Accelerated Small Business - Digital Efficiency in the Information Age

    Federal Government Agency Experience.
    Private Corporate Experience.
    ASP Model.
    40% savings over paper based system.

When You need more than a timesheet - xpdoffice!

Small Business Service

One, and only one, resource is equally available to everyone in the world, no matter their location, age, position in life, economic strata, or capabilities. That resource is time. All other resources are variable in supply, including food, fuel, water, shelter, and finances. But time is unique. The same day is available to corporate presidents, government officials, and those lost to the grip of poverty.

Time cannot be bought, but it is certainly spent. It is the manner of spending that makes all the difference. xpdientinc™ has a new perspective on time and its successful management, for it is only by evaluating the past that the future can be structured successfully. xpdientinc™ products provide new and exciting tools to evaluate task completion vs time spent performing the tasks. Comparing the two, and performing the comparison at the end of a given time period can focus future effort to make a task more efficient. Greater efficiency affords more opportunity in managing time successfully.

xpdtime™ , the xpdientinc™ flagship product, is an enterprise application for organizational performance improvement. It monitors time and status and enables anyone to evaluate the health of an organization at any point in time, enabling prudent adjustment. xpdientinc™ feels strongly that small businesses can use xpdtime™ to introduce digital efficiency to accelerate performance.

Unique Information Characteristics of Small Business
Every organization has a distinct set of requirements and applications for the information it collects about itself and its constituency. Small business has similar requirements. Critical factors that make small business distinctive; centralization, localization, variety in capabilities, multitasking, and dependence on databases; are described below.

The vast majority of small businesses gain economies of administrative scale by centralizing staff and functions. All the knowledge and expertise necessary to operate a small business is generally co-located enabling and occasional confrontation in business function completion. The vast majority of business functions are organized this way. Prominent examples include centralization of purchasing and accounting activities, as well as revenue collection and payroll.

The focus of this paper is on human resource management, and the equipping of small business staff to deal with the task of monitoring, evaluating and paying a small business workforce. xpdientinc has been in recent discussions concerning small businesses over ten employees. These businesses recognized the inadequacy of their tools in management of this task and sought alternatives.

The standard xpdtime™ package meets the small businesses operating requirements for a new time and status management system, with allowance for customization of any database interfaces.

While many functions of small business benefit from centralization, a single staff frequently cannot meet all the direct needs of all customers, however large the staff. The organization must establish regional service facilities with satellite staffs. Expedient communication with the central staff is critical to record keeping and proper administration of regional office functions.

Staff frequently moves about on a routine basis, increasing the need for secure communication with a central office.

Such individuals need identical capabilities wherever their jobs take them, and only a web-based system can guarantee functions of that nature. Remote access to job-essential data can be made possible only over the Internet in such a situation.

Variety in educational and training competencies
As in any organization, consistently changing mixes of individuals perform business functions. Add to that a group of temporaries bringing new knowledge and skills for an evolving series of assignments, and the workforce serving a small business can be in constant flux. Management of time expended per assigned task is therefore critical to ensure that the customer receives goods and services at contracted values.

Varied experience bases between individuals underlie potential service variations; therefore it is important to assign the most competent available individuals for tasks.

As in many private organizations, small businesses may migrate to multi-tasking requirements for workers at different levels. The advantages are many and obvious. A cross-trained staff can serve the customer in varied capacities. For example, equipment service workers can acquire and apply different skills if necessary. The ability to track availability of small business employees based on skill sets or job classifications could prove invaluable in peak demand situations. As skill training enhances the capabilities of small business workers, they can be classified into additional job functions

Existing databases
The vast majority of information managed by a small business is controlled through existing databases. There are nearly as many database programs and formats as there are databases. Since many of the databases are built on competing and incompatible operating platforms, communication between the databases is nearly impossible.

xpdtime™ provides organizations with a complete system that monitors, evaluates and reports contract and job data, identifying discrepancies in actual vs. planned expenditures and schedules. An on-line signature and approval feature expedites the submittal process. Simultaneously, an electronic audit trail is generated consistently and automatically.

Paper-Based System VS Digital Efficiency
Paper was invented long before the electron was discovered, and we tend to gravitate to the trusted and true. But paper needs to "handled" by hand. Digital information can be handled also by wire and machine...

Reduce records management
Filing takes time and resources. Good spelling and alphabetical or numerical skills are required to maintain an active filing system. Lost records are incalculably expensive. An all-electronic HR management system eliminates such errors and inefficiencies by design, and promotes faster access to information, saving money.

Free staff to respond to needs
A basic function of small business is to meet needs. Some needs are born in opportunity, some by regulation. Whatever the need, it must be fulfilled by staff, people. If staff members are occupied with record-keeping or waste time correcting errors, they cannot fulfill this most basic of business mandates. An all-electronic timekeeping and status system makes such functions the smallest part of anyone's day, week, or month. That puts staff back in the field or on the counter. Better for those paying for the expected services.

Permanent digital record of actions
When the unexpected occurs, the first resource sought is a record of events. Only xpdtime™ combines the efficiencies already discussed with automatic generation of an audit trail. All transactions with the system are recorded in the background, providing an unalterable resource for tracking actions and times they occurred.

Accelerated Operations
Anyone who has ever used an eraser knows about duplication of effort. Imagine never needing an eraser again to fill out a timesheet or expense report, or a pen to sign either one...

Reduction or elimination of duplication
Providing copies of personnel records to various offices in a department causes totally unnecessary duplication of paper forms not to mention time lost in moving, sorting, and filing the paper documents. When all the offices of a Federal department can access one source for all personnel and timekeeping needs, any need for paper-based forms is removed, and any time required managing the paper can be redirected into serving the department's constituency.

One simple system for all Federal employees, regardless of numbers
Progress in technology is a fleeting phenomenon. What was more than adequate yesterday is completely outmoded tomorrow. Human resource management systems installed two years ago require unexpected technological hurdles in operation and communication to function this year. This shortfall becomes an increasing influence over time, as hardware and software capabilities shift consistently.

Systems may have been installed at various times in the history of a department, and be essentially blind and deaf to later additions. And a system designed for 26,000 employees may not stretch to accommodate 48,567 a few years later. Installation of a simple, essentially open-ended system that manages these challenges for any size organization is the obvious solution. All the employee records are available with a few clicks of a mouse, and can be updated from anywhere in the Federal system. Employees anywhere in any number can report status of projects and activity. The system is scalable to any size organization.

Operating Experience
Does your situation mirror one of these?



Federal Government Agency Experience
The Employment and Training Administration, Office of Technology, of the U.S. Department of Labor has selected xpdtime™ software to report hours and status information. This agency is using the system to track hours and monitor task assignments. With improved financial operations, xpdtime™ is helping the Department fulfill its mission of preparing the 21st century American workplace.

Private Corporate Experience
The advantages expected by the government agency described above are mirrored in the corporate world. Current private sector customers collect, approve, and maintain time and status information remotely, and expect to use the software in government contracting. One organization anticipates that they can quickly triple their workforce without a corresponding increase in administrative costs

xpdtime™ Implementation and Operational Efficiency
Some operating systems and software packages require weeks or months of training to develop proficiency. xpdtime™ can be learned in a few hours.

Very little to no training required
xpdtime™ is the simplest timesheet and status management program available. A few minutes are required to learn the basics of time entry and timesheet submission. A bit more time will allow a trainee to submit expense reports, and only few minutes more will train a manager to approve expenses. No matter the size of the business, it can be trained easily and very inexpensively.

ASP Model
The Application Server Model enables any organization to realize the benefits of xpdtime™ without the investment in expensive new hardware and a long implementation. The entire package resides within xpdientinc's servers and only an interface displays on a user's desktop through a suitable web browser. This configuration provides high physical security for sensitive small business data. xpdtime™ can also be installed at a customer site behind the firewall.

xpdtime™ offers a solution as a single source of information across a small business. The database over which xpdtime™ is constructed is open and flexible in order to provide the maximum benefit to a customer. It is the openness that enables most forms of information, with customization, to be rolled over into xpddata. Once the information is successfully lodged into xpdtime™ , it can be managed in the most efficient manner available.

Easy reporting to MS Office products and accounting systems
xpdtime™ does not live alone. It can report information and vital operating statistics independently for sure, but its real power lies in its interfaces with packages like MS Excel, MS Word, and several accounting systems using easy import/export and synchronization options. Any report can be converted into one of these formats and distributed AND managed through the outside application. There is no need to alter established financial analysis processes for the entire organization to take advantage of the power of xpdtime™ . Since xpdtime™ can make end-of-month reports available within minutes of the close of activity, a real snapshot of productivity is instantly available, and can be distributed in an expedient fashion.

Cost & Efficiency
All the opportunities for increased profitability and performance described in this paper are real. They alone offer a compelling rationale to implement xpdtime™ . In this section, however, we examine the xpdtime™ foremost appeal, cost savings.

40% savings over paper based system
US Department of the Interior studies indicate that utilization of xpdtime™ class software can save 40% of the cost of a paper based time and expense reporting system. This means that 40% of the time and resources currently expended on these functions results in pure waste from rework and duplication. Better to install a system that accurately captures time and status data once, and then gain advantage from the evaluation of the data.

Insights gained from examining relationships between the various forms of information available through xpdtime™ reporting functions point to cost savings and increased efficiency in resource allocation.

Rework nearly eliminated
With an electronic system, time and expense information is entered into the system once, and preserved accurately and permanently. As indicated above, cost savings accrue from digital time reporting. The largest factor in rework is re-creation of a paper timesheet or timesheet report that has been completed incorrectly, by accident or design. An inaccurate timesheet is costly enough, but correcting errors already processed into a system take time, and time costs money. When timesheet and status information is entered electronically, it processes automatically after a manager approves the values. While a record of the transaction is retained, and the information is permanently available for review, no additional management of the report contents is required.

Electronic signatures
Time waits for no one, but sometimes timesheet signatures must wait because someone is out of the office. The paper on which signatures are recorded can become lost or worse, altered after signing. An electronic signature eliminates such hindrances by design. Electronic timesheet approval supports remote expense reporting and approval. In such cases, an expense check can be waiting for an employee on his/her return from travel.

Electronic storage frees up floor space and never loses anything
Small businesses tend to maintain paper-based files even with the databases mentioned previously. Such records tend to accumulate over time, even when slated for archival. A single server, equipped with xpdtime™ , or connected to the ASP server at xpdientinc headquarters can hold the contents of vast numbers of file cabinets. State-of-the-art redundant power supplies, battery backup systems, and other protection systems to maintain data integrity safeguard the ASP model. Your floor space frees up for other uses.

Since an electronic audit trail is generated for every transaction in xpdtime™ , it is very simple to retrieve data for an audit or other reporting requirement. Standard and specialized report formats allow for review and evaluation of information stored within xpdtime™ many years previously. Project records, financial data, time and status information, and contract terms are permanently preserved.

Quality and xpdtime™
Quality systems have become an integral part of business activity and production plans in both the private and public sectors. Many international quality systems are being imposed on US based organizations, and each, such as ISO9000, demand process consistency and adherence to documented process practices.

Four facets of integrating xpdtime™ into the overall production or productivity scheme of an organization support quality plans and initiatives, within its sphere of capability. The facets become benefits because xpdtime™ works with you in support of an organization's current production and quality objectives. Quality support elements of xpdtime™ include: introduction of a simple application with a high-end result, easy retrieval of necessary process information, the capability of making adjustments in real-time, and direct integration into a quality system.

xpdtime™ is very easy to use, yet its maintenance of a record of every transaction within the system supports instant development of an audit trail, vital in support of a quality initiative. A few mouse clicks produce records from last week or five years ago.

Preparation for an audit of any kind is vastly simplified. And the same information can be retrieved repeatedly, on demand. Information entered into xpdtime™ in its standard operating mode can be easily and rapidly retrieved at any time, and reported in standard or custom formats. xpdtime™ can thus serve as a vast (and organized!) electronic filing cabinet, saving valuable storage space. With real-time reporting capabilities, an organization can monitor its activity at any point in time. That information supports adjustments, and keeping a process under statistical control. xpdtime™ is so simple to use, it quickly integrates into any quality system established (ANSI 90 or QS 9000), and becomes a vital component in long-term support of any re-certification efforts.

Elements designed directly into xpdtime™ , reduced duplication, paperless transactions, and reporting to outside analysis applications, support efficiency in operations; always a building block in quality.

About xpdientinc - CorporateOverview
xpdientinc, a new division of Scientific Systems and Software International Corporation, is offering xpdsuite™ , an integrated package of web-based software products that simplify business processes in a variety of environments. Advantages of these products consist of enhanced resource management, high performance/mobile workforce support, and better use of an existing infrastructure. Designed to operate in a wide spectrum of private sector industries and public agencies, xpdientinc products offer a solution for you.

Communication and time management are essential elements in assuring attainment of performance goals. Our software packages provide customers with accurate timesheet and status reporting, total web site content management, professional Intranet deployment in 24-hours, and web-based training, among others. SSSI's foundation products, xpdtime™ , webzerve™ and intraready™ support all of these efforts, and integrate them seamlessly into any project plan. Our application service provider model is risk-and maintenance-free.

Our customers range from departments of the Federal Government to small businesses. Our staff provides each with the same attention to detail, assuring fulfillment of its objectives. Through use of our products, each is experiencing reductions in waste and duplication, increased accuracy in information reporting, and has a better understanding of the financial and operating health of their organization. In short, improved profitability and productivity.

xpdientinc is comprised of highly qualified and experienced professionals in technical, organizational development, training and solutions competencies. Our observations prove that a workforce that can analyze its activity can focus its performance.


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