What are the benefits of using scheduling or staff planning software?

Why should you be thinking about using scheduling software to run your team? Well, there are plenty of reasons and not all of them are obvious. Used correctly, technology will make life easier for you and your staff, giving time back to everyone so you can focus on getting the real work done or just enjoying yourself.

Why should you be thinking about using scheduling software to run your team?  Well, there are plenty of reasons and not all of them are obvious.  Used correctly, smart scheduling technology will make life easier for you and your staff, giving time back to everyone so you can focus on getting the real work done or just enjoying yourself.

 

Stop wasting everyone’s time 

This is top of this list for a good reason. If you’re one of the many businesses using spreadsheets, phone calls, text messages and lots of paperwork to plan your team’s efforts, you’re not alone.  Moving to a well-designed scheduling tool can save huge amounts of time and effort for you, as well as your staff.   You might feel it’s just as quick, or even quicker, to plan your schedule on paper or on a spreadsheet as it would be in a dedicated tool, but that’s where the similarities end.  Spreadsheets and paper don’t update people when plans change, nor do they update the payroll records, nor do they make a good audit trail for your records.  Research and direct feedback shows that improving your scheduling can cut up to 90% from your overall admin effort.  It’s easy to calculate how much time and money that could save you.   Take it online, lose the spreadsheet nightmare and your staff taking pictures of a roster on the wall or phoning you up to find out what’s happening. 

Better time & attendance

Do you pay by the hour or the day? Do your people get paid overtime?  Strong scheduling software will make time and attendance tracking much more straightforward.  Whether you need your people to submit a timesheet or not, you should still want to track how many man hours you’re using each month and analyse where your costs are coming from. 

Manage absences

Everything from a visit to the doctors, a broken-down car or two weeks on beach will affect your scheduling. How are you tracking your holidays and absence right now?  The best scheduling software will let your team send holiday requests to their manager or record other types of absence.  These absences integrate automatically into your schedule to help you plan and you’re only a click away from seeing what your holiday planner for your whole team looks like so you’re not caught short.

A check-in system? 

Have you thought about using a clocking in and out system? Does your business work in multiple locations?  You can’t be everywhere at once, but you might want to know that your team have turned up and it can now be done extremely cost effectively.   One of the best use cases we’ve seen is an early warning when someone hasn’t turned up.  That warning lets you decide if you need to bring someone else in promptly or your team can handle the shortfall.  We know one large retailer (who we won’t name) where department managers weren’t finding out that someone hadn’t turned up until lunchtime, at which point the team had been short-staffed all morning.    Some scheduling software will let your team check in and out on their own devices and even put a geo-location stamp on it so you know where, as well as when they were there.   Remember, checking in and out doesn’t have to be about monitoring your staff and it doesn’t need new equipment.

Who’s available?

When someone asks you to do something, it’s British to be uncomfortable refusing. Yet phone calls are often the way for businesses to find out if staff are available at short notice.   It might get results and it may be the choice between ensuring customers are looked after or stressing the team and risking your reputation, but it’s often just as difficult for the person making the call as the one receiving it.  Technology today not only allows you to offer work to a very targeted group of people quickly, it can also let you see their availability so you know who’s likely to accept.  This means you can cut the stressful phone calls, instantly know when someone is scheduled and works best of all when you need it most.  Probably right now.  

Are you thinking productivity? 

You might be surprised to see this here and think that it only applies to large corporations, yet it’s an area that every business should consider. How efficient do you think you are with your staff?  Do you have the right people on the job at the right times?  Do you know if you’re overstaffed during quiet periods or understaffed at busy periods?  A well-designed scheduling tool can help you review how many man hours you’re using at any point during the course of a business day and a simple review could instantly result in cost savings; or improved customer satisfaction and higher sales.

New equipment? 

No, you don’t need it. Corporate devices like laptops and mobile phones aren’t cost effective for many businesses, however almost everyone now carries a smart phone or has access to the internet.  Make use of your staff’s existing equipment and email addresses and they can use new software at no additional cost to you.  If someone knows how to access the internet, that’s enough.  And if you have team members that are truly old school, there’s nothing to stop you printing out the rota you’ve created and sticking it on the wall.

Communication

Maybe you or your team have set up a private Facebook or WhatsApp group, or perhaps it’s text messages and phone calls. However you communicate with your team, it’s unlikely to be tied to your business records and it’s probably far from an ideal solution.   The latest scheduling technology will allow you to send real-time messages to your team and keep all your data in-house and easy to refer to.  Has kit not turned up where it’s needed? Does an incident need dealing with? Is an important customer arriving?  Using a messaging system tied to your business allows you to handle all those situations where quick responses or a group conversation is needed to solve a problem or share news.

Real-time updates 

Businesses have processes and processes mean admin. Whether it’s creating schedules or approving holidays as a manager, or confirming your shifts or submitting timesheets as a member of staff, it’s not always easy to stay on top of what’s needed.  Effective scheduling software will send real-time updates to everyone letting people know what needs to be done when it’s needed.  Getting chased for approvals or even forgetting when your shift starts can be a thing of the past.   

Know your business 

Last, but by no means least is the improvement you can gain in operational control. An effective dashboard fed from your scheduling tool can give you an instant view of your entire business, or an activity or location.  Has anyone not turned up?  Do you have any gaps you need to fill today, tomorrow or this week?  Does anyone need chasing for their timesheet?  Best of all, you can check from anywhere, be that the office or the beach!

WorkGaps offers a beautifully designed and easy-to-use scheduling tool, which comes with everything from holiday planning to time and attendance tracking and business reporting. 

If you have less than 20 people that need scheduling, it’s free!  We want to help as many people as possible so give it a try.

If you think your business is too complicated to get started without advice, no problem. We are designed to fit your organisation perfectly no matter how large and how complicated you might be.  Get in touch through our contact form below or give us a call today and one of our experts will be delighted to talk to you about how simple making a change could be.

WorkGaps. Software to make work simpler.