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Scheduling Automation – The AMAZING ROI of Automation

Organizations are rapidly adopting automation within their scheduling practices and realizing the amazing returns and benefits on their investments. Building a business case for investing in automation is easier than ever with so much low hanging fruit when it comes to ROI for scheduling automation.

Monday August 31, 2020

Organizations are rapidly adopting automation within their scheduling practices and realizing the amazing returns and benefits on their investments. Building a business case for investing in automation is easier than ever with so much low hanging fruit when it comes to ROI for scheduling automation.

Plan for these 7 areas of savings when building your business case:

1. Reduction in time to fill shifts

Before automated scheduling: Schedulers typically spend between 1 and 4 hours to fill one shift using manual phone calls to find relief, in fact in some complex organizations’ schedulers may work on filling one difficult to fill shift all day.  

With automated scheduling: Each Scheduler can fill hundreds of shifts in a day using automated call outs. With the automated launch of open shifts and expression of interest opportunities to hundreds of staff simultaneously, Schedulers find relief for open shifts in minutes rather than hours, bringing efficiency to the organization.

2. Reduction in relief not found

A key indicator in many organizations, particularly where labour relations or union involvement is strong. Before automated scheduling organizations report 4 to 10 % of all shifts never found a replacement. Often scheduling offices were so behind trying to fill shifts that some shifts never even got called out.

After automated scheduling: Less than 1% of shifts were relief not found on average. Schedulers start the day with a clean slate of shifts to be filled with virtually no back log of shifts to be called out, giving them time to work on those hard to fill shifts with just the click of a launch shift callout button!

3. Reduction in FTE Schedulers required

Before automated scheduling: Many schedulers required to carry out manual processes with call ins, call outs and communication with the unit managers.

After automated scheduling: Schedulers can now manage hundreds of shifts every day. One large healthcare organization reported a savings of $1 Million in the first year post automation of its scheduling practices in costs associated with FTE Schedulers.

4. Reduction in overtime costs

Before automated scheduling: Schedulers often had to “bargain” with staff on the phone offering them overtime (or free pizza) just to take a hard to fill shift.

After automated scheduling: Calling out a shift to hundreds of staff at once increases the chances of finding someone to pick up the shift without having to pay overtime. New employees now see the vacant shift availability as the expression of interest window opens up visibility to all staff, not just senior staff that continually get called for open shifts. All staff interested in the shift respond giving schedulers the opportunity to award the shift to an employee without needing to pay overtime if they choose.

5. Retention of Scheduling Officers

Before automated scheduling: Schedulers worked in a chaotic environment, with little job satisfaction (dealing with lots of escalated unhappy managers and staff all day every day).

With automated scheduling in place: Schedulers love their job! Some for the first time in 20 years! The schedulers role is no longer a transient one, with schedulers now expressing increased satisfaction in their ability to carry out their role with efficiency.

6. Labour relations improved. Reduction in Grievances

If improving your employee and labour relations is important at your organization, scheduling automation is sure to be a welcome addition in your toolkit. Technology ensures equitable distribution of shifts and fair scheduling practices that replace manual and inconsistent scheduling.

Before automated scheduling: Schedulers bargaining with staff on the phone to take a shift or a portion of a hard to fill shift and offering perks to come into work or stay longer on the floor to cover vacancies.

With automated scheduling: Schedulers now consistently launch shift callouts via text, email and phone to all eligible employees. All employees are given the same visibility to see open shifts and all qualified employees can express interest in that shift, without every speaking with a Scheduling Officer. Unions and labour relations teams love this transparency and the reduction in grievances that this brings – with a breadcrumb for every transaction in the system, grievances are no longer difficult to evaluate and are therefore few and far between.

7. Improved employee satisfaction

Before automation: Employees have a love hate relationship with their scheduling office, often claiming that unfair scheduling practices are in place which lead to mistrust between employees and schedulers.

With scheduling automation: comes increased transparency in all shift callouts and distribution of work and creates a new work life balance for staff that no longer have to be tied to a phone – using expression of interest window gives flexibility to employees while working and while at home . If employee satisfaction is a metric that you track – be sure to plan a staff survey before deploying automated scheduling and repeat the survey 6 months post implementation so that you can track the increase in your employee sat scores!

Reach out today for your no obligation discussion about scheduling automation – we love to talk about scheduling and love to share what we know! Email us today to book your free consultation  and let us help you build your business case today

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