What to look for in Employee Scheduling Software

Employee Scheduling Software

Author: Kieran Dhaliwal

In any purchase the question of “why should I buy?” should and does come to mind. In the purchase process for employee scheduling software, there are a few questions you should ask yourself before both searching for a vendor and signing a contract. In our previous blog “Is Employee Scheduling Software Right for You?” we went through an analysis of when automated scheduling becomes important to an organization. Now that you have decided you want, the next hurdle is picking the right company to work with.

Asking the Right Questions

In the search for anything new, the difficultly is often asking the right questions. To make things easier for you, we have a guide of questions to ask yourself as well as your sales representative when evaluating the right employee scheduling and time & attendance provider for your organization. Take a look below to make sure you ask the right questions to get a system that both fits your needs and will give you maximum value.

Question 1: What am I trying to solve?

What are your scheduling headaches right now? Is it the number of staff you have to schedule? Is it the complexity of the scheduling? Or is it something completely specific to the way your business operates? – These are good starting questions when you are evaluating a scheduling provider, regardless of your industry. It is very important you know your pain points going in and make it clear those are priorities for you.

Question 2: What Are My Needs vs. My Wants? 

We recommend having a list of “Must Haves” and a list of “Nice to Haves”. For example, a “Must Have” might be a system that ties into your payroll or billing software making it easy to ensure payroll data and invoices are correct. A “Nice to Have” may be a system that sends SMS texts to your employees reminding them of upcoming shifts. Both may make life easier, but one has more direct value. Sticking to your “Must Haves” and “Nice to Haves” will make sure you are not compromising for a system that has nice frills, but doesn’t meet your core requirements.

TIP: If you work with a development focused company, you may find that your “nice to haves” may be coming in the future. There is no harm in asking or suggesting a product improvement. This is a great way to gauge if the company is open to feedback.

Question 3: What type of Company do I want to work with?

When looking for a software vendor, you will find everything from cheap to expensive, and everything in between. Often, solution will be similar on the surface, but when signing a contract, there are other things you should take into consideration about your vendor. Two important aspects to look at are the company’s reputation and their customer lifespan. Take a look on websites such as Capterra or other online review sites for what customers have said about working with them. You can take it a step further by asking your sales representative about the average life time of a customer. Some companies may tell you they have millions of users, but how long do those users stay active? It may be for a few years or a few months, or even less. Knowing how long they keep customers on average will give you good insight into customer satisfaction.

Question 4: What Happens When I Grow?

If you are a growing company who may change their needs in the future, ask questions about the product vision and product flexibility. What is their customer size range? What is their focus for future product improvements? The answers to these questions will give you a good idea of if this company is going to grow with you or if you will need to be looking for a new vendor once you outgrow them.

Question 5: What will be my ROI?

Any big investment that is promising to save you time and money will likely have a nice price tag attached. The question should be how much will this save me? To answer that question, you will have to examine the financial areas of improvement. Do you have high overtime costs? Is the current system error prone? Does it require high overhead? All of these questions will help you figure out your ROI. Your potential provider should be able to help you identify the answers to these question with an ROI Calculator. This is a good stepping stone in determining if the system provides you enough value. You may even find that an automated system can pay for itself and then some in savings within the first year.

With that list above you are well equipped to start your purchasing process by asking the right questions for your organization!

To read a more detailed guide on how to best purchase employee scheduling software, take a look at our free white paper, “How to Buy Scheduling Software”. This guide goes into more detail about the above steps as well as provides a How to Buy Worksheet to help you in your next purchase. To view PDF version, please click here.

Celayix Software has been a leading provider of Employee Scheduling and Time & Attendance software for over 17 years. As a development driven company, we are always eager to hear new needs in the scheduling and time collection industry. For any feedback, questions, or comments, feel free to contact the Celayix Team anytime at educate@celayix.com or through our toll free number 1-888-591-5558. To hear about our clients purchasing experience and what led them to Celayix, take a look at our Case Study Page for clients of all sizes and industries.