If you follow our fantastic AroFlo Feature Video series, you’ll already know that we recently covered the Projects Feature inside and out. If you haven’t watched it yet you can check it out here.
Before reading this article, we recommend doing so, as it builds on what was covered in the video with some additional functionality you can employ to improve how you use AroFlo for managing projects.
A seasoned project manager knows that one of the most challenging parts of the job is managing costs.
For example, what if the costs outlined in a project estimate are very different from the costs accrued while a project is running? What if you have multiple contracts under the banner of a single project that each have different costs attached to them? What if you need to invoice each contract separately even though all the work is completed together?
The answer to all these questions is surprisingly simple, we use AroFlo’s Tracking Centre functionality.
Tracking Centres are used to categorise or group labour, materials, freight or expense items for reporting purposes. Once you’ve set up a Tracking Centre, you can have it automatically assigned to items within a quote, purchase order, invoice or most importantly a task.
Tasks exist within the individual stages of an AroFlo project, highlighting a job that needs to be completed for that stage to reach its end.
By setting up a tracking centre for each contract and assigning them to the relevant tasks, you’ve effectively meshed the estimating and running of the same project into one easy to reference package.
Repeat this process with each contract and the power behind this functionality only grows.
But why is this so important, you might ask
Firstly, merging these two AroFlo features lets you keep track of and report on important financial data concerning both the overall project underway and the individual contracts that exist within that project.
Individual stages within a project may have multiple contracts attached to it and you now have the means to pull out specific pieces of data and provide that to relevant stakeholders whenever they need.
Secondly, by linking specific Tracking Centres to tasks within a project, your field workers can easily add their labour and materials to the contract they’re working under, which will also record it against the task it’s assigned to.
This is particularly useful for creating detailed invoices with figures pulled right from a Tracking Centre.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you can view all itemised contract subtotals based on your Tracking Centres through the Project interface. A report created using this information clearly outlines how much you initially estimated for each contract, how much it has cost you, and how much still needs to be claimed before the contract is complete.
This makes managing percentage-based contract claims a breeze, with all the information you need already being separated by individual Tracking Centres and available on demand.
But this is just a single example of how Tracking Centres can be used to meet the demands of a project management role. Their open-plan design as a reporting tool lets them adapt to even more situations than this and you’ll no doubt find other ways to use them alongside AroFlo’s Projects feature as you dive into the functionality first-hand.