Aspire provides a subcontractor portal that allows subcontractors to manage and report work they perform on behalf of the company. This article specifically talks about the process of the Subcontractor Portal from Administration to functionality.
What can subcontractors do in the Subcontractor Portal? Subcontractors can:
View scheduled visits for services placed on the schedule board for their route(s)
Add work ticket visits for services for which subcontractor auto-expense is set up for their company
Add time for crew members to visits that have been made available in the portal.
Add material quantities to visits that have been made available in the portal.
Table of Contents
Setting Up the Subcontractor Portal
Navigate to Settings in the lower left (your profile picture) and then click Administration.
Once on the Administration page, click the pencil Configuration in the upper right.
Click the Time Reporting tab as shown below.
For subcontractors to access the Subcontractor Portal, you must first select Enable Sub Portal option (a).
In addition to enabling the Subcontractor Portal, there are two options for managing additional functions of the portal:
(b) Enable tickets to be created from Sub Portal
If checked, the Subcontractor Portal will allow subcontractors to create work
tickets for As Needed services that were not placed on the Schedule Board
(c) Enable partial occurrence to be
specified from the Sub Portal
If checked, the Subcontractor Portal will allow the subcontractor to specify a
percentage for a partial service
Once the Enable Sub Portal option has been enabled, subcontractors for whom Aspire user accounts have been established can request device authorization by going to the standard Aspire URL (https://cloud.youraspire.com/).
Once the subcontractor has been authorized by a system administrator, logging in will allow them to view the Subcontractor Portal screen.
Creating A Contact and User for Your Subcontractors
In order for your subcontractors to use the Subcontractor Portal, a contact record and user record must be created for each subcontractor. For each subcontract you work with, you will need at least one subcontractor user profile created. Any team members under that subcontractor will need a contact record, but they do not need a user profile created.
Decide on Naming of Subcontractors
When specifying the contact names for subcontractors, you or your company may choose to use either generic names or actual names of individuals.
If using generic names, it's suggested to specify the crew member function in the first name, and the name of the subcontractor business for the last name. Examples are below:
📌 Note: It's up to your company to develop any naming rules that align your business processes. The most important part is that it is consistent across divisions and branches.
Creating Subcontractor Contacts
When creating Subcontractor contacts, you have two options:
Uploading Subcontractors Through Mass Import
Creating a Subcontract Contact Record through Contacts
Uploading Subcontractor Contacts through Mass Import
If your company works with several subcontractors and crews, this might be the best option for you.
First, watch this video on how to mass import contacts.
Focus on the following fields in the import sheet:
Contact Type: Enter "Sub"
Contact First: Follow your company's decided naming convention
Contact Last: Follow your company's decided naming convention
Email: Enter subcontractor's email for notifications related to the Sub Portal
Company: Enter a value here to best group your new subcontractor contacts
Branch: Enter a value here for the exact branch the subcontractor's routes would be under
Import those contacts in the Administration module
Follow the instructions in the rest of this section below.
Creating One Subcontract Contact Record
If you are looking to create one or a few contact records, your best option might be to create contacts one by one.
If you need help creating a contact, watch this short training video. We'll be focusing on the differences between a regular contact and a subcontractor contact.
If sub contacts are not mass imported, choose Sub in the Contact Type field and specify Branch.
To differentiate snow subcontractors from other subcontractors in Aspire:
Your company can create a contact tag (i.e. “Snow Subcontractor”) and assign it to each snow subcontractor contact. This will allow the user to filter the Contacts Search List screen.
Under the Payroll subsection, assign a pay schedule that differentiates the subcontractors from employees. This will assist in excluding subcontractors from the payroll export.
❗ If you need assistance with creating a new pay schedule for subcontractors, read this section of the User Guide.
Complete any additional contact fields that may be beneficial to your company.
Click Save. The Aspire system will default to the Contact Search screen. Click back into the contact record to begin creating a user as shown down below.
Creating a User from the Contact
A user account that is associated with the subcontractor contact must also be created in order to log into the Subcontractor Portal.
To do this, click the triple dot menu while on the contact record and click Create User.
The User Details screen will appear with some of the information from the contact record populated.
Enter a PIN for the subcontractor. This PIN will carry over to the contact record PIN field once the user record is saved.
Select a Role for the subcontractor. While Crew Leader is a common role, and the subcontractor will only have access to the Sub Portal, decide as a company if a separate role should be created.
For training on how to create a role, click here for the article!
Select what Branch the subcontractor will be working in. This must match the branch selected on the Contact record!
If All Branch Access is selected, uncheck the box and press the small X near the branches the subcontractor should not have access to.
Click Save to exit the User Details screen. Click Save again to exit the Contact Details record.
Repeat this process for all subcontractors that will be using the Sub Portal. You do not have to do this for all contacts if they are not logging time or materials.
The first time that a subcontractor logs into Aspire, the contractor (you or an employee at your company) must authorize the subcontractor’s device, allowing them future access from that device.
The contractor must provide the subcontractor with the following information for them to authorize their device:
Username (email address)
The contractor may also provide a PIN for easier access in the future.
Once the subcontractor has received this information, they can request device authorization by going to the standard Aspire URL, https://app.youraspire.com, to display the Login screen as shown below.
The subcontractor will enter the following information into the Login screen:
Once the subcontractor has entered this information, and presses the yellow arrow icon, Aspire will display the following screen:
At this point, the subcontractor must coordinate with the system admin (contractor) to enable the device.
Once the subcontractor has been authorized by a system administrator, they can click the Refresh button to display the login screen:
Logging into the Subcontractor Portal
The subcontractor can enter into the Subcontractor Portal by entering their PIN and clicking the yellow arrow icon depicted above.
If they wish to log in using their email address and password, they can click the button labeled Click here to enter their email address and password to identify yourself on this device.
If the subcontractor clicks this button, the login screen will be displayed as shown here:
Using The Subcontractor Portal
Watch the below training video on the Subcontractor Portal or read below!
The Subcontractor Portal screen represents three levels of entries and hierarchy:
(1) Routes that the subcontractor services
(2) Work ticket visits scheduled for the subcontractor under the routes
(3) Time or materials that the subcontractor has provided on the route
The image below shows the Subcontractor Portal screen for a subcontractor having three routes set up in Aspire:
Emanuel Plower Isaac – Columbia
Emanuel Plower Eliz – Columbia
Emanuel’s Shovelers – Columbia
Only the first two levels are shown in the below screen. This is what it will look like if four visits were scheduled for the subcontractor’s routes by your company.
Visits are shown on the route if they have been scheduled on the Schedule Board. Additionally, if the Enable Tickets to Be Created from the Sub Portal option is enabled, the subcontractor can add additional visits for services they are set up to perform as described below.
A Partial Occurrence icon may be displayed next to services to be invoiced “Per Service” that allows the subcontractor to indicate what percent of effort was required to complete the work.
Levels within the hierarchy may be collapsed or expanded by clicking the small triangle (a) to the left of each route or work ticket/visit or in the header.
The Export to Excel (b) in the footer exports the full content of the displayed day to an Excel spreadsheet.
Adding Visits to a Route
If the Enable Tickets to be Created from the Sub Portal option is enabled for the system, then the Add Visit icon (c) will be available to the left of the routes.
If the subcontractor clicks the Add Visit icon (c), Aspire adds a line item underneath that route allowing the user to add a service performed by that crew.
The line item provides a drop-down listing of opportunity services by property that the subcontractor may perform. Valid services available in the drop-down are determined as follows.
Services for contract opportunities are shown if:
A subcontractor auto-expense for the subcontractor has been established on the opportunity-service in an estimate for an existing opportunity, AND…
The associated opportunities are won, AND…
The date specified on the Subcontractor Portal screen is between the start and end dates of the opportunity, AND…
The opportunity service is either an As Needed service or has one or more tickets in open or scheduled status. The text of each combo-box option (e) consists of the property name followed by the opportunity service display name.
📌 Note: If the Enable Tickets to be Created from the Sub Portal option is disabled, then the Add Visit icon will be disabled. The subcontractor can add additional visits for services they are set up to perform as described below.
Adding Time or Materials for a Visit
When the subcontractor clicks the Add Time or Material icon (d) that's left of a displayed work ticket visit, a line item will be added underneath that work ticket visit. This will allow the subcontractor to add either crew member time or T&M materials applied for that visit.
The line-item provides a drop-down list containing options including…
Subcontractor Crew Members (f) – All contacts in the system that are tied to the subcontractor’s company that have no time on the selected work ticket during the specified day.
Material Items (g) – Any item identified by the contractor as a valid Subcontractor Expense for the selected service.
When a crew member (a) has been added to a visit, the subcontractor can specify the time that the crew member spent. They can do so by changing the Start and End times, in which case Aspire will calculate the hours. Otherwise, they can disregard the Start and End times to directly type in the hours.
Once the subcontractor has entered the proper hours for the crew member, they can accept the value by clicking the Accept icon (b) next to the entry.
⚠️ The time must be accepted before the subcontractor logs out or the time will be lost.
If the subcontractor accidentally adds crew members, they can immediately remove them by clicking the Delete Time icon ⛔ next to the entry.
Multiple added material items and time entries can be accepted or deleted at the same time by clicking the Accept/Delete icons at the header level, the route level, or the visit level.
The Start Time and End Time fields allow the subcontractor to specify the date. This is intended to be used to enter time that spans two different days.
⚠️ If the subcontractor sets the date in this field to a date for which the contractor has closed the books, the Subcontractor Portal will not allow the subcontractor to save time.
When time is accepted by the subcontractor, Time Entry becomes available to the contractor in Aspire.
When an item (a) has been added to a visit, the subcontractor can enter a number in the Quantity field.
Once the subcontractor has entered the proper quantity, they can accept the value by clicking the Accept icon (b) next to the entry.
⚠️ The quantity must be accepted before the subcontractor logs out or the value will be lost.
If the subcontractor adds an item accidentally, they can immediately remove it by clicking the Delete Time icon ⛔ next to the entry. Multiple added items and time entries can be accepted or deleted at the same time by clicking the Accept/Delete icon at the header level (not shown), the route level (c), or the visit level (d).
Entering Time or Materials in a Closed Month
Aspire can be configured to allow the subcontractor to enter time in a month that is closed. It's important to communicate with your subcontractors whether this is enabled or disabled.
This option will affect how Aspire behaves when the subcontractor sets the date at the top to a closed date.
Option is Disabled
When this option is disabled, and a subcontractor sets the date at the top of the screen to a month that is closed (b), the screen will be disabled (c) so that they cannot add time or materials.
Additionally, if the option is disabled, and the subcontractor sets the date at the top to an open month (g), but then enters a start or end time with a date that is in a closed month, Aspire will flag the entry red (h). This will prevent them from saving time to the closed month.
Option is Enabled
When this option is enabled, and the subcontractor sets the date at the top of the screen to a closed month (d), the screen is enabled, but the subcontractor is only allowed to enter the number of hours worked (e). They cannot specify the start and stop times for the work (f).
Rejecting Time and Materials Entries by Contractor
Once time and materials have been submitted to the contractor via the Subcontractor Portal, the contractor will review the entries, and accept or reject them.
The contractor can accept or reject all entries submitted for a given day – they cannot selectively accept or reject individual entries.
If the contractor rejects the entries, they are able to enter comments that become available to the subcontractor in the Subcontractor Portal explaining the reason and nature of the rejection. Upon the contractor’s rejection of the subcontractor’s time and materials submissions, the subcontractor may be notified in the following ways:
1. When the subcontractor logs into the Subcontractor Portal after the rejection, rejected entries will no longer be read-only as they were immediately after submission. Rather, the subcontractor will be able to make corrections and resubmit. This allows the subcontractor to make corrections based on input from the contractor.
2. A Subcontractor Portal Notes icon (a) will be displayed next to the appropriate routes. Clicking this icon displays all notes (b) that have been included with denials for that route on the specified day (c) as depicted below.
3. The contractor can set up Aspire so that the subcontractor will receive an email notifying them of rejections.
📌 Note: The email will be sent using the contact's email. A subcontractor does not have to sync their email for this feature to occur.
Using Partial Occurrence for the Per Service Invoice Type
When a subcontractor is logged into the Subcontractor Portal and a work ticket is displayed whose services have the Per Service invoice type, Aspire displays the Partial Occurrence icon (b). Clicking this icon displays the Partial Occurrence screen allowing the subcontractor to specify the percent of actual work expected for the service as shown below. This value is made available to office staff to provide guidance when setting a partial occurrence value for the work ticket.
Logging Out of the Subcontractor Portal
To log out of the Subcontractor Portal, the subcontractor clicks the Logout icon (a) in the lower right-hand corner.
If the subcontractor has added time or material lines for which the values have not yet been accepted, Aspire displays a warning message with three options:
Clicking Yes (green checkmark) will submit all time and materials for that day.
Clicking No (red X) will continue without submitting all time and materials for that day.
Clicking Cancel (black X) will return the subcontractor to the Subcontractor Portal screen
📌 Note: Once crew member hours and material quantities are entered into the Subcontractor Portal and then accepted, they will then become available in the Time Entry screen of the Aspire Desktop for your company employees.
Training Your Subcontractors on the Portal
Now that you have learned the functionality of the Subcontractor Portal, it's time to show your subcontractors how to use it!
Great news: We've got you covered. 👍
Click the link here and send the linked article URL to your subcontractors!