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PROCESS:

1. [Dates] Set month/partial month.
2. [Persons] Add Participants.
3. [Shifts/Holidays] Add Location and Shifts.
4. [Requests OFF] Optional: Add off requests.
5. [Schedule] Generate and/or Edit Schedule.
6. Publish: Print and/or Email schedule from Schedule page. When you email, the participant view dates are automatically advanced to match the new schedule. To change these dates after emailing, see the DATES page.


FAQ

Question: How do I make a fair schedule so my Agents are happy?
How can you make the fairest possible schedule? By fair, we mean balanced among all participants, with good spacing and even distribution. To accomplish this, keep participant requests OFF to a minimum. If a large number of participants have specific requests not to work, other participants will have to fill these empty shifts, sometimes resulting in a less than ideal schedule. You can test the inherent fairness of Floor Schedule by generating a schedule with no requests off. Of course requests off are inevitable and expected; and a reasonable number will have no effect on fairness.

Question: Some Agents are only available a few shifts in the month. Will they get as many shifts as others?
Generally yes. Floor Schedule places these agents at the front of the shift distribution line. For the rest of the agents, their order is randomized (like a power ball drawing) before assigning one shift to each participant. This is done in a circular manner, using an equitable distribution hierarchy, until all shifts are assigned. Placing some agents at the front of the line is not entirely fair. To be completely fair, i.e. randomizing all agents with no favoritism you can use the following advanced option.
Strictly Fair option: You can OVERRIDE the default scheduling logic by selecting the 'DO NOT Give Preference' check box before generating your schedule. This will treat all participants equally without favoritism. Agents who have a large number of requests off may get less shifts than others - and sometimes no shifts. This is because if they fall toward the end of the line of randomized agents, when it comes to their turn to be given a shift, all the shifts they can work may already be taken.
Manual Solution: If a participant has just a few shifts they can work, you can manually assign them. Manually assign persons by double clicking on the shift. If you want to limit them to work only the manually assigned shifts, check the 'Manual Only' checkbox across from their name on the Requests OFF page.

Question: How much does this application cost?
The price of the application is $12/Month on subscription – cancel anytime, or $120 / yr. ($10/Mo) paid in advance. Full support is included. To purchase, log in and select the License Tab/Menu. For the monthly subscription select '$12/mo. subscription'. To purchase a full year in advance (saving 20%) select 'By Credit card or PayPal'. If you would like us to bill you, select 'Bill Me'. This will immediately updates your license . You will receive an invoice by email with your promise to pay by check within 30 days.

Question: How do I print the schedule?
This is a two step process. First select the schedule's 'Print...' button, THEN your browser's print button.
Getting Started:
1.  Select your schedule's 'Print...' button, found to the right of the 'Show All' button.
2.  Adjust the length and font options if needed. A shorter name length and smaller font will allow more of the schedule to fit on one page. *
Next:
3.  Select your browser's 'Print Preview...' button from your browser's menu.
4.  Select Landscape, Shrink to fit - or enter an actual % number to fit, no margins.
5.  When you have the schedule looking as you want it, Print.
More detail according to Browser type:
After completing Getting Started above:
Chrome
Print... | Layout: Landscape | More Settings - Margins: Minimum | Scale: adjust # for best fit | Options: uncheck headers and footers | Print.
IE
Print Preview... | Landscape icon | Page Setup: Remove Headers and Footers | Shrink to fit or adjust % for best fit | Print.
Edge
Print | Orientation: Landscape | Headers and Footers: Off | Margins: Narrow | Scale: Shrink to fit or adjust % for best fit | Print.
FireFox
Print... | Landscape icon | Page Setup: Headers and Footers : Set to blank | Margins: adjust | Scale: Scale to fit or adjust % for best fit | Print.

* Printing Problems?
Question: I used the browser print settings (landscape | fit to page) but now my schedule is too small to read. How can I fix that?
The problem is too much text. Here are some suggestions that will result in larger print on the schedule:
1.  See Getting Started above - adjust the length and font options. Now return to the Browser to print.
More solutions:
These will only apply with a new generation. Don't generate again if you have completed your schedule or you will replace it. Wait until next month's schedule to make these changes.
2.  On the Participant page; are all the names in capital letters? Use lower case instead.
3.  Shorten the participant's names. Using first name and last initial will work.
4.  Make your shift labels smaller. Example '9-11' instead of '9:00 am - 11:00 am'.

Question: How do I save the Generated Schedule?
The generated schedule is automatically saved for you however, it replaces any existing generated schedule of the same time period. For example, you generate a January Schedule. You Change the Generate Dates (Month screen) to February and Generate another schedule. The January schedule and February schedules are both saved, and can both be viewed using the 'View/Edit' screen. You then Generate a February Schedule AGAIN. This new February schedule replaces the existing February schedule. You can permanently save the schedule as a PDF or HTML file, or by exporting the shifts. See below for more detail on these options.

Question: What is the difference between View, View/Edit and Schedule?
View Only: This is the page the participants can see. The home page lists the ways agents can view their schedule. Select the Time Period you want the agents to view on the DATES page. Agents cannot edit the schedule. To allow agents to Edit see PickShift below.
View/Edit: The Scheduler can View/Edit any schedule from the View/Edit page, past and present. Select the Time Period you want to view or edit on the DATES page. This also sets the time period your participants see on their VIEW ONLY page. The participants cannot edit the shifts. Only the scheduler can edit. To give participants the ability to edit see PickShift below.
Schedule: You Generate the schedule based on the Schedule time period. Select the Time Period you want to generate on the DATES page. The schedule can be Generated multiple times. Each Generation is unique. Each new Generation replaces any existing scheduled days for the same time period. Exception: Generate does not replace manually assigned shifts. To clear the entire schedule and start new, select the Clear Shifts button.

How can I save a copy of the schedule?
You can save the schedule as an HTML file (Advanced | HTML Save...) or as a PDF file (Use Chrome: Print | Change Destination to 'Save as a PDF') or by downloading the shifts to outlook or other program (Advanced | ICalendar) on your desktop computer.

Question: How can I save the schedule as a PDF file?
To save as a PDF use the Chrome browser. Select the Schedule's 'Print...' button. Select the Chrome Print option, select the Chrome CHANGE button and change the destination to 'Save as PDF'.

Question: How can I save the schedule as an HTML file?
To save as an HTML file, select the Schedule's 'Advanced' button, then select 'HTML Save' button, then use your browser to SAVE. When you select the Save option, enter the file name and Save as type 'Web Page, HTML only'. Some browsers understand the 'Ctrl + S' key combination to mean 'Save As' and will pop up the save dialogue box without you having to use the Browser Menu.

Question: How can I distribute the schedule to my Agents?
A link is sent to each participant when you email them their schedules (see below). This link is for the time period you have set for View/Edit on the DATES page. Even after you send the link, a change to these dates will be reflected whenever the person uses the link. You can also attach the PDF file or the HTML file to an email you send to your participants. Participants will be able to open either file. The HTML file will open in their browser, the PDF file requires that the participant's computer have installed a PDF file reader. Most computer do. If not, they can download a free PDF reader from Adobe.

Question: How can I Email the schedule to my Agents?
To email a schedule link and individual shift schedules you must first set up your email Settings. These are found under the Settings Tab/Menu. Enter your name, your email address and the subject line to be used when emailing shift schedules.

To send by email:
[1] Each Agent must have an email address. Enter the email addresses on the Agent page.
[2] From the Generate page, select the email button.
[3] Add a general message (optional) and/or a personal message (optional).
[4] Select the email recipients using the check box across from each name.
[5] Use the Test Email button to first send an email to yourself. This email will contain all emails in one so you can preview what will be sent.
[6] Select the Send Email button when you are ready to send out the individual shift schedules by email.
Important: If the email address is invalid you will not be warned. Check your email addresses carefully.

Question: How can my Agents view the schedule on line?
The easiest way is to send them their schedule by email (includes link to full schedule). See the Email button on the Schedule page.
To send them this link using your own email, send them the Direct URL link found on the Home page.
If you've added the PickShift option (see below), agents can access the schedule from www.PickShift.com.
Lastly, participants can access the schedule from your login page by selecting the View Only link. You will need to provide them with the office ID.
Do not give them the password!
If they have your password they will be able to edit and create schedules.

Question: How can I control what schedule month(s) my Agents see on the View Only screen?
The months on the View Only screen, the screen the participants can see, are set by you on the DATES page, using the View/Edit time period. When you create a new schedule and you are ready for the participants to view it, change the 'View/Edit' time span to include the new month. The participants cannot edit the schedule, they can only view it. To give participants the ability to edit, see PickShift below.

Question: How can I print or edit the Report?
Solution 1: You may save the Shifts Report as an Excel file (or word or PDF). If you save as Excel or word you may edit the results.
Solution 2: To simply print, use the Print button.

Question: How can I edit my schedule?
You edit by double clicking on any shift on either the Schedule page or the View/Edit page.
Participants cannot edit shifts from their View Only page. However, if you have PickShift turned on (see below) they can edit themselves if they select the Edit With PickShift button on the View Only page.
You can add your own entries to the schedule by double clicking on the day area just above the shifts. This is a good way to add comments, birthday greetings, meetings, etc.
Note: When you generate a schedule it is automatically saved. Any manually added shifts or edits are preserved in the new schedule. Only blank shifts or shifts filled by the scheduling engine are replaced when you generate. To start fresh, that is to clear ALL shifts, use [Clear Shifts].

Question: How do I add Agents Vacations?
Select the 'Requests OFF' Menu/Tab. Select the Participant. Scroll down and enter the Participant's vacation times and dates under 'Off' .

Question: How do I enter Holiday Closed Times?
Select the 'Shifts / Holidays' Menu/Tab. Select the Location. Scroll down and select 'Advanced Options' button. Select Add Office Holidays under 'Closed for the holidays' and enter the closed times and dates.

Question: What are Max Shifts, and why do you have a Max Shift entry under both 'Requests Off' and 'Shifts / Holidays, Advanced' ?
Solution 1: Max shifts are the absolute maximum amount of shifts that an participant will be scheduled. Since the program distributes shifts evenly, you should leave this number at 99 unless an participant simply cannot work more than x amount of shifts.
Solution 2: If you have one location, the only Max Shifts you need to edit is the one across from the Participant Name at the top of the 'Requests' Tab/Menu.
If you have two locations, then you can edit Max Shifts at the bottom of the page (Advanced Options) to set the Max shifts by location. For example: Jenny only wants to work one time at the open house, you can set Max Shifts to 1 for Jenny under the Open House location, but leave the Max Shifts across from her name at 99. Jenny will be scheduled just one shift at the Open house, but get an even amount of shifts at the Main office, like everyone else.

Question: I added the Agent's request to be off on Sunday, but he is still being scheduled.
Solution 1: Check the Requests Off report to check the person's requests off. A request off that only has times but no dates or days of the week will not be applied.
Solution 2: Check the Manual ON report. Manual ON shifts overrides everything. If you manually added a person (blue) the person will be scheduled even if they requested off. This is also true if you edited (red) and replaced one agent with another. Any manual changes override requests off.
Solution 3: Did you re generate? After adding new requests, you must Generate a new Schedule in order to apply changes. New requests are not reflected until the next schedule generation.

Question: Why are some shifts blue and some shifts red?
Blue: This shift was manually assigned. Where there was an empty shift, you added a person.
Red: This shift was edited. You replaced one person with another.
When you generate, red shifts turn blue since now they are part of a new schedule, taking a shift not yet assigned.

Question: The Generated Schedule has BLANKS or no name in one or more shifts.
Solution 1: This means there are not enough participants available to cover all shifts. Add new participants or reduce the number of requests off.
Solution 2: Manually add an participant name by double clicking on the blank shift.

What does the 'Filter By' button do?
Enter the text you want to search for in the Textbox next to the 'Filter By' button, then select the button. The schedule will show all those shifts that contain the text you are looking for. For Example, if you want to see only Pete's schedule, filter by 'Pete'. If you only want to see the 12-3 schedule, filter by '12-3'. Use the 'Show All' button or search without any text to see the entire schedule. If you have more than one location, add a two letter identifier with an underscore in the shift lable field (eg. 'MA_'). Then you can filter by 'MA_' to list only the shifts for that location.

How can I show the schedule on Google Calendar?
Use the 'ICalendar Save' button on the 'Schedule' and 'View Only' screens. This will download an iCalendar file (.ics) to your computer. If asked, select 'Save File' and note where the file is saved to. Log into your Google account and upload (import) this file into your Google Calendar.

How can I import the schedule into Outlook Calendar?
Use the 'ICalendar Save' button on the 'Schedule' and 'View Only' screens. This will download an iCalendar file (.ics) to your computer. Save the File and note where you saved it. Import the file using the Outlook File Import process. In general it goes like this: [File | Import and Export | Import an iCalendar or vCalendar file | Locate the folder that has the iCalendar file | Type the file name Choose the iCalendar format].
Details:
1. If you want only certain shifts, first filter the schedule (see filter help on this page).
2. Select the ICalendar Button.
3. Select Save or Save As (if you want to change the name).
4. Select Open Folder if you want to see where file was saved. You will need to know this in order to import.
5. Open Outlook.
6. Select Calendar (bottom left).
7. Select File | Open & Export.
8. Select 'Import/Export'.
9. Select 'Import an iCalendar or vCalendar file'.
10. Select the file to import (where is it? See #4 above. Often saved to UserName\Downloads).

Question: One of my Agents only/always works certain shifts. How can I give her just the shifts she wants?
You can do this by manually assigning her to the shifts she wants. You manually assign a person by double clicking on the shift. Check the 'Manual Only' check box across from her name on the 'Requests OFF' page.

Question: One of my Agents always works certain shifts, but wants her fair share of total shifts as well.
You can do this by manually assigning her to the shifts she wants. You manually assign a person by double clicking on the shift. Make sure the 'Manual Only' check box across from her name on the 'Requests OFF' page is NOT checked. This way she will get the shifts you manually assign her and her fair share of automatic shifts as well.

Question: I don't see my Agents on the schedule.
Solution 1: Is the participant assigned to the Location? Select the Shifts Tab/Menu and scroll down. Check that the participant is assigned to that location. If not, you may add him/her by selection the 'Add All' button (which assigns all participants) or find the participant in the Assigned Grid and check his ASSIGNED check box.
Solution 2: Did you Generate a new Schedule after making your changes? New requests are not reflected until a new schedule is generated.
Solution 3: Make sure the 'Manual Only' check box across from her name ('Requests OFF' page) is NOT checked.

Question: Can my Agents add themselves to the schedule?
Yes! See PickShift under Settings | PickShift. Adding this feature will allow agents to add and remove themselves from the schedule.

Question: I don't see the shift that I created.
Solution 1: Check to see that the shift exists under 'Shifts/Holidays'. To save a new shift or save a shift edit you must select the GREEN check mark.
Solution 2: Are the times correct? Check AM and PM. The EndTime must come after the StartTime. If the EndTime is earlier than the StartTime, the shift is ignored.
Solution 3: Did you add a new shift? To include the new shift in your schedule you'll need to select the Generate or the Clear Shifts button. Caution: This will recreate the existing schedule. This is necessary in order to bring in the new shift.

Question: How do I get two or more Agents on the same shift?
Add two or more identical shifts under Scheduled Shifts.

Question: We have two Agents on the same shift, a first up and a backup, how can I change the order on the schedule?
We have two persons on one shift. We created two shifts, and labeled one 'first up' and the other 'backup'. I want to change the order they are shown on the schedule.
Solution: The program keeps them in consistent order but is you want to change the order, make the shift you want to have in second place, start one minute after the first shift. Example: 8:00 – 11:00 am and 8:01-11:00 am. The program will then order them as you wish. The program will then know in what order to list them.

Question: How can I clear last month's requests?
Go to the Month page and select the type of request you would like to clear. You can clear 'DATES' off requests, 'Days of the Week' off requests, or both. When you clear requests, the row is left with just the shift times. If you want to delete these empty rows put a check mark in the 'Delete Rows' check box before you select a Clear button.

Question: Is there a way to generate separate schedules for separate locations?
Answer: You can have multiple locations but they are all displayed on one calendar. This is by design. The program is meant to be licensed to one physical office, but does support multiple locations to allow for affiliated sites. However, you can separate location shifts by Location. Here's how:
1. For each shift label enter text that describes both the Location and time like this: [MA] 9-12pm. Use brackets in the location identifier so it is unique from participant names. You don’t want your label to be too long or it will take up too much room away from the participant name, so keep it as short as possible yet understandable.
2. You can then filter the contents of the schedule by filtering on the location identifier. In this case '[MA]'.
3. After you filter you can Print the schedule, or export the shifts as an ICalendar file to use with outlook or google calendar or other ICalendar compatible program.

Question: What is PickShift?
Answer: PickShift is an added feature that allows participants to add themselves to the schedule. Using PickShift participants can add themselves to an empty shift or remove themselves. They cannot edit a shift taken by another person.
Question: How do I turn PickShift On?
To activate PickShift see Settings | PickShift.
Question: How would I use PickShift?
Their are three ways you might use Pickshift.
1. Create an empty schedule and let the participants add themselves. How? Change the working DATES so that a new empty schedule is created. Change the View/Edit dates to include the new empty working dates. Using PickShift, the participants can add themselves to the empty shifts.
2. Set the working dates to match your new schedule time span. Use the Generate button to generate a new schedule using the built in scheduling engine. Change the View/Edit dates to include the new empty working dates. Let the participants use PickShift to take any remaining empty shifts, remove themselves from shifts they can't work, and / or swap shifts with others.
3. Activate PickShift but don't turn it on. Participants can view the schedule from the easy to remember web site www.PickShift.com. They will be able to view, but not Edit.


PickShift FAQ

Question: How do I turn PickShift on and off. Sometimes I don't want the participants to change the schedule, sometimes I do.
You can turn PickShift on and off from the Settings | PickShift page. When Off, participants can still view the schedule but they can't edit it.

Question: How do I control what date range the participants can see and/or edit?
You control what dates the participants view by setting the View dates on the DATES page.

Question: How do the participants add themselves to the schedule?
They add themselves after logging in from the PickShift login page.

Question: Can participants edit other participants shifts?
No. They can only add themselves to emtpy shifts or remove themselves from a shift. They cannot edit anyone else's shift.

Question: How can participants swap shifts?
The first participant logs in and removes themselves from the shift. The second logs in and adds themselves to the now empty shift.

Question: How do participants get to the PickShift login page?
Two ways. From the website www.PickShift.com or by clicking the Edit with PickShift button on the schedule view page.

Question: How do participants get to the Schedule View page?
Typically, you will email them the schedule when ready, from the Schedule page. In that email is a link to the Schedule View page. For more ways to publish the schedule, see the Home Page.

Question: How do participants get their login information?
On the PickShift Login page participants can enter their email and have their login emailed to them.

Question: If they forget their UserID (password) can they still see the schedule using the PickShift login page?
Yes. If they enter their email, they will be taken to the schedule view page, but they won't be able to edit the schedule.


PROBLEMS REPORTED:

Reports - Chrome Print button doesn't work.
Solution: Select the download option, then print.
Reports - Schedule report does not include all empty shifts.
Explanation: Shifts that are edited so that they become empty are not recognized as empty shifts. This report only includes shifts that have never been filled. We are working on changing this logic to include all empty shifts.



ERROR SOLUTIONS:

Unexpected Error on Login?
Solution: Clear your browser's cache. For IE use CTRL + F5.



WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
We love hearing from our customers!

CRS
412 Harriet Tubman Drive
Williamsburg, Virginia 23185
USA
http://www.floorscheduleweb.com/support.html
1-888-448-4049.

CONTRIBUTORS:

Terence Wehle, founder/software engineer, scheduling engine architecture, USA.
David Poe, software engineer, USA.
Rupesh Dahibavkar, NET developer, India.
Sandip Kashid, software engineer, India.
Arun Jadhav, project manager, India.
Telerik components support team, USA.
Brian Weedon software engineer, USA.
Elliot Rieflin software engineer, USA.
Ravish Malhotra software engineer, India.


Copyright 2013-20 by CRS. All rights reserved.