May 18, 2021

Five Things to Look for in Energy and Utility Staff Scheduling Software


Your crew is the backbone of your operation and ensuring every shift is properly covered is crucial for delivering around the clock service.  But keeping track of crew members and their schedules can be complex and time intensive. To simplify the scheduling process, many energy and utility companies rely on staff scheduling software to manage the schedules of plant personnel, maintenance crews, engineers and more. But with so many software options available, how do you know which program will best meet your operation’s scheduling requirements? Here are five things to look for to find the best employee scheduling software for your entire crew.

1. Skill and certification tracking 
Having the right people in the right places at all times is critical for effective field service. Ensuring every employee is qualified to perform the tasks required at their appointed job site is also essential for regulatory compliance. Employee scheduling software that allows you to assign skills, training, and certifications to each employee helps ensure every work site is staffed with the appropriate set of expertise. For added security, some software sends alerts to managers when certifications are nearing expiration or when employees are due for training.

2. Communication
When an employee calls in sick, or an emergency or outage occurs and your operation requires extra manpower, supervisors are required to fill open shifts fast. Staff scheduling software that includes an integrated messaging system that allows you to instantly contact available and qualified individuals or groups of employees ensures work sites are staffed with properly trained personnel. Software that allows supervisors to message one another about shared crew members and provides visibility of schedules across the entire operation will also safeguard against scheduling conflicts.

3. Accessibility
Providing managers, supervisors and employees with anywhere, anytime schedule access ensures every member of your team has real-time, accurate schedule information. With an employee scheduling app, schedules can be developed, managed, and viewed remotely anytime, anywhere. Some software also allows employees to submit requests online, and the appropriate supervisor is notified. Software that shows you whether the request conflicts with any previously scheduled shift or assignment helps prevent staffing gaps and reduces unnecessary overtime.

4. Affordability
Energy and utility suppliers must maintain high levels of service while controlling operating costs. When researching scheduling software solutions, consider the initial investment, as well as monthly and annual costs. Some software companies offer flexible pricing, which can be adjusted to meet the specific personnel requirements of each operation. This ensures you are paying only for the services you need. For added resource management, look for software that includes reporting tools, which allow you to monitor shifts and hours.

5. Convenience
Some software companies offer features that are especially helpful for organizations that operate 24/7 and have employees who work in the field. Staff scheduling software that allows supervisors to organize and view the information most important to them on one screen makes it easy for them to stay on top of key scheduling and compliance information. And for optimal schedule accessibility, look for software that includes a mobile app – some software companies include this at no additional cost.

Finding the scheduling solution that best meets the requirements of your energy or utility company will increase efficiency and reduce operating costs. Additionally, it can cut time spent on scheduling by up to 75% – that’s a sound investment for any operation. 

Click here to learn how ScheduleAnywhere employee scheduling software works for energy and utility companies’ unique scheduling requirements.

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