No matter how many demos or implementations we go through these two problems seem common across all MSPs we come across.
- Chargeable tickets generating invoices for engineer communication with the customer, not work done.
- After hours time entries not coded correctly leading to MSP missing out on revenue as well as increasing costs through engineer after-hours claims
In this post we will take a look at how we can configure ConnectWise as well as TimeSanity to alleviate these two pain points.
Every MSP have those Time and Materials or project tickets which are outside of agreement. Every time entry will create a 15 minute charge and sometimes when a customer is looking through the invoices the last thing they want to see is a charge for "Hi, can I remote into your PC at 3pm to look at this issue?" or something similar.
- ConnectWise Work Types
- TimeSanity to catch exceptions and notify the engineer or SDM to check and assign the correct Work Type
ConnectWise Work Types can be used to drive the associated charges to the time entry. At our MSP Lancom we use a Work Type called 'Client Liaison' and the engineers are trained to used to this Work Type when communicating with the customer. Other MSPs we have shared this with call it 'Communication' and frankly it doesnt matter what you call it as long as its configured correctly and your engineers are trained to use this.
Let's take a look at ConnectWise Work Types to show you how this is done.
- Navigate to 'Setup Tables' in ConnectWise
- Search for 'Work Type' on the Setup Table screen
- Create a 'Communication' or 'Client Liaison' Work Type that is Non Chargeable
- Train your engineers to use this Work Type when communicating with the customer on chargeable tickets so it will not generate a charge.
If the world was perfect then this problem would be solved with the above steps, however we know that engineers are human and will not always remember to change the Work Type or you have a new start that has not understood the Work Type function.
Enter TimeSanity, you can use a pre-configured rule in our default template and modify it to your needs or create a whole new one within 6 clicks to solve this issue.
Firstly we believe that all time entries below 6 minutes on a chargeable ticket should be checked or prompt the engineer to check to see if this is a communication or actual work.
Keeping this in mind lets see the rule configured in TimeSanity:
- Hit 'New Rule' and fill in the Rule Name, Lengthy Description which will be sent to the engineer to train them and the option to 'Notify Member' which will start emailing the matched engineers at 9am and 4pm in your local time zone. We do 9am and 4pm so it gives them twice in a day to resolve the issue as some engineers are out at site and not always in front of their email. It will email every day till its resolved, however the SDM usually gets to it via the dashboard before that happens :)
- Pick 'TimeEntry' as the Entity we want to look at, pick 'ActualHours' as the Property and pick the Operator 'LowerThan' and enter value of 0.1 (6 minutes)
This first rule reads "Time Entry actual hours less than 6 minutes"
- Configure the next two rules using the easy drop down picker for the two rules shown below:
These two rules read, Time Entry actual hours is greater than 0 and Time Entry does not contain an agreement (hence chargeable)
- Add on the these two rules shown below which reads:
Time Entry billable option is equal to billable and Time Entry work type is not set to Client Liaison as per our ConnectWise tip earlier.
- Finally exclude any members you want from this rule such as any members from Streamline IT boards.
- Hit 'Preview' to verify results from ConnectWise, by default Preview only looks at the last 5 days however if you know of a Time Entry you want to match look up the date on ConnectWise and use the date picker on the preview option to check against time entries from this day which all going well will return the right result.
- You can click the ticket number highlighted in the preview screen to take you directly to that ticket in ConnectWise on your browser.
- Save and within about 15 minutes (when we next run the rule set on your data) your dashboard will populate with the results as well, example shown below. Once again your SDM or time approval person can click straight from the dashboard to the ConnectWise time entry in the browser.
- Let's take a look at the Time Entry this matched, as you can see this would ordinarily generate an invoice resulting in a credit if we dont spend time fixing this pre-billing. Thanks to TimeSanity the engineer will resolve this or the SDM will do so prior to billing.
Stay tuned for Part 2 next week when we take you through how to create the after hours rule mentioned in problem #2.