It’s time to review your scheduling strategy – Floods, drought, fires, the pandemic, – it all affects our business operations during these unpredictable, uncertain times.

Even though the world, and certainly Australia, now purports to be in a ‘living with COVID’ phase, most businesses have been experiencing ongoing ramifications.

And chief among these is the continual challenge of workers either testing positive, with or without symptoms, to the virus or needing to isolate.

Short-notice absences, strict physical distancing requirements, and return-to-work procedures are just a few of the new workforce scheduling challenges brought about by the pandemic. More than ever, organizations need robust scheduling practices to stay resilient and nimble during these turbulent times.

How do you schedule a roster when the uncertainty in staff scheduling is usually determined in terms of workforce demand, availability of resources and work that needs to be done?

Pandemic or not, in today’s competitive environment, any processes that take more of an organisation’s time than they do for a rival business is a serious issue. And that’s why more and more businesses, across all industries, are looking to digitisation and automation to save both time and money for the most repetitive and time-consuming tasks.

For companies with a large shift-based workforce, particularly ones that are field service worker-based, one of the most onerous of these tasks is scheduling. If your business is still relying on manual processes to allocate jobs to your field service workers and technicians, you are simply bleeding money every day. Overspending on internal administrative operations is the result of companies that regard scheduling as a laborious chore that requires a significant level of effort and drains resources – especially if the business has a blended workforce, comprising regular staff, but also flexible full-timers, part-timers, contractors, self-employed workers and so on.

With no desks, no set times and no standard work weeks, scheduling can be a nightmare for the traditionally oriented.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Scheduling technology offers a range of invaluable advantages that can not only take care of the rosters and individual workflows of the entire team, but also ensure that no stage of any project or job gets overlooked – or thrown out of whack when a member of the team calls in sick or takes longer to complete the task than expected.

Scheduling via an all-encompassing software solution means:

  • A reduction in inefficiencies – it’s impossible to stress enough how automation can prevent error prone double-entries and, therefore, save so much on administration costs.
  • Faster field response times – without needing to consult potentially reams of paper-based documentation, the team in the back office are able to dispatch new work orders seamlessly and rapidly to the most appropriate field worker, whether that is the least busy or simply the nearest to the job.
  • Reliable and speedier transfer of data – a mobile application that is built to work reliably, regardless of mobile coverage, means that all scheduling information is available, continually updated as necessary and accessed at the touch of a screen.
  • Compliance ensured – automated scheduling and configurable workflows via purpose-built software takes into account all compliance requirements, with nothing left to chance or made the field worker’s own responsibility, including proof of delivery capture, meeting of SLAs (service level agreements) and adherence to safety procedures and protocols.
  • Reduced times to invoice – an add-on benefit for cash flow is the capability of automation software to invoice directly when the job is finished, eliminating the need to wait for the field worker to return the paperwork and manual input of the job description and completion details.

By implementing a powerful, all-encompassing and intuitive scheduling software solution, businesses can offer both their field service workforce and their customers swifter response times, clearer and more reliable work rosters, and the removal of human errors leading to such slip-ups as double bookings – basically an all-round superior service. Review your scheduling strategy now!