Originally Posted by Kent Wang
Is there a name for this genre of software (e.g. CRM, supply chain, ERP)?
Those are all different animals, and generally much more expensive than you want. If your business is not doing more than $5 million per year, I'd suggest that you avoid people trying to sell you something under that name. Generally, these systems help with the accounting and posting cost to the correct general ledger accounts.
Subcontractors should really be monitored via your PO system. You should have an estimate from them for a set quantity of work and it then becomes their responsibility to alert you when they are going to exceed it. You would then revise your PO if needed.
Supply Chain is much more oriented to manufacturing companies and not service companies.
Look instead to something like quickbooks, or hand coding your own version of an access (or similar easy-to-use) database. Unless you're going to go to the level of keystroke logging, your time reporting is only going to be as accurate as the people who put it in. That being said, if you are doing hourly time, IT MUST BE ENTERED DAILY. If you do a weekly timesheet, you will have an amazingly creative document.
Take a look at what you actually need to track. Generally there are a few time categories that you need to figure out how to deal with: time billable to a client, admin or other non-productive work time and then however many ways you want to track vacations, jury duty, bereavement, etc.
After those broad categories, you can provide coding to subdivide time further - time spent on phone calls, reading mail, research, etc.
Consider having employees and subs sign their timesheets. It can be useful if something ever goes to court.