Black Tower Security Services is a full-service security and protection firm in British Columbia that needs to manage staff scheduling for 50 to 200 staff throughout Canada, the United States, and overseas. Personnel must have—and schedulers must know about—a wide variety of specialized training and experience with canines for explosives, weapons and narcotics detection, in executive bodyguard work, and in firearms.
The security business is 24/7, and its shift work scheduling—12-hour shifts of four days on and three days off, or 8-hour shifts of five days on—is determined by customer, not provider.
The predecessor to Director of Operations for Alberta and British Columbia Jason Torgasows had tried to manage staff scheduling for all the countries, sites, skill-sets, and changing shifts using just pen and paper.
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“I don’t see how work schedules can be done like that,” says Torgasows, “but he went through a lot of paper.
From paper to early software…
“As soon as our GM saw that method of employee scheduling, he knew it was ridiculous and bought shift scheduling software. But our first program—by MITC—needed a key-chip to be put into the computer. It seemed not designed for shift management. Its features were annoying to figure out and it was aggravating just trying to use it. And MITC wouldn’t return our calls.
“Then we bought Snap Schedule,” Torgasows reports. “It was a breeze. It downloaded and installed easily. Setup was fast. And it’s easy to use. You can download it, try it out on your own needs, then buy it.”
Torgasows likes Snap Schedule’s ease of extending shifts into the future, using the program’s visually obvious cut-and-paste features. “It’s just drag-and-drop scheduling,” he says.
Making fast work of scheduling headaches
“Snap Schedule’s easy entry and deletion of staff is a big plus because staff turnover and fluctuating workload is expected in the security and protection industry,” he says. “It’s easy to insert a person’s photo into their employee record, and there’s lots of room for individual training and certifications—another big plus when you shift-schedule security professionals.
“It tracks whenever people shift scheduling around on us. We use different colors to track absentees. I look for black squares and if there are too many, I get inquisitive. It helps me organize time-off scheduling, too.”
Black Tower executives and the payroll department have clearer, faster and more fully verifiable knowledge of their work force scheduling than ever before. Torgasows fills this need by printing out a wide variety of Snap Schedule work reports—past, present and future—and emailing them.
“We know instantly where our team members are just by looking at the screen—not flipping through a hundred pages of paper. I can see overtime situations easily. It’s almost impossible to overlook a commitment. Also, if there’s ever any question about coverage, you can show your shift and rotation scheduling for any date and location.”
“And,” he adds, “when I call Snap Schedule for support, I get it.