I've been a bad, bad blogger for the last couple of months. But it was all for a good cause. I've been working (very hard) to get my new internet start up off the ground.
Vsched.com offers on-line employee scheduling software. We went live with our first customer, Cornell University Fitness Centers, over a month ago and everything has been running very smoothly since. They love the service, and we love having them. In the past couple of weeks and from here out we're bringing on-line other customers. So if you're interested, or know someone who schedules many employees, with many shifts, in different kinds of jobs, have them send us a note.
I'm going to try to blog more frequently about Vsched now that it's out. So let me begin by explaining exactly what it is we do.
Imagine that you've got dozens of employees with hundreds of shifts across different jobs and locations. Managing that many employees is a nightmare. You might be spending anywhere from 200 to 2000 staff hours a year doing scheduling. I know, I used to manage 90 student employees at Cornell. Creating shift schedules, keeping them up to date, and handling shift swaps is a real hassle for managers and employees alike. So my partners and I have put together an on-line application which automates these processes.
Managers can create and assign shifts with a click of a button, as well as get schedule reports and overviews. We make the right information available in all the right places, so you can find a substitute for a shift, or see a location or employee's weekly schedule with a single click. Employees can log in at any time from any where to update availabilities or schedule preferences, and to swap shifts. And the most current shift schedule is always available on-line. We even integrate with other calendaring applications such as Google Calendar to publish shift schedules to an employee's personal calendar.
One big feature I'm excited about is the automated scheduler. This kind of scheduling problem is very difficult. Computer scientists call this kind of problem "computationally infeasible". While I was a graduate student at Cornell University I spent a lot of time studying this kind of scheduling problem and came up with an algorithm that does a pretty darn good job. Cornell Fitness Centers tells me they anticipate cutting out 125 staff hours per schedule using the algorithm. So I'm pretty excited about that.
Another big feature I'm excited about is that the system is a hosted service, completely on-line. I was speaking with one customer who bought some boxed software over six months ago and still can't get his IT department to set it up for him. And I don't blame them. Maintaining a server, or client software is a hassle. With a hosted service there's no need for IT infrastructure; we take care of all the technical details.
Anyway, this is what I've been up to for the past month or so. I'm very pleased with the work my partners and I have done. I'm really looking forward to the next few months as we grow our customer base. I'll try and keep you posted on our progress.