You are searching for software to make scheduling for your public safety agency easier. Scheduling is a vital function of your organization, and it’s so important that it is completed accurately without taking up countless man-hours. The right scheduling software will be easy to use and will handle any of your organization’s complex requirements and rules.
This four-part mini-series will take you through the main categories of scheduling software: usability, organizational rules, oversight and reporting, and integrations. We will help you understand what your scheduling software should do for you, so you can feel comfortable choosing the right software tool for your agency.
All of the previously mentioned features we have touched in parts one, two, and three of this mini-series, should come standard with your scheduling solution. However, you may realize that you need more out of the software than you anticipated. Ask if these features are built in and if the system can easily integrate with your payroll solution:
All your employee data is in the scheduling solution, so why would you want to use another system to manage your special events? Find a platform that can integrate extra-duty scheduling with your regular scheduling. When you can see your regular scheduling and extra-duty scheduling all in one place, you can fill extra-duty shifts quickly and without breaking union or departmental policies.
Presumably your scheduling system will have all your employee overtime, timebanks, leaves, and pay rules. Exception-based timekeeping uses this information to automatically populate your timesheets; meaning the only thing you need to manage is approvals.
Assign equipment to employees and track usage history. This can also help you identify last user when equipment goes missing, shows you which equipment is never used (so you don’t order more), and which assets you are running low on.
Training & Certifications
Tracks and makes sure your staff have the required training to work specific shifts. When you post out shifts with mandatory certifications, employees that do not qualify should not show up as an option. Or, when you try to assign a shift to an unqualified employee, a warning should appear.
Sync your schedule with local courts to prevent court-related scheduling conflicts. The systems should be able to electronically deliver subpoenas. The Orange County Law & Justice system, which is made up of 23 member agencies, implemented InTime’s subpoena management tool. The system processes 145,000 subpoenas per year and has already seen a 46% decrease in court-related overtime.
The last thing you need is to have to work between two systems that are not compatible. Instead, find a system that is able to seamlessly integrate with your current payroll system. This will reduce man hours and errors in payroll as the system is pulling data from your schedule.
There are several scheduling software systems out there that you can choose and the most important thing you can do is do your due diligence with research. This is part four of the mini-series so make sure to check out the other four parts (usability, organizational rules, and oversight and reporting) to know what to look for.
Lastly, there are two basic features that all scheduling software systems should offer you. The first is a free trial. If the company is confident in their product, they should allow you to test out the system before purchasing it. Ideally, a trial should include some of your data and employee details. And, make sure you are choosing a system with dedicated hands-on support and a 24/7 critical support line.