If you are struggling to keep up with rostering staff and scheduling, then rostering software may be the answer. Paper calendars, wall charts and Excel sheets are time-consuming and often inefficient. Rostering software allows you to coordinate and track schedules in real time. Regardless of the size of your business, there are some obvious benefits. Some of the main ones are;
- ensuring each shift is adequately covered
- saving costs by overstaffing a shift or department
- being able to see who is available when someone calls in sick
- avoiding scheduling conflicts by matching scheduling with staff availability
- ensuring more equitable rostering
- managing staff leave
- keeping track of absenteeism!
There are numerous rostering software packages on the market, but how do you know which one is the best for your business? Three very popular ones in Australia are Deputy, Tanda, and ENTO. Deputy is based in Atlanta, USA and boasts over 200,000 customers worldwide, including big names such as Amazon and Nike. Both Tanda and ENTO are Australian companies. Tanda is based in Brisbane and ENTO in Melbourne.
All three are web-based platforms which can also be accessed by iPhone app and Android, and all are suitable for small, medium and large businesses, but not freelancers. They all integrate with popular accounting software such as Xero, MYOB and Quickbooks. However, there are some differences. Tanda and ENTO can also integrate with Reckon and Tanda and Deputy with Sage. You should check if your accounting software is compatible.
Apart from software integration, you should also look at the key features they offer and select which ones match your personal needs the best.
Customer Support and Training
With any software, customer support is extremely important. All three of these packages have phone, online and knowledge base support, but where Deputy and Tanda offer 24/7 support, ENTO’s is business hours only. Being an Australian based company, this may not be an inconvenience to you. Deputy and Tanda also offer video tutorials but ENTO doesn’t.
As for training, each offers live online training, in person, and documentation. Deputy and Tanda also offer webinars.
Deputy is marketed across many countries (Australia, United States, Canada, United Kingdom, China, India, Japan, Germany, Brazil, Mexico) and over 8 languages are supported (English, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish). If you have staff in other countries this is a great advantage. Both Tanda and ENTO offer only English and one other language, but if your staff only speak English this will not be an issue.
Deputy boasts customers in retail, hospitality, healthcare, manufacturing, logistics, construction, security, call centres, cleaning, education and entertainment. Customers include RSPCA Queensland and Amazon (https://www.deputy.com/au).
Tanda shares some of these industries (hospitality, transport, logistics, manufacturing, medical, and retail), but adds some very different ones; pharmacy, accommodation, aged care, childcare, in-home care, clubs, enterprise, fast food, and racing. Customers include Domino and Bunnings Warehouse.
ENTO is also used by a broad range of businesses. It includes many of the above and adds councils, not for profit, mining, and government sectors. It boasts customers such as NBN and World Vision (https://ento.com).
Deputy is an all-in-one employee scheduling (rostering), time & attendance (time clock), tasking and communication platform. The Deputy dashboard is simple and you can add your own logo and customise the colours to match your branding. It was the Editor’s Choice in November 2020 in Australia’s PCMag.
One key feature of Deputy is training management. Training can be added to employee details which allows employers to know at a glance which employees are qualified to undertake different tasks so scheduling is more efficient. A very handy feature to ensure you send the right person to the right job, especially when you have to fill a position at short notice.
Deputy also offers task management. Tasks can be assigned by managers, or you can assign yourself a task. Marking a task as completed is as simple as clicking a checkbox next to the task.
Ad hoc analysis and reporting are accounting features particular to Deputy. These allow you to produce a one-off report to enable you to analyse the performance of your business and help you make rostering decisions based on real data. You can track wage costs in real time to help you stay in budget.
Other key features of Deputy include:
- email notifications to staff about their rosters
- geo-location smartphone attendance to see who is working where and when
- reporting and statistics
- compliance management
- data import/export
- leave tracking
- manual time entry
- secure login
- offline access which saves up to 24 hours of activity until you’re back online
Tanda manages employee scheduling, timesheet, salary, and other HR functions.
Being an Australian company, one very nice feature is that it includes a complete Australian award interpretation calculator which automates wage calculations. For industries which operate 24/7 and have staff who work under different awards, anything that helps you calculate overtime, public holiday and various other rates and loadings is a great feature!
Like Deputy, Tanda also allows you to customise your templates. An added feature that Tanda has, however, is Microsoft Outlook integration. If your company uses Outlook, this is a convenient feature.
Tanda’s timeclock feature is a simple and secure way of eliminating time sheet discrepancies and time theft. Each staff member has a unique passcode which must be used at the start and end of each shift. There is also photo verification to ensure the right person is clocking in. The payroll integration feature means that electronic timesheets which have been generated can then be exported to payroll with a single click.
There is also a timesheet auto approve feature. Any shift which has been verified and matches a roster can be auto approved, thus saving you time.
If you want added security, Tanda also offers two-factor authentication.
Other key features of Tanda include:
- leave management
- shift swapping
- real-time reporting
- leave balances
- leave & time off tracking
- roster templates
ENTO is a user-friendly cloud-based rostering and attendance software. While it lacks the sophistication of some of the features of Deputy and Tanda, it has all the ones you need for managing the rostering of your workforce. Supporting customers such as Telstra, RMIT and Bakers Delight is evidence of this.
It has an easy-to-use activity dashboard, customisable branding and customisable reporting. It includes real-time reporting, reporting and statistics, and data import/export.
Like Tanda, ENTO is an Australian company and also integrates Australian awards information. It can handle bulk timesheet approvals and syncs with over 20 payroll providers.
It enables you to set specific budgets for an entire roster, each day, or each hour. It will even alert you if a shift puts you over budget.
The time clock can run on any computer or tablet and staff can clock on and off using a photo or PIN. For security businesses, catering, or other businesses where staff attend various locations, the GPS location on their smartphone enables you to validate they were on-site, which can protect both you and your workforce. Multiple time clocks also sync so there are no time discrepancies.
One very special feature of ENTO is up-to-date weather information. Local weather forecasts can be added to your roster up to 10 days in advance. A fantastic feature for landscaping, construction, and other outdoor workers.
ENTO also allows you to keep sensitive pay rates hidden from other managers working on a roster without affecting reporting.
Key features include:
- employee scheduling
- skills tracking
- time and attendance management
- employee database & management
- roster on-call shifts
- set up geographical groups to allow managers to borrow staff nearby
There are numerous other features available for each of these software packages. If you are looking for rostering software, you will need to be clear about which features you want. Take your time and shop around. It could make rostering a whole lot easier.