Having Trouble Scheduling Employees? Service Scheduling Software can Help
Balancing the day to day, keeping an eye on overhead costs, building your book of business, and managing your employees all have one thing in common: employee and job scheduling.
If you can’t get your scheduling right, each of these areas of your business will bear the burden. If you’re trying to do it with pen and paper, a calendar, or a spreadsheet, then you might be making things harder for yourself. Something like service scheduling software will help you out tremendously.
Scheduling is critical to the success of your business. If you’re not strategic, it’ll affect your overhead costs. If you’re inefficient, your quality of service and reputation will suffer. If you don’t respect your employee’s schedules, expect their performance to plummet and your turnover to skyrocket.
How do you ace scheduling? By using software. If you’re not sure what that is, and how it can help you, don’t worry. Here’s everything you need to know so you can make your employee scheduling a breeze.
In this article we’ll cover:
- What service scheduling software is
- When it’s time to adopt this software
- How to use it to schedule your employees
- How to find the right software for your field service business
- Why you should use a software solution
1. What is service scheduling or job scheduling software?
Service scheduling software (sometimes called job scheduling software) helps businesses schedule their team across different job sites and tasks. Software, like Jobber, is used as an alternative to spreadsheets, pen and paper, and online calendars because it offers a more efficient, easier solution to this fundamental business operation.
Jobber is designed specifically for field service businesses. It works with your natural workflow and needs. It gives dispatchers, schedulers, and business owners a view into crew locations are, job and tasks assignment, and various calendar views.
With it, you’re able to understand how your schedule is organized based on employee skill sets, days off, and work schedules. This way, you may schedule the right employees into the right jobs at the right time with the right team.
Hal Denbar, Owner of Patriot Pool and Spa
Our technicians live and die by Jobber’s schedule. It’s made everything more efficient. Jobber saved us an hour to two a day minimum, over 5 times a week, that adds up to a lot of money.
2. When is it time to start using this software solution?
The truth of the matter is that there’s never a bad time to start using software. That being said, it’s better to use it sooner rather than later! The last thing you want is your business to get so busy that you don’t have time to implement good operational procedures. Adopting software early can help you dodge that bullet.
When is it the right time to start using software? Here are some great use cases:
- You feel that it’s challenging to organize your crew’s day-to-day schedule because you have several employees
- You need to add in new jobs or reassign jobs throughout the day because of new work requests
- You need an easier way to organize and understand your crew’s schedule so you can see the difference between client visits, errands and tasks, and consistent jobs
- You need to ensure that each crew is staffed with techs who have the right skill sets for each job
- You need to view individual schedules while also keeping an eye on the crew’s schedule
- You need to have a bird’s eye view on your crew’s day, week, and month
If you only have one or two employees then you might be able to get away with using some alternatives like Google Calendar, or a spreadsheet. However, if you want your business to run efficiently, then you should consider using software. A good scheduling software will stack with other business operations, like your client information and accounts, quoting and invoicing workflow, payment processing, and more.
Interested in making your scheduling easier?
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3. How to use field service scheduling software
There are tons of ways that you can use software solutions in practice. But if you’re not sure about how it works, here are two workflow examples, and how to do this with Jobber.
- Using Jobber you can start off by creating jobs in your calendar and staff them afterwards. Create a job based on the number of site visits it will need (we call this a recurring job), and schedule those site visits for as long as need be (i.e one week, one month, or one year, etc.). From there, you can view the calendar filled with scheduled jobs and assign techs or crew members to them.
- View your Jobber calendar using month view, then click on the day that you want to work with. When you click “show on grid view” you can simply drag and drop unscheduled work into the calendar and assign crews or techs all one go. You can even create multiple visits at once!
Biran Boase, Owner of MIL SPEC
Jobber is one of the, if not the best tool you could have in your arsenal. Once set up, it does everything you could want it to. From client email reminders, crew schedules, route optimization, expense tracking, invoicing, time management, etc. Best part is, you can do it all while on the fly from your phone. It really does take the guess work out of everything.
4. How to find a good service scheduling software
There are so many options on the market! It’s difficult to find the best one for your business. Some options are free, others are subscription only. Some are designed specifically for medium-sized home service business owners, others are more one-size fits all solutions that can work for different types of businesses.
Here are some things to look for in your next scheduling software:
- The best scheduling software options out there will be easy to use, and also offer support over live chat or phone so you always have support when you need it.
- It integrates with your other software solutions (such as QuickBooks) to create a powerful and efficient addition to your business operations. Integrations also help you avoid duplicated data, which saves you time down the line.
- It offers you more features than scheduling to truly help you improve your business efficiency. Some job scheduling software options, like Jobber, also offer client relationship management tools (CRM), invoicing, quoting, epayments, and more. When everything stacks, you can run an efficient business.
- It allows you to set up recurring jobs and tasks easily. Whether your job is just one visit or 100 visits, or you visit your client every second Tuesday of the month, you should be able to customize your recurring schedule. If things change, then it should be easy to move or edit.
- The software should be flexible for in-field use. This can either be in the form of an app or mobile-friendly website.
- Your scheduling software should be user-friendly and help you distinguish between scheduled items like jobs, site-visits, appointments, to-dos, and which crews and techs are assigned to them.
- Your team should be able to access their calendar, get notifications, and see their day schedule so they can stay on track with you.
- Calendar views should be flexible enough to give you a monthly bird’s-eye view of your schedules, along with a weekly, daily, map, or grid view.
- The scheduling software should make it easy for your to dispatch crews when need be, since new jobs and tasks might come up throughout the day. A map view of your team’s day sheet can help you make strategic dispatching decisions.
Rachel Cheung, Owner of Hope Cleaning
I really like team view a lot because there are a lot of times when I'm out and about and I need to see what everyone is doing so that I can schedule them.
5. Why use job scheduling software?
Simply put, job scheduling software will just make your life easier. With it, you can accept jobs quicker and operate more efficiently than your competitors can. Your entire team can be on the same page, and instantly know about scheduling changes as they come up.
Instead of having a schedule set in stone because you’re using pen and paper, you’ll be able to more control and flexibility with your schedule when you use software. Plus, you’ll get a live view of what’s happening on a daily basis so you can make good decisions when you schedule or dispatch your techs.
At the end of the day, service scheduling software helps you run more efficiently. You can’t grow efficiently if you don’t have a good strategy to handle growth. Tracy Logan, co-owner of Logan Tree Experts says it best: “We’ve grown so much over the years that I could never handle what we do now the way we used to. I spend the majority of my time in Jobber scheduling site visits, or jobs and communicating with clients.”
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