Raken 2018 Year In Review
By Nathan | Posted on December 12th, 2018
At Raken, we introduce new updates, features, improvements, and expansions to the software every month. As the year comes to a close we'd like to take some time and go over the largest updates we introduced to our field reporting software this year, just in case you missed any.
Without a doubt the biggest feature we added to Raken this year has to be our construction time cards. Designed so superintendents and foremen could track hours faster and easier than traditional time cards, Raken's time card workflow was meant to make the process as easy as possible without giving up any of the functionality that the guys in the field need. That's why we made it so that with just a few simple taps you can add your crews, assign hours to a cost code, split hours between regular and overtime, or manually adjust hours for individuals who stay late or get on site early all from the app.
Of course all of our efforts to make time cards easier for the field also meant making sure that they were useful for the office. Standardized construction time cards coming from your jobsites means no more searching through emails, faxes, and paper reports to process hours for payroll admins in the office. Field workers can export time card data to Excel for faster payroll and schedule reports ahead of processing day to make sure the payroll admin in the office is always working from the most recent data.
Super Daily Improvements
One of the features that distinguish Raken from any other field management software is the Super Daily, allowing Superintendents in the field to gather Raken daily reports (and check compliance) from their subcontractors automatically, turning what was once a huge hassle at the end of the day to a matter of minutes.
In 2018 we made the Super Daily even more robust with the ability to customize the daily report depending on the subcontractor on a project basis. By going into the project settings you can add specialized survey questions for subcontractors on just that project, or you can make a subcontractor template that you can use across projects. It's an easy to use feature that makes the subcontractor dailies more robust without adding complexity to the process.
Inaccurate labor reporting and payroll is one of the biggest pain points for any construction company, and if you're not careful, it can mean the end of your business. That's why we added the ability for workers to sign off on their time cards within Raken.
Payroll administrators in the office use the online dashboard to check time cards for all their workers across projects and can see who has or hasn't signed off on their time card. They then just click a button and Raken sends a reminder with a link, in a text and an email, to those workers. The best part about it is that the workers don't even have to be part of your Raken team: all we need is a phone number or email address. Payroll admins in the office can even set up an automatic time when they would like time card reminders to go out, automating the process and making it easier to get accurate labor hours.
Sometimes companies change up the design of their product for no other reason than just to have something to talk about- the redesign doesn't actually do anything. In the best of cases, it's a refreshing spin on an app that you already love: the redesign doesn't do anything bad, it just cleans and brightens the interface. In the worst case, however, companies redesigning their product is a bit like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic: there are massive problems to fix but this company chooses to agonize over what type of green they want for a button. Waste of time.
Raken's redesign efforts were all carefully thought out with one goal in mind: enhance the user experience. Rather than redesigning the app just to make it look nicer, we took careful thought and user feedback into consideration when redesigning the app. We added colors, buttons, and altered the look to make the app easier to use, visually drawing a user's attention naturally to the next step in their report and cleaning up the interface to make the whole experience even easier than it was before.
Say you're in a parking garage or down in a basement and you don't have any signal on your phone or iPad but you still need to fill out your daily report. Those exact situations are why we added offline mode: we know that superintendents and foremen have begun to rely on Raken and use it throughout their day. We wanted to make it even easier to capture jobsite progress no matter where that jobsite was. We've made the experience so seamless that you shouldn't even notice any change in the app while it's working in offline mode. And when you are back on a cellular/wifi network all that work is immediately uploaded and relayed back to the office, letting you get back to your day without having to write it all out again. Offline mode works with your 5 most recent projects and is available to every Raken user.
These updates are really just the tip of the iceberg for what we did in 2018. We could talk about customizing RT/OT/DT for construction time cards, adding payroll notes, or all the different Raken integrations we added this year, but instead of us telling you about it, you could always just try the app out for yourself.