Landing a big contract at a large site is every security salesperson’s dream. Contracts known as 108’s (1 guard, 2 shifts, 7 days a week), 168’s (1 guard, 3 shifts, 7 days a week, and 236’s (2 guards, 3 shifts, 7 days a week) are fairly common. They are the bread and butter jobs that provide the bulk of a company’s book of business. Nailing the big one with 3000 hours per week (HPW) is what sends sales staff and executive managers into demonstrations of ecstasy.

Nailing the big one is also what sends operations managers into fits of cursing. They are the ones who have to design these monster schedules as part of the initial proposal. Afterwards, it’s operations that have to make them work and remain profitable. Stories like it took one manager over a week to set up a schedule for a courthouse security proposal involving 2800 HPW are common. His office walls were covered with schedule sheets that he had to layout manually. His spreadsheet program was too limited to handle the visual detail let alone the mix of hours. Last minute proposal changes made it even worse. “Now the county wants 2-hour rotation on all positions!”

Using an employee scheduling system like Snap Schedule would have made this task much easier. The program allows managers to set up schedules by shifts, teams, specific posts, and even the skills required for those posts. Employees can also be limited by hours worked. This prevents having non-billable overtime when designing security guards’ schedules.

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The scheduling process is simple. You start by laying out each post and specifying the hours it will be worked. You also specify the skills needed. Does the employee need to be an EMT or certified to run a scanning machine? Put that into the post requirements. Setting up teams will allow you to group employees together at specific sites or to perform specific tasks. You may need one team running the scanning station; while another, patrols the perimeter.

Snap Schedule has a great visual interface so you can actually “see” what you are setting up.  It will prevent you from making mistakes when making assignments.

When you are doing an initial proposal, the reports in Snap Schedule provide a wealth of planning information. It tells you how many employees, with what skill sets, will be required. This makes it easy to plug in cost data from Snap Schedule on to your proposal spreadsheet. It also makes it easy for HR to hire or train employees with the needed skills sets. Assigning actual employees to posts on the contract you just won is a matter of simple substitution.