Production shifts scheduling needs to be as responsive and as well managed as any well-oiled machine. It provides the staff levels needed to meet targets and errors only dent production levels. If production is overstaffed then labor costs are wasted, whereas understaffing can leave a business unable to operate properly and hit its expected production levels. Work stations need to be partnered with staff who have the necessary skills. Also to be scheduled are time off requests and specific shift demands from workers, as well as any union or FLSA restrictions.
As competition increases, the technology needed for production only improves and enhances. Shift scheduling software is part of this advancement, those left behind with ancient methods like spreadsheets and mediocre planners will only see their competitors race ahead with more efficient work practices.
Thankfully for production management, there are free options which give them the chance to decide which of the many shift management programs suits you. Free staff scheduling software options are varied, possibly restricting the employee count or running adverts. The best employee scheduling software packages can often give you the chance to try before you buy. This is a terrific opportunity, it lets you see which works for your staff roster’s fixed and rotating schedules.
Production Shift Scheduling Software
Here is a list of five shift scheduling software applications with a brief description of each:
- Schedule any number of staff (full-time, part-time, and volunteer), positions, shifts, patrols, and locations
- Ensure adequate shift coverage and efficient personnel utilization while taking into consideration all time-off constraints, specific labor and overtime rules, employee skills and preferences
- Spend less time on developing work schedules and on day-to-day changes
- Instantly see shift coverage, hours scheduled, overtime, vacations, and time off
- Reduce labor costs; avoid overtime and over/under staffing
- Print, export, and e-mail work schedules to employees
- Keep work schedules, labor costs, and employee data in one place for complete reporting and analysis
The Snap Schedule Premium Edition gives you enterprise-class employee scheduling power and innovative workforce management features, including web and mobile access. Employees can remotely access their schedules, request time off, bid on open shifts, punch in and out, update their availability to work, and view the employee directory via a web browser or a native iPhone/iPad/WindowsStore app.
- Windows/Windows 8
- Decrease overtime with visibility to previous shifts worked and seniority information at the point of decision
- Web-based accessibility for you and your staff so everyone has the latest information at their fingertips
- In-depth reporting so you can justify decisions, track time off, review overtime choices and more
- Reduce payroll errors by adjusting worked hours on the schedule and sending electronic data directly to any payroll system for processing
- Optimize time off and fairness via calendar visibility to all requested, approved and taken time off
- Reduce grievances and the time it takes to defend decisions with full visibility to staff requests, manager decisions, hours worked, schedule changes and more
- Increase staff productivity and satisfaction with the use of collaborative scheduling (Open Shift Management) where your staff interact with the schedule
Schedules are cross-referenced with vacation, sick, compensation and other time-off. You are alerted when they conflict. Time Tracker notifies you when specific reminders regarding an employee are due. It can alert you when an employee’s certification is about to expire, or that they are to attend a seminar or anything else that you choose. Time Tracker will monitor your employees scheduled times and warn you about errors such as double bookings or overtime situations. You can also track an employee’s refusals to work.
Notes: Not all are downloadable desktop programs for Windows/Mac OS and some may be browser-based applications that require high-speed Internet access. Be sure to read all systems and licensing agreements from the developer’s website to make sure you meet all requirements. At the time of publication, a free basic service (lite or cripple version) or a free trial version of all of these software packages is available from their manufacturer’s website. To take full advantage of a package’s features you may need to upgrade to a paid version of the software.
What Can Production Scheduling Software Do for You?
Production scheduling software takes the hard work out of staffing, scheduling, and publishing work schedules, freeing you up to do more important things.
- Spend less time creating and publishing work schedules. Production scheduling software makes scheduling employees, editing information, analyzing data, and distributing employee work schedules easy and simple. Assign shop floors, equipment, tasks, work stations, breaks, and duties within each shift.
- Quickly fill a shift or find a substitute based on many criteria including job position, skills, availability, labor cost, work hour limits, and seniority.
- Prevent and alerts you to availability conflicts, duplicate shift assignments, overlapped shift assignments, and conflicts with scheduled time off.
- Know instantly where officers are assigned. No need to flip through pages of paper to see absentee, on-call, training, or overtime situations.
- Reduce the time to track and assign employee training, vacation and time off requests. Production scheduling software keeps you up to date on who will not be coming in to work and why. Its comprehensive reports provide details on planned vacation, training, and time off hours for any time period you select.
- Reduce labor costs and avoid unnecessary overtime. Production scheduling software lets you accurately track absences and forecast staffing needs to minimize over-staffing, which in turn reduces payroll costs. It automatically sums up employees’ work hours and costs; calculates overtime, on-call, time off, and incentive pays; and provides detailed cost reports so you know instantly if you are on budget.
- Keep scheduling and employee information in one place for easy access. Insert ID photos as well as employee contact information, authorized work stations, skills, available work hours for part-time and volunteers, and work hour constraints into employee records.
- Monitor attendance, work hours, and labor costs. Advanced employee scheduling software with time clock features lets you see exactly who clocked in and how your scheduled hours compare to the hours your employees are actually working.