DRoster is what I’d describe as niche software. Not everybody is going to have a use for employee scheduling software, but for those whom do need it, this could be a life saver.
I imagine DRoster being a very welcome find for many small businesses or organizations that are burgeoning past the point of being manageable through a simple spreadsheet. Also, I feel it’s nice to be aware of DRoster as it could come in handy for other purposes for those of us who tend to reverse engineer everything and think in work-arounds.
DRoster comes in two versions: a traditional application that would be installed on your computer or as a web page that’s accessible from any Internet-enabled device. Each version has a little different feel to it, but both are free. I personally prefer the web version and will cover that in slightly greater depth.
You can use your free DRoster to schedule up to 300 shifts. DRoster will hold up to 300 shifts, but you can continuously use it by deleting old shifts as required. For an unlimited number of shifts, buy DRoster.
DRoster, or ezDRoster for the online version, allows you to create employee schedules that meet all of your requirements. Let’s say you have a front desk that must always be manned and different positions work different shifts. You can handle these sorts of quirks and get a handle on people’s hours, where they’re working from, and avoid schedule conflicts from being under-staffed or over-committing any employees.
For the web version, you’ll start off by registering your company and creating a user name for your admin account. From there, start off by creating Locations. These might be different office branches or they could be the different positions that need manned like fry cook, cash register, drive-thru, etc.
Next create Roles. These state the different responsibilities and positions that need filled. You should choose a unique icon to represent each role as well.
Then add Shifts and what days/hours these shifts take place. You can also set what requirements you have for each shift. From the running example in the screenshot, let’s say you require one person doing Phone Support on the night shift. This will throw a little exclamation mark on that shift anytime it is not filled. This way you can make sure somebody is always filling necessary roles.
After you have shifts created, you can add people. These would be the names of employees.
You can only assign one role to each person, so things might get complicated if you have somebody serving double-duty. But, a great thing about the online version, you can assign them a user name and password. Then individuals are able to login and see the schedule. If you make them an Administrator, they’ll have all the same capabilities as you. Otherwise, as a standard user, they’ll be able to login and only view the schedule.
Users can also request unavailable times if you allow it through the web interface. This will allow them to put in a time, say that they have a dentist appointment, and you won’t schedule them to work a shift that overlaps that. You can approve or deny these unavailability requests as the administrator. They’ll show up as pink squareson the schedule and will inform you which shifts are blocked due to this conflict.
This will bring you back to the main dashboard and you can assign individuals through templates or get to the other management areas through the menu bar.
You can see the schedule through three different views. They each allow a different perspective so you can make sure the schedule is correct. When a standard user logs in, they’ll see much the same thing, with the different views but the Manage, Templates, and Add Shift buttons are all disabled. The different views allow you to see:
The Administrator is able to customize the schedule’s appearance by controlling the Display parameters. So you can specify Military time, date format, and which days. Everybody that logs in will be able to see the Legend from the menu bar. This will explain what the different color codings and icons represent.
The final feature to point out with the web version is the Templates feature. This allows you to create a single day or multi-day template that you can use for new weeks so you don’t have to start from scratch each time. You can apply the template and then make any changes to accomodate different needs or unavailabilities.
The application version is much the same as the desktop version but with a different interface and you lose the features of letting employees log in and view the schedule. You set it up in much the same way and then see and set the schedule with different “planners” instead of views.
To make up for the lack of allowing others to login and see the schedule, you can create a variety of reports to print out and post for others to see.
Along with printing, you can export these reports to PDF, BMP, HTML, Text, Excel (OLE, XML), RTF, TIFF image, or JPEG image formats.
Pick your preference for the Web version or the application. Of course, you can try both out since they’re free.
You can download or access the web version at the DRoster website (approx. 5.8 megs for the local installable version).