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Workforce Scheduling

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Smart, flexible Workforce Scheduling for today’s way of working.

Open Options Rostering gives roster planners complete and flexible control of staffing, including budgetary forecasting and shift management. An optional module for Open Options, Rostering allows planners to broadcast vacancies online to staff working flexible shifts. For the employees, it allows them to use the most popular devices to check the shifts for which they are rostered, as well as rest days, and even arrange shift swaps (subject to management authorisation where required).


Crown Computing’s existing rostering capability for Open Options was originally developed for organisations using fixed rotating shift patterns. This sophisticated module offers a high level of configuration, and corresponding cost, that many users in business environments just don’t need.

So Crown went back to basics to devise Open Options Rostering, a fully-featured staff planning rostering tool which is aimed squarely at businesses and organisations that require ultimate flexibility and budgetary control and the ability to adapt seamlessly to the ever-changing nature of today’s volatile staffing landscape.

Open Options Rostering allows staff planners to determine precisely when they want their people to work. In addition, it provides a comprehensive budget and measurement system. This allows planners to define resource plans to defined budgets that measure elements that are critical to the business. Thanks to Open Options Rostering, planners can actually measure, as they plan, whether they are achieving their budgetary aims, whilst also ensuring that the right people, with the right skills, are rostered for each shift or event.

Key Workforce Scheduling Benefits Include:

  • Versatile planning module for Open Options; supplements and complements time and attendance software
  • Ideally suited to organisations and businesses running flexible shift systems
  • Comprehensive budget and demand planning and measurement
  • ‘Advertise’ vacancies to a roster website and manage applicants for event workforce optimisation
  • Shift optimisation ensures best use made of right people
  • Interfaces to all popular budgetary planning tools
  • Web-based employee interface for shift review and exchange, with management controls usable on many devices and desktops
  • Runs seamlessly as part of Open Options, no additional hardware requirement
  • Enhances planning of shifts through better visibility of available staff
  • Enables the creation of “What If” scenarios when roster planning

Crown Computing Open Options Rostering

Ideally suited to organisations and businesses running flexible shift and event systems.

Many employers today are making the most of flexible working to meet customer service requirements and offer staff wider options in terms of working hours and shift patterns. Being able to draw on staff resources at short notice and ensure that the right staff, with the right skills, are present as circumstances dictate is very attractive and empowering; Open Options Rostering makes this possible – and more. It is particularly well-suited to people who are allocated a given number of hours to work each week, but when they work those hours and when their rest days occur is indeterminate. Open Options Rostering also caters for people who are regularly asked to work split shifts, such as a hospitality environment where an employee might be asked to work the breakfast shift then go home for a few hours and come back and run the bar in the evening.

Versatile planning module for Open Options

A planner will usually create rosters for a specific period. By committing employees to a particular roster in Open Options Rostering they will automatically become unavailable to be used elsewhere during the same period. Open Options Rostering is therefore ideal for managing people who are working on a more casual basis, because they can be notified when there are opportunities available for which they might wish to apply. Conversely, they can also be given a list of positions and choose which ones they would prefer to work. Those choices then go back to the planner, who can decide who they need, because there may be more applicants than places. There may also be fewer applicants than needed: Open Options Rostering takes this into account through its ability to advertise opportunities to a website on which casual staff, both rostered and unrostered, can register and set up alerts.

Comprehensive budget and demand planning and measurement

Open Options Rostering incorporates a comprehensive budget and measurement system so that planners can set up defined budgets to measure elements that are critical to the business. These might be on a half-hour basis, or a weekly or monthly budget, or an event budget. Open Options Rostering makes it possible actually to measure-as-you-plan to determine whether planners are achieving their budgetary aims.

Robust workflow processes for roster approval

Open Options Rostering provides features that enable collaborative rostering by a team of people with different responsibilities, using various protection levels. For example, there can sometimes be various stages in the roster production process, such as roster creation, roster editing, approval for sign-off, pass-back for re-editing, publishing, and the closing of the roster. Open Options Rostering provides robust facilities to control these various stages in an organised way.

Fully supported “what if” roster planning

At any time during the staff rostering process, the staff planner can ‘checkpoint’ the roster, which means that they could if required, revert back to each defined ‘checkpoint’ following any period of subsequent and possibly experimental rostering. This means that ‘what if’ roster planning is fully supported.

Enhanced visibility to all staff of “published” rosters

When the roster planning process is complete, which is when the staff planner is happy with the plan for a specific roster group for a specific time period, the roster is ‘published’. This action changes the state of the roster to ‘firm’ and the planned working shifts then become visible to all relevant personnel. Staff can view the work schedule by using their Employee Self-Service pages and the roster can be physically published and printed, if necessary. Published roster alerts via e-mail and SMS Texts (can be sent to staff).

‘Advertise’ vacancies online for event workforce optimisation

Because Open Options Rostering uses budgets to determine the demand is for a particular period, it can advertise forthcoming work opportunities to an actual or potential workforce. So a hospitality company, for instance, running a wedding in just a few days time and needing 15 silver service waiting staff to work that day, can broadcast a requirement for exactly that and manage the applications until the 15 places are filled, then ensure any shifts set for the day are covered.

Shift optimisation ensures best use made of right people

Open Options Rostering incorporates several novel interfaces into and out of the system. Very often when work is more shift based, it’s not that easy for a planner to work out the optimum use of people, so Open Options Rostering’s shift optimisation function allows event planners to decide the best shift pattern needed to ensure correct staff and skill coverage. An automated routine generates the shifts and it includes a tool to allow manual adjustments when people go off sick or just fail to turn up, as required.

Interfaces to all popular budgetary planning tools

Crown Computing has always prided itself on its ability to integrate its products to any client system and Open Options Rostering is no exception. All popular budget planning packages, spreadsheets and databases require only minor customisation to work transparently with Open Options Rostering.

Rich-interface web client

Open Options Rostering’s web-based employee interface allows staff to check and review the shifts on which they’ve been rostered and even swap shifts with colleagues. This can be permitted automatically, or be subject to planner authorisation and confirmation. Either way, Open Options Rostering takes much of the load off planners and does everything possible to keep casual staff happy – and reliable.

Fully-integrated Open Options module

Open Options Rostering installs and runs on conventional Open Options servers, so adding it to an existing system requires no additional hardware investment. It uses a brand-new browser-based client, so instead of choosing items from lists in a Windows-style interface, Open Options Rostering is truly interactive and drag-and-drop. Planners can create periods on a roster as easily as appointments in Outlook and drag and extend them or even move them to different days – just by dragging and dropping.

Integration with Open Options T&A

Once shifts are allocated to an employee they will be used to manage their expected attendance on any given day. Their actual attendance will be recorded into Open Options T&A. The application will then report attendance exceptions and indicate the steps necessary to resolve them and effects on employee remuneration. Open Options Rostering utilises new ways of determining expected attendance, but the planner remains wholly responsible for planning expected attendance, so shift lengths can vary in timing and duration according to budgetary need.

Open Options Rostering will set the necessary day boundaries so that clockings are recorded against the correct day. Through Open Options Rostering the planner can also request that an employee works a split shift (i.e. has an extended off-duty period between rostered duties on a day. Although always evolving, like all Crown Computing software, Open Options Rostering puts tremendous power into the hands of staff planners, right from version one.

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