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The Power of Visual Scheduling Systems

Visual scheduling systems are a huge benefit for schedulers as well as employees. They help you spot visual patterns to improve your schedule quality, save time, and also save money. But, why?

Employee scheduling can be a complex and time-consuming process. The schedule has to satisfy multiple requirements and finding a good solution is challenging. Generic employee scheduling solutions for tasks such as employee rotations, site coverage, and forecast requirements are often saved and reused as a set of scheduling templates/patterns that make visual recognition much easier. However, visual scheduling systems save that workload and make scheduling easier for schedulers.

When unexpected changes or human mistakes happen, “noise” is introduced into the expected patterns. A visual presentation of the schedule data can make this “noise” visible and easy to fix. Visual patterns can significantly reduce the time needed to create complex scheduling templates, identify problems and improve existing schedules.

What are Visual Scheduling Systems?

Why visual scheduling systems are so powerful

Visual scheduling is one of the most comprehensive solutions for planning, project management, staff tracking and assignments. Any business that relies on shift work would benefit from using a visual scheduling system. It helps both employees and schedulers keep track of their schedules.

Why Visual Patterns Matter

Visual patterns are everywhere. We see and remember the world around us with associations. Our brain matches the currently visible frame with a visual pattern we already know. If we cannot find an existing visual pattern, we will make one up. Fast visual pattern recognition is what helped animals survive and evolve into what they are today.

The human brain understands visual information better than text. We have been communicating with each other for approximately 30,000 years, but we have only been using text/numbers for about 3,700 years.

Every day, 90 percent of the information transmitted to our brain is visual. We process visual information 60,000 times faster than text. MIT neuroscientists found that the brain can identify images seen for as little as 13 milliseconds, click here for more info. All of this contributes to why visual scheduling systems are so advantageous.  

Text vs visual – data presentation and editing

Let’s define a simple scheduling requirement: A customer needs a security guard at a site 24/7 for 5 days.

During the schedule build process, the schedule may have to be changed multiple times to handle exceptions and satisfy customer, employee, company, union, and other requirements. With each change, the scheduler must quickly identify and correct problems and errors.

Let’s see how easy it is to find and fix problems in the site coverage if only grid/ text data is presented. In the example below, we have a standard Excel-style grid/text view where each row represents one shift record, which is a single instance of an employee working on a single day. How long will it take you to identify the problem using this Excel view below?

The downfall of non visual scheduling systems
Excel view – shift records

Even with features like grid sorting, filtering, and column move, it is not easy to find the problem in the Excel view here. This view represents data only for one site with three employees covering 5 days. Schedulers usually deal with multiple sites and employees’ coverage requirements.

The same scheduling data presented using a visual scheduling system would be far easier to read and analyse. The human brain is able to detect the “noise” in the pattern in milliseconds. Compare this with a lengthy review of text line by line, cell by cell in Excel. The user can fix the problem with a simple drag and drop with an effective visual scheduling system.

Why you should use Visual Scheduling Systems

There is a wide range of benefits when it comes to visual scheduling systems. When it comes to using any tool for your business, it should help you save either time or money, right? Well, visual scheduling systems can help you do both.

Reduce Schedule Errors

As mentioned above, visual scheduling systems help you spot, and fix errors. But what does this translate to in terms of savings for your business? First off, time is saved when reviewing employee schedules. A quick glance will generally highlight any errors that need to be corrected. Celayix Visual Scheduler will alert you of any double bookings, empty shift slots and even overtime assignments. This will reduce the time spent on employee scheduling overall, making it more efficient.

Reduce missed shifts and late check-ins

While visual scheduling systems do primarily help schedulers, they also help employees. With a visual scheduling system like Celayix, employees can view their schedule clearly. This helps to reduce the likelihood of missed shifts and/or late check-ins. Missed shifts aren’t just a problem for your business; they affect your customers or clients. Regular missed shifts or late arrivals can result in a loss of business. Visual scheduling systems make it easy for employees to see their shifts, shift information, and any other crucial information. They also save you time on having to find replacements for those missed shifts, which is also made easier with Celayix Visual Scheduler. Celayix Find Replacement tool curates a list of qualified and available employees to fill missed shifts. Time saved = money saved!

Create Employee Scheduling Processes

The key to scaling any business is being able to create processes around your operations. A huge chunk of time is often dedicated to employee scheduling through manual processes like Excel. However, with visual scheduling systems, schedulers can create clear processes around employee scheduling. This can result in huge time savings, as we’ve seen with a lot of our clients. One of our home healthcare clients reduced their scheduling time by over 20 hours!

Overall, visual scheduling systems simply make life easier. Once you make the switch to a visual employee scheduling system like Celayix, you’ll never look back! If you’d like to explore our Visual Scheduler, you can check out a product tour here, or reach out to our Solutions Advisors for a free, custom demo.

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