A couple years ago, I helped Jason VanBuskirk, the Superintendent here at Stow Acres, create a few spreadsheets to effectively track where our labor was going throughout the season. The system included a labor hour tracking sheet that was filled out by every employee on a daily basis and handed in weekly. The rows contained the various jobs performed on the course (triplex greens, bunkers, course cleanup), the heading the columns were the days of the week. The employee simply entered the number of hours worked each day on each job they performed, and then totalled the hours at the bottom.
This system was very effective for the two years we had it in place. The toughest part though, was entering all of this handwritten data into the spreadsheets. Once it was in the spreadsheet, it provided nearly limitless budgeting, reporting, and projecting capabilities. However, once the season gets rolling, it’s increasingly difficult to find the time to devote to data entry of the hours for 25-30 crew members.
Here’s a snapshot of the data that was collected, and a summary from that year:
This winter, Jason came to me with a project. He wanted to create a program or database that would allow the crew to enter their hours into a spreadsheet that he could then import into the sheets he currently uses. My undergraduate education is in computer science (mathematical computing, to be exact), and my last job was a “Database Operations Coordinator”, so this task was more in my wheelhouse than being a mechanic.
Since we don’t have a mainstream database or reporting utility like MS Access or Crystal Reports, I used OpenOffice.org’s Base program (http://www.openoffice.org/). Here’s a screenshot of Base:
Here’s the form I created for the crew to enter their hours:
From that screen, the crewmember can select their name, the job they did, and how many hours they worked on it. They’ll then hit ”Submit Hours”, and proceed to enter the next job they performed that day, if any. We’re going to have this process be part of their clocking out procedure, as it will provide a secondary check on exactly what time each employee clocked out.
The data in the screenshots was for testing purposes only. When the crew returns in the spring, and we implement this program, each entry will capture the date, time, week of the year, employee, job, hours worked. With all of these values, we have pretty powerful reporting capabilities. Here’s a screenshot of some of the queries we’ve created:
And a couple of the reports we currently have. The first is Employee and Hours by Week, and the second is Job and Hours by Week. Keep in mind that the current entries in the table are just for the development phase, so once the employees start entering their jobs, the reports will become much more robust.