Willey
Tom is a Senior Solutions Engineer at B2W Software.