What is Employee Scheduling Software? Analysis of Features, Benefits and Pricing

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Creating a schedule that works
well for all your employees and shift requirements is arduous and
time-consuming. Small, medium and large-scale companies suffer from
loss of time and resources in dealing with the confusion and
potential human error when doing it manually. A cost-efficient and
reliable solution for this is implementing an
employee scheduling software. But first of all, what is employee scheduling
software?

It is a workforce and scheduling
management platform designed for owners and managers to administer
their hourly workers. Automating the process of creating schedules
produces consistent results, manages labor costs, increases
productivity, and improves workforce satisfaction. Its core
function allows auto-assigning shifts, automating
notifications for new schedules and shift changes, clock-in and
clock-out features, timecard creation, and payroll import
files.

In this guide, we’ll provide
essential pieces of information in understanding the scheduling
software in depth. The following points will be covered and
discussed in details:

  1. Examples of
    employee scheduling software
  2. Benefits of
    employee scheduling software
  3. Types of
    employee scheduling software
  4. Features of
    employee scheduling software
  5. Buying
    factors to consider
  6. Pricing of
    employee scheduling software
  7. Potential
    issues
  8. Latest
    trends

Increasing importance of innovation in a
workplace

Running a business involves a
lot of processes, like admin tasks that can take up a huge amount
of your time and attention from focusing on your central and
high-level operations. This may lead you to under utilize your
resources or hire more employees that would cost you more in the
long run.

Using a spreadsheet in plotting
timelines and schedules loses 
20% of a manager’s time, as per Deputy. In a year, 140 hours of
their working time is spent on creating schedules manually. This is
a huge chunk of time that can be allocated to other high priority
tasks.Moreover, employees who don’t have a well-structured schedule
admit to wasting 50% of their time at work. Coming into work
without being aware of the tasks that need to be done drops their
productivity.

The good news is that we now
have technical solutions to address these bottlenecks and improve
your whole team’s efficiency and productivity. Employee scheduling
software solves common issues like shift demand swings, scheduling
changes, and employee no-shows. According to an Aberdeen Group
study, employees are
6 times more satisfied with their work when they are given the ability
to manage their own schedule in real time. This can impact your
employee’s morale and performance. It also helps reduce unplanned
overtime costs up to 4% while worker productivity increases up to
12%.

Source: Deputy.com

Examples of Employee Scheduling Software

If you want to get a headstart
on checking out some software solutions, you may start at some of
the leading products in the niche. Here are some examples of
employee scheduling software:

  1. Scoro. With a host of work management features, Scoro
    makes tracking and planning schedules more efficient. Assigning
    tasks and scheduling shifts are done smoothly on its own planner
    where you can view individual workloads of your employees and
    available slots. The visual overview lets you create realistic
    deadlines for tasks and avoid conflicting shifts. Employees can
    also manage their own priorities, deadlines, and projects.
    Automated updates streamline calendar events and work reports.
    Meanwhile, the shared calendar centralizes all schedules and
    meetings to guarantee everyone stays in the loop.
  2. 7Shifts. Designed specifically for restaurants, 7Shifts
    is packed with industry-specific features to target and address the
    scheduling needs of a restaurateur. Those who have used the
    traditional pen and paper or Excel for scheduling can recognize the
    UI’s layout as it’s designed similarly for familiarity. The
    difference lies in how the software upgrades its functionality with
    an intuitive drag-and-drop navigation, auto-scheduling feature, and
    custom shift plates. It simplifies staff scheduling by basing it on
    weekly shift requirements and staff availability. The staff is also
    notified of any assignments or changes using instant notifications
    with the free mobile app.
  3. SubItUp. Engineered towards eliminating conflict
    schedules of staff, SubItUp ensures there will be no double-booking
    for your employees with its smart tech system. When a staff is
    unavailable, they will not be scheduled for a shift or task. It
    adapts to the size of your team to create solutions for devising
    and communicating staff schedules based on crucial factors of your
    organization. The unpublished mode lets you take your time in
    planning schedules and making changes as much as you want without
    updating your team of every adjustment. Once it’s done and
    complete, you can then publish it. It also has other features like
    staff self-scheduling, staff priority, fair shift, shift
    reassignment, add or drop a shift, and break time
    arrangements.
  4. Planday. It caters to different industries such as
    retail, manufacturing, fitness and leisure, and hospitality, among
    others. It eliminates the manual process of collecting the
    employee’s availability and preferred shift. Instead, it gathers
    all the information efficiently and stores it for future reference
    when you’re scheduling. Creating schedules based on the department
    and skill set ensures the right staffs are employed at the right
    shifts. To reduce time spent on creating schedules, you can save a
    template which you can reuse as a base for new schedules and fine
    tune it based on your current requirements.
  5. ADP Vantage HCM. It is a software suite for various business management
    solutions. True to the definition of employee scheduling software,
    one of its core functions is time and labor management which uses a
    configurable automated scheduling. This ensures the right people
    are assigned the right tasks at the right time. It has absence
    managemen
    t capabilities to
    keep track of infractions and availability while preparing for
    scenarios where there are leaves and absences. Managing attendance
    and overtimes is also covered by the software with its real-time
    dashboard visibility. It also monitors any changes made in
    timecards and ensures consistent pay policies are
    applied.

Scoro’s dashboard with a view of various
statistics, revenues, and calendar, among others.

Benefits of Employee Scheduling Software

Why use employee scheduling
software? There are numerous reasons to implement the system in
your organization. Each business has different purposes and
requirements for using it. To get an idea of what it can do for
your business, here are some of the advantages of employee
scheduling software:

  1. Adapting to changes in employee availability. Having a buffer in case of scheduling changes
    is crucial to avoid scheduling conflicts or shifts with no assigned
    worker. For example, when one employee cannot make it to his/her
    shift, he/she can look for a replacement once the schedule is
    posted. If the software has a shift-swapping capability, the
    available employee can take the schedule and accept it in real
    time. As managers, you will have the option to manually approve
    this changes or automate the process.
  2. Improving employee communication. Staying in touch
    with your employees to make
    sure they can make it to their assigned duties is crucial. Group
    notifications send alerts to everyone or a selected number of
    people when there are new schedules assigned to them or if there
    are changes made with their shifts. This also makes it easier to
    immediately look for an available employee when the assigned staff
    fails to come to work.
  3. Ensuring compliance. Overlooking documentation, expiration dates,
    and store credentials can hurt your organization’s processes.
    Therefore, it’s important to monitor credentials and ensure they
    are compliant with the relevant rules and regulations. If there are
    employees with upcoming credential expirations, the software will
    send them alerts so they won’t miss the expiration date. Those with
    expired credentials will automatically be blocked from being
    assigned to shift to lessen the time spent in tracking each
    employee.
  4. Reducing employee no-shows. An emergency and unplanned employee
    unavailability can happen, especially during same-day situations
    where an employee may fail to show up or fall ill all of a sudden.
    The software can mitigate this issue by preparing a pool of a small
    number of employees who can take the shift in the last-minute. They
    can be full-time workers who want some overtime work, part-time
    employees, or contingent staff. This can also be utilized during
    demand swings when there is an increase or decrease in staff
    demand.
  5. Evaluating your organization’s resources. The software provides you a rich source of data
    that ranges from attendance information to skill and performance
    ratings which you can tap for assessments. Monitoring and measuring
    your resource pools ensure you fill a role, especially
    mission-critical ones, with highly-skilled employees at the right
    time. This also helps you notice if there are any overlapping
    requests for vacation leaves so you can adjust schedules
    proactively beforehand.
  6. Trimming labor costs. Optimizing labor coverage can be achieved by
    efficiently tracking and utilizing historical information in
    determining labor needs for each shift. Forecasting the demand lets
    you assign shifts that align with your business needs at a given
    time or situation to control unplanned overtime costs and monitor
    overall labor costs in comparison to the allocated
    budget.
  7. Procedural consistency. Misplacing, overlooking, and forgetting time
    off requests can be a major problem for your business operations.
    Your employee’s performance and moral can be improved when they are
    assured of a consistent scheduling process while managers and
    supervisors get the peace of mind that each shift is supplied with
    enough workforce. This leads to better customer satisfaction when
    they’re business needs are met with high-quality service from your
    staff.

Types of Employee Scheduling Software

How does employee scheduling
software work? These systems are developed to provide solutions for
your company’s scheduling needs. It may come in two types, which
are:

  1. Static scheduling.
    This type of scheduling is suited
    for companies with fixed working shifts. They rotate employees on
    two or more shifts during a 24-hour period with a predefined
    periodicity. The software remembers the routine and streamlines the
    process by scouring which employee is scheduled for a specific
    shift during the day. Some businesses that suit this type of
    scheduling are hospitality industries like restaurants and
    hotels.
  2. Dynamic scheduling.
    Work shifts that constantly change
    belong to dynamic scheduling. It may also refer to shifts with
    varying clients and locations such as HVAC technicians, pet sitting
    services, and home care contractors. The employees are scheduled
    for a shift at different times and locations. The software helps
    avoid scheduling conflicts by ensuring everyone gets a real-time
    update on who is available.

Some products cater to only one
type while others can implement the two scheduling types.
Additionally, it also comes in two deployment types.

  1. Web-based. Many companies use this type of deployment
    because it can be accessed in any computer anywhere in the world as
    long as the user has the necessary login details and internet
    connection. There are no installations needed and the data doesn’t
    have to be backed up manually so you’re assured your data is
    secured and saved. Purchasing this type of service can be on a
    monthly or annual basis which you can pay for as long as you use
    it. In most cases, the cost depends on the number of users or
    employees.
  2. On-premise/Server-based.
    The database and software for
    storing your information are installed on your server. Hence, it
    can only be used by users within your private network. It usually
    has a high upfront cost of purchasing the system with additional
    payments for maintenance, support, and upgrades. Backing up data
    must also be done regularly so you can restore it if the computer
    breaks down or needs replacement.

Planday’s user interface (UI) for
their mobile platforms.

Features of Employee Scheduling Software

What does employee scheduling
software do
? To get a better
grasp on what it does, it is fundamental to learn the features of
employee scheduling software to streamline and optimize your work
and scheduling management requirements.

  1. Schedule overview. This
    is essential for viewing your weekly, biweekly, and monthly shifts
    so you can gain perspective regarding your employee’s schedule like
    coverage gaps. Filter what you want to see based on location,
    specific shifts, and roles. You can also view who is assigned at a
    certain time and location.
  2. Work management. This lets
    you oversee your work or project by managing billable and
    nonbillable work, portfolio management, budget allocation, meeting
    schedules, and employee workloads while maintaining productivity
    and efficiency.
  3. Real-time communication. The software combines its capabilities with
    mobile technology to provide real-time, 24/7 access to your
    workforce through text messaged, emails, or mobile applications.
    This ensures everyone receives timely notifications for any
    announcements, updates, and changes.
  4. Auto-assign shift. This
    expedites one of the most time-consuming processes which is
    assigning shifts. It automates matching an employee with the
    appropriate role in an organized way. After all, what is employee
    scheduling software if not for automating shift assignments and
    speeding up the process.
  5. Shift swapping. This
    makes it easy for employees to trade their shifts or pick up
    available shifts. This prevents double-booking to a specific shift
    while staying compliant with your company’s overtime rules to avoid
    unplanned overtime costs.
  6. Schedule template. The
    template serves as a base for your next schedules which you can
    fine tune based on your current shift requirements. This can be
    saved from your previous schedules to reduce the time spent on
    creating new formats even when the schedule is static or
    repeating.
  7. Worker profile. This is
    essential in handling all your employee’s data like contact
    information, licenses, training, documents, certifications,
    expiration dates, employment history, and education information,
    among others. This helps you align job responsibilities with their
    expertise and ensure compliance.
  8. Resource forecasting. Leverage sophisticated algorithms according to
    historical patterns accurately to have a projection on what types
    and how many resources you’ll need.
  9. Reports and analytics. It
    provides insight on labor costs, schedules, and employees for
    people and calendar reports, financial reports, time clock, and
    data export. These executive summaries are vital to keeping the
    management informed about the entire staff’s schedule and working
    information.
  10. Integrations. If you have payroll and human capital
    management systems, you can integrate the software to optimize your
    business operations. This can also contribute to centralizing your
    time and attendance functionality.

Buying factors to consider

Identifying the purpose of
employee scheduling software helps you choose which solution to
purchase. It makes the process significantly more efficient to
manage. It also ensures compliance with various rules and
regulations. To help you narrow down your choices, you may also
consider these factors:

  1. Ease of use. Not all users in various types of industries
    are tech savvy. Hence, choosing a system that is user-friendly
    eliminates a long learning curve for users with no technical
    knowledge.
  2. Auto-assign shifts.
    Assigning shifts is time-consuming
    which makes it crucial to look for a system that automates the
    process following your own set of rules. This eliminates the need
    to manually match an employee to a position and prevent
    errors.
  3. Schedule Tracker. Since one of the main purposes of getting an
    employee scheduling software is to make scheduling efficient,
    having a tracker is essential. This helps you build and maintain
    schedules, boost customer satisfaction, and set up billing
    cycles.
  4. Cost-efficiency. Purchasing a software plan is an investment.
    It’s important to choose one that gives you more value and
    function. This may also mean adding premium features for a better
    ROI if it supplies your business needs.
  5. Targeting business challenges.
    Identifying your business’ pain
    points is crucial because each business faces different challenges
    due to unique factors. Knowing what issues you need to address
    makes choosing a software that can solve it more
    effective.
  6. System compatibility.
    To truly improve your business
    operations, the new software must be compatible with your existing
    systems such as reporting, payroll, and point-of-sale (POS), if you
    have them. Integrating them together increases the overall
    efficiency of your processes and maximizes the software’s
    performance.
  7. Accessibility and security.
    For the convenience of your team,
    considering the software’s accessibility is vital. Since most
    people nowadays prefer using their smartphones and tablets, having
    a software that’s available on mobile platforms is essential. It
    must also be secure to protect your business data.
  8. QuickBooks integration.
    While it is optional and
    preference-based, choosing a software that integrates with
    QuickBooks or other accounting solutions streamlines payment
    management.
  9. Available technical support.
    Stumbling upon technical issues can
    hurt your business and waste valuable time. Knowing the software
    has a reliable and reachable support gives you peace of mind in
    case of any software problems.
  10. Analytics and reporting.
    The software must provide you with
    sufficient and accurate information to optimize your scheduling
    process. Make sure to check if it collects relevant data that you
    can assess and review.

7Shifts’ performance tracker showing
sales and labor costs.

Pricing of Employee Scheduling Software

To get an idea of the cost of
employee scheduling software, here are some pricing plans for the
leading product solutions in this niche.

  1. Scoro. It comes in three
    pricing plans that start at $22 per user and $899 for onboarding
    cost. All their plans are equipped with robust features like
    automated data backup, full-featured API, and various management
    tools to cater different business needs and scale.
  2. 7Shifts. The
    price packages start at $39.99 per month for the Entree which can
    also be billed monthly or annually. Enterprises that need more
    tools and solutions can also ask for a quote to customize the plan
    accordingly.
  3. SubItUp. Their
    pricing packages start at a monthly rate of $1 per user with
    features like manual scheduling and shift changes. Higher plans
    include API access, HR tools, and automated scheduling. Enterprises
    can ask for a quote for specific scheduling requirements so
    SubItUp’s consultants can develop a solution for you.
  4. Planday. Starting from a monthly fee of $2 per user,
    basic scheduling and communication services are covered. You may
    also add more features and upgrade your plan as your company
    grows.
  5. ADP Vantage HCM. Its pricing is only available upon request for
    a quote as their consultants base the fee on your business’
    scheduling needs.

Potential Issues

Not all products are created
perfect and equal. There are circumstances where you’ll encounter
potential issues in implementing them and, in some cases, it may
not even be the software’s fault. Here are some things to be aware
of:

  1. Internet connection issues.
    Most work management software
    solutions are web-based and reliant to internet access. However, it
    can be challenging for users who don’t have a high level of
    performance with their internet connections.
  2. Skeptical employees.
    Some employees are hesitant about
    adopting new technology, especially those who are not very tech
    savvy. This can be solved through an open communication to let your
    employees understand the benefits and convenience it can give
    them.
  3. Underutilization. You pay when you implement the system. If it’s
    features are not fully utilized, you may get little ROI. Making
    sure you understand how the system works is crucial, especially
    when you add premium tools and features.

Latest Trends

After understanding what is
employee scheduling software and learning about its features, it’s
time to look at its recent trends. Today’s staff scheduling
solutions are already equipped with a rich set of tools and
features. At the same time, it is expected that further innovations
are developed and integrated into the software to improve its
efficiency as more companies engage it in their
organization.

While the employee scheduling
software streamlines many of the business operations, it still
needs the oversight of managers to correct issues and fine tune it.
But as technology advances, more and more systems are tapping into
Artificial Intelligence to play a bigger role in the entire process
that lessens the need for actual supervision.

The post What is Employee Scheduling Software? Analysis of
Features, Benefits and Pricing
appeared first from online sources and was reposted by the community on Financesonline.com.

Creating a schedule that works
well for all your employees and shift requirements is arduous and
time-consuming. Small, medium and large-scale companies suffer from
loss of time and resources in dealing with the confusion and
potential human error when doing it manually. A cost-efficient and
reliable solution for this is implementing an
employee scheduling software. But first of all, what is employee scheduling
software?

It is a workforce and scheduling
management platform designed for owners and managers to administer
their hourly workers. Automating the process of creating schedules
produces consistent results, manages labor costs, increases
productivity, and improves workforce satisfaction. Its core
function allows auto-assigning shifts, automating
notifications for new schedules and shift changes, clock-in and
clock-out features, timecard creation, and payroll import
files.

In this guide, we’ll provide
essential pieces of information in understanding the scheduling
software in depth. The following points will be covered and
discussed in details:

  1. Examples of
    employee scheduling software
  2. Benefits of
    employee scheduling software
  3. Types of
    employee scheduling software
  4. Features of
    employee scheduling software
  5. Buying
    factors to consider
  6. Pricing of
    employee scheduling software
  7. Potential
    issues
  8. Latest
    trends

Increasing importance of innovation in a
workplace

Running a business involves a
lot of processes, like admin tasks that can take up a huge amount
of your time and attention from focusing on your central and
high-level operations. This may lead you to under utilize your
resources or hire more employees that would cost you more in the
long run.

Using a spreadsheet in plotting
timelines and schedules loses 
20% of a manager’s time, as per Deputy. In a year, 140 hours of
their working time is spent on creating schedules manually. This is
a huge chunk of time that can be allocated to other high priority
tasks.Moreover, employees who don’t have a well-structured schedule
admit to wasting 50% of their time at work. Coming into work
without being aware of the tasks that need to be done drops their
productivity.

The good news is that we now
have technical solutions to address these bottlenecks and improve
your whole team’s efficiency and productivity. Employee scheduling
software solves common issues like shift demand swings, scheduling
changes, and employee no-shows. According to an Aberdeen Group
study, employees are
6 times more satisfied with their work when they are given the ability
to manage their own schedule in real time. This can impact your
employee’s morale and performance. It also helps reduce unplanned
overtime costs up to 4% while worker productivity increases up to
12%.

Source: Deputy.com

Examples of Employee Scheduling
Software

If you want to get a headstart
on checking out some software solutions, you may start at some of
the leading products in the niche. Here are some examples of
employee scheduling software:

  1. Scoro. With a host of work management features, Scoro
    makes tracking and planning schedules more efficient. Assigning
    tasks and scheduling shifts are done smoothly on its own planner
    where you can view individual workloads of your employees and
    available slots. The visual overview lets you create realistic
    deadlines for tasks and avoid conflicting shifts. Employees can
    also manage their own priorities, deadlines, and projects.
    Automated updates streamline calendar events and work reports.
    Meanwhile, the shared calendar centralizes all schedules and
    meetings to guarantee everyone stays in the loop.
  2. 7Shifts. Designed specifically for restaurants, 7Shifts
    is packed with industry-specific features to target and address the
    scheduling needs of a restaurateur. Those who have used the
    traditional pen and paper or Excel for scheduling can recognize the
    UI’s layout as it’s designed similarly for familiarity. The
    difference lies in how the software upgrades its functionality with
    an intuitive drag-and-drop navigation, auto-scheduling feature, and
    custom shift plates. It simplifies staff scheduling by basing it on
    weekly shift requirements and staff availability. The staff is also
    notified of any assignments or changes using instant notifications
    with the free mobile app.
  3. SubItUp. Engineered towards eliminating conflict
    schedules of staff, SubItUp ensures there will be no double-booking
    for your employees with its smart tech system. When a staff is
    unavailable, they will not be scheduled for a shift or task. It
    adapts to the size of your team to create solutions for devising
    and communicating staff schedules based on crucial factors of your
    organization. The unpublished mode lets you take your time in
    planning schedules and making changes as much as you want without
    updating your team of every adjustment. Once it’s done and
    complete, you can then publish it. It also has other features like
    staff self-scheduling, staff priority, fair shift, shift
    reassignment, add or drop a shift, and break time
    arrangements.
  4. Planday. It caters to different industries such as
    retail, manufacturing, fitness and leisure, and hospitality, among
    others. It eliminates the manual process of collecting the
    employee’s availability and preferred shift. Instead, it gathers
    all the information efficiently and stores it for future reference
    when you’re scheduling. Creating schedules based on the department
    and skill set ensures the right staffs are employed at the right
    shifts. To reduce time spent on creating schedules, you can save a
    template which you can reuse as a base for new schedules and fine
    tune it based on your current requirements.
  5. ADP Vantage HCM. It is a software suite for various business management
    solutions. True to the definition of employee scheduling software,
    one of its core functions is time and labor management which uses a
    configurable automated scheduling. This ensures the right people
    are assigned the right tasks at the right time. It has absence
    managemen
    t capabilities to
    keep track of infractions and availability while preparing for
    scenarios where there are leaves and absences. Managing attendance
    and overtimes is also covered by the software with its real-time
    dashboard visibility. It also monitors any changes made in
    timecards and ensures consistent pay policies are
    applied.

Scoro’s dashboard with a view of various
statistics, revenues, and calendar, among others.

Benefits of Employee Scheduling
Software

Why use employee scheduling
software? There are numerous reasons to implement the system in
your organization. Each business has different purposes and
requirements for using it. To get an idea of what it can do for
your business, here are some of the advantages of employee
scheduling software:

  1. Adapting to changes in employee availability. Having a buffer in case of scheduling changes
    is crucial to avoid scheduling conflicts or shifts with no assigned
    worker. For example, when one employee cannot make it to his/her
    shift, he/she can look for a replacement once the schedule is
    posted. If the software has a shift-swapping capability, the
    available employee can take the schedule and accept it in real
    time. As managers, you will have the option to manually approve
    this changes or automate the process.
  2. Improving employee communication. Staying in touch
    with your employees to make
    sure they can make it to their assigned duties is crucial. Group
    notifications send alerts to everyone or a selected number of
    people when there are new schedules assigned to them or if there
    are changes made with their shifts. This also makes it easier to
    immediately look for an available employee when the assigned staff
    fails to come to work.
  3. Ensuring compliance. Overlooking documentation, expiration dates,
    and store credentials can hurt your organization’s processes.
    Therefore, it’s important to monitor credentials and ensure they
    are compliant with the relevant rules and regulations. If there are
    employees with upcoming credential expirations, the software will
    send them alerts so they won’t miss the expiration date. Those with
    expired credentials will automatically be blocked from being
    assigned to shift to lessen the time spent in tracking each
    employee.
  4. Reducing employee no-shows. An emergency and unplanned employee
    unavailability can happen, especially during same-day situations
    where an employee may fail to show up or fall ill all of a sudden.
    The software can mitigate this issue by preparing a pool of a small
    number of employees who can take the shift in the last-minute. They
    can be full-time workers who want some overtime work, part-time
    employees, or contingent staff. This can also be utilized during
    demand swings when there is an increase or decrease in staff
    demand.
  5. Evaluating your organization’s resources. The software provides you a rich source of data
    that ranges from attendance information to skill and performance
    ratings which you can tap for assessments. Monitoring and measuring
    your resource pools ensure you fill a role, especially
    mission-critical ones, with highly-skilled employees at the right
    time. This also helps you notice if there are any overlapping
    requests for vacation leaves so you can adjust schedules
    proactively beforehand.
  6. Trimming labor costs. Optimizing labor coverage can be achieved by
    efficiently tracking and utilizing historical information in
    determining labor needs for each shift. Forecasting the demand lets
    you assign shifts that align with your business needs at a given
    time or situation to control unplanned overtime costs and monitor
    overall labor costs in comparison to the allocated
    budget.
  7. Procedural consistency. Misplacing, overlooking, and forgetting time
    off requests can be a major problem for your business operations.
    Your employee’s performance and moral can be improved when they are
    assured of a consistent scheduling process while managers and
    supervisors get the peace of mind that each shift is supplied with
    enough workforce. This leads to better customer satisfaction when
    they’re business needs are met with high-quality service from your
    staff.

Types of Employee Scheduling
Software

How does employee scheduling
software work? These systems are developed to provide solutions for
your company’s scheduling needs. It may come in two types, which
are:

  1. Static scheduling.
    This type of scheduling is suited
    for companies with fixed working shifts. They rotate employees on
    two or more shifts during a 24-hour period with a predefined
    periodicity. The software remembers the routine and streamlines the
    process by scouring which employee is scheduled for a specific
    shift during the day. Some businesses that suit this type of
    scheduling are hospitality industries like restaurants and
    hotels.
  2. Dynamic scheduling.
    Work shifts that constantly change
    belong to dynamic scheduling. It may also refer to shifts with
    varying clients and locations such as HVAC technicians, pet sitting
    services, and home care contractors. The employees are scheduled
    for a shift at different times and locations. The software helps
    avoid scheduling conflicts by ensuring everyone gets a real-time
    update on who is available.

Some products cater to only one
type while others can implement the two scheduling types.
Additionally, it also comes in two deployment types.

  1. Web-based. Many companies use this type of deployment
    because it can be accessed in any computer anywhere in the world as
    long as the user has the necessary login details and internet
    connection. There are no installations needed and the data doesn’t
    have to be backed up manually so you’re assured your data is
    secured and saved. Purchasing this type of service can be on a
    monthly or annual basis which you can pay for as long as you use
    it. In most cases, the cost depends on the number of users or
    employees.
  2. On-premise/Server-based.
    The database and software for
    storing your information are installed on your server. Hence, it
    can only be used by users within your private network. It usually
    has a high upfront cost of purchasing the system with additional
    payments for maintenance, support, and upgrades. Backing up data
    must also be done regularly so you can restore it if the computer
    breaks down or needs replacement.

Planday’s user interface (UI) for
their mobile platforms.

Features of Employee Scheduling
Software

What does employee scheduling
software do
? To get a better
grasp on what it does, it is fundamental to learn the features of
employee scheduling software to streamline and optimize your work
and scheduling management requirements.

  1. Schedule overview. This
    is essential for viewing your weekly, biweekly, and monthly shifts
    so you can gain perspective regarding your employee’s schedule like
    coverage gaps. Filter what you want to see based on location,
    specific shifts, and roles. You can also view who is assigned at a
    certain time and location.
  2. Work management. This lets
    you oversee your work or project by managing billable and
    nonbillable work, portfolio management, budget allocation, meeting
    schedules, and employee workloads while maintaining productivity
    and efficiency.
  3. Real-time communication. The software combines its capabilities with
    mobile technology to provide real-time, 24/7 access to your
    workforce through text messaged, emails, or mobile applications.
    This ensures everyone receives timely notifications for any
    announcements, updates, and changes.
  4. Auto-assign shift. This
    expedites one of the most time-consuming processes which is
    assigning shifts. It automates matching an employee with the
    appropriate role in an organized way. After all, what is employee
    scheduling software if not for automating shift assignments and
    speeding up the process.
  5. Shift swapping. This
    makes it easy for employees to trade their shifts or pick up
    available shifts. This prevents double-booking to a specific shift
    while staying compliant with your company’s overtime rules to avoid
    unplanned overtime costs.
  6. Schedule template. The
    template serves as a base for your next schedules which you can
    fine tune based on your current shift requirements. This can be
    saved from your previous schedules to reduce the time spent on
    creating new formats even when the schedule is static or
    repeating.
  7. Worker profile. This is
    essential in handling all your employee’s data like contact
    information, licenses, training, documents, certifications,
    expiration dates, employment history, and education information,
    among others. This helps you align job responsibilities with their
    expertise and ensure compliance.
  8. Resource forecasting. Leverage sophisticated algorithms according to
    historical patterns accurately to have a projection on what types
    and how many resources you’ll need.
  9. Reports and analytics. It
    provides insight on labor costs, schedules, and employees for
    people and calendar reports, financial reports, time clock, and
    data export. These executive summaries are vital to keeping the
    management informed about the entire staff’s schedule and working
    information.
  10. Integrations. If you have payroll and human capital
    management systems, you can integrate the software to optimize your
    business operations. This can also contribute to centralizing your
    time and attendance functionality.

Buying factors to consider

Identifying the purpose of
employee scheduling software helps you choose which solution to
purchase. It makes the process significantly more efficient to
manage. It also ensures compliance with various rules and
regulations. To help you narrow down your choices, you may also
consider these factors:

  1. Ease of use. Not all users in various types of industries
    are tech savvy. Hence, choosing a system that is user-friendly
    eliminates a long learning curve for users with no technical
    knowledge.
  2. Auto-assign shifts.
    Assigning shifts is time-consuming
    which makes it crucial to look for a system that automates the
    process following your own set of rules. This eliminates the need
    to manually match an employee to a position and prevent
    errors.
  3. Schedule Tracker. Since one of the main purposes of getting an
    employee scheduling software is to make scheduling efficient,
    having a tracker is essential. This helps you build and maintain
    schedules, boost customer satisfaction, and set up billing
    cycles.
  4. Cost-efficiency. Purchasing a software plan is an investment.
    It’s important to choose one that gives you more value and
    function. This may also mean adding premium features for a better
    ROI if it supplies your business needs.
  5. Targeting business challenges.
    Identifying your business’ pain
    points is crucial because each business faces different challenges
    due to unique factors. Knowing what issues you need to address
    makes choosing a software that can solve it more
    effective.
  6. System compatibility.
    To truly improve your business
    operations, the new software must be compatible with your existing
    systems such as reporting, payroll, and point-of-sale (POS), if you
    have them. Integrating them together increases the overall
    efficiency of your processes and maximizes the software’s
    performance.
  7. Accessibility and security.
    For the convenience of your team,
    considering the software’s accessibility is vital. Since most
    people nowadays prefer using their smartphones and tablets, having
    a software that’s available on mobile platforms is essential. It
    must also be secure to protect your business data.
  8. QuickBooks integration.
    While it is optional and
    preference-based, choosing a software that integrates with
    QuickBooks or other accounting solutions streamlines payment
    management.
  9. Available technical support.
    Stumbling upon technical issues can
    hurt your business and waste valuable time. Knowing the software
    has a reliable and reachable support gives you peace of mind in
    case of any software problems.
  10. Analytics and reporting.
    The software must provide you with
    sufficient and accurate information to optimize your scheduling
    process. Make sure to check if it collects relevant data that you
    can assess and review.

7Shifts’ performance tracker showing
sales and labor costs.

Pricing of Employee Scheduling
Software

To get an idea of the cost of
employee scheduling software, here are some pricing plans for the
leading product solutions in this niche.

  1. Scoro. It comes in three
    pricing plans that start at $22 per user and $899 for onboarding
    cost. All their plans are equipped with robust features like
    automated data backup, full-featured API, and various management
    tools to cater different business needs and scale.
  2. 7Shifts. The
    price packages start at $39.99 per month for the Entree which can
    also be billed monthly or annually. Enterprises that need more
    tools and solutions can also ask for a quote to customize the plan
    accordingly.
  3. SubItUp. Their
    pricing packages start at a monthly rate of $1 per user with
    features like manual scheduling and shift changes. Higher plans
    include API access, HR tools, and automated scheduling. Enterprises
    can ask for a quote for specific scheduling requirements so
    SubItUp’s consultants can develop a solution for you.
  4. Planday. Starting from a monthly fee of $2 per user,
    basic scheduling and communication services are covered. You may
    also add more features and upgrade your plan as your company
    grows.
  5. ADP Vantage HCM. Its pricing is only available upon request for
    a quote as their consultants base the fee on your business’
    scheduling needs.

Potential Issues

Not all products are created
perfect and equal. There are circumstances where you’ll encounter
potential issues in implementing them and, in some cases, it may
not even be the software’s fault. Here are some things to be aware
of:

  1. Internet connection issues.
    Most work management software
    solutions are web-based and reliant to internet access. However, it
    can be challenging for users who don’t have a high level of
    performance with their internet connections.
  2. Skeptical employees.
    Some employees are hesitant about
    adopting new technology, especially those who are not very tech
    savvy. This can be solved through an open communication to let your
    employees understand the benefits and convenience it can give
    them.
  3. Underutilization. You pay when you implement the system. If it’s
    features are not fully utilized, you may get little ROI. Making
    sure you understand how the system works is crucial, especially
    when you add premium tools and features.

After understanding what is
employee scheduling software and learning about its features, it’s
time to look at its recent trends. Today’s staff scheduling
solutions are already equipped with a rich set of tools and
features. At the same time, it is expected that further innovations
are developed and integrated into the software to improve its
efficiency as more companies engage it in their
organization.

While the employee scheduling
software streamlines many of the business operations, it still
needs the oversight of managers to correct issues and fine tune it.
But as technology advances, more and more systems are tapping into
Artificial Intelligence to play a bigger role in the entire process
that lessens the need for actual supervision.

The post What is Employee Scheduling Software? Analysis of
Features, Benefits and Pricing
appeared first from online sources and was reposted by the community on Financesonline.com.

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