Many small businesses have at least some retail focus–selling things to other people is one of the most accessible forms of small business out there–and so need to keep a retail staff scheduled and ready to make those sales. iSchedules looks to make keeping staffing straight a lot easier for those who hold iPhones out there.
iSchedules is the mobile equivalent of HotSchedules, so in order to take fullest advantage of iSchedules, you’ll need a HotSchedules account. But for those with a HotSchedules account, users will be able to bring the HotSchedules functionality to mobile devices. Not only will users be able to see what shifts they’re set to work, but they can also make their own modifications to the master schedule, allowing for easy trading of shifts between employees. They can also file for days off as needed in rapid fashion via a simple online interface, and notes can be made to the schedule by way of explaining what’s going on on each day. Managers can make public note of days that can’t be taken off or the like, and employees can note why they need a particular day off with a scroll wheel of extra notations.
While the basic concept of iSchedules is sound enough–having a way to universally manage schedules and the like is vital for any retail operation of any size–the execution leaves something to be desired. There are multiple walls to the use of iSchedule, including both having to be a member of HotSchedules to get in but also having to fork over an additional $2.99 to get the app on your device in the first place. But once you actually get the app in place, you’ll likely find it a reasonable and sound app to handle scheduling. The problem, of course, is that for many, there will likely be a perfectly good way to handle scheduling already in place. iSchedule, meanwhile, just isn’t that great to draw interest, especially since it doesn’t appear to have made many changes for iPhone 5 users.
But no matter what you use to keep scheduling straight at the retail level, it’s not going to be the only thing that keeps a business up and operational. Consider some cloud-based telephony tools that don’t require a scheduling to work–they’ll work around the clock, really–including call answering services to get calls answered, and hunt groups to make sure the right people get to doing the answering in the first place.
While iSchedule may not be the app of choice for users to handle scheduling matters, it’s still a good idea to have at least some system in place. Keeping staffing levels at their optimum level is of extreme importance to any organization; keeping the flow of customers moving quickly and efficiently, while not wasting money on overstaffing, is vital for anyone.