Dispatch Scheduling 2017-01-19T17:31:24+00:00

Dispatch Scheduling

Schedule Agents Quickly and Efficiently with Snap Schedule

Reduce scheduling issues that lead to increased operating costs, grievances, and lost time. 

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“The dynamics of this software are phenomenal. It gives us visibility and overviews we never had. Schedule misunderstandings are nearly impossible, except when there’s human error. This new clarity helped us reduce overtime pay mistakes by 90 percent.”

William Freeman
“Prior to Snap Schedule, we tried a myriad of different ‘solutions’ from automated scheduling to creating rosters with pencil and paper. None of these methods were able to meet the demands of our scheduling needs, and were more complicated and stressful than they were helpful.”
Gregg Snyder

What Can Snap Schedule Do For Me?

Poor shift scheduling in the office or floor can lead to increased costs, decreased profitability, high dispatcher turnover, and soaring grievances. Dispatch managers often spend countless hours on shift scheduling, trying to get their shifts and work schedules just right. Overstaffing wastes payroll dollars while understaffing results in blown budgets. Dispatch shift scheduling presents many challenges. Most dispatch companies operate around the clock (24/7), having many job positions and skills to schedule and multiple shifts to cover. Within each shift, staff must also be assigned to various tasks. Further, union and FLSA rules may place restrictions on work hours, overtime compensation, and the types of shift rotation that can be implemented. Dispatch managers must also consider time-off requests, labor rules, and worker availabilities when developing schedules for their dispatchers. Snap Schedule can assist you in an efficient manner with the robust features below.

Key Scheduling, Labor Cost Control, and Reporting Features

  • Create schedules in a snap

    Drag-and-drop to easily assign shifts, mark time-off, move or copy assignments for your call center employees. Track all training, vacation, sick leave, and other off-work requests.

  • Assign shifts to employees in multiple locations & areas

    Define as many locations/departments as you like and authorize your dispatch and emergency operator workers to work at certain locations but not others. Filter/sort work schedules and reports based on locations.

  • Assign breaks, duties, and tasks within each shift

    Visually assign breaks, duties, and tasks of any length from one minute to several hours with a simple drag-and-drop.

  • Find best fit employees or substitutes

    Easily find qualified and eligible dispatchers, emergency operators and public safety employees to fill open shifts based on availability, position, skill, labor cost, work hour limits, seniority and other criteria.

  • Avoid scheduling conflict

    Detect and alert all sorts of schedule conflicts like overlapping shifts, lacking required skills, not enough rest between shifts, or too many overtime hours. Any conflict will be clearly flagged and color-coded on schedule views.

  • Up-to-date employee availability, skill level and expiration

    Dispatch and emergency operators can enter availability information for each day of the week and restrictions that should be considered when creating and managing schedules. Avoid over/under staffing a shift with people you need by skills and get an alert when an employee’s skill/certification is about to expire.

  • Ensure adequate shift coverage

    Show the number of dispatch employees and emergency operators scheduled in each shift by position, skill, or reason so you can quickly see if any position is over/under staffed while making shift assignments.

  • Handle overtime, shift premium and incentive pay

    Flexible pay rules to compute overtime and extra pay to dispatch employees and public safety personnel working on public holidays, certain days or hours of the day, irregular shifts, etc.

  • Comply with labor rules and collective agreements

    Avoid grievances and ensure compliance to collective bargaining agreements, HR policies, labor and working time regulations. When filling an open shift, you can use multiple criteria to narrow down the number of eligible dispatch employees.

  • Time sheet data for payroll

    Adjust the shift’s scheduled start and end times to reflect the actual time worked and instantly see the revised hours and costs. Add notes and reasons to record or explain deviations and provide time card data for payroll.

  • Make informed decisions based on up-to-date data

    Use a comprehensive set of 49 reports to analyze scheduling data; prepare management records; and track dispatch workers and public safety workers activities, assignments, costs, and time-offs.

  • Publish schedules

    Easily publish shift schedules, calendars, and any report in PDF and a variety of other formats. Automatically email work schedules (in text or iCalendar file format) to dispatch staff and/or their supervisors.

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Dispatch Employee Self-Service Features

  • View work schedule from anywhere, anytime

    From home to business, from desktop to mobile devices, your dispatch employees have 24/7 access to schedule data. You control who will be allowed access and which employee self-service features will be enabled for your operations.

  • Request time off

    Dispatch and emergency operators can make time off/vacation requests and schedulers can track, manage, approve, or deny those requests. Employees can see the approval status and are automatically alerted when their request is approved or rejected via an iOS/Android in-app notification.

  • Self-scheduling with Open Shifts

    Empower your dispatch employees by letting them self-schedule with Open Shift. Schedulers can simply create an open shift for a position and specify the shift and the required number of employees and skills. Qualified dispatch and emergency operator workers can view open shifts and bid for the shift they like.

  • Shift trade/pick up

    Allow automatic shift trading with or without a scheduler’s approval. Dispatch employees can post their shifts for trade and coworkers who are eligible to work the shift can pick up or swap. Posting employees can invite all from the list of qualified co-workers or only those selected on the list to swap shift.

  • Punch in/out

    Dispatch and public safety workers can punch in and out of their assigned shifts and you can set the time window for when employees are allowed to punch in or out. Schedulers can see the punch data in real-time or use the data to report the variances between planned and actual work hours and costs.

  • View time card information

    Dispatch workers and emergency operators can view their planned and actual work hours for the current, previous, or next payroll cycle. On-call, overtime, paid and unpaid time-off hours are also presented.

  • Update availability and contact information

    Save time and stay up-to-date by allowing dispatch and emergency operators to update their own contact information and availability. Employees can enter their availability information for each day of the week, in multiple time segments as needed and the availability information will be considered when scheduling.

  • Look up coworkers

    Dispatchers can look up coworkers’ contact information to call, text, or email. Schedulers decide whom to include or exclude from the directory.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Maybe you’re not doing OK. Count all the hours you spent last year, and will spend next year. How inflexible and time-consuming is changing the schedules when someone is out? Snap Schedule saves you time by dragging and dropping rather than erasing and writing. It will also help you prevent under and over staffing, schedule conflicts, and reduce your overtime and labor costs. And pencil and paper cannot email your dispatch workers or create reports. It can’t change views to weeks, full month, and it can’t show you just Joe’s or Sue’s schedules. Doing these tasks by hand is very time consuming and difficult due to workload fluctuations, frequent special requests from employees, last minute changes, and high employee turnover. Without the right tools in place, you will expend a great deal of time on these tasks — time better spent on more critical, revenue-generating activities.
Yes! Snap Schedule keeps track of dispatch employee availability, skills, work hour preferences and alerts you to potential scheduling conflicts. Filling an open shift or finding a replacement is easy. Simply specify your criteria and Snap Schedule will present a list of qualified dispatch workers for your shift planning purposes.
Yes. The E-mail Schedules wizard lets you e-mail shift assignment schedules to all or selected dispatch employees. Each e-mail can contain the employee’s personal schedule or schedule information of all selected employees. You have the option of including an iCalendar formatted file that contains the employee’s personal schedule so your employees can import their schedules into their calendar programs or PDAs.
Yes! Snap Schedule is designed to allow you to define your operational constraints such as non-working days, shift start and end times, dispatchers’ availabilities, weekly work hour limits, and more. You set the boundaries and Snap Schedule’s Schedule Planner alerts you to availability conflicts, duplicate shift assignments, overlapping shift assignments, conflicts with scheduled time off, if a dispatcher has been assigned too many hours in a work period and more.
Using Excel templates for scheduling is definitely better than using pencil-and-paper but considering the price you would pay for Excel and scheduling templates, you get much more with Snap Schedule. Dispatch scheduling is really a multi-dimensional problem that cannot be represented in a flat row and column format. There are employees, shifts, and dates – and you really need to be able to view the schedule from multiple vantage points. You will spend many unnecessary hours to work around Excel limitations because unlike Snap Schedule, Excel is not specifically designed for employee shift scheduling.
If your scheduling software is more than one year old, it probably handles less than half of what Snap Schedule does and it’s not built on tools as advanced and reliable as Microsoft SQL Server, .NET, or Microsoft Azure Cloud. This means you get a modern, seamlessly integrated, rock-solid software tool that will save you time and money.
Contrast the ease of use and thoroughness of Snap Schedule’s scheduling functions to those in your current solution. Then look at all the other tasks Snap Schedule does for you like dispatch employee information management, emailing, overtime and labor costs monitoring, management reporting, etc. Every scheduling chore that now takes you three or four administrative minutes—and add up to hours—can suddenly take you seconds.
Snap Schedule uses a perpetual calendar for shift assignments so there is no limit and you can schedule as far into the future as you need. Snap Schedule keeps all your dispatch workers, shifts, and scheduling information in a single SQL Server database file. This file will grow automatically to accommodate any shifts, holidays, vacations and time-off requests you recorded and allow you to go forward or backward in time to instantly see and assess how you are doing.
Yes. On-call shift assignments occur when a dispatch, emergency operator, or public safety worker is instructed by management to remain available to be called to work during an off-duty period. When you mark a shift assignment as on-call, the shift duration is not included in the total work hour calculations.
Yes. Dispatch and emergency operator scheduling are multi-dimensional problems and you really need to be able to view the schedule from multiple vantage points. Snap Schedule provides four graphical views to accommodate that as well as selectable date ranges within each view. The Daily view shows all shifts and time off for each dispatch employee in a specified date range. The Shift view shows employee staffing for each shift along with coverage data. The Task view lets you schedule tasks and breaks within a shift. The Calendar view presents work and time off assignments in calendar format.