by Stacy Malone, Marketing Intern
Making schedules can be difficult and time-consuming. You have to sit down, figure out the shifts that you need covered, figure out who is available, and make sure to give people enough hours – but not too many hours! It can take managers hours (even days). What a hassle! What you need is online employee scheduling software that will do the heavy lifting for you. You work hard, right? Don’t you deserve a little help? If the word “AutoScheduler” piques your interest, you’re going to want to consider an employee scheduling software that will help you build schedules quickly and get you back on the floor. Here’s how to find the right tool:
- First, you’re going to want to decide whether you want an online solution or not. Nowadays, most people prefer an online solution because it can allow employees to make requests and see their schedules from anywhere. This helps eliminate the “I didn’t know I was scheduled!” excuse. Plus, you and your managers can build schedules (and view attendance) from anywhere. Bonus! Another benefit of online solutions is that you don’t typically have to pay for upgrades, so you’re always using the latest version of the product. The next steps apply to you whether you decide to use an online solution or not.
- Next, you’re going to need to find a product that is easy to use and fits your industry and your business. You’re probably going to want something that you can get logged into quickly, so you can start doing what you need to do. Read online reviews or ask friends in the industry to find out what other businesses are using. Try to narrow your search down to 3-5 competitors at this point.
- Then, you’re going to want to test the product to see if it has the right features. Does the product autoschedule employees? Does it offer flexibility? Can it do all of the things that you need to do with your schedules? Is it designed for your industry? Is it a task scheduling system? Is it a shift scheduling system? Is it better for hourly employees or salaried employees? Do you want a simple product with limited features, a robust product that will grow with your business, or something in between?
- Make sure that the software you use has a level of support you’re comfortable with. You’re probably going to have questions. Is there going to be someone there for you when you need a little help? Do you care whether the support center is in the US? Does the product have a manual for your employees?
- You’re going to want to make sure that whatever you’re looking at is also cost-effective. For small businesses, this might even be the very first step. After actually looking at each of the products, you’ve probably narrowed it down to 1 or 2 products. If the features are the same, and the level of support is the same, cost is probably the last factor that really matters. Price for the software isn’t what we’re talking about here, though that obviously is a big factor, you should be more concerned about return on investment. Is the product helping you save time and money spent actually scheduling? Is it improving your employee morale, productivity, and retention? Is it making your schedules more efficient? Granted, some of these benefits may take time to show up, but are you confident that you will see a return on your investment in the product?
Sometime in this process, it might be a good idea to give TimeForge a try if you think it will be a good fit. Sign up for a free trial and start adding employees and building shifts. Our scheduling product is entirely web-based, and we offer other products that can also really help with your ROI (like biometric time clocks and fingerprint scanners). TimeForge is incredibly flexible, offering a variety of different modules to suit your business needs. It even has the proprietary AutoScheduler to help make schedule building even easier. And, of course, our customer service is pretty incredible too.
If you haven’t already, sign up for a free trial and see if TimeForge will be a good fit for you. If you’re not sure whether it’s a good fit for your business, please contact us and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you’ve got!