It’s been quite a while since our last installment of the popular “Why You Can’t Excel with MS Excel” series that we started in 2014. If you missed the first two articles, you can catch up on part 1 and part 2 here. In the third installment of this series, we will take a look at four more reasons why using MS Excel to create and manage your staff schedules is not the ideal solution. On top of the other areas we have already covered, there are even more ways in which Excel holds your organization back and costs you additional time and money.
Tracking the manual changes made in your schedules is essential, especially if you ever need to conduct an audit or resolve a pressing issue. Excel offers the typical “track changes” functionality, but then your document becomes inundated with colors and confusing edits. Automated scheduling tracks changes without subjecting you to them when you open the application. Should you need to check the logs of changes, you can simply access that section of the application.
Your team needs to have quick access to their schedules. Excel schedules saved as images or PDF files are often large and cumbersome. Accessing these files on a mobile device results in lots of zooming and over analysis to find something as basic as one’s next assignment.
The best automated scheduling applications make this problem go away with a mobile app. When finding the right application for your organization, make sure to ask about mobile apps.
If your organization has people who have to clock in and out, then you shouldn’t be using Excel at all, as it can’t track this information for you. Your clocking system tracks when individuals clock in and out, but any additional functionality in the software would be rudimentary at best. Make sure to inquire whether or not an automated scheduling application can integrate with your clocking system, because some can!
Some people in your organization have to work certain percentages of their time as different roles. While Excel schedules allow you to schedule someone with varying roles, tracking their role breakdown becomes overly difficult. Automated scheduling applications do more than just track role equity, they can create reports that let you determine if your team members are working the correct breakdown of roles.