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WFM 2.0 is Here! Enter Efficient Estimating, Full Job Activity Tracking

The product team at SSP Innovations is excited to announce the release of WFM 2.0! (Learn more about SSP's WFM here.) WFM 2.0 is a giant step forward in the world of Utility Work Management Systems, and it’s sure to make the lives of your Engineers as well as your IT implementation staff much easier.

There are so many valuable new features in WFM 2.0 it’s hard to know where to begin. Here’s a rundown of the main feature enhancements and additions.

First, Responsive User Experience (UX) in WFM 2.0

A complete facelift to WFM has transformed the user experience. Developed in the latest web development technology: JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS, WFM has been enabled for device responsiveness. Client side controls make it easy to use and quick to respond. 

Second, Efficient Estimating Made Easier

Meet the Estimate Worksheet:  

WFM 2.0 Estimate Worksheet

The estimating experience in WFM has been redesigned from the ground up. In 2.0, Engineers can create multiple estimates directly in WFM (with or without an integration to a Graphic Work Design tool; our estimating tools come pre-integrated with some Graphic Work Design tools) for alternate designs and costing.

WFM 2.0 Estimate Worlsheet ControlsEdits to estimates occur as you type or as you select items in the Estimate Worksheet. Switch between estimates quickly, simply by selecting a new estimate. 

There are always times (especially in the case of larger projects) where you just want to see how a different pole or pipe size or wire might affect the cost in the job. WFM 2.0 saves you time in the estimating process. Now, you can copy estimates from another estimate within your request (WR or SR) or from another request. It also lets you import Construction Standards (also known as Compatible Units or CUs) from another estimate directly into the current estimate.

Simply create a copy of your primary estimate and change out only the data of interest (e.g., material, labor, contractor, etc.) to see how it affects estimate cost.

Next, Designing by Standards

We have now expanded upon the idea of designing by Construction Standards with the addition of Macro Units (MUs). As you already know, SSP's WFM allows you to group your materials, equipment and labor into Compatible Units (CUs). This ensures greater estimate consistency and reliability. MUs are made up of 2+ CUs and can be configured according to your organization’s design standards directly within one interface.

Now, the copy/import estimate tools arranged side by side with MUs and CUs enforce an even more dependable end product.

WFM 2.0 Selector

In 2.0, efficient estimating is the key.

We've made finding CUs easier with a powerful Selector tool. The Selector allows you to filter your CUs or MUs by categories and subcategories. So, your organization can define how they want to group CUs and MUs. Additionally, other "type-ahead" filter fields further narrow your results list. Select multiple CUs from the results and add them all directly to the estimate.

In the Estimate Worksheet, you can edit your estimate using inline estimate editing tools. These tools allow you to quickly add, modify, or delete elements from your estimate by using your desktop keyboard, touch screen keyboard, or mouse. This is a prime example of how we are committed to providing desktop performance in a web application.

Further, the Estimate Worksheet allows you to select multiple CUs in your estimate and delete, move or copy them to another Work Location by touching a button.

Finally, The Checklist, for Complete Job Activity Tracking

SSP WFM Job Requirement Checklist

Every project has dozens of activities that need to be tracked and addressed during the lifecycle of the job. Sites must be visited, materials must be ordered, permits obtained, customer payments received, engineering models performed, easements attained — and much more.  Furthermore, these activities may change based on the nature of the job.

To properly manage and track these activities, we have added a powerful Job Requirements Checklist.

In the Checklist, your Administrators can define common groups of activities (called Job Requirements) according to different job types. Once a job is created, users can go to this Checklist to see a list of all the activities that need to be tracked for their job.

Engineers can assign the job requirement by selecting a user from the group responsible for that category of job requirements (e.g., they can pick someone from the team of folks in charge of Right of Way). Alternatively, your engineer can assign the job requirement to a work queue, which can be later retrieved by someone with access to the queue.

The Checklist enforces configurable rules for job requirements, which dictate whether an Engineer can remove them from their Checklist, whether they can override the requirement, and whether the requirement prevents the change of status (e.g., whether the requirement prevents the job from transitioning into the "Release for Construction" status). The Checklist also determines which users can update status and due dates.

SSP WFM Job Requirement Config

A lot of important dialog occurs around these activities and many of them also require documentation (e.g., a permit or signed easement), so these Job Requirements may have attachments and comments that optionally send notifications to requirement stakeholders. System Administrators can require WFM to validate if a job requirement has an attachment prior to it being completed. Similarly, your organization can determine which job requirements can be rejected by the assignee.

Next Up, Finding the Work that Matters Most — Quickly

SSP WFM WR Dashboard

Now, your users can quickly access the work they’ve been assigned through Job Requirements. The "My Job Requirement" queue collects all of the assigned Job Requirements into a single location for quicker access.

In addition, users belonging to Job Requirement groups can see all the "unassigned" job requirements for their department in the corresponding Job Requirements Queue. This lets anyone in a group quickly access and complete the requirement in a timely fashion. So everyone in your Right of Way group, for instance, can easily see any unassigned Right of Way tasks and complete them. 

Finally, visual queues in your requirements list highlight jobs that have long lead times for specific materials as "Alerts." This long lead time alert enables Material Handlers and Construction Supervisors to work with engineers in advance, to ensure all items have been ordered and are ready for construction when the job transitions to an "In Construction" status.

Focus on Admins, Continued Flexibility in Workforce Management

In 2.0, we’ve made sure a flexible architecture was further enhanced. For example, new Admin pages in the web version of the product allow your admins to quickly define and deploy workflows for your organization.

SSP WFM Workflow Config

Those workflows can be applied to one or more job types. Admin pages have been added for configuring Reports, MUs, Requirements, Extension Attributes, and Custom Configuration. Access to these pages are controlled entirely by Administrators through WFM Roles and Permissions. 

 SSP WFM Admin Modules

We’ve also added more extensibility for easy customization. Thus, it’s now even easier to build custom panels, modules, and tasks. We've also added new hooks for custom fields in the header, closeout window and Estimate Worksheet.

Last Words on Configurability, Define the Data that Affects Your Organization

The Estimate Worksheet was designed for flexible implementations that are unique to your organization.

Every utility or telco has estimate data that is accounted for distinctly to their organization or Public Utility Commission (PUC). Further, every utility or telco has estimate data that uniquely affects the cost of the jobs they perform. This could be due to a limitation of an organization’s construction environment (such as soil or temperature) or specific prices related to their contractors. WFM 2.0 allows adminstrators to define these cost or account variables (called Extension Attributes) for each of the cost elements within an estimate. For example, the Utility Account may need to be selected for each material in an estimate. Or, the selected Contractor may affect the labor cost of the services required for the job. Now. this is all possible through the addition of Extension Attributes.

SSP WFM Estimate Worksheet Editing

SSP WFM Estimate Worksheet EAs

So What Happened to WFM 1.0? 

SSP has worked hard to retain the Work Management System features you love, including these: 

  • Integration-Ready – WFM has been designed (both from a data and technical architectural perspective) for integrations to GIS, Graphic Work Design, Property Accounting, Material Ordering, and CIS
  • Streamlined, Project-Based Data Viewing and Visibility
  • Configuration for Linking Custom Reports
  • History Tracking
  • High Flexibility, Configurability 
  • Extensibility Provides the Lowest Possible TCO

Ready to Learn More about SSP's WFM?

Speak to an SSP Team Member today! Contact us here

Author Information

  • Chris Sanders

    Chris Sanders

    Chris Sanders comes to SSP Innovations from having worked in the pipeline and utility GIS industry for over 11 years and specializes in enterprise system and software design. During this time, Mr. Sanders has lead the technical design and implementation of over 30 mobile implementations at utility organizations and has provided leadership of work management and GIS data management solutions for several Fortune 500 energy companies.

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