Tag Archives: product update

Product update: New tools keep pending document expirations front and center

Enabling you to get a handle on compliance is core to what Openforce does. Whether it’s driver’s licenses, certificates of insurance or any other required compliance document, you can collect, store and set expirations for each of them in Openforce. And while making sure each contractor updates their documents before they expire is crucial to keeping your compliance on track, when you multiply that by the number of contractors, documents and expiration dates that need to be monitored, it can be a lot to wrangle.

That’s why we’re excited to introduce you to a set of brand-new tools designed to help you keep track of all pending document expirations and surface actionable data at the right time and place.

The Pending Expiration dashboard lets you know what needs your attention soon

Now at the top of the Contractors grid, you’ll see a dashboard with a running total of all documents expiring within the next 90 days. This gives you a highly visible overview of action items so you never have to worry if an email notice got lost in your inbox.

Filter, sort and search upcoming expirations any (and every) way you want

When you click on the dashboard, you’ll go right to the new Pending Expiration grid for a deeper view. This filters out other documents so you can focus solely on those that are about to expire and require action. It combines the details of everything that will expire in 90 days into one easy-to-digest view, plus includes a handy Days Until Expiration column that calculates the exact number of days left so you can prioritize accordingly.

A set of dropdowns enable you to quickly filter by location, expiration date and document type. Have a specific contractor or document in mind? The grid is also fully searchable so you can use the search bar to find exactly what you need without sifting through rows of data. With the most important information at your fingertips, it makes staying ahead of compliance issues simpler and more intuitive.

Get a monthly report right in your inbox

Better visiblity of pending document expirations in Openforce is great for ongoing monitoring when you are in and out of the platform, but it may be helpful to have a consolidated view land in your inbox—or sent to other stakeholders. Starting June 1, users who are assigned a “compliance” role in Openforce, will automatically receive a monthly report of all documents expiring within the next 90 days, including the contractor information, document type and name, and the exact expiration date.

Not sure if you’re set up with a compliance user role, but want the pending expirations report? Just let your Openforce client services rep know and we’ll adjust your role to make sure you get it.

In the meantime, see the new improvements in action in this video or download the step-by-step guide here.

Product updates: Document expirations for CXT, external contractor IDs, and more

A big part of the vision here at Openforce is to create a platform that seamlessly integrates with the other tools your team relies on and reduces the pain of manual data management. Over the last month, we’ve introduced some new features designed to increase efficiency and make managing everything you have going on a little easier.

Automatically sync critical driver expiration dates to CXT

Our integration with CXT already enabled you to automatically push contractor profile data to with CXT and send dispatch settlement data back to Openforce, but we’ve given the integration an upgrade. While Openforce is your one-stop shop for collecting and storing contractor driver’s license, DOT, and insurance expirations, now you don’t have to refer back to Openforce to find out what’s expiring and when. All that important information can be passed to CXT so that you can use it to determine who can be dispatched—and who can’t. And when a contractor updates their documents, the new expiration dates will get pushed to CXT, too, so driver records stay up to date seamlessly.

Interested in setting up the CXT integration? We’ll work with you to make sure everything is configured correctly to integrate with your CXT instance. Just let your Openforce rep know so we can help you get started.

Add an external reference ID to each contractor record 

If you use third-party systems in addition to Openforce—like dispatch or accounting software—­you may have an additional unique reference number for each IC. Now you can add those external reference numbers (aka external IDs) to your Openforce contractor records, to ensure all of your reporting stays in sync. We’ve designed this feature to give you maximum flexibility  For instance, you can add a Netsuite ID to the Openforce contractor record or a driver profile number from your dispatch system. These are visible in both the contractor and enrollment grids and can be updated on the fly.

Get the full instructions on how to add an external reference ID here.

Master contractor notifications keep drug screens on track

Let’s be honest: Drug screens can cause slowdowns while contractors are onboarding. An extra reminder during enrollment can go a long way to ensure contractors complete their test quickly. As an Openforce client, you already get notified whenever a drug screen is scheduled for a contractor. But now master contractors get the same notification for every enrolling subcontractor associated with them in Openforce.

While masters won’t see the results of the test, having visibility whenever a test is scheduled means they can give the sub an extra nudge—and make sure they complete their test as soon as possible. Not only can it help get subcontractors up and running more quickly, it keeps you at arm’s length from the subs and reinforces your business-to-business relationship with the master.

To ensure master contractors get notified for all relevant subs, simply have the master invite the subs themselves to the Openforce enrollment or assign each sub to a master right in your contractor grid.

Setting a termination date lets you plan for the future right now

Know in advance the date a contractor will stop providing services for you? The set termination date feature lets you specify the date the contract should be terminated in Openforce. This lets the system know to continue to disburse contractor settlements for services provided through the specified date but saves you the hassle of terminating the contract later. You can access it right on the contractor’s tab. 

Best part is: if something changes, no need to worry.  You can now easily cancel a termination or change the termination date in just a few clicks. See it in action below and then check out the full how-to here.

Introducing hands-off business formation for independent contractors

It’s a story we hear more and more: in a post-AB5 world, contracting companies are embracing a true business-to-business relationship with independent contractors (ICs) in order to reduce their misclassification risks. A critical part of building that model is that the independent contractor has their own business entity (typically an LLC) and an employer identification number (EIN). But it can be a major hurdle for independent contractors to satisfy these contracting requirements, causing delays in the time to contract or prompting them to turn away altogether.

That’s why we’re excited to announce the launch of our new Managed Business Setup program, designed to take the confusion and stress out of the process. A real person works with each IC, and even completes and files all of the paperwork on their behalf. The program also includes state business licenses and US DOT and MC numbers, so there’s no more guesswork about what’s needed to start their business or which forms to file where.

How it all works

We’ve designed the Managed Business Setup program to work seamlessly with the requirements you set in your contractor onboarding workflow

Step 1: We collect the contractor’s business information during their enrollment and validate their EIN, DOT, and MC numbers in real time, before they’re contracted.

Step 2: If a contractor needs to set up a business, they simply check a box, and a specialist reaches out to assist within 24 hours.

Step 3: The specialist consults with them to determine what they need for their business, then fills out the paperwork and files it with the right states/agencies.

Step 4: Once approved, the contractor gets a copy of their information and it’s uploaded to the Openforce portal so they can finish contracting.

The IC gets an easy way to set up their business and you get an always accessible record of their  business status, whenever you need it.

What can an IC get through Managed Business Setup?

  • LLC formation and EIN
  • U.S. DOT number and updates
  • Master Carrier Authority and updates
  • State Business Licenses
  • CA MCP
  • IFTA Filings
  • Federal Unified Carrier Registration
  • BOC-3 Process Agent Filings
  • State Highway Use Tax

A win-win situation

Contracting companies get:

  • Increased peace of mind knowing that every IC meets their business entity and operating authority requirements.
  • ICs up and running faster with fewer onboarding stall-outs or abandonments.
  •  A critical piece of a true business-to-business model.
  • Compliance, hassle-free.

Independent contractors get:

  • Hands-off business creation and operating authority registration—no paper pushing required.
  • Personalized guidance from start to finish.
  • A convenient and cost-effective way to establish their business.
  • Independence, hassle-free.

The Managed Business Setup program enables contracting companies to build an additional defensive barrier against misclassification by ensuring each and every IC has the the proper business entity and operating authority. But it also provides a path for contractors to become real business service providers and carve out a more sustainable IC model for the future. Win-win.

Already an Openforce client? Email clientcare@oforce.com to add Managed Business Setup to your enrollment workflows.
New to Openforce? Get in touch below to learn more.






Product update: Line item work details, IC pay notifications and Documents API

We could all use a few shortcuts in the daily grind. Maybe you need a better way to give ICs details about their settled work or an automated way to store IC documents in your applicant tracking system. Or maybe an IC could just use a heads up when they’re about to be paid. Over the last month, we’ve introduced three new features designed to boost efficiency and eliminate those frustrations.

Line item work details make settlements more transparent

Manually distributing itemized invoices or manifest files to ICs and master contractors can add up to an organizational drag. But now, when you pay your ICs through Openforce, you can add comprehensive work details to settlement statements so ICs can see exactly what work they’ve been paid for.

You can specify the line item details you’ll submit and include things like worker ID, location, route, and commission/deduction types. This has been one of the most frequently requested features, both from Openforce clients and ICs—and for good reason. Submitting line item details means some nice compliance and efficiency gains for your business:

  • Reinforces the business-to-business relationship
  • Explicitly ties work details to IC settlement
  • Configurable to match the work/dispatch details you have available
  • No more manually distributing cumbersome invoices

And it also gives ICs critical and convenient visibility:

  • Complete payment transparency of the work settled
  • Masters can view each subcontractor’s completed work
  • Easy to download with a fully responsive mobile view

Getting up and running is simple. Once the Openforce team completes a one-time setup to configure your account for the details you want to submit, you’ll be able to submit them in seconds by going to the Settlement Processing tab and clicking New Settlement > Upload Settlement Line Item Detail.

Interested in learning more? Just reach out to your Settlement Specialist or email us at clientcare@oforce.com.

Payment notifications help ICs celebrate settlement day

On-the-go independent contractors have a lot to juggle; checking their settlement status doesn’t have to be one more thing on their to-do list.

Now ICs get handy email and SMS notifications as soon as Openforce processes their settlements. This means—no matter where they are—they’ll know in real time when their funds are on their way.

A new documents API means IC documents go wherever you need them

A big part of the vision here at Openforce is to create a platform that seamlessly integrates with the other tools your team relies on and reduces the pain of manual data management.

Of course, having a complete record of all IC documents is one of the best things you can do to ensure ongoing compliance. But now–while those documents are always safely stored in Openforce–we’ve created a Documents API so you can push those documents to other systems and tools.

So if your recruiters live in an applicant tracking system, you can automatically push all IC documents there for easy reference and eliminate the need to switch back and forth between systems.

Or let’s say you want to automatically save a copy of all IC documents to a folder on your FTP site, with the Documents API endpoint you can set it up once and the API will do the rest.

Check out our API documentation or reach out to us at clientcare@oforce.com for more information.

 

Product update: View and manage masters and subcontractors with more flexibility

As the independent workforce economy continues to grow, more and more independent contractors are enlisting other contractors to help them expand the volume and scope of the work they can take on. This is frequently called the master contractor/subcontractor model.

Though this allows contracting companies to distribute additional work to master contractors, the visibility into the subcontractors who are doing the work for the master is often elusive.

Contracting companies are struggling to find the balance between keeping themselves separated from the specific details of every subcontractor, while also feeling reassured the people doing the work are properly qualified and insured.

Openforce is in the midst of a major initiative to bring you a set of features that will allow you to better control the level of visibility and validations that you require of subcontractors doing work for you. We’ve built on the recent updates we told you about here, to offer you more flexibility to visualize—or not—the relationships between masters and subs.

Keep tabs on who’s doing what by assigning a contract role

In May, we rolled out the ability to quickly designate a contractor according to their contract type; now you also have the ability to associate a contractor with a specific role—driver, helper or installer.

From the Contractors’ tab, you can click Assign Contract Role/Type. Here you can get a complete list of all contracted ICs and their roles and types. To associate a contractor with a role, select the relevant role from the Contract Role dropdown.

You can set the role for any IC, not just a master or subcontractor so you can more clearly track and represent the function of each IC, which is especially useful if those roles are associated with different pay rates.

If you do use masters and subcontractors, the beauty of this is you’ll be able keep a high-level record of the kind of work each subcontractor is doing and reference it at a glance whenever you need to.

Associate a subcontractor to a master in 1 click (ok, 2 clicks)

When a master invites a subcontractor to an enrollment, the subcontractor is automatically assigned to that master within the Openforce platform. But what if your business sent the enrollment invitation to the sub?

Now you can quickly associate those subs with a master by navigating to the Contractors tab and clicking on the new Unassigned Sub Dashboard. The dashboard lets you know the number of contracted subs who are not tied to a master in Openforce. Once you click through, use the Assign Subcontractor To dropdown to select the name of the relevant master.

You’ll have a clean record of the relationship in seconds.

View all the subcontractors associated with a master

Along with the ability to designate the relationship between a master and a subcontractor, we’ve enabled you to see at a glance all of the subs performing work for each master. From the Contractors tab, click on Assign Contract Role/Type. Click on the arrow to the left of each master’s name to see a list of the associated subcontractors and their roles.

Choose whether or not you see enrolled subcontractors in Openforce

One of the strengths of the master/subcontractor model is that it reinforces the independent status of the ICs performing work. This helps reduce any lurking worker misclassification or third-party liability risks.

Depending on your business needs, you may want to have a lot of visibility into the subcontractors completing work for a particular master. The new tools above enable you to do just that.

However, if reinforcing an arm’s length relationship to subcontractors is a concern, you now have the option to remove visibility of subcontractors from your Openforce contractor grid. When you opt for this, the record of the subcontractor is still stored in Openforce along with their completed enrollment workflows and documents, but you will no longer see them when logged into Openforce.

This works best when paired with our managed onboarding service, so that an Openforce onboard coordinator can approve and disapprove subcontractor enrollments and ensure your compliance requirements are met. This balances the need for subcontractors to meet your specified criteria while further distancing your business from the active oversight of subcontractors.

Turning off subcontractor visibility is a quick configuration change on our end, so if you’re interested in learning more, get in touch at clientcare@oforce.com or 1.800.742.7508.

Stay tuned as over the next few months we’ll continue to add new features to make managing masters and subcontractors work for the way you work.

 

Product update: Managing your Master Contractors just got a lot easier

As the 1099 workforce economy grows, more and more independent contractors are hiring other contractors to help expand the volume and scope of work they can take on. This work model is commonly referred to as the Master/Subcontractor agreement. While this allows for contracting companies to distribute additional work to master contractors, the visibility into the subcontractors who are doing the work for the master is continually becoming more elusive.

Contracting companies are struggling to find the balance between keeping themselves separated from the specific details of every subcontractor, yet also feeling reassured the people doing the work are properly qualified and insured.

Over the next few months, we’ll be releasing a series of features that will allow you to better control the level of visibility and validations you require of subcontractors performing work for you. The first set of functionality available today, centers on allowing Masters to invite their subcontractors to the IC enrollment of your choice and provides those Masters with insight into their current enrollment status.

Designate a Contract Type to keep tabs on masters and subs

If you use Master contractors and subcontractors in addition to direct independent contractors, keeping tabs on who falls into which category and what their relationship is to your business can be a headache.

To solve this problem, we’ve added Contract Types to Openforce so now you can assign a role to your Master Contractors in seconds. On the Contractors tab, just click on “Assign Contract Type” and then make your selection using the Contract Type dropdown next to the contractor’s name.

Enable Masters to quickly invite subcontractors to an enrollment

Coordinating with your masters to get all of their subcontractors into an Openforce enrollment can be a hassle, requiring you to spend time gathering contact info and sending an invitation to each sub. To take that burden off your shoulders and make the process more efficient, Masters can now invite their subcontractors to your Openforce enrollment themselves. This new functionality:

  • Reinforces the fact that your Master contractors are independent business entities.
  • Supports your arm’s length relationship to the subcontractor.
  • Eliminates the time and effort you spend on subcontractor enrollment invites.

Because Masters can only invite subs once you’ve assigned them a “Master” Contract Type in your contractor grid, you’ll stay in control over who has access to this feature.

Once a Master logs in to Openforce, they’ll see a new, mobile-friendly “Subcontractors” tab. From there they can easily invite subcontractors on desktop or mobile by entering some basic information and selecting the enrollment package from a dropdown menu.

They’ll be able to track which subcontractors have logged in and accepted their invite, and even monitor their enrollment statuses. This new level of visibility will enable them to help prevent subcontractors stalling out during enrollments and get to work quicker.

And don’t worry, while Masters can track enrollment progress, the ability to approve or decline subcontractor enrollments will stay with you and they’ll continue to show up in your enrollment grid just as before.

Ready to get started with a smarter way to recruit, onboard, pay, and retain your independent workforce?  Schedule a call and receive a complimentary risk and compliance evaluation.

 

 

Product update: New features make onboarding contractors even smoother

Getting ICs through complex enrollments quickly has major consequences for your business. So as part of ongoing improvements to make onboarding your ICs efficient and hassle-free, we’ve launched some brand new features that bring additional functionality to Openforce enrollments and make the whole process more user-friendly for you and your ICs.

Faster IC enrollments with Driver’s License barcode scanning

We understand collecting critical information from contractors during onboarding is key to ensuring they are validated, qualified and insured to do their work. With that, comes lots of data entry along the way, and typos or missing information is a common hurdle.

That’s why we’ve introduced the ability to scan a driver’s license (DL) barcode to help populate information during IC enrollments. Openforce’s ID scan feature enables effortless scanning of all driver’s licenses containing a PDF417 barcode, meaning DLs in all states in the US, Canada and many countries in Latin America are supported.

Contractors are now presented with the ability to scan their DL barcode from their mobile phone just before the personal information page as an option to bypass manually keying in cumbersome data.

 

Add videos to your enrollment workflow

Do you require ICs to watch training and safety videos before they do work for you? Ditch the DVDs and training rooms and bring that digital content into your Openforce enrollment.

Video content can be one of the most efficient ways to train new ICs, both in terms of cost and engagement. Studies have shown that videos keep your trainees more engaged, help them retain more information and make onboarding a smoother experience.

Now you can get all the benefits of training videos by adding them right into your enrollment. Enrolling ICs can access them on the go on any device and Openforce will automatically track when they’ve been viewed. Whether you add one video or many to your workflow, you can require ICs to watch them from beginning to end in order to finish enrolling (no fast forwarding!).

This gives you an easy way to ensure critical training is completed, while making it as quick and painless as possible for your ICs.

Check enrollment progress and get applicants unstuck

Sometimes independent contractors get stuck during an enrollment. Now in the Enrollment Grid, client admins can use the View Enrollment link below an IC’s name to easily see any in-progress enrollment.

You’ll see exactly what the IC sees, including the information they’ve already entered and the steps they still need to complete. So, whether you want to help a stalled IC or just check on their progress, you can get all the information you need in seconds.

A new negotiations dashboard makes taking action a breeze

We’ve added a Negotiations dashboard right above your enrollment grid to make it easy to view and tackle all of your outstanding negotiation to-dos in one convenient place.

Best of all, you can now prepare your negotiation fields as soon as an independent contractor begins their enrollment—no more having to wait until they actually reach the negotiation stage. This means you can avoid unnecessary stalls and get your ICs to work faster.

A streamlined Generate Enrollment Instructions menu

We’ve redesigned the Generate Enrollment Instructions and Export dropdowns to minimize visual clutter while keeping all the functionality you use reduced to a single click. Now when you click on the Generate Enrollment Instructions button a handy pop-up will appear so you can select the city and the enrollment package.

We’ve also combined the enrollment grid Export options, so when you want to export data, all your options (field data, PDF, and CSV) are available in the sleek new Export dropdown.

An easier way for enrolling contractors to choose how to get paid

Our new update makes it easier and more intuitive for your ICs to select their payment method as they complete their enrollments.

Contractors still have the same convenient options–direct deposit or a Blue Elite Visa Prepaid Card, but we’ve improved how they are displayed during enrollment, so ICs have the information they need to make their choice on one simple, mobile-friendly screen.

The new and improved experience:

  • Gives them the choice of either direct deposit or the Blue Elite prepaid card right up front .
  • Explains how the Blue Elite card works (they can get paid without a bank account).
  • Makes it easy to make their selection and enter necessary information on the same screen.

As always, they can easily change their payment method after they’ve been contracted right in their Openforce portal.

Ready to get started with a smarter way to recruit, onboard, pay, and retain your independent workforce?  Schedule a call and receive a complimentary risk and compliance evaluation.

 

Product Updates, November 2018

New in November

CXT Software X Dispatch Integration

Openforce now integrates directly with CXT X Dispatch to automatically create a new driver record in X Dispatch as soon as an IC is contracted. This allows you to skip manual entries and painlessly keep everything in sync.

Immediate Benefits:

  • Instant, hands-off driver record creation
  • Eliminate costly errors and time spent on manual entries
  • Approved contractors can be dispatched quickly

Read the full update on our seamless IC profile syncing with CXT Dispatch integration.
 

Updates to Existing Features

Settlement/Payment Downloads

If you’re an independent contractor (IC) receiving payments/settlements via Openforce’s IC Pay, now there’s a better way to review and download your pay details. Similar to standard bank statements, your settlement details can now be downloaded by month.

  • All previous filtering functionality still available
  • Faster to download
  • Easier to review

Enrollment Expirations – Client View

Tired of stale IC enrollments getting stuck in your contractors’ grid? Now you have the ability to set a timeframe on workflows with an expiration date. For example, if you set a 30-day expiration on your enrollment workflow, any IC that does not complete it within 30 days will automatically decline and move them out of your enrollment grid. This helps reduce clutter to allow you to focus on the most current and engaged ICs to get them contracted fast. If you’d like to set up an expiration on your workflows, simply call Openforce Client Services at 877-267-8500.

More IC Data in Enrollment Grid Customization – Client View

You now have more at-a-glance IC details in the Enrollment Grid! City and state details for contractors are available through customization options in the enrollment grid.


 

If you’d like to discuss ways to optimize your Openforce solution or would like to get started with an end-to-end 1099 management platform to onboard, verify, pay, insure and retain contractors, schedule a call with us to learn more—and receive a complimentary risk and compliance evaluation.

 

Openforce Product Updates

INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR (IC) ENROLLMENT: A BETTER EXPERIENCE

This year, we’ve set a specific focus on the IC enrollment experience. It started with a full mobile-first facelift of the application released in June, and continued with an evaluation of every single step an IC takes in order to get contracted. Just this past month, we identified and refined areas that continued to stall and block contractors from completing their enrollment.

Some of these improvements include:

  1. Pre-populating form fields based on information the IC provided earlier in the enrollment.


 

  1. Faster way to set calendar dates for DOB and document expirations on mobile devices.


 

  1. More intuitive experience for IC rate negotiation.


 

  1. All new login screen that allows users to sign in from any device, while also allowing new contractors to simply toggle to the right to create an account in 5 easy steps.


 

‘GET STARTED’ WITH EASY ENROLLMENT INSTRUCTIONS

Fast IC onboarding all starts with the Enrollment Instructions. And we felt it was time to overhaul and simplify this step too! Now, the enrollment instructions that you generate from within ICM® contain a GET STARTED button – front and center – that takes ICs directly into an enrollment upon login, without having to manually enter the activation code. We’ve also condensed the instructions to fit all on one convenient single page for those that print them off and hand them to ICs.
 


 

DOCUMENT LOAD TIMES: EVERY SECOND COUNTS

Digital document management sits at the foundation of IC compliance management. And with load times a major contributing factor to an improved user experience, we’ve made strides to quicken the load times for displaying both digital documents and document types within Openforce’s independent contractor management (ICM®) platform. Clients and independent contractors should see noticeably faster document load times into the future.
 

If you’d like to discuss ways to optimize your Openforce solution or would like to get started with an end-to-end 1099 management platform to onboard, verify, pay and retain contractors, schedule a call with us to learn more—and receive a complimentary risk and compliance evaluation.
 

LET’S GET STARTED