Buying guide for scheduling program

If you find yourself overwhelmed with numerous notes or unsatisfied with Excel files for scheduling, it could be time to upgrade to a scheduling program. Our guide can be helpful in such situations by providing insights into the advantages of using a scheduling program, the features you can expect, and the factors to consider when selecting one. Additionally, if you already have a program that doesn't meet your needs, this guide can still be useful to you.

January 1, 2019

Common functions

In a scheduling program, managers can easily plan, monitor, and schedule staff while employees can access their schedules, sign up for open shifts, and communicate with colleagues. Typically, scheduling programs offer a range of features such as the ability to:

     - create and modify work schedules

     - communicate with coworkers

     - report time

     - transfer data to salary and invoice systems

     - get statistics

     - track budget and costs

     - have online access for multiple platforms

     - schedule and report via mobile app

Pros with a schedule program

With a scheduling program, the time you use for scheduling can be reduced from hours to minutes. You can improve the precision of scheduling and be better prepared for sudden changes. Communication with employees can be improved, which can reduce absenteeism and staff turnover. All these advantages help you to save both money and time and at the same time create happier employees.

Save time with increased efficiency and accuracy

A scheduling program automates processes so you don't have to do the same tasks manually over and over again. Some great time-saving features are templates and rolling schedules One of the main benefits of a scheduling program is the ability to quickly create, view, and modify a schedule. Changes become immediately available to employees on their mobiles, so they always have the latest schedule with them. With electronic time reports, you easily keep track of hours worked and can pay the correct wages. Many scheduling programs also have connections to both payroll and invoicing systems.

Plan needs and monitor costs

A scheduling program enables you to easily keep track of hours, payroll, and invoice information, providing valuable insights into your current and future income and costs. The program generates summaries of scheduled and worked hours as well as invoicing amounts per month. Additionally,  you can plan your staffing needs well in advance, without notifying employees of every change you make. This feature is particularly useful for forecasting and budgeting, as it provides an estimate of occupancy and staffing costs well in advance.

Improve communication

By providing staff with the ability to access their schedules online, send and receive messages, and receive reminders electronically, many scheduling misunderstandings can be avoided. Employees can handle last-minute changes themselves. For instance, if someone cannot work, they can check their colleagues' schedules and contact an available person via the mobile app. The scheduler can also use the scheduling program to send out a request for someone to take a particular shift, and staff can respond via the web or mobile phone. To make things even simpler, employees can indicate their availability in advance by reporting it in the system. By involving employees in scheduling, they gain greater control over their work hours, and managers save time on administration.

Keep track of labor laws and union requirements

A scheduling program can be used to automatically track employee work hours to prevent violations of labor laws and union requirements. This ensures that you are always in compliance with the regulations and can avoid penalties.


Basic functions that should be present

     - scheduling

     - time reporting

     - access from multiple platforms

     - mobile app

     - salary and invoice agreements

A plus if this exists

     - connection to payroll system

     - connection to invoice system

Extra functions depending on the business

     - statistics

     - time clock

     - customer login

     - recruitment

     - project

     - budget and forecasts

Other things you should consider


Choose a program with features that benefit both managers and employees. With a mobile app, you can handle scheduling even when you're on the go – and employees have access to the schedule wherever they are. If multiple people are going to be responsible for scheduling, you should be able to see changes and who made them. To facilitate and reduce administration, it is important to be able to transfer information directly to the payroll and invoicing systems.


You need functions that allow you to register the employees' positions, skills and working hours. You also need functions to associate a department and workplace with an employee and alert you to scheduling issues so you can resolve them in a timely manner. You should also look for a program that allows employees to respond to requests for open shifts and change shifts with colleagues. It should also be easy for employees to request time off.


Another important feature is reports. There are programs that allow you to create both customized reports and standard reports including information about your projects, customers, staff and their assignments. For example, you should be able to track how much hours in total your staff has worked to make sure that overtime hours do not go over the set limit.

Budget och forecasts

If you have a larger business, you may wish to be able to integrate the scheduling program with your CRM tool or HR system in order to be able to make budgets and forecasts for the business. Then you probably need a more comprehensive scheduling system that is in the higher price range. Otherwise, you can probably get by with the reports and statistics functions that are standard in most scheduling programs.


Even if you find the most easy-to-use program, it is still necessary to have access to technical assistance. There are providers that offer 24/7 service and those that offer only the most basic. Many offer customer service via phone, email and chat. Find out if support is included or if it costs extra.

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