Scheduling Software and Methods

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Scheduling Software and Methods

Postby Sebastian Sztabzyb on Tue Nov 20, 2007 11:27 pm

We're in the process of opening a second cafe and, as our staff grows, I am considering getting some help with shift planning. I currently use a home-made spreadsheet, but it's getting hard to track who's working, how many hours, vacation, etc...

Any suggestions on a commercial software tool that works well for a multi-location cafe environment?
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Postby Robert Csar on Wed Nov 21, 2007 6:46 am

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Postby JaanusSavisto on Thu Nov 22, 2007 8:53 am

Caffeine. My drug of choice.
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Postby Sebastian Sztabzyb on Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:11 am

Thanks Robert.

I just had a Halo demo and the lady leading it wasn't aware of how to use Halo to schedule staff. She will look into it. In your experience, is it integrated to Halo or a separate application? Also, does it auto-schedule based on a set of restrictions or is it manual scheduling with visual aids?
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Postby Alistair Durie on Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:40 am

Halo does not do scheduling.

Brad Ford uses MS Outlook, and he says it is great.

I use Excel.
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Postby barry on Thu Nov 29, 2007 6:31 am

Alistair Durie wrote:Halo does not do scheduling.

Brad Ford uses MS Outlook, and he says it is great.

I use Excel.



I use my wife. She has a weird ability to coordinate all that. My brain just fizzles when I schedule.
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Re: Shift Scheduling Software

Postby Alistair Durie on Fri Aug 22, 2008 12:32 am

A quick search for "staff scheduling online" shows that there are many solutions for doing this online. It would be great for management and staff to be able to perform and access this information easily.

Anyone using anything smart?

I'm currently looking at the ones on this list: http://employee-scheduling-software-rev ... eviews.com

The top one really stands out as its done online and has all the features we might need: WhenToWork http://www.whentowork.com/index.htm

another: http://myworkhours.com
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Re: Shift Scheduling Software

Postby Lee Corrina Cano on Fri Aug 22, 2008 5:43 pm

we use when2work.com

it's a little less than $10/month for us (less than 10 employees) and although it offends me aesthetically, the functionality is pretty useful.

it's not perfect (some things are a bit clunky), but useful features:
- baristas are emailed their schedules and updates automatically, plus they can always log in to check their schedule from anywhere.
- they put in their (lack of) availabilities (e.g. class schedules) and time-off requests there and not to my face (which leaves me with less stuff to have to remember)
- they can see each other schedules, trade shifts, message each other, etc. easily through the system.
- it has a sort or "auto schedule" feature, but i don't use it (since it doesn't know my implicit scheduling prefences relative to different employees).

note- i'm a firefox user, but the functionality (for example, to drag and drop shifts) seems to be much better in explorer (which i use just for that).
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Re: Shift Scheduling Software

Postby michael brooks on Sun Aug 24, 2008 8:21 pm

I design a grid of circles using Adobe Illustrator. Then, I make believe that I'm playing "Connect Four" and move managers around for each shift and employees that I know work well together. Pretty simple and at the end you can save as a PDF and email it to the entire staff. We only schedule in 3 month increments so it makes it a little more stable.
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Re:

Postby Mike Gregory on Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:14 am

Sebastian Sztabzyb wrote:I just had a Halo demo and the lady leading it wasn't aware of how to use Halo to schedule staff.


You may want to take a look at Auphan Dining as well, which is probably the closest competitor to Halo. Auphan Dining is currently developing their scheduling functionality.

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Re: Shift Scheduling Software

Postby Matt Milletto on Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:44 pm

I don't think this company has been posted yet, but I have heard good things about HotSchedules. Looks like they offer quite a few different options depending on your size.

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Re: Shift Scheduling Software

Postby stormer on Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:08 am

I never think about scheduling, never have, and hope that I never will, but I happen to know people who do. I've heard good things about Google calendar, believe it or not. Every member of a staff can create two schedules: availability and preferred shifts. You can overlap whichever calendars, pulling up the calendars you need when you need them. Every member can check their schedule and update their availability at any time and from any computer.

And it's free. Free can be nice.
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Re: Shift Scheduling Software

Postby Alistair Durie on Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:17 pm

Reviving this thread as I'm again reviewing new ways of doing this. For the last 6-12 months I've been using Google Docs (Spreadsheets) to do this which allow me to publish to a web page which is enormously useful to the staff. This has its limitations.

Wondering if anyone is using more advanced tools and how they are working for them?

I've heard of people schedule 3 months in advance and for my core staff that is easily possible, but there is always the latter half which are more transient, in training, life changing characters, and met with a developing retail business that demands tweaking and changing, the schedule still gets published weekly.
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Re: Scheduling Software and Methods

Postby Sebastian Sztabzyb on Tue Dec 15, 2009 11:06 pm

We've been using When to Manage, an online scheduling software tool. It seems to work quite well and is much easier to manage than a spreadsheet, especially once you get over a dozen staff members in multiple locations. It has its limitations, but based on the other tools I tested, it seems to be the best one out there for what we need to do. Another nice benefit, it's not expensive.
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