If you’re writing staff schedules on spreadsheets, doing payroll by hand, poring over paper applications, or using other manual methods to manage your business, then you’re driving a car when it might not be the best mode of transportation. If you’re using HR software to help you manage your business, you’re flying in a plane. You’re getting things done faster, spending less effort, making fewer mistakes, and you’re giving yourself more time to actually manage your business. Is the scenic view you get while driving really worth all the extra time? Probably not if you’re on the clock, and you’re costing or earning your business time and money with each decision you make.

HR software is made to save you time, money, and effort. Sometimes it takes a bit more of each of those three things to get your program up and running, but you’re certain to come out ahead in the long run if you use it. It can also reduce the number of errors you make or miscommunications you have with your staff. It can even help you steer clear of trouble by preventing you or others from making bad decisions that reflect poorly on your business’s reputation.

Just ask Urban Outfitters, which was recently mentioned in an article written by scheduling software research firm Software Advice about  “4 Newsworthy HR Mistakes (And How They Could’ve Been Avoided)”. UO was mentioned for asking salaried staff to help one of their warehouses to make sure online orders where all sent out on time, on a voluntary basis.

As you might have expected, this was spread all over the Internet for everyone to read and even landed them on the news. Everyone got to hear about what they did, which definitely isn’t great for the company’s reputation. The request probably didn’t please their staff much, either. Keeping your staff happy is better for your business and expenses in the long run and high turnover is expensive, so displeasing your employees is a bad idea.

Asking employees to work for free is generally a big no-no in itself, but UO wouldn’t have encountered this problem in the first place if they had used HR software with historical data and sales forecasting. They could have predicted that their warehouse would need help getting online orders shipped on time, had extra warehouse employees trained and ready to go, and done it in the best, most cost-effective way possible. Instead, they asked their salaried staff to volunteer for it, which is less efficient and a safety concern since they probably don’t know the first thing about working in a warehouse, and tarnished their reputation with both their employees and their customers in one fell swoop. In this case, Urban Outfitters took the car and got lost along the way.

It’s impossible to avoid 100% of potential mistakes 100% of the time, but the right solution can make them far less likely to happen. Using manual methods to manage your business could be making your job and your life more difficult than necessary, especially when silly, simple mistakes are so easy to blow out of proportion. So much time, effort, and money is spent on developing your business, brand, and reputation. Don’t waste it on things you don’t have to, such as manually writing schedules, running payroll, and chasing your tail trying to fix things that should never have happened in the first place. The right HR management software solution can help you save time, effort, and money, so you can relax more and focus on building a better business.  Cars can take you far, but you’ll need to fly if you want to keep up.