E-TS is a 3-tier Application, meaning that there are always separate programs involved in any change to data:
Additionally, because all the business logic is contained at the Application Engine level, this allows for different types of Client Applications to connect to the server at the same time, such as Mobile Applications.
E-TS introduces Android and iOS mobile applications that have purpose-built user interfaces for road staff. The current applications offers features such as:
The E-TS Engine can send emails to a SMTP mail server directly.
This means that all emails sent from Mobile Applications can be sent from the one email account (rather than the Mobile device's email account).
Additionally, the E-TS Engine acts as a Web Server (capable of producing web pages) which means that HTML5 applications can be used to access the same communication protocols that the Mobile applications use.
Currently, E-TS comes with such applications for:
E-TS is designed to allow every client to be recorded as a permanent client record. While the standard “Cash” client can be used, the option is there to record the details of every client your business interacts with, and in the case of road service work, with NO additional time overhead.
The old 7-Days account that E3 used is gone. It has been replaced by the ability to quickly convert recorded client details into a credit account with a small credit limit and a short “due date” period.
Such clients are easily converted into fully credit accounts later.
Quoted prices are no longer stored directly against each client. E-TS records prices in a “Client Quoted Price Set”. Each Client can then be linked to a single “Client Quoted Price Set”, causing the pricing on all Jobs, Invoices and Quotes to adhere to the discounts defined in that “Client Quoted Price Set”. This way, when you have several clients who receive the same discount structure, there is only one place to maintain changes to that discount structure.
The importing of Clients from E3 that have discounts will result in a “Client Quoted Price Set” for each Client and that set can only be linked to by that client. But any new “Client Quoted Price Set” that is created in E-TS, can be linked to by any number of Clients.
Unlike E3, when a Job is completed, it remains a Job; rather than being converted to an Invoice, an Invoice is created and linked to the Job. This creates an accurate history of events and introduces the ability to create multiple invoices from a single Job.
Additionally, while the Invoices are linked to the job, they are also independent records, meaning that they can be invoiced to differing clients or have differing due dates.
The same applies for quotes; a Job could have several different Quotes created from it, any number of which could be accepted; either resulting in a new Job being created or re-activating the originating Job.
Management of Jobs in E-TS has been changed significantly from E3. Firstly, Jobs now consist of one or more individual Tasks. This allows E-TS to manage larger, ongoing projects far easier than E3.
Each Task is a record of a smaller thing to be done towards the Job as a whole, with its own time scheduling and reserving of users.
On simple Jobs, like a Lockout, it would be normal for there to be just the 1 Task.
But on larger Jobs, there could be numerous Tasks;
i.e. For a Job to Supply and install a new Master Key system for a school;
As each Task has its own time scheduling and reservations, the Tasks can be scheduled in any order and to be performed by any number of different people.
Outlets are no longer reserved for Jobs like they were in E3. Instead, E-TS reserves Users (your Staff/Team members), independent of their Outlet. Also, multiple Users may be reserved at the same time. Meaning that it is easy to track exactly who work on what Job and for how long.
Combining the above features (Job Reservations, multiple Tasks and the Mobile Applications), E-TS allow you to accurately track all the time that your team spends on any one Job by allowing multiple Users to be Clocked-on to the same Job Task at the same time.
With all these changes to Jobs, the Job Time Planner needed a big revamp; no longer is the Job Time Planner based around Outlets. Instead it is based around your Users. The Job Time Planner now allows you to control which Users are displayed and show planned/known absences (without creating another job).
All labour items in E-TS have time allotments. This is to assist with ensuring that all the time spent on a Job is charged for.
A example of how this works is:
e.g. you set up a fixed labour charge for $5.00 that counts as 3 minutes labour. When you invoice 10 of those charges, E-TS will consider that you have charged 30m minutes labour when it compares the amount of time spent on the Job vs the amount of time charged on linked Invoices.
Every invoice now has its own separate due date. It is set from the default setting for the Client whenever a client is chosen but can be changed on single invoices without effecting the Clients’ other invoices. This allows for special agreements to be entered with your clients when dealing with larger, one-off projects.
Consistently matching the billing of labour and time spent on a job is a difficult business metric to apply. With E-TS, when pricing an Invoice that was created from a Job with an hourly rate, the option is available to populate the amount of time charged directly from the amount that has been tracked by Users clocking on and off the Job Tasks. This helps to make users aware of any significant undercharging of their time.
Labour items that have a time allotment of 60 minutes are not charge by a numerical quantity, but instead are charge in Hours and Minutes. This means there is no need to have multiple charges for different amounts of time like E3 required. Instead, just have the 1 hourly rate and charge the appropriate amount of time.
Unlike E3, all pricing in E-TS is stored excluding TAX. Tax is then calculated at the time of invoicing. E-TS has the option of calculating the amount of Tax on an invoice 2 possible ways;
The subtle calculation difference commonly results in a few cents variance to the total price (basically changing the amount of TAX you are collecting on your government’s behalf). You can set a client to automatically prefer a calculation method, or manually override the setting on each individual invoice.
E-TS implements a more accurate method of handling of inventory costs than E3; First In, First Out.
The cost of the first inventory to be receive into holding will be the first cost to be removed when that inventory is sold (or wasted). This means a more accurate “Stock” asset in your accounts.
In addition to FIFO Inventory, E-TS introduces the ability to reserve Purchase Orders for specific Jobs. This means that when you obtain a uniquely low price from a supplier for specific job, the profit margin reporting for the Invoices created from that Job will use the cost of the reserved Purchase Order. This results in more accurate estimates of how much profit the Job is worth.
E3’s After Hours Labour is simplified; E-TS handles this by recording whether the Invoice is ‘After Hours’ (this can be set on a Job, so it automatically gets set on Invoices generated from that Job). All labour is now just Labour Inventory type.
E3’s Non-Stocked Inventory is replaced by Tools in E-TS. This makes the intended use clearer to those who manage and enter Inventory. Additionally, the Tools inventory allows for reporting on such items easily for your accountant to ascertain which items need to be registered as Assets and which items are simply ‘consumed’ as a cost of doing business.
E3’s Consignment Inventory is gone; This was found to be confusing for E3 users and is incompatible with FIFO inventory. Additionally, this practice is less common from suppliers nowadays.
Outlets in E3 were considered as locations that contain Stock. In E-TS, Outlets are now considered as locations through which customer interaction takes place. They can also be a location that holds Stock. But an E-TS Outlet does not have to contain Stock like E3 Outlets.
E.g. you have an additional company vehicle that is not normally used for providing service to your customers. But sometimes, when there is a lot of work to be done, a Workshop Staff member will use that vehicle to go and perform simple Jobs. In such cases the Stock used is always taken from your main shop. Rather than having to transfer the stock, the vehicle can be configured to always use the stock from the main shop automatically.
E-TS introduces the ability to record when product is supplied to your customers independently of when the invoice is released. By default, E-TS will automatically record the supply of all product at the time of invoicing but in some situations, it happens that product is suppled prior to releasing an invoice or an invoice is released prior to the product being supplied. The latter usually occurs when there is insufficient product in stock to fully supply a client’s order, but the client wishes to be fully invoiced immediately. The manual override of recording product supply allows E-TS to accurately track your exact stock holding while allowing you to invoice clients when required.
E-TS allows for future price changes to be loaded ahead of time. No more getting a price increase notification from a supplier 2 months in advance and then forgetting to load your new prices at the start of that month.
This feature allows you to always keep your pricing at appropriate values.
Buy 3 and get 10% off! Everyone has seen such deals. E-TS allows these to be loaded so that your staff don’t forget to apply the discounts you’ve been advertising.
An optional feature for E-TS is the Custom Report Writer. This feature allows those with an understanding of SQL to create their own reports that can be produced at any time.
This is a great tool for analysing your Business’ activities in creative ways.
Because of the FIFO Inventory system and the ability to reserve products receive on a Purchase Order for a specific Job, the Margin calculations are not affected by changes in the cost prices of product like they were in E3. This means that you will always be able to look back at old Invoices and Jobs to see how profitable they were.
In E-TS, security has been moved from a user-by-user basis to security groups. Each user belongs to a security group and the security group controls permissions and system access through security categories. This allows much easier control when there are more than a handful of users.
With the addition of the Mobile Applications, E-TS needed a safe and secure way for users to login from the Mobile Applications. To ensure the maximum security of Users’ passwords, they are never actually sent over the internet. This requirement makes E-TS incompatible with Window Security Integration.
E-TS can directly access and post transactional data to your XERO Accounts via XERO's API.
E-TS can export your account changes to plain text (CSV) for importing into various accounting packages.
Direct API integration with other accounting packages are also on the long term development plan.