Advantages of Automated Rostering Over Excel Spreadsheets

A recent University study showcased that more than 85% of spreadsheets contain some form of error. Alarming, right?

Spreadsheets, you either love them or hate them. Even when you love them, their flexibility can only reach so far. Spreadsheets are undoubtedly helpful for managing basic rosters, however as a company grows, the more complex the spreadsheet becomes – especially to track and manage the complexities of large scale workforces. And as the roster expands, so does the complexity risk for error.

We’ve all heard it before – “It is not the tools we use that make us good, but rather how we employ them”.

This saying doesn’t always hold true. Sometimes, not having the correct tool for the correct job restricts the ability to perform; so why not start with the right tools for the right job?

CQFMS managed their workforce and planned their rosters using ever-increasingly complex Excel spreadsheets like many other businesses and operators. While Excel is a capable tool, rostering a growing team of people over a 24/7 period all while adhering to EBA and fatigue regulations can quickly become a nightmare of complexity and error. Through system driven rostering software, the team at CQFMS were able to significantly reduce roster preparation time, more easily ensure compliance with EBA and fatigue requirements and manage changes to their rosters more effectively.

Creating a safe roster

CQFMS and Biarri value safety and understand that an implied safety culture goes beyond the job site and includes appropriate roster creation. It is critical when planning a roster to have the correctly trained and skilled people for the job and to ensure that employees have current certification suitable to be rostered to work on a site. Our Rostering tool has in-built validation rules which enforce training and skills compliance, fatigue management, EBA compliance, enabling workforce planners to plan and roster the correct workers to be deployed on-site. Previously, it was a challenging and arduous task for CQFMS to manually update and track overtime and employee hours for their large workforce using excel.

The right tool

By stepping away from Excel spreadsheets and adopting a sophisticated software system, CQFMS has made noticeable improvements in planning and managing its rosters. Reducing time and effort to generate rosters while also automating the critical task of skills and fatigue compliance.

What are other advantages of using intelligent Rostering systems?

  • Plan for complex demands

    Account and rostering for fluctuating demand such as shutdowns, seasonal changes in production, maintenance, overhauling and nowadays pandemics. Flip the scenario above on its head and use the tool to analyse for shortfalls – gaps in coverage. This can sometimes appear as a meaningless empty cell or row in excel with no cause for alarm.

    Intelligent rostering allows you to plan for the unplanned – everybody loves a contingency plan – especially when it comes to maintenance or shutdowns.

  • Removes multiple excel processes and roster plans

    Use one system for multiple sites and an unlimited workforce. Publish with version control, audit capability and be alerted to noncompliance or areas to identify changes. Moving to Roster software removes the error-prone and repetitive tasks of a planner’s role. Giving back more time to better manage the workforce and focus on more strategic aspects of rostering.

  • Large scale view from every angle

    We often hear that Excel gives us a clear view of our rostering for longer periods – most other software products do not have this capability for the resources industry. Yes, we agree it’s a great aspect of excel. The good news is Biarri’s rostering solution can do that too. It provides the ability to view rosters and identify gaps from a single day or up to more extended periods of months for planning and undergo changes in seconds.

  • Reduce the cost of missed shifts & flights

    Intelligent rostering solutions record flight itineraries and pass the detail onto the worker, giving them the extra nudge to reconfirm their shift, while decreasing the number of missed flights. An intelligent system can access the worker’s roster, flight and accommodation details, bringing the information together to create a positive customer experience – for rosterers, contractors and employees.

  • Human Resources (HR) assist

    Remove the need to transfer new employee lists through to excel to begin planning the roster. With the right software, integrations will streamline the on & off-boarding process, maintain and store employee documents (qualifications, certifications), improving compliance.  

Manually managing hundreds of FIFO rosters by spreadsheets, emails, or other manual tools leaves you vulnerable. You’re not only increasing the workload but exposing your organisation to mistakes by human error, and sometimes these can be expensive.

Minimise risk by optimising the workforce using an intelligent and modern rostering system, and forecast demand for each area of your business and measure against key performance indicators to achieve and exceed expectations.

Given the current work environment, it is more important than ever for organisations to transition to an automated rostering system, but this journey needs to be thoughtful. Focus on the solutions that will provide the most significant value while protecting your workforce’s safety and well–being is critical, and in this category, rostering can be a game-changer.