How it Works
· Upon finishing their work, each guard sends a very simple SMS to our
gateway (0438829178). The SMS must have a certain format to be correctly interpreted
by the gateway. Please read below detailed explanations.
· The gateway splits the message into its parts (start time, end time, etc.) and registers it in a database
· The message is immediately available on our secure Internet site, in your personalized area, for the supervisor or the business owner to review
· When required, the supervisor accesses the password protected web page and reviews all the received messages.
· While reviewing the messages, the supervisor can acknowledge them and associate them with particular clients or jobs for easier reporting.
Additional features that can be implemented on request
· Send SMS to all or selected guards to advise of time changes, new
· Send SMS to guards and monitor/tally their replies
· Vote on various organizational issues by using SMS
· Confirm meeting attendance, etc. via SMS
· 'Watchdog' type applications by which the gateway send an SMS and expects a reply within a given timeout otherwise it raises an alarm.
· SMS enquiry: the guard requests some information via SMS and the gateway responds by sending back that particular piece of information
· Various reporting and statistics
· Timesheet files can be produced and automatically sent (eg. emailed) to the client for import into customized timesheet/billing systems.
There are plenty of other applications possible.
Just let us identify other areas in your business that can benefit from this technology.
Benefits of Using This System
· Reliability - if the message is correct there is no human error interfering
· Almost instant processing of a timesheet entry
· Electronic recording in a proper, relational database
· Easy access over the Internet to the timesheet data
· Can be used from any place in the world to monitor the business and the jobs
· Can be used by anyone who has a mobile phone. No need for guards to be computer experts or have email accounts or fax machines, etc.
· Cost effective - costs less than a phone call to send, and saves heaps of money in supervisor and staff time
· Easy integration with other timesheet/billing systems.
How to Use the System
Go to the following URL http://www.bettersoftware.com.au/timesheets
Login using your user name and password assigned to you by the Better Software representative. Keep the password secret as it is the key for entering this site.
The left hand side vertical panel contains the menu for site navigation. The menu is visible all the time. The panel also displays who is logged on and what security level the logged in person has. The version of the site is also displayed. This version number should be noted when complaining about malfunctions related to the site.
Registering Your Employees
Go to the Employees page and register your employees' names and mobile phone numbers. You can mark employees inactive. Inactive employees do not show in drop down lists in other screens of the site.
Based on the information you enter in the employees page, the system identifies who the sender is for each incoming SMS timesheet message. You can also change your own password in this screen.
The system automatically defines two users with special roles: the default
user and the superuser. These users cannot be deleted.
The default user acts as catch-all for incomanig SMS timesheet information that cannot be related to any other employee.
The superuser has administrative privileges, can setup other employees, grant or revoke their access to the site, change passwords, etc.
Go to the Jobs page and add any number of jobs/clients that you want to associate incoming timesheet entries with. If you don't need to associate timesheets with clients/jobs, you don't need to enter any job.
Employees send timesheet information to the Better Software SMS gateway number. Currently the gateway number is 0438829178.
To be correctly intrepreted, messages must have a standard format as explained in the next chapter. Messages that are not formatted correctly are still recorded by the gateway but they may not show up in the list of messages for your company.
SMS Timesheet Message Formats
The messages for your company MUST look like:
XYZ START END NOTES
XYZ is the company identifier assigned to you by the Better Software representative. Without this prefix (followed by one or more spaces), the incoming message cannot be associated with your company and will not show up in the list.
START is the start time in military format where leading zeroes can be omitted. Eg. 1435 or 200 or 0200, etc.
END is the end time in military format
NOTES is any free text that the guard wants to pass on to his/her supervisor
Message parts must be separated by one or more spaces. Do not use dashes, slashes, dots etc. to separate the message parts. However you can use any character in the NOTES section of the message.
Examples of messages:
XYZ 1300 2000 ADL Railway station
XYZ 200 600 WCH - Cannot come in tomorrow. I have a doctor appointment
Viewing, Filtering and Navigating Messages
You can go to the Messages page and view the messages received in any day.
You can filter by date range, employee or message status (use the Filter menu option on the left hand side).
By using the buttons at the top right of the page you can navigate to the previous or next day in sequence.
The title of the messages page shows the date and the filtering criteria used. You can sort the list by clicking on the header of each of the columns.
You may need to refresh the page from time to time to view the latest messages received.
Editing and Acknowledging Messages
You can edit each message in the messages list. There are not many fields that can be changed. For example you cannot change the raw message text that was received by the SMS gateway.
However, you can modify the employee the message belongs to (in case an employee sends the timesheet message using somebody else's mobile phone).
You can also acknowledge a message by assigning it to a certain job and you can also enter an acknowledgment note.
Once acknowledged, a message will be marked as such in the messages list (in the column 'Acknowledged by').
For more information, to register for this service, to ask about prices and about other SMS based applications, or even if you need software development at professional standards, please contact Better Software on 041 207 2360 or on email sorin at bettersoftware dot com dot au