eProphet.NET scheduling

American Football Coach, Tom Landry once said, "Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan."

Like most business you are probably experience peaks and lows in your hours of trading?

Could your business benefit from knowing exactly how many employees you actually require on the floor to handle those peaks and then down time periods? If you answered yes, then Abcom’s eProphet.NET Scheduling Solutions can offer you a scheduling solution that you can utilise to improve employee efficiency and meet customer service expectations.

Staff scheduling software systems can often offer a wide range of services. Many of them can keep track of how many employees you have on the shift for a particular times during the day. They might also make it easier for you to communicate updated schedules to employees by printing out individual and group schedules, sending schedules via email.

As you begin to set out an employee schedule, there are some issues that require just a little thought. To begin with, the process should always be cost effective and not become so incredibly awkward that you spend more time with staff scheduling than you do running your own business. Second, a business needs to make it integrated and effective. You don't want to waste time with careless and out of touch scheduling.

Whether your employee schedule comes from existing software such as Excel, specialised scheduling software such as Abcom’s eProphet.NET Scheduling or even some of the online technologies, they're all viable options depending on the precise needs of your company. In making the most of employee scheduling, you'll needs to concentrate on what works best for you and your employees. For instance, if most of your employees have access to the Internet then a web interactice work scheduler could be your best option. Nevertheless, before you alter the way you schedule employees, there are a few items to consider, such as:

1. You could try using Microsoft Excel for staff scheduling. But it is cumbersome and not very accurate for labour costings or maintaining historical informaiton.

2. Seek out a labour scheduling software solution to maximise efficiency. 3. Use the Internet to help with employee scheduling solutions.

Consider existing software for employee scheduling

Most computers already have Microsoft Excel. You could consider using this application to create schedules. This option is best for companies that can't afford to purchase new software platforms, so you can still make the most of employee scheduling, be aware of the list of restrictions that comes with Excel for this purpose.

  1. Rates of pay are not automatically increased after birthdays
  2. Awards and Workplace agreements are not correctly interpreted
  3. Rules are not applied
  4. More often labour costings are not accurate
  5. Staff are easily over or under rostered
  6. Difficult to export Scheduling to the Internet

Specialised employee scheduling software

Another option is to purchase stand-alone software, which has the sole designed purpose of creating schedules for employees. Generally this software is more expensive, but has much more functionality.

You should also know some of the common guidelines that should govern your company's scheduling in order to make the most of any software application.Industry designed Scheduling software integrates with a payroll system that then serves as an award interpretation engine.

Rules, conditions, regulations, minimum shift lengths and other critical award or agreement conditions are factored into the selection of employees when creating a schedule.

When Abcom’s eProphet.NET’s scheduling solutions is teamed with Abcom’s eProphet.Net Payroll and LabourGuard timeclock ensures your Awards are correctly applied in the Scheduling, Payroll and Time Attendance aspects of your business.

Preferences

Abcom’s ePropohet.NET Scheduling Solutions enables you to add and retain considerable individual preferences relating to every individual employee.

Number of hours preferred both maximum and minimum, number of days preferred. Comprehensive reporting and guidance through schedule preparation will assist you in ensuring that you exceed the minimum expectations and do not exceed the maximum preferences.

Employee Availability

Employee availabilities are maintained both at management and individual employee level. Employees can access their permanent availability online and modify both their permanent and temporary availability.

Restrictions can be imposed to ensure employees do not consistently reduce their available work times over time so as to render themselves almost impossible to schedule.

Specific time slots can be locked down prohibiting employees from excluding themselves from working certain trading periods, especially if they were engaged to work that specific time period example Saturday evenings.

Shift Replacement

A great scheduling solution will provide a mechanism to assist in filling a shift at short notice. At 5.30 pm Saturday night and the dinner service is starting to ramp up and one of your wait staff calls in sick at extremely short notice.

Already you are feeling it and need to fill that shift promptly, how much time will you spend on the phone looking for available staff at such short notice?

You have made 3 calls already to mobile numbers and they are not answering as they probably recognise the number and chose to let it go to voice mail. eProphet.NET offers a SMS/text solution that integrates with your Scheduling Solutions package.

Simply locate the shift in the daily schedule and request suitable, competent and available staff member from the searched list and an automated test message is forwarded to all suitable employees.

Several messages offering a shift sent in a matter of seconds sent to suitable replacements.

Interested employees can choose to ring or return the SMS to accept the shift.

Whereas it may never be easy to fill a Saturday night shift at short notice the ability to broadcast “a shift” on offer to several employees quickly can be a life saver, especially when you need to get back to looking after your customers.

Employee Skills, training and competency

Work stations can be created to suit your business individual needs.

Why settle for an “off the shelf” or generic work station descriptions that locks you into some foreign culture that uses such terms as “KP duty” when you might prefer to call it “wash up.” Abcom’s eProphet.NET’s Scheduling solutions is totally configurable, create workstations that your staff are familiar with.Staff competency can be recorded in five levels ranging from no-skill to Outstanding.

When shifts are allocated and employees are selected your can select the level of skill you require for the specified rush period.Training minimums can be determined and levels of training required assessed and can be recorded.

Better to train them and have them leave, than not train them and have them stay.Cross training is variety, with this commitment to teach your employees news skills and task that in turn increases loyalty.

Employees are far less likely to seek alternative employment if you make the simple investment in them personally.

Many of the most successful business owners achieve success because they invest heavily in their people.

“If you work just for money, you'll never make it, but if you love what you're doing and you always put the customer first, success will be yours.” Ray Kroc

The right person for the job

It is vital that the right person is selected for the right position at the right time. It is important to have the right blend of skills, competency and leadership to get through the demands of a busy lunch or dinner period. A great scheduling solution takes into consideration these vital elements when you create a great schedule.

Recasting

Another part of the puzzle is accurately projecting your sales and in turn you’re precise staffing levels and needs.

Take the guess work out, use historical information and saved sales patterns to accurately forecast your sales right down to quarter hour segments. If 15 minute intervals are little over the top then try one hour segments, but, take the time to analyse your sales trends and learn to accommodate them with correct staffing levels.We create great schedules for one primary reason “to build sales.”

If we staff correctly we have anticipated our sales patterns and we have accommodated the expectations of our guests.

eProphet.NET Scheduling provides a centralised warehouse of sales data taken from the day to day operation of your business.

Use this wealth of data to accurately forecast future sales.

Individual daily schedules can be saved and re-cycled.

Take all the guess work out of running your business.

"An unsophisticated forecaster uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts - for support rather than for illumination."

Andrew Lang

Time attendance solutions

There are a whole range of issues that formulate and effective and reliable scheduling solution. If you have dedicated your time to preparing a relevant and sales building schedule only to have it potentially unravel itself at the time clock face.Abcom’s Labourguard System is an intelligent time attendance system that intermeshes with our Payroll and Scheduling solutions.

Our total labour control solutions package gives you full control of your labour expenditure in real time.

Scheduled shifts can be exported to the Time attendance device restricting starting times to exactly match and employees’ scheduled start time. We are not suggesting modifying an employee’s clockings but disabling the time clock from accepting their time punch until it matches the schedule commencement time.This feature may not suit all businesses; however, one Abcom customer with over one hundred staff was delighted at the implementation of this feature.

With in excess of four hundred scheduled shifts a week this busy Restaurant calculated it was spending almost twenty thousand dollars a year just in employees’ clocking in as little as five minutes earlier once or twice a week per employee.Additional opportunities for penalty payments can be minimised by Abcom Labourguard.

Many restaurant awards stipulate there must be a ten hour break between schedule shifts.

But, what happens when a business owner schedules one shift to finish at 10pm one night and the next shift to commence at 8am the very next morning?

The ten hour rule has been accommodated, but, what if this employee clocks off at 10.10pm and then clocks back on at 8.00 am the next morning?

Nobody notices and technically this shift must be paid at penalty rates as there was a simple error and only nine hours and fifty minutes between shifts.Abcom Labourguard is programmed to minimise the movement into penalty rates. In the above circumstances LabourGuard would have blocked this person clocking entry until the ten hour rule had been complied with.

Simply it will lock this employee out of the time clock until ten hours has passed.Of course you may wish to start this employee a full ten minutes early and deal with the penalty payment.

Most business owners would not. In addition many awards stipulate a full thirty minute break must be taken before six hours of continuous work occurs.
Easy enough to implement, but, what if I as an employee return and clock back on at 29 minutes?

Yes, another penalty incurred it needs to be a perfect thirty minutes and a penalty is paid until I as an employer comply.

Never under estimate your employees intelligence, if a penalty can be incurred through loopholes like the “29 minute” break scenario some staff will always work it to their advantage.Abcom’s Scheduling and Time Attendance solutions are designed to ensure your award or individual agreements are followed and protect not only you, but, your employees too.

Abcom’s LabourGuard
system pays to the exact minute so no nasty rounding up or staff “time wasting” until that magic time arrives when you “round up.”

Labour Law Compliance

Would your current payroll program survive an audit by Fair Work Australia?

Does your payroll system have a powerful award interpretation engine designed to ensure that all incurred penalties are paid and that you are 100% compliant?

Do you have a Labour System that accurately processes employee’s time attendance and can deliver actual labour costings in real time?

Do you have a Labour System that calculates labour expenditure accurately and brings anomalies and inconsistencies into focus in real time for prompt attention and not days later during the payroll process when no one can remember?

Does your current Labour analysis system bring to your attention well in advance that an employee is about to enter penalty payment period unless you take action to avoid this?How well do you know your Award or agreement, would you know where to look who to turn to?

Abcom has competent specialists in creating payroll systems that comply and ensure you are adhering to every aspect of the award or agreement.www.fwa.gov.au Fair Work Australia Web Site

Summary

Abcom has developed a full suite of Business Solutions to cover the complete operation of your business. Our solutions packages are in use in over 35,000 businesses globally.

Our products can be tailored to accommodate your needs and we offer solutions not “out of the box” packages where one size fit all.

Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.
Jack Welch.


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