Poor scheduling is one of the easiest ways to waste your company’s resources. You know that situations can change in the blink of an eye, and one small unexpected event can create the need to reformulate an entire shift schedule. It’s a scheduling manager’s nightmare. Proper planning and scheduling can reduce the frustrations caused by unforeseen circumstances, save time, make your employees more productive and foster maximum efficiency.
Scheduling is Time Consuming
Let’s face it: Scheduling can be one of the most time-consuming tasks for a manager. You’re trying to match the best team member to various tasks, while making efficient use of time and ensuring that customers or clients have their needs met in a timely fashion. In other words, you can agonize over a single day’s schedule for hours.
The other issue is the need to frequently change schedules at the last minute. Whether someone calls off, a customer calls in with an urgent need that trumps standard maintenance calls or another factor necessitates a change, these last-minute change-ups can take more than just a few minutes to remedy.
Inefficient Schedules Waste Time
Not only does the scheduling process itself take valuable time, but inefficient schedules mean you’re wasting everyone’s time. If your team has lag times between appointments that aren’t necessary for planning or documentation, or you’re sending a field worker across town several times in the course of a day, you could probably do a better job at utilizing your resources more efficiently. In this case, you’re wasting both time and other resources, such as fuel.
Schedule Changes Cause Confusion
If you find yourself making last-minute modifications, you can leave your staff confused and even send them in the wrong direction from time to time. That means wasted time figuring out who’s actually supposed to be doing what. Your team could be standing around waiting for final instructions, especially if you weren’t prepared with a backup plan.
It’s not just your staff that you need to schedule, but equipment and other essential resources, as well. It’s not uncommon for teams to be at a standstill while they wait for the availability of other resources required to get the job done. There’s always the possibility for unforeseen delays, but adequate scheduling and planning for potential setbacks can keep your teams running at full speed instead of sitting idle.
The Solution: Workforce Management Software
There is a solution that eliminates the majority of these problems: Workforce management software. With a sophisticated software program that can be scaled and customized to meet the specific needs of your organization, you can easily allocate the right team members and other resources to every project, maximizing efficiency. When you use a solution hosted in the cloud, even team members in the field can be instantly alerted to last-minute changes and plan accordingly to refocus their days.
In today’s economy, time and other resources are too valuable to go to waste. Take advantage of software tools that enable you to make the most of your time and your staff’s time, eliminate confusion and streamline processes that will keep your customers satisfied, too.
Robert Stanley is a content producer at ClickSoftware field service white paper; a company which also offers a variety of resources on capacity planning and mobile business apps.