New in 2019 is the ability to schedule your merchandisers time and location by week. If you're a merchandising company with hundreds or thousand's of people working in the field during season, you need to make sure that every store is getting the proper amount of hours and that you're directing your field personnel where they need to go. To this end we've enabled you to schedule and monitor both with our new calendar enabled interface shown below.
Scheduling is managed on the right hand side of the screen. You can select a custom region to limit the scheduled blocks to only a certain group of stores. As you do this, the store list below will limit to only the stores in the region and the scheduled blocks shown in the middle should also be limited. An Example is shown below. The list will show the remaining hours budgeted for each store (if entered, to learn more on how to do this – click here). You can select a store - doing so will autopopulate the store in the scheduling pop-ups. The third setting allows you to choose a user group to limit the people listed to your direct reports. This can be helpful in large list of users.
Adding a Scheduled Blocks
To add a block click and drag an area on the calendar to schedule. When you release a popup will appear that looks similar to the below. You can change the time duration later as necessary. In the menu below, you can type the users name or customerID and it will autofill for you. The same will happen with the stores. If you had selected a store and/or user in the above phase, they'd be auto-populated in this screen already. Recurring Schedules - a key feature here is the ability to set recurring schedules – so if you want a person to be in a place every week at a certain time, you can automatically schedule the for up to 4 weeks at a time.
You can edit the scheduled times by dragging the blocks around or down or up to shorten the duration. All un-saved schedule blocks are green until saved. To commit the changes, click on the "Save Changes" button on the top left. To make the scheduling interface re-appear, click on the "Options" button and continue with scheduling.
Managing Store Hours Via Budgeting
Store budget hours are uploaded separately, but can be monitored and checked when assigning merchandisers to stores. As you assign time, the cumulative store hours are also tracked and you'll be alerted if you exceed the weekly budget given. To upload store budget hours, locate the blue toolbar at the top and click on the "Upload Store Budget Hrs" button. You'll be presented with the upload template below. From here you can enter the info via copy / paste from Excel. Note: it is not necessary to enter the daily totals - in fact if you do not, then smart allocation will occur whereby the recent historical budget allocation by day will be used on a per store basis wherever applicable. In this way, you can quickly scale up or down your weekly hours and have them follow prior budgets to help maintain steady visit schedules without having to re-create them each week.
Viewing Budgeted Stores
When you budget stores, and go to the hours scheduler you will see the store's hours on the top. These can be deployed as scheduled blocks by dragging the green boxes down into a time slot. Additionally the employee will be auto-populated with the last visited user for the store. This can greatly increase the speed and accuracy of store scheduling by allowing you to see all the slots that need scheduling. If you have more hours for store than a single person can work in a day, simply add in a budget by dragging the budget onto the schedule, adjust the time and assign a user, save the schedule and refresh and the remaining budget hours will be populated in green for you.
Uploading / Managing Employee Budget Hours
You may also enter employee budget hours if you so choose. Doing so is just the same as uploading store budget hours. Locate the button "Upload Employee Budget Hrs" in the blue toolbar and click it, you'll see an upload interface as shown below: