Chances are you’ve heard of the many benefits that come with a good scheduling app and you are now in the process of acquiring one for your company. Well, congratulations are in order because you’ve definitely made a wise decision.
But as you’ve probably heard from friends and acquaintances, finding a scheduling software application that fits your organization like a glove is not an easy task. But don’t worry because this article is all about helping you to find a system that is worth your time and money.
First, as you probably know, there are a wide range of scheduling solutions available today, all with different benefits and features. To help you choose the one that is right or your business, here are some important questions you need to ask your provider before making a decision:
- Is the software comprehensive enough to suit your company’s needs?
Most employee scheduling applications are designed to handle uncomplicated scheduling problems. In fact, such systems, most of which happen to be the free and low-priced kind, can be said to be just a small step up from manual scheduling.
While a free scheduling app or a cheap one might suit your organization if you happen to have a small staff, we advise you to get a premium app if you intend to get the real benefits of a scheduling app, especially if you happen to have complicated scheduling challenges, and also if you have business and labor laws to consider.
In short, if your business has more than a few dozen staff members, a free scheduling app is definitely not the best scheduling solution for you.
- Can the app grow with you?
A good scheduling solution should be able to grow along with your business. If you were to add another department to your business, would the system be in a position to effectively meet the needs of the new department as well as the needs of the existing ones? Choose a scheduling software application that will be able to expand with you even as your business expands.
- Does your provider understand your line of business and your specific scheduling needs?
A professional employee scheduling system vendor or provider must be able to do proper research so as to understand the scheduling challenges faced by all industries. If your provider does not understand the scheduling problems you face in your line of business, don’t expect them to provide you with an effective solution.
Start by asking about the customers they have handled so far and also if they have handled any in your sector. Ask for references too, a reputable provider will not have a problem referring you to their current customers to reassure you of their proficiency.
- Does the employee scheduling app carry the features you need?
As you know, different organizations have different scheduling challenges. These are the challenges you should be considering when choosing scheduling software. If your organization is union-based, we recommend a system that will support rules-based scheduling. If your line of business accommodates mobile or remote employees, make sure the software you choose will be able to accommodate such employees too.
- Do they provide support for users who require assistance?
Most business owners and managers often overlook support and maintenance during the buying process. This might be because they assume that the service is inclusive of the pricing. It is however important to inquire about additional fees and limited hours.
It is also wise to inquire about upgrades and new versions, especially with on-premise installations. This is because the version you are purchasing is likely to be discontinued as technology advances, and your providers may have to introduce a new version in time.
A new version will require you to upgrade the software and the hardware as well. While it might be possible for your organization to continue using an older version of a scheduling app for as long as possible, the company might discontinue support at some point, and this can create major problems. Nevertheless, you can avoid this kind of situation by choosing a cloud-based solution.
- Can the application be integrated with payroll and other financial systems?
This is one question that you just cannot forget to ask your scheduling software providers. How the application will integrate to other software at work is among the various factors that will determine the value you will be getting out of your money.
If your payroll administrators will still have to prepare the payroll manually, they will be working harder than they have to. A premium scheduling app should be able to export and import relevant data to your payroll system.