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Anyone know of any decent and reasonably priced staff planning software?

Anyone know of any decent and reasonably priced...

I have a few new clients, most are startups, where business has taken off.  These are all service businesses so the most important thing for them is to be able to track all the jobs and make sure the right person goes to the right job and they aren't double booked.

Take a cleaning company for example.  They can have up to 15 jobs on on any one day and 25 staff.  Using a spreadsheet or outlook diary is becoming unwieldy.

When I was at PwC we had a great piece of software called Retain which would be perfect for what I have in mind - but I expect that is far too expensive for a small business.

What I need is something that produces a matrix where you can list all the jobs down the left hand side and the time across the top.  Into the matrix I want to be able to allocate staff to the jobs.  I also want to be able to run a report by employee to show what they have been allocated for a particular day/week.  In theory Excel can manage the first aspect easily enough (although planning more than a week ahead might get messy as you'll likely need 24 columns for each day -  hour day split into half hour blocks).  Maybe it can do the latter and I'm not as good with Excel as I might be.

There must be something out there as I can't believe this is difficult to programme if you have a basic understanding of programming - which of course I don't.


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08th Jul 2012 20:09


This would be pretty easy to program in Access. You may be able to do it yourself but if it's beyond you it wouldn't cost a lot to get a programmer to do it for you.

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08th Jul 2012 21:17


There are lots of free MS Access templates available on the web. You just need a little time to check them out and see which suits your purpose.

Just Google 'free MS Access schedule templates'

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By smercer
09th Jul 2012 13:11

T cards

We have used a pc based t cards system for years to control this type of problem


We use the "lite" version as we dont need the advanced features

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By alattax
09th Jul 2012 13:56

A free project/job scheduler is Gannt Project ( which can cope with several employees.

I'm not sure if there is an upper limit on the number of projects, or allocated resources (employees) but would be worth a look as it would do what you describe.

It works well with jobs with different stages which are reliant on a previous step being completed.    

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17th Jul 2012 12:40


There is a low-end version of Retain (Called Retain Planner) that might suit.   As I recall, it's a fair bit cheaper than the SQL-Server based version.


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By stevie
04th Feb 2013 13:10

Visual Planning

Have a look at Visual Planning:

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