Scheduling in the daily view in which employees who have declared availability (bottom) are assigned shifts (top). The two unassigned shifts are displayed in orange.
While planning in many companies is still performed on paper or Excel, scheduling programs to optimize the role of planning as well as other adjacent features have been around for about 20 years. However, pure scheduling solutions are often out of date because they provide only manual scheduling functions (mostly still rigidly programmed) and can neither be integrated into planning processes, nor support planning-dependent business processes. Today, however, for all processes to run efficiently, integrated and integrate-able solutions are required and not additional software islands. This is as true for the small 10-person company as for multinational corporations with thousands of employees.
Although the scheduling system can be used out of the box, e.g. only to plan services (shifts) or jobs, most companies wish for more opportunities to optimize their processes.
The scheduling system is, for that reason, based on the CEITON workflow platform, which thus represents the next generation of scheduling solutions: it is not only 100% web-based, but it can also represent any business process and treats scheduling itself as a process in which different parties or employees plan together in a structured and automated way. It integrates not only staff, freelancers, suppliers and customers, but external software systems and machines through the EAI function. For small companies, that means at least one interface to export invoices to accounting (e.g. Sage).
In addition to the project and workflow features, the scheduling solution naturally benefits from the other properties of the underlying workflow platform:
The scheduling view can also be saved as an Excel file in order to use it offline, for example.
- Multi-user 3-tier Web 2.0 architecture
- Integrated reporting system for rosters etc.
- Integrated document management
- Attached metadata archive
- Multitenant capable and synchronized
- Templates and bulk functions
- Internal cost accounting
- Full integration capabilities via EAI/SOA
- Sophisticated authorization and roles system
- Employees can define their own views and filtering
- Drag and drop Gantt Chart with Excel export.
Two connected workflows in design mode, by means of which repeating plans can be entered, approved, pre-planned, scheduled, changed and billed.
The scheduling system is not only a multi-resource planning system, but also what is known as a 'project workforce management system'. On one hand, it manages the projects with workflows, and on the other, it schedules the required workforce. Alternatively, explained another way, if resources are needed for a project or contract, the employees will receive their employee-specific tasks automatically from the system as guided by the workflow. The scheduling is therefore not only planning, but also the guiding of production by the integrated workflow features. The system enables web-based workflow-based Production Planning and Control and is therefore called "CEITON Web Workflow PPS".
The approach goes beyond simple work order software, because work orders are not just distributed and tracked in simple forms, but rather whole processes are dynamically modeled by workflow. If this sounds too complicated, here is a quick example:
- A request arrives and a project is created
- After approval/commissioning a workflow is started
- Existing data is copied and new data added
- The workflow now knows the steps to be done
- Now it plans the scheduling of resource time
- The scheduled employees receive firm orders
- On fulfillment of orders data is updated as required
- At the same time the actual work times are updated in the schedule
- The data can be exported to accounting and/or financial reporting systems
As you can see, planning and control are tightly integrated processes and no longer detached. The benefits are obvious:
Display of the utilization of departments on the basis of planned and total available time (on left). The darker the shade of red, the higher the level of utilization in a week.
- Increased efficiency through automation of the coordination
- Better utilization of existing resources
- Ensure adherence to all laws and regulations
- Prevent unnecessary external sourcing
- Improve speed and quality of customer service
- Increased transparency
In these ways, you save time and money every day.
The budgeted and current prices or costs for each job and totals for group of jobs are displayed in the expandable tree. Budget overruns ($! icons) and cost deficits (red) are highlighted. The Drag&Drop tree supports multiple views and one can switch between them using the drop-down box above (blue).
Many different data run together in the scheduling: offer; planned, committed and actual values; invoice items and values for Internal Cost Accounting; and many different values in working-time accounts of employees and freelancers.
It is important that all values are immediately available online not having to wait for batch exports, the end of the month, the supplier invoice and so on. This creates maximum transparency at all times and security of financial planning in budgeting and controlling. See also Technical Workflows