What is job scheduling software?
What can you do with online job schedules?
Online job scheduling is either standalone software or a part of a much larger system known as job management software. When you have jobs that need doing you can upload these onto the software and then assign them to your team. A typical day would go something like this:
- Enter in all the details of a particular job, including the location, date and time, and any materials that need to be purchased beforehand.
- View a list of your whole team and see who’s available to do the job on that day and time.
- Select your chosen staff member and assign the job.
- The staff member then gets an alert on their phone that the job has been assigned to them.
- Staff member accepts the job and views all the details of the job. They’ll also be sent a reminder for the job when it’s closer to the date.
- If any changes need to be made (e.g. the start time needs to be rescheduled) you can send this update to the staff member straight away by making edits in the software.
- Once the job is done the staff member marks it as complete on their mobile version of the software.
What’s wrong with a manual schedule?
Relying solely on spreadsheets and whiteboard scrawlings for your daily schedules has its fair share of issues:
- It’s a lot more work to put together
Manual processes often rely on staff emailing their unavailability or writing it in a paper diary. This means a lot of back and forth checking everyone’s week against the jobs that need doing. You need to have this done in time for everyone to know what they’re doing every week which means you’re always under the pump. This method also leaves the door open for human error to creep in as there’s nothing worse than organising a job for the wrong day or time.
- It doesn’t account for last-minute changes
People get sick or forget to put in their unavailabilities. But when these things happen it’s really difficult to find a replacement. When relying on manual processes all you can do is cross-reference the rest of your team’s availability and start cold calling them one by one. Not only is this time-consuming but its a huge inconvenience for your staff to be called in on their day off.
- It doesn’t provide any insights into your team
Are you scheduling jobs that are easy for your team to get to? Are there certain tasks that your staff prefer doing over others? Are you allowing enough time for jobs to be completed? Manual schedules are disconnected from every other aspect of your team’s job and can’t offer any useful information that could make your business more efficient.
What are the big benefits?
“But a paper schedule just needs to work. It doesn’t NEED to be anything else”.
Job scheduling software, especially when its apart of job management software, allows you greater visibility and flexibility over your team’s time on jobs. It means you can better maximise their time and ensure nothing falls off the radar.
- Always have a backup plan
Having a place where you and staff can update and view schedules mean that you can be more agile with fixing last-minute changes.
- Better communication with your team
Staff can receive their schedules as soon as jobs are assigned and staff, in turn, can send updates about jobs back to the main system.
- Less room for mistakes
Online tools mean you create schedules with more accuracy.
- Always have the right person for the job
- Easy way to find out who’s available
Scheduling software means you can view your team’s availabilities at once across a calendar that updates in real-time. That means you know who’s available at any time.
What else do I need to keep in mind?
- Does your whole team have access to their own smartphone?
Job scheduling works best when it’s accessible at all times. Make sure everyone in your team has a mobile or tablet that allows them to see their schedule while out and about.
- Does your software have all the features you need?
Not all scheduling tools are the same. Make sure you research the market and get the system that suits your team best.
- Can your team use the software?
Whether your staff have used similar tools before or not, a scheduling tool is only useful if it’s easy for your team to work with. Make sure that the software is straight-forward and that your team are given some training before completely rolling it out.