for ConnectWise

Saving Time by PREVENTING Time Entry errors

Being successful with your MSP practice is a balance of being “effective” (i.e. doing the “right” thing) and being “efficient” (i.e. “doing things right”). Today we’ll focus on boosting “efficiency” by streamlining business practices that may not be “fun”, but that HAVE to be done for your MSP practice:

 How much time/effort/cost could I save
by PREVENTING errors before they occur
versus FIXING them AFTER they happen?

The #1 target?  Time Entry.

Here’s a few ideas on ways to SAVE TIME on timesheet reviews:

  • “Timely” Time Entries It’s both a proven fact and just common sense that time entries that are entered into ConnectWise SOON after the work is done (rather than waiting days or weeks) are MORE accurate.  So having a way to “encourage” time entry in a timely fashion should help reduce errors.  This can be done via:
    • ConnectWise’s built-in “missing time entry e-mail notification” feature (affectionately known as “time nagging” by many engineers!)
    • Dashboards in the engineering area showing who has their time in for the day
    • Daily reviews and follow-up by engineering management
  • Let Engineers Focus on Engineering ConnectWise has a myriad number of options so it can be customized to fit your business.  Using those options you can make time entry “easier” or “more complicated” for your engineers.  We recommend “letting engineers focus on engineering”, providing a simple time entry process (as simple as possible), without requiring them to know all the details of the client contract or being presented with too many options when entering their time.  Keep it as simple as possible while still capturing the data that you need for your operation.
  • Perfection is Not the Goal Keep in mind that by its very nature, time entries will never be “perfect”, and if your internal review process targets “perfection”, you are wasting money (and you’re driving everyone crazy in the process!)  The goals should include:
    • We bill accurately for time spent by our engineering team.
    • All engineering time (billable or non-billable) is accounted for.
    • The client can understand an overview of the work that was done.

Unfortunately in the case of Time Entry efficiency, there is no “silver bullet” to magically solve the problem easily. Hopefully you’ll find some of the ideas above to be helpful in building your MSP Practice.

THE NEW HAVEN APPROACH
At New Haven, we’ve recently added a capability to the Executive Briefing Service for ConnectWise which allows you to “automate” the notification of “bad time entries” made by your engineering team. You can now notify your engineers about “bad” time entries they have made BEFORE you do your formal timesheet review process.   Having your engineers FIX these problematic entries BEFORE you do your timesheet review process should dramatically REDUCE the time and effort required for the timesheet review process.  Here’s how it works:

  • YOU define what a “bad” time entry is, based on your internal policies and practices.
  • You schedule a report to run on a schedule of your choosing (say, every weekday morning at 6:00am) that “catches” bad time entries and e-mails them to your engineering team (i.e. it acts as a “filter” or “sieve” looking only for bad time entries).
  • Your engineers receive notification that they have made a “bad” time entry, so they have a chance to fix the time entry immediately, rather than waiting to get feedback during the timesheet review process.

Here’s some EXAMPLES of potentially “bad” time entries you might want to “filter” for:

It’s easy for an engineer to forget to specify the Work Role (or Work Type) on a time entry. You may have a “default” role or type that gets put in, or it may just be blank. This example will notify engineers that they have a time entry that is “missing” a valid Work Role entry.Work done “outside normal business” hours may need to be recorded with special Work Roles and/or Work Types. This example screens for “after hours” work that was not recorded correctly.

The “notes” on this time entry mention “server”, but the Work Role does NOT include the word “Server”.

There are no Notes on this Time Entry…

Interested in more details about how this works in the Executive Briefing Service for ConnectWise?
Go to:  http://www.slideshare.net/NewHavenTech/time-entry-sieve

At New Haven Technologies, we provide access to information so that you can make data-driven, informed decisions about your MSP business.  Our service is provided on a month-to-month basis, and starts with a free two-week trial on your network with your data.  We also include customized reporting, dashboards and SmartPhone reports, all at no additional cost as part of the service.  If you are interested in learning more, just “reply” to this e-mail, or you can sign up for your free two-week trial at http://www.NewHavenTech.com/Trial

Best Wishes for continued success in building your MSP practice!

Dave Keller
Founder and Chief Consulting Officer
New Haven Technologies, LLC
Keller.D@NewHavenTech.com
(765) 335-KNOW

Stop Guessing. Start Knowing.
www.NewHavenTech.com