Naive phone numbers and internationalization

Phone numbers should be entered as digits, and maybe sometimes a + sign if a country code needs to be used.

A naive phone number in the United States is stored as 2025551212 and formatted as (202) 555-1212.

Internationalization of a naive phone number is achieved by adding the company naive phone number prefix to the phone number, i.e. 2025551212 becomes +12025551212.

All phone numbers can be entered either as naive or international, if the phone number is entered with the plus sign and the country code, it is stored as an international phone number.

For example, most companies in WRbil are US companies, but, for example, Airbus in Toulouse has the internal number  +33561933333, and the formatted number of +33 (561) 933-333

If the WRbil company were French, with a company naive phone number prefix of +33, the phone number could be entered as 561933333 which would be formatted as (561) 933-333

ELD Requirements, January 2016

ELD Requirements pursuant to the December 2015 FMCSA announcement absolutely no later than January 1, 2018 (or December 10, 2017, to be safe) with some older devices grandfathered until January 1, 2020 (December 10, 2019).

Is this the final FMCSA ruling on ELD’s?

Yes, this is final, immutable, never to be repealed and written in stone, unless things change.

Does the ELD replace paper DOT/FMCSA HOS (Hours of Service) logbooks?

Pretty much.

What do safety officials need to see in an ELD?

An ELD must be mounted to the dashboard, visible to the driver. It must have an instruction manual, although the manual can be electronic, i.e. the instructions can be read from the device itself. The driver must carry eight (8) days of empty logbook pages in the event of device malfunction.

Transmitting Data to Safety Officials – ELD will transmit in at least one ‘Primary’ and at least two ‘Backup’ formats. Primary include Web services, Bluetooth, Email and ‘Backup’ include USB 2.0, Scannable QR codes, TransferJet.

Email must be sent in a standard RFC 5322 Internet Message Format.

But note, in the real world, many Safety Officials will look at the HOS log on the screen of the device itself.

Safety officials will use every means possible to detect when a driver is lying, fudging or cheating, just as they always have, as is their duty.

Many ELD devices designed and put into service prior to the December 10, 2015 announcement are grandfathered until either December 10, 2017 or December 20, 2019 for the really cool ones (and depending on interpretation), paper logbooks are still legal after December 10, 2019, but only in the event of infrequent need or equipment malfunction.

Why would a really cool, new (but pre-2017) ELD still need to be replaced?

New requirements include specific xml formats, web services formats, formats that talk directly with the FMCSA website and database, logging with embedded GPS positioning data and logging with embedded hash codes that prevent tampering, to name a few, will probably require newer equipment. Anti-tampering kiosks are also a plus. Note that many of the anti-tampering requirements collide head on with the transmission requirements, e.g. USB 2.0.

Exceptions.

Timecard or Local Drivers. Short-Hauler, CDL drivers that operate within a 100 air-mile radius of the normal work reporting location or Non-CDL drivers operating within a 150 air-mile radius of their home depot are not required to install an ELD device.

Also, From the FMCSA website – https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/faq/there-exception-drivers-who-infrequently-use-records-duty-status-rods

Is there an exception to the requirement to use electronic logging devices (ELDs) for drivers who infrequently use records of duty status (RODS)?

An exception was made to provide relief for those drivers who use RODS infrequently (that is, no more than 8 days in any 30-day period). This includes those who only occasionally drive commercial vehicles, and short-haul drivers who use time cards rather than RODS.

What is difficult for the driver in this situation is that he is forced to prove a negative.

Finally, trucks built prior to 2000 may be exempt, partially exempt, or conditionally exempt. Which has nothing to do with RODS, so read the next section.

Data Collected

The ELD should collect some location data, but the FMCSA rule only requires a GPS accuracy of +/- one (1) mile.

Section 395.26 provides that the ELD automatically record the following data elements at certain intervals: date; time; location information; engine hours; vehicle miles; and identification information for the driver, the authenticated user, the vehicle, and the motor carrier. Unless the driver has indicated authorized personal use of the vehicle, those data elements are automatically recorded when the driver indicates a change of duty status or a change to a special driving category. When the driver logs into or out of the ELD, or there is a malfunction or data diagnostic event, the ELD records all the data elements except geographic location. When the engine is powered up or down, the ELD records all the data elements required by ยง395.26. When a CMV is in motion and the driver has not caused some kind of recording in the previous hour, the ELD will automatically record the data elements. However, if a record is made during a period when the driver has indicated authorized personal use, some elements will be left blank and location information will be logged with a resolution of only a single decimal point (approximately 10-mile radius). In addition to the information that the ELD record

(END OF ARTICLE, for now)

software DOT Hours of Service

First we go to a selected employee and add timecards.

Make sure that employee is in a ‘driver’ category, and has a valid drivers license renewal date.

Then, all we have to do is bring up the employee and go to ‘Views’ -> HOS View and we see the employee’s time expressed as a Federal Motor Carrier (FMCSA) driver logbook page. https://www.youtube.com/embed/pq66r_WEw5c

Vacation and leave tracing with cloud based Human Resources

Human Resources or Human Capital Management responsibilities include tracking and scheduling vacation and leave time for employees. Human Resource cloud software at Wyn Rocket include facilities for tracking upcoming and historical leave and vacation for the enterprise as well as for individuals.

The WRbil employee screen contains a vacation and leave option on the left, and the same left option is available for employees. If you are looking at leave from an employee view, you will only see records for that employee. To see all records return to the all employees screen and look at leave records from there.

Standard leave categories include vacation, sick and family/medical leave.

Leave records can be viewed for the current fiscal year and prior fiscal year. Leave records are not saved older than the prior fiscal year.

Leave records have approval fields and room to record the payroll period and rates for which the leave was paid/granted.

Improve communications about leave and vacation management with easier reporting and spreadsheet compatible leave reporting for employees and the company.

Employees can see their leave approval status and leave/vacation paid and unpaid history.

Reduce paperwork while keeping records of employee and company history of leave and vacation, allows for notes on leave requested and granted.

Manager managed, not an out of control cluster fish of employee requests.

Transparency without maleability

When the boss sends his troops out to find software, a system to store and share assets and orders, calculate things like hours, inventory, sales and costs, the shoppers are never fully equipped to evaluate our options.

Like a teenager with their first car, we have little perspective, even in a smaller and less pervasive arena like human resources in the cloud, to know what we need in terms of horsepower and legroom.

The process becomes a journey of ‘demos’ and one player in the group finds some things they want, sways the remaining shoppers and the company adopts a platform.

Over the years, some companies have adopted everything from Peachtree to Quickbooks, while other companies have rolled their own systems with bells and whistles that fit their business to a degree with which no generic solution could ever compete. Still, cloud based software solutions also have features that home grown solutions may need, but sorely lack.

Features of (some) cloud based software solutions;

  1. Authentication – a user and a password, at the minimum, identify the person that might be updating, or messing up data.
  2. Advanced Authentication – two factor or three factor, thumbprint, keyfob, or more recently, sms based.
  3. Encryption – all data that flows over any network is encrypted.
  4. Multi level authority – setting the level of authority by user, can they view, add, update or even delete data.
  5. Audit Trails – a complete record of changes that have been applied to a field or a record of the database. (WRbil does both)

Cloud HR

Simply put, Cloud HR is software to organize and manage workforce records.

CLOUD

Cloud means that you will not or may not be installing an application on your computer.

An example of an application that you install on your computer is Adobe Reader, alternate browsers like Chrome and Firefox, cCleaner, Norton, Outlook, iTunes, Skype, etc.

Cloud applications generally run on your browser. If you don’t know what that is, think Internet Explorer or Safari. That’s the place where you use the internet. You check mail, access your bank information, search for homes, or contribute to Wikipedia with your browser application. All computers have a built in browser these days, including tablets and smart phones.

HR

HR stands for Human Resources, also called Human Capital Management, what used to be called things like personnel or employee department. All companies have HR functions, larger companies have an entire department committed to Human Resources. HR applications deal with the functions that occur in the ‘HR bubble,’ i.e. hiring (onboarding) employees and managing the nuances of today’s employer environment, including sick time, missed days, hours worked, vacation and leave, health benefits, worker compensation, drug testing, etc.

Onboarding, or the hiring and interviewing process has become a application of it’s own, with some companies looking through thousands of resumes and managing hundreds of interviews to grow and maintain a workforce.

HR Documents

Many cloud applications include a pre-defined storage quota for employee documentation, such as resumes, employment applications, I-( forms, DOT forms, etc. You scan the document to your computer and upload it to the application. At Wyn Rocket HCM, you are only limited by the size of your Dropbox purchase, we offload document storage to a company that specializes in document storage, Dropbox. Wyn Rocket organizes the documents by employee and HR managers do not have the burden of managing directories and figuring out each others filing schemes, they do all their Dropbox activity through their WRbil cloud application. If IT departments are going to use the Dropbox desktop app in sync with IT managers preparing their HR department Dropbox account, they are encouraged to look into Dropbox’ Extended Version History functions. Dropbox users and even IT staff have made many documented mistakes with the Dropbox client and assumptions about how it should work.

How to avoid Dropbox Problems

Here is a simple list for IT managers on how to avoid Dropbox file deletion problems.

  1. Understand that whether or not you use the desktop app, if you delete a file, even by accident, everyone’s copy is deleted
  2. Don’t use the desktop app, to avoid one computer deleting another computers files.
  3. If you are going to use the desktop app, understand Extended Version History
  4. Even if you are not going to use the desktop app, understand Extended Version History
  5. In WRbil, only administrators can delete Dropbox files.
  6. Your primary HR admin should probably use a non-admin account on a daily basis, in case they click things by accident. Your stapler can delete a file if it is dropped on your mouse at the perfectly wrong moment.

Some cowardly people might think that there is something wrong with Dropbox. There is nothing wrong with Dropbox, put down your slide rule and your can of New Coke and follow the rules.

HR HCM Packages

BambooHR

API, Benefits, Compliance, Custom Reporting, Authority settings by user, stores documents (internally), Scheduling, Surveys

Employee Self-Service

Pricing, secretive, rumored to be $7-10 per employee per month.

Contract, unknown

NaturalHR

State of the art css and javascript, might be clunky on older hardware, very appealing on windows 10 and snow leapord. Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Edge are very compatible.

API($$$), Benefits, Custom Reporting, Authority by User, document storage (internal), Scheduling, Surveys, Onboarding & Offboarding

Employee Self-Service, seems limited to changing address, bank information.

Pricing, $ – 2.50 to 7.50 per employee, depending on features

Premium features, custom fields($$), recruitment($$), timesheets($$), suggestions($$), compliance documents($$), expenses($$$), assets($$$), surveys($$$), triggers($$$), custom benefits($$$), social stream($$$)

Contract, unknown, possibly month to month.

Choosing HCM CRM ERP Software

Selling software is like selling water, claim it’s from a Pacific Island, market it to your sales people, throw in lots of cotton candy and coffee mugs, and charge a lot of money. At least that is what our competition does. You will be told that great things come from adopting their system, and when it fails, it’s your fault, you should have evaluated your needs more carefully.

This time you hire an army of consultants, to match your needs to the myriad of choices, and this time, you will find the right fit. You failed again. The consultants just had a song and dance to play on your latest lament, and empty your bank account.

Here is the fact you just won’t learn. No single computer program is going to handle everything. Some CRM systems dial your phones, others post to Facebook, some even interface with Quickbooks or manage a website shopping cart for mp3 audio files.

The answer is not to find one with the right features, but to quit looking. Quit looking for something that will never exist, and start building on what already works.

The heaviest selling occurs around ‘Customer Relationship Management,’ i.e. more than one of your employees needs to keep abreast of the activity on a given customer.

But an employment agency has dozens of recruits (inventory) and a handful of customers. You need to manage your inventory. Your workers are your inventory. Your clients need first and foremost to get willing, sober and responsible individuals to fill temporary employment positions.

Let’s look at what CRM claims to accomplish;

  1. it helps to improve and enhance customer communication
  2. it streamlines daily operations
  3. it allows you to focus on your customers

Cotton Candy.

How about steak instead. What have they bought in the past? When? How much did they pay? What is their phone number? If you are providing temporary help for a handful of local businesses, manage your inventory. If you sell lots of widgets to hundreds of customers with a dozen customer service people sending the same or similar quotation each hour, a shared contact book may suffice, but if your 10 or 12 sales people have hundreds of products and hundreds of customers and dozens of orders, you need a system.

That’s actually not CRM. That is ERP. So why are you shopping for CRM? Because you are shopping for the wrong thing. You have been mis-educated. By the very people that want your money, giving you what you don’t need, all while patting themselves on the back.

Why does CRM deal with fluff and not the steak?

Because to deal with the steak, you have to deliver results. Take for example a program like QuickBooks. You can produce invoices, make payments, and ultimately produce financial statements that can be used to evaluate the success of your enterprise from year to year. It can be used to complete your taxes, to enforce cash controls, reconcile accounts, monitor budgets and track expenditures.

But CRM is different, it’s a rolodex, that multiple people can use at the same time! Very little benefit for way more money than you paid for QuickBooks.

Also simple, but you will fail. You should start with Microsoft Exchange Server. Because with that, the company now can use email to communicate with your client base, all with a shared rolodex. The server is a few thousand dollars and the IT consultants are twice that per year. But the benefits are finally defined.

  1. aid communication among your team
  2. contact prospects, clients, leads, build relationships with contacts
  3. coordinate and communicate with co-workers
  4. distribute written policy guidelines and instructions to your sales force

For many businesses this would be worth amortizing thousands of dollars a year. But here is the problem. Why would you spend thousands of dollars for something that is practically free? You can implement gmail shared contacts for dollars per month. For ten people in your office, you could have save yourself the cost of servers, IT consultants, dedicated computer rooms, new network wiring and a proprietary framework and the expenditures might well be less than 200 dollars a year. A little elbow grease, and you save a lot of money. If you have fifty people in the office, the cost of an enterprise level server for email and contact management might change.

QuickBooks doesn’t look so bad. Quickbooks for the bookkeeper, the owner and the Vice President of Operations and gmail for everyone else. You can even cloak your gmail addresses behind your companies domain name, your customers will not know how simple you keep things.

The problem is not that everyone is gullible. The problem is that your sales force is gullible. And once you commit to a system, your sales force will be the first to jump ship. So before you begin, stop lying and let’s make an honest assessment.

  1. Do you need a trouble ticket system?
  2. Do you need to measure marketing campaigns?
  3. Do you need an industry-specific calculations to complete a quotation?
  4. If you budget 1 percent of gross revenues for software training and customization, what’s your budget?
  5. efficiency
  6. intuitive
  7. transition
  8. adoption

If an approach fails, can the data be quickly moved? Can the system communicate by phone, fax, email, post, Federal Express overnight, text messaging, multimedia messaging, whatsapp? Your number one goal should be to take the next step, not the next leap.

Wow, OK. Maybe there is a system that can do several things. Wrong again.

If you are looking for CRM, find a solution compatible with Zapier.com as this will be a step toward verifying that you can insert information and extract information from your CRM solution without undue expense.

Technology now makes the communication of data (if authorized) possible. Leverage that. Don’t enter into a system that does not meet that low threshold. That means, if you are comparing the notion of installing QuickBooks to Zoho cloud, the choice is made for you. If you are comparing the prospect of cloud based vs. local network-server QuickBooks, the decision is obvious. Whatever drawbacks there are to the cloud are outweighed by the pick up and move to a new platform criteria.

Training.

How much training did you receive from google on searching? On using email? If your CRM solution fails because of a lack of training, it wasn’t the solution they sold you. It was a lot of wasted training. You failed again.

Pragmatism

You will fail by being idealistic. Be pragmatic. Form a solution, move on. Your workforce may need written policy. Write it and enforce it. Until you change it. If they don’t like it, they can work for another company, where they may finally learn to accept it.

ERP LAMP

LAMP is an acronym for an arrangement of Open-Source technologies that fit together with great synergy to provide working database driven systems and database maintaining systems. By definition, wordpress and most shopping cart packages that you can install on a web-server are a LAMP application. Because of the inclusion of Apache in the recipe, LAMP is by definition, internet or intranet related, and these applications would use a browser for GUI purposes.

Modern ERP and CRM applications, even those with heavy internal firewalling and proprietary GUI software have worked for years developing a seperation between the business logic layer and the client interface. For example, the complex liturgy of calculated taxes and deductions related to the gross and net amount of a New York paycheck are the business logic segment of an ERP or accounting program. The pretty looking check on the screen of your Quickbooks program is a graphical representation of the underlying data and calculations. Once upon a time, a programming language shouldered the burden of both tasks.

In the LAMP philosophy, the PHP layer, sometimes also called the Perl layer, can be subdivided again to achieve this result. The Smarty Template system is a convenient way to do this. In the Smarty Template framework, visual elements are written in a high level html with css using only a tag to invoke business logic elements where needed. For example, the gross calculation from payroll hours, which may be the product of regular time, overtime, holiday time, vacation pay, etc. and the series of tax deductions, retirement contrbutions and health plan participation costs may be embedded in the very display of the paycheck with a single tag that instructs a web-page, before formatting the html, to invokde the gross to net.

For Example;

<head><title>Paycheck for employee {{dv_emp_id}} – {{dv_emp_name}}</title></head>
<body>{{bl_pr_gross_to_net dv_emp_id}}

Would start creating a web page (I forget to define the source for the css) but invoke business logic from the payroll modules called gross_to_net for the employee number contained in the dynamic variable dv_emp_id before creating the body of the web browser document.