Employee Scheduling in a Snap

Scheduling Software for Communications Centers, 911, and Dispatch Services

Snap Schedule scheduling software significantly reduces the time taken to schedule emergency dispatchers and 911 operators

Employee shift scheduling and rostering for dispatchers, communications officers, and 911 operators presents many challenges. Making sure that each shift is properly staffed with the right number of dispatchers is one of the hardest tasks that dispatch schedulers and operations managers face.  Dispatchers and 911 public safety telecommunicators typically work 24/7 using a wide range of shift configurations, from 8-hour, 10-hour, 12-hour, fixed and rotating days and night shift, to 24-hour shift. 

Union and FLSA rules place restrictions on work hours, consecutive work days, overtime compensation, as well as the types of work schedules that can be implemented. Schedulers must keep track of training assignments, compensatory time, off time and know when part-time or floaters will be available for work. Complex schedules and last minute changes can make dispatcher and  public safety officer scheduling difficult and when necessary, schedulers must find qualified backup and on-call personnel to fill a shift as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Varying staffing levels, skill sets, collective bargaining agreements, and compliance regulations all play a vital role to ensure the right dispatchers are scheduled at the right time. Managing an ever-growing list of required certifications for 911 operators and emergency dispatchers and ensuring dispatchers with expired certifications are not scheduled can be very challenging if done with pencil and paper or Excel spreadsheet templates.

Our Snap Schedule employee shift scheduling software helps 911 EMS, public safety agencies, and dispatch service organizations save significant time, resources, and costs. It offers several different shift schedule views designed to accommodate a variety of scheduling styles and shift patterns. With point-and-click scheduling ease, it warns you of scheduling conflicts, ensures policy enforcement and union compliance, calculates overtime, extra duty pay, and shift premium costs of each shift, finalizes pay sheets for payroll, and allows you to easily publish and distribute shift schedules electronically to dispatchers and managers.

Dispatcher Shift Scheduling Capabilities

Easily schedule unlimited number of dispatchers, communications officers, emergency operators and public safety employees

  • Apply fair and equitable shift schedules and rotation rules among dispatchers.
  • View visual, color coded alerts based on continuous-conflict checking and dynamic staffing hours and costs totals.
  • Drag & drop to easily assign shifts, mark time off, move or copy assignments.
  • For each shift, line-up on-call or stand-by dispatchers for emergency situations.
  • View assignments and schedule dispatchers from three different views. Use whichever view is easiest and most effective for your scheduling tasks.
  • Create rolling, fixed, rotating shift schedules – from days to years.
  • Set multiple work limits to give a warning when a dispatcher is about to be scheduled for more than a certain number contiguous hours and/or hours per week or pay period.
  • Software automatically generates 8-hr, 10hr, 12hr, and 24hr work schedules using industry standard shift configurations or user-definable schedule plans. Preview work schedules and make changes as necessary.

Assign breaks and tasks within each shift

  • The Task Schedule Planner provides a more granular level of control for assigning dispatcher activities and breaks within a shift.
  • Visually assign tasks of any length from 1 minute to several hours with a simple drag and drop. You may use a task to identify a scheduled break, a work station, or a specific duty.
  • Standard reports provide detailed and summary information on assigned breaks and tasks for cost control, payroll, and accounting purposes.

Track all training, vacation, sick leave, and other off-work requests

  • Define as many paid and un-paid time-off reasons as you like.
  • Simply drag & drop a reason onto the Schedule Planner to mark when an employee is off-work.
  • The Schedule Outlook shows who is off-work and why.
  • Available reports provide details on planned vacation, training, time off hours for any time period you select.
  • Use the software to publish calendars showing work schedule and scheduled time-off.

Personnel & certification tracking

  • Keep complete records of available dispatchers and staff who may be permanent, full-time or part-time staff, float or per-diem staff.
  • Systematically track skills, certifications, training classes, and licenses.
  • Monitor expiration or renewal dates for cerification and notify employees and management of pending expirations.
  • Use Snap Schedule’s 25 customizable fields in each employee record to track information that is unique to your operation.

Flexible multi-location scheduling

  • Define work locations for your organization and schedule dispatchers for each.
  • Know instantly where each dispatcher is assigned from a single computer screen. No need to flip through pages of paper to see absentees, on-call, training, or overtime situations. Show shift and rotation scheduling for any location on any date.
  • Use standard reports to gain visibility into scheduling activities and cost data at all locations, groups of locations, or a specific location.

Quickly and efficiently fill an open shift or find a substitute

  • Quickly find and call out a substitute dispatcher to fill a no-show or last minute absence.
  • Set priorities for the order in which dispatcher should be called in to fill a shift. Tell Snap Schedule shift scheduling software your criteria and it will show you a ranked list of available candidates to fill a shift. Ranking can be based on many criteria including job position, skills, availability, labor cost, work hour limits, seniority, and more.
Dispatcher scheduling

Multi-skill dispatcher scheduling is a breeze

  • You can identify applicable skills and certifications for any  employees. Define skills and certifications related to special training, technical rescue, emergency medical services, etc.
  • The Shift Coverage Planner lets you know if there are enough dispatchers with the right skills to staff a shift.
  • The Staffing Overview graph displays the number of scheduled dispatchers having a specified skill by location, shift, or hourly coverage.

Work around your schedule constraints with ease

  • Define each dispatcher’s availability schedule, desired work hours, daily work hour constraints, and weekly work hour constraints.
  • The Schedule Planner alerts you to availability conflicts, duplicate shift assignments, overlapped shift assignments, and conflicts with scheduled time off.
  • The Daily Assignment Validation report identifies all discrepancies and constraint violations.

Manage labor costs and avoid over/under staffing

  • Set overtime, FSLA, and shift premium pay policies for your organization.
  • Define hourly cost, overtime exempt status and work hour constraints for each employee.
  • Use the Shift Coverage planner to monitor under/over staffing conditions based on position, skill, and assignment reason.
  • Adjust employees' shift assignment start time, end time, and payable hours as necessary to reflect actual work hours.
  • Standard reports provide labor cost details and summary data associated with the schedules you created over any specified period.
  • Use the software to export labor cost data for payroll and accounting purposes.

Easily publish work schedules to dispatchers and managers

  • Print schedule views, lists, rosters, shift assignment calendars, and reports to communicate schedule information to management and dispatchers.
  • Easily publish work schedules, calendars, and any report in PDF and a variety of other formats.
  • Automatically email work schedules (in text or iCalendar file format) to dispatchers and/or their supervisors.
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