If you’re tired of spending hours putting together work schedules for your team and are looking for a solution, automated scheduling software is the answer.
With just a few clicks, you can schedule weeks, or even months, in advance and make the process easier than ever.
In this article, the workforce-management experts at Sling discuss the myriad benefits of automated scheduling and reveal the best tool for the job.
What Is Automated Scheduling?
Automated scheduling is a process that uses data from your business, user-defined parameters, and artificial intelligence to select the best employee for a particular shift.
With a single tap or click, you can instruct your software to find and schedule a server for the dinner shift on October 5th, for example.
In the blink of an eye, the A.I. sorts through the relevant information, finds a candidate, and inserts them into the schedule, saving you the time and effort of having to do it yourself.
How does this help streamline your scheduling process? Imagine that it takes you five minutes to find all the data you need to make an informed decision about who should work as a server during the dinner shift on October 5th.
Now, imagine that you need a total of six servers to cover that shift. If it takes you five minutes to decide on and schedule each server, that’s 30 minutes total. And that’s just one position — server — for one shift on one day.
Multiply all of that by the number of positions, shifts, and days that you have to fill, and you can quickly see how it could take you hours to get everything done.
Automated scheduling does all the work for you — in a fraction of the time it would take you to do it manually.
How Does Automated Scheduling Work?
The easiest way to understand how automated scheduling works is to walk through the process from start to finish. It all begins with entering the parameters for your business.
You can instruct the artificial intelligence to consider any number of variables when setting up the schedule, including:
- Employee availability
- Overtime limits
- Business budget
- Sales data
- Part-time/full-time status
Let’s say that you’ve set your overtime limits and business budget. You’ve tagged each team member in your database according to their part-time/full-time status, skills, and ability in certain jobs. And you’ve assembled everyone’s availability through the end of next month.
The final step is to instruct the software to place names in shifts according to employee availability, overtime limits, and ability in that job. The A.I. disregards all the other variables, finds the best fit for each shift, and creates the schedule accordingly.
That’s automated scheduling in a nutshell.
Benefits Of Automated Scheduling
1) Saves Time
As you’ll see in this section, automated scheduling opens the door to a number of unique benefits. But the biggest benefit of them all? Time.
Software all but eliminates the need for you to sift through a long list of data in order to find the right team member for a particular shift.
With the time you save using automated tools, you can then focus on more important tasks, like building your business into the success you know it can be.
2) Reduces Overtime Spending
If not kept in check, overtime spending can destroy your business’s bottom line.
With automated scheduling, you can instruct the A.I. to assemble the schedule with certain overtime limits in mind. Set it to zero overtime for maximum savings, or allow a few hours here and there if it makes the schedule run better.
3) Increases Profits
The results of the previous two benefits — more time for other tasks and tighter overtime control — are all you need to keep your business pointed toward the goal of increased profits.
Factor in the other benefits on this list, and it becomes obvious just how powerful a tool scheduling software can be.
4) Forecasts Labor Demand
When you take advantage of the data-management resources that scheduling software provides, you can use past details to forecast future labor demands.
The artificial intelligence within the software takes into account trends from previous years and applies them to any new schedules it creates. So, whether you remember a particularly busy day in June when you were short-staffed or not, your software will.
5) Helps Maintain Compliance
Labor compliance and taxes are two of the most complicated areas your business will have to contend with.
That’s why it’s crucial to understand that a major part of scheduling is ensuring that your team and your company are operating according to the laws where your business is located.
When your business complies with all employment issues put down by your state and local legislature, you won’t have to worry about finding out that you’ve been doing something wrong for as long as you’ve been open.
Software goes a long way toward keeping your business compliant, but the best way to maintain all labor laws is to consult with an attorney versed in your area of business.
For more insight into the subject, take a few moments to read these articles from the Sling blog:
- Predictive Scheduling Laws: What Every Business Needs To Know
- Statutory Employee: Definition, Examples, And Management Tips
6) Builds Strong Relationships
Automated scheduling helps maintain a healthy and positive employee/employer relationship within your business. How so?
Scheduling software reduces the scheduling mistakes that often lead to hurt feelings and burnout. When your employees know that they won’t be overworked, they have a better sense of satisfaction with their job and are open to forging strong bonds with the team.
For more insight into cultivating a healthy employee/employer relationship, take a few minutes to read these helpful articles from Sling:
- Employee Retention: How To Retain Employees For Small Businesses
- 7 Tips To Boost Employee Morale For A Better Work Environment
7) Allows For Strategic Planning
The less time you spend wrestling with schedules for your team, the more time you’ll have to further the strategic planning of your business.
Scheduling software makes that possible and allows you to create a plan that will guide your business into the future.
For further information on how strategy plays a role in guiding your business, read these articles from Sling:
- Functional Level Strategy: What It Is Plus 18 Examples
- Business Level Strategy: What It Is Plus 3 Examples
- Corporate Level Strategy: What It Is Plus 7 Examples
Automated Scheduling Done Right
With the right software in place, automated scheduling is one of the easiest ways to optimize your workforce.
The best tool for the job? The Sling app.
Sling is cloud-based software that makes it easy to automate pretty much every aspect of your workforce management.
Whether you build the schedule one team member at a time, repeat successful schedules with user-defined templates, or let your employees choose their shifts, the Sling app simplifies and streamlines every aspect of the scheduling process — from who works when, where, and in what job to labor expenses, payroll, and overtime.
With Sling’s help, you’ll have more time (and energy) to focus on building your business. Not only is Sling an extremely powerful and versatile automated scheduling app, but it’s also a:
- Mobile time clock
- Labor-cost analyzer
- Private and group messaging system
- Newsfeed manager
- Employee task list
- Much more…
All of this is rolled into one easy-to-use package that doesn’t take months to get used to. You can even use one Sling account to schedule employees across multiple locations.
Add in the onboard A.I. that notifies you when there’s a scheduling conflict or you missed a request for time off, and you’ve got the perfect system for managing your team.
For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit GetSling.com today.