What I learnt about rostering in my first three weeks

My name is Dwi Oetomo. Three weeks ago I started work at Roster Plus, to help with customer support and on-boarding. Before working here, I didn’t have much experience building rosters but I was oh so familiar with the problems associated with being the one rostered.

Naively, I never thought it should have been difficult for people to create them. But when you immerse yourself in a company that helps so many businesses do just that, you soon realise how important a system can be. It can literally be the difference between 10 minutes or 10 hours a week!

I have notice a couple of recurring themes whilst on-boarding my first handful of clients:

  • People do some crazy things in Excel
  • No two rosters look the same
  • It really is a catch-22 situation with making the time to explore systems that will eventually save you time

Microsoft Excel has so many uses, however, rostering, from my experience, can’t really be said is its strong suit. Spreadsheets get butchered together, accurate costing is too hard to calculate, breaks are never shown, and staff still have no idea when they are working until someone prints it out. It is understandable that small companies are relying on free tools like Excel to be the foundation of their business, however, when the business grows, that ‘foundation’ becomes a little unstable.

Back in my uni days I was working 2 retail jobs whilst trying to fit in uni. I didn’t realise it back then, but I never fully appreciated what my managers had to do. The amount of time and effort needed to create a weekly, fortnightly or even monthly roster is hard enough, but to deal with no-shows, people calling in sick, annual leave and changing uni schedules can really throw a manager off. If I had to cancel a shift I always took it upon myself to find a cover or swap with someone else, however, I can safely say not all employees do this. The time and energy towards this could be better spent growing the business.

The old business term “80% of your profit comes from 20% of your customers” is right in any industry, and what can also be said is “80% of your time is spent only running 20% of your business”. There are so many tasks, a manager, director or a business owner can do to better his/her business, but all these little jobs add up, and rostering is one of them.

In my short time at Roster Plus I truly believe that we have a product that can significantly help most businesses. It’s always great to see business asking for free trials and getting positive feedback on the system. It’s nice to work for a company knowing you have a product that is not only sort after but helping small, medium and large scales business. I truly look forward to the weeks, months, years ahead where we continually help as many as we can and I cant wait to feel the satisfaction of one day walking past a client of ours knowing that I helped them get setup!

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