Setting up the Application
An industry of schedule making applications has one very pleasant custom: applications normally greet new users with around five steps long wizard that makes the application almost ready to use. If only it was this easy with all other applications out there. NimbleSchedule is no different from its competition in this aspect – after initial four steps of configuration we had pretty much all the data set. This includes also all the staff that could be imported from a .csv file.
So, what does a NimbleSchedule offers to us playing a manager of, let's say, a chain of bars? The application lets us to do the obvious: create multiple locations with independent schedules, populate them with a bunch of employees, divide them into positions (~ departments), or input their time preferences. Position to which employees can be added have some interesting twists: not only one employee can be added to various roles (bartender, waitress, cook, ...) but also to a number of locations. Moreover, for each role can be set a level (beginner to advanced) and a pay rate per hour, which is further used while making a schedule.
Schedules in All Their Glory
Before starting with a first schedule draft, we'd propose to take a look at a Shift Template section. These templates are position based, which makes them quite flexible. Like this we can create differently long shifts for bartenders and cooks – one starting at 2pm and the second one only at 4pm. Creating new schedules using this approach is quite simple, however, we can imagine that using some automatic scheduling functionality it would be even easier. Once we clicked in all the personnel we needed, the schedule can go public and will be send to all relevant employees. Talking about notifications: employees can be notified about an upcoming shift to both their email or via SMS. And of course, schedules can be exported and printed out.
As we mentioned earlier, a cost for the shift is automatically being counted when adding employees to a schedule. This gives us an opportunity to do some cost planing and optimization as well.
With NimbleSchedule employees can switch shifts, drop them and ask for vacancy (all can be set or unabled/enabled in settings). The application can also help with some basic reports including financial reports or overtime reports.
NimbleSchedule is available in four paid plans divided by number of employees managed by the application. The cheapest Basic plan with up to 20 employees is for $35/month and the most expensive plan with up to 150 employees would cost us $170/month. No free package is available, however, there's a 30-day free trial on all plans.
NimbleSchedule does pretty much all what we would demand from an employee scheduling software. Its location and employee management functionality is on a good level as well as the schedule creation itself. Employees can be notified by mail and via SMS about their upcoming shifts and managers can export some relevant reports. On top of it all is pleasant and easy to use user environment which is making this application more than worth trying.
What we liked:
- Very easy to use and at the same time functional application. One can handle this application in no time.
- Shift templates are divided by position (so you can have one template for one position), which is very clever and flexible solution.
What we didn't like:
- We were missing an automatic schedule creation functionality. It would help with rapid schedule building.
- Although, one can be notified by SMS or mail about his or her shift, there's no mobile application that would help with shift management to both employees and managers.