ShiftPlanning has been used at our facility for one year now. We are a college campus environment. Thus, scheduling for student workers can be a great challenge due to their dropping and adding classes and potential to working multiple part-time jobs, and of course, due to the differing course load, each student takes on. In the past, we used excel in combination with a learning management system to communicate and maintain student worker scheduling. I am the scheduler for student workers in our area. We have around 8-10 student workers, give or take which part of the year we are scheduling for. We schedule our shifts in a non-linear method. We like the availability feature that ShiftPlanning has. It is a static "when I am not available" table that you or your workers can fill out. At this point I supply entries into these availability tables based on student class schedules and external employment. We do this to prevent students from falsifying availability. ShiftPlannning has a pre-generate schedule wizarding system. This allows managers to schedule weeks, or months ahead of time, based on their current availability. If you are a manager for a college campus, then you may want to consider only doing this once a month for summers, and once a semester for spring and fall. You will be changing availability frequently during the beginning of each semester, almost all summer, and also during finals week. Duplicating the schedule for each week is as easy as two or three button taps on your mouse. Once a schedule is more concrete then this is super easy. During the high volatile periods mentioned above, we highly recommend not scheduling ahead of time. Just do one or two weeks worth of scheduling and make sure to communicate to everyone that the schedule will have a high degree of change. We have also enjoyed the use of the ping feature and other notifications to communicate to students when they should be at work.
The strongest features of ShiftPlanning are the many methods for communicating when a worker is to work (general scheduling), when policy changes or other changes at work need to be quickly and easily assimilated to all employees (dashboard notifications), and when notifications need to be sent to just individuals (ping). All of this communication can be managed in ShiftPlanning. Workers can set up their cell phones to receive important notifications. Administrators can control which methods are mandatory and which communication methods are not. A worker can elect to be notified via email and/or text prior to their shift starting. Workers can access ShiftPlanning from any device since this a cloud-based service. Workers are able to make vacation requests ahead of time, even when there is nothing posted for the actual schedule yet. We would recommend a 2-week requirement for this type of request. Otherwise, student workers can request off via a trade shift or drop-shift option, if short notice is provided. All trades can be set to approval first by manager. It is super easy to setup different worker types by area, or by responsibilities. Thus, if you are budgeting out hours between different areas (positions) then you can easily view the subtotal for each while scheduling who should work when. It also gives you a clear distinction in schedule mode as to who can actually work during the designated times you are generating (i.e. 10 AM ' 12 PM, 1 PM ' 2 PM').
The only concern that we have is with tweaking the trade shift and trade drop feature. Workers who are shown as available for the entire shift don't have the option to select parts of a shift that they are actually available for. Important meetings or events outside of work cannot always be accounted for using the availability feature. The only way this can be done is to not use a static schedule and go to making a policy for weekly updates. Then making it the student worker's responsibility to maintain their own work availability. In our case, we want to stay with a static scheduling system to help reduce the sense of a changing hectic work schedule for our student workers. Thus, students will benefit by having the ability to select from a portion of a shift trade rather than having only the option to pick up all or none of the shift being made available.
Value for money
Ease of use
Likelihood to recommend: 10/10